Monday, May 17, 2010
Post-Mastectomy Bra Fitting and Follow-up in Boston
Life is truly back to normal. Let's start with the bra fitting. I requested this via my PCP. It was a wonderful visit with an old friend. I knew her back in the days when I was the Chair of the Race for the Cure. Being fitted for a bra for my new breasts was informative. It seems that for years I have worn the wrong size bra - or I have grown. That could have happened after all my efforts at feeding my flap (more on that in a later post). With my new breasts I am a 38A. There are very few places you can find a 38A bra, so this service was great. Even though I have breasts (ones that I am very proud of and ones that I truly earned), it still felt good to add a prosthesis to a 38B bra and to some bathing suits. These post-mastectomy bras are comfortable and look good. With them I am actually bigger than I was when I started all of this.
The next day I was in Boston to see my doctors. With Dr. Tobias we discussed what Stage 2 surgery would be all about. Basically a little bit of lipsuction (I was hoping for more!), a little tuning up of the dog ears on the ends of my abdominal scars, and a bit of filling in of the spots where the breast surgeon took tissue above my breasts. It all made sense. I thought he might be able to do some more lipo and plump up my breasts a bit, but that's not exactly necessary according to the doctor. Next I was off to see the breast surgeon. She did a breast exam, which wasn't uncomfortable at all. I thought that since my breasts are quite numb that I might find it uncomfortable, but I didn't. After that she cut me loose. My annual breast exams will be with my local breast surgeon. I was surprised, but grateful that I don't have to make a 4-hour trip for that.
When I told her that I had been fitted for bras with the post-mastectomy bra fitter, my breast surgeon was surprised. She said that I should just go to Victoria's Secret or some other places for bras and bathing suits since the whole point of the reconstruction was to avoid a prosthesis. I was surprised by her reaction. But, we headed out to do some shopping so I figured I would see if I could find something that would fit. My old bras and bathing suits don't fit so I had my doubts.
Well, after a few hours of trying on clothes (without my 38B bra on) I found a couple of bathing suits that worked for me. But, I couldn't find a bra to fit. They don't make 38A padded off the rack at Sears or JC Penney. When I got home I did go online to Victoria's Secret and saw that they do offer a 38A padded bra for $45. I won't order one, but when I get to a Victoria's Secret store I will try one on. In the meantime I am very happy to have the bras from the bra fitter as well as some sports bras that fit.
Now I have some versatility in my bathing suit wardrobe. Remember, I live at our camp in the summer and spend lots of time on and near the water. Right now I have bathing suits for watersports like waterskiing and tubing (non-prothesis) and others for socializing on the deck (full cup 38B). I am happy. Probably not all people will need or want both the non-prothesis bras and bathing suits, but it works for me. I am wearing the Full 38B in the picture!!!