A whole new meaning to Single Breasted

I have had my mastectomy and I quite literally am single-breasted. I know that everyone approaches these issues differently but, perhaps as predicted in my earlier post  No more bras?, I have decided to fully embrace the new asymmetrical look! I am not interested in reconstruction as it is more surgery and I hate bras to start with and don’t want to add the hassle of a breast form. What will this look like?

2c8960917eb087b39501a97a19ab6b8bI did some Google searching. Not surprisingly, most of the things I found about dressing post-mastectomy involved breast forms and bra options. There is also a fair amount online about the choice to “go flat” being made by many bi-lateral mastectomy survivors. The difference comes with the difference in the contour of one regular breast and the concave remains of a unilateral modified radical mastectomy, or the smaller change from a lumpectomy etc.

A few tips I have found;

  • Avoid tight fitting tops.
  • Fairly large patterns, like paisley, tend to work better than small patterns or solid light colours.
  • Asymmetrical tops may draw attention away from the difference.
  • Ruffles, frills, and draping fabric are helpful.
  • Wrap tops and dresses are good (though I have discovered that most wraps go in the wrong direction to minimize the loss of the right breast).
  • dark colors, especially black, camouflage the lack of shadow underneath the flat part of your chest
  • crisp shirts with breast pockets mask your contours
  • jackets and sweaters layered over form-fitting t-shirts draw attention away from your chest and hide any unevenness
  • scarves and shawls can be used to cover part of your chest

After a few days with trips to various shops in my area, I have a nice selection of short and long sleeved tops. I have yet to find a dress but that is less of an issue for me. Where did I shop?

Eloise

Winners at Corbett Centre

Second Showing

Whispering Gardens

I also found some great possibilities at Marksworkwearhouse.ca but haven’t gone in to try anything on. I started a board on Pinterest for pics of things that fit the single breasted look. Single Breasted Fashion

Some of the tips are from http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/no-reconstruction

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/no-reconstruction

 

 

Don’t mow the lawn or wallpaper the bathroom.

20170719_112512After my unilateral mastectomy (one breast removed) last week I went home with a big dressing on my chest and underarm, two drain tubes, and two pages of post-op instructions from my surgeon. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the instructions for activities of daily living!

My biggest laugh came from the idea of resuming regular activities such as household chores…the joke is that I don’t really do much of that normally. It is really easy to return to regular activities when that only involves watching tv, playing Pokemon, and using the computer.

A couple things I really liked from the instructions are;

“The psychological recovery can be much harder, and you will get mentally better faster once you realize you are not ‘sick’.” This one was not really funny but definitely true. I don’t know if I am psychologically recovered or not, but other than some discomfort which seemed to be more due to the tape on the dressing and the drain tubes than the surgery itself, I am definitely not sick from the surgery.
“If there is a drain in place, you must avoid excessive use of the affected arm as it can result in increased fluid production and prolonged drainage. (i.e. don’t mow the lawn or wallpaper the bathroom).” This was primarily funny because of the unlikeliness of me exercising excessively, mowing the lawn, and definitely not wallpapering any room in the house.

One week later I have no more dressings, just the skin damage the tape does to me, no more drains, a line of paper tape over the incision site, a multicoloured bruise, and a new asymmetrical look. Today I have an appointment to go over the pathology report and then I’m going out with a good friend.