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Do You Know What Breast Reconstruction Looks Like?

August 02, 2016 37 Comments

Do You Know What Breast Reconstruction Looks Like?

This post was originally written for the Young Survival Coalition blog. It was published by YSC June 24, 2016.

 

Does anyone want to talk about foobs?

Sure, everyone wants to talk a lot about boobs. When am I going to get them? How big are they going to be? Some want bigger, some smaller, some have Instagram accounts full of selfies in body-con dresses with puckered lips and padded bras because hers are just right.

They are retweeted, shared and liked every October when college students go all Girls Gone Viral using their perky, healthy breasts as a catalyst for disease awareness.

But, Foobs are not boobs.

When you get breast cancer, boobs are (in general) lopped off and put out for pick up on hazmat day.

That is, of course, after lengthy discussions about exactly what to do with them. Should we keep one, get rid of one? Should we just get in there and cut the vagrant out, hoping what ails it does not spread? Do we rebuild? How do we rebuild? They are pressed flat between plastic, squeezed, needled, examined, pinched, lifted, drawn upon. They are touched by more strangers than heirloom tomatoes at a farmer’s market.

What is the right decision? The one that's right for YOU.

 

And then, radio silence.

Once we make that decision they are never to be spoken of again.

And I want to talk about foobs. I have wanted to talk about foobs since I arrived home with tubes and bulbous devices sticking out of my sides. I have wanted to discuss their squareness, their hardness, their alien presence underneath my Marshall clearance robe; the only thing my mom could find on such short notice.

Because, well, I didn’t know anything about foobs.

Because no one talks about it.

I suppose I shouldn’t say no one. Bring up the word reconstruction in a cancer klatch and everyone will begin to clamor about their experience or opinion on the subject. Bring up the word mastectomy in conversation on say the D train and watch how men and women who’ve never had to make such a decision (or known someone who had) instantly stand further away from you.

We need to be able to have these conversations. Not just between survivor sisters, BFFs and spouses, but as a collective societal whole. Because the pink ribbon, get on with my life breast cancer does not happen to everyone. Because even though global media has shared beautiful black and white portraits of women flat and scarred, social media bans images of reconstructed breasts. Because when I walk into a boutique looking for a summer sundress, no one can tell what lies beneath is nothing but silicone and skin, nothing but a sensationless, rock hard permanent prosthetic that likely won’t agree with half of the fashion options available to me.

 

Reconstructed breasts are not cosmetically-enhanced breasts.

 

I want women to know they are not alone. I want these women to know someone else understands that anguish, that feeling of loss and the nagging suspicion they are somehow a broken doll.

Of course, I get it, this is not a new subject, per se. But it is a clandestine subject all the same. We can talk about breasts (and see them) ad nauseum. We can celebrate scars and feel empowered by women who choose to remain flat, but reconstructed breasts seem to give people the heebee jeebees. 

You see, I recently pitched my intimates line, AnaOno, to a room full of savvy, seasoned businessmen and business women. In previous such meetings, I didn’t always seem to get across the point that our bras served a very specific purpose, and that the wireless bralette dujour in the major market wasn’t always an answer for us reconstructed ladies. They were inspired and moved by my story, but they weren’t ready to pull the financial trigger. The need, pardon the pun, wasn’t sexy enough for them.

1 in 3 of us can't find a bra

 

So, I made the decision to switch it up. A mastectomy is an amputation, and I was going to present what that looked like, and what breast reconstruction looked like. I figured people were still considering it a nice perky boob job by a cosmetic surgeon, rather than a radical amputation with a permanent prosthetic done by a plastic surgeon.

I can honestly say even I at first thought it was a little jarring; seeing the images purposefully juxtaposed within my presentation. And I lived through the ordeal! The stitches from a TRAM FLAP surgery and expanders with drains do resemble carnage. Because they are carnage to a certain extent. Body parts have been removed. Skin and tissue has been moved around. There is blood and scarring. I shudder because I remember the pain, the insecurity, the emotions and the fear surrounding my own surgery and brutal chemotherapy.

But to see this room full of men and women recoil and grimace at those same images, and constructively suggest I remove them from further presentations made me angry. Many of us have looked like those pictures, and it is not only what saved our lives, but it was also a decision we made as young survivors because it was what we wanted. No one questions an amputee if they choose to have a prosthetic, an implant or nothing at all. No one tells Aimee Mullins not to change her legs on a TED stage. Why is someone telling me to put away the foobs?

Why is Facebook telling women to put away the foobs?

Why is there backlash against women who choose to get foobs?

Why are we not talking about the exhausting process, physically and emotionally, a woman goes through to get her foobs? (And while we’re at it, that sometimes the foobs fail, the surgeries linger over years, the implant doesn’t take and the woman on the other end of the ordeal is scarred not only on her body, but along the lines of her fractured self-esteem?)

I mean, just WHY?

 

So I encourage you to talk foobs. To tell your story in the comments. To share this story on Twitter or Facebook and explain to others what your life is like with foobs and WHY you decided to get them.

In this process and life that is cancer, whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, in maintenance, stable, NED or still living with it as a chronic, terminal illness, we all start at the same place. Terrified and wearing an open-back itchy hospital gown. We continuously think about what, if anything, the future holds. And we go into warrior mode, and one day wind up searching for someone who can tell us, “Me, too!”

To all of you card-carrying members of the Friends of the Foobies club, I am saying to you “Me, too.” We started the conversation first on the Young Survival Coalition blog and Facebook page. Let's continue it!

So maybe one day we’ll be sitting in a movie theater or flipping through a magazine and we’ll see one of our celeb recon sisters brave enough to go topless or have a sex scene with her own body. And the audience won’t recoil in horror because we made the difference by starting that conversation and being the pioneers.

 

Breasts don't make you beautiful. YOU make you beautiful.

 

 

We want to hear from you! What do you want to talk about when it comes to life after breast cancer? What's missing from the conversation?

NOTE: All photographs in the post are every day women of all ages who've had breast reconstruction (FLAP or implant).





37 Responses

Katie
Katie

September 25, 2018

I have to say this is the first time I have every commented on an article…but I feel like I have to offer another story.
I am 36 and my mom and grandmother both had breast cancer. I have been closely monitoring my breasts, every 6 months came a battery of imaging. Over 1/2 the time, something suspicious was found and I had to have a biopsy, surgically biopsy, or mri guided biopsy. I lived in constant fear.
I was due for my next breast mri and I made the decision to have a preventative Mastectomy and direct to implant reconstruction.
My recovery was less difficult and significantly less painful than my c-section. I never took a narcotic and was able to care for myself the entire time.
These are my boobs…they are new and they feel different, but not bad. They don’t hurt, I can feel hugs from my family and I really like how they look! I breastfed twins…these new girls look much better than the old pair.
My husband is very excited about them and I have enjoyed shopping for new bras. They are certainly not perfect, but I ask you…who knows any 36 year old mother that feels like her breasts are perfect?
When I was terrified about this surgery and experience, I looked and looked for someone online with a positive experience and had a hard time finding it.
My experience has been very positive and I could not be happier that I am DONE with terrifying trips to the breast center.
I know that this is not what everyone experiences, but I did and I hope sharing it might be helpful.

Michaela Codding
Michaela Codding

August 28, 2016

Had a double mastectomy a year and 6 months ago after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. No one who hasn’t gone through this understands what goons look and feel like. Pain and cramping lasted for over a year and my scars are finally just now healed. I do equal it to an amputation with loss of feeling, loss of range of motion after radiation. I still hate looking at myself in the mirror.

Gayla
Gayla

August 10, 2016

Wanted to let you all know that on the series “Ray Donovan” Season 4 , Episode 6, they show a topless cancer survivor, implant on one side and real breast on the other. Topless in a sex scene! Good for them! Just like me…

Betsy Jennings
Betsy Jennings

August 08, 2016

I am a woman with a very high risk of breast cancer who chose to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy last year. Because of that I am considered a previvor, if you will.
Women who do what I have done also must deal with those in the breast cancer community who feel that we are not “survivors” of anything, because we did not actually have breast cancer. I have read many articles of this ilk. I am sure that for those of you who developed cancer that if beforehand, you knew you were at a statistically higher risk for it (for me it was close to 40% lifetime risk, and I was gene negative) you may have chosen the same route that I did.
Though I did not endure cancer, I lived 22 years of hypervigilance. MRI’s, mammo’s, ultrasounds, and multiple biopsies, my first showing abnormal cells at age 27. Visits to the surgeon, and return visits to take a feel at suspicious lumps over the years. Some were biopsied, some were watched. After 22 years I got to chose to end it, and end up with a less than 1% lifetime risk. No more breast center. No more MRI’s. No more mammograms. No more scares.

I have breasts that were gouged out & stretched beyond capacity with expanders. I had drains and bruises and the pain of mastectomy that breast cancer ladies have endured. Now I have nipples that feel nothing, and patches of skin on my sides and mid-back that feel nothing, but feel weird tingly pain with certain sensations. I wonder when looking at my chest if I will really know when plastic surgery to “revise” them won’t be an option I actually consider. Will I ever say, and really know in my heart that these are my foobs, and move on with my life?

The truth is, I did not have a cancer diagnosis, so I feel invalidated at times for the journey I endured to finally undergo this life changing surgery. I got to choose NOT be a cancer patient. My mother endured chemotherapy after mastectomy 25 years ago. My father endured radiation for prostate cancer. I saw the devastation that is cancer for both of them in such different ways.

When I found a lump last year, and they called me back to the breast center after my MRI for more views, it scared me to the core. My father was dying, and all of a sudden I realized that I did not want to live like this that any more, this life of fear. I have a young son, a family that needs me. It scared me in some visceral way I could not explain. My breast surgeon, herself a two time breast cancer survivor, mentioned the prospect of a prophylactic mastectomy, given my high risk for the diagnosis. When she told me my risk would drop to less than 1% with the surgery, I was a blubbering, sobbing mess at the relief I realized it would bring me.

I have the issues other mastectomy patients have in regards to the surgery and all that is involved with it, without the cancer trauma attached. I just had the cancer fear that gnawed at me every 6 months. (or sooner, if I found something)

At times I feel like I reaped the benefit of the prophylactic procedure without feeling like I have a true community in all of it. (only parts, which sometimes are invalidated) I hope this does not sound trite. Yes, I do not have a “life without breast cancer” but I have a life with breasts that are the same afterwards. And this can be strange, and humbling.

Stori Nagel
Stori Nagel

August 08, 2016

Each one of us is reconstructed different. I think we should all embrace the “new normal”. Remember to research your doctors and be assertive to get the best possible results.

Caroline O'Connor
Caroline O'Connor

August 07, 2016

An amputation. Yes, though I never thought of it that way before. Made mine a prophylactic double with one Diep and one TRAM. Quite a few complications, one near fatal pulmonary embolism. I jokingly call them Franken-boobs, scarred, stitched together and symbolic of my fear and pain. Also a badge of honour that I value life more than my vanity and I love my family more than some serious pain. I will never feel the same. Never be the same. But I am still here and I am still me.

Margaret mclaughlin
Margaret mclaughlin

August 07, 2016

Hi my name is Margaret from Belfast,6 years ago I had mastectomy,reconstruction and reduction of other breast.I had chemo an radiotherapy I was 42.my foob an boob are still different sizes an look different as well but I still feel complete when I’m dressed an have nice bra on.i get stronger every year also an more positive as I’m here to tell the tale.i still have terrible trouble getting a comfortable bra that fits,1cup to big 1 cup to small or if u get comfortable bra it’s like an aul granny bra,I wish there were more shops an style to make us feel feminine as this is so important keeps us sane,we should have more places where we are more comfortable talking openly to sales staff an that the staff can take our advice on what we need and deserve to feel human an whole again x

Amy W
Amy W

August 07, 2016

I unfortunately didn’t tolerate the foobs so I have “nubs”. A nightmare of sorts really….double mastectomy in June with expanders. Expanders had to be removed one month later due to a severe infection from rejection of the expanders. The infection contaminated my port, pushed my chemo out a month, caused me 8 rounds of antibiotics and I’m still battling it with weekly dr visits for wound packing. I’m learning to be ok with “nubs” but clothes don’t fit correctly & forget a bra at this point, a fitted tank is about the only thing that works. Yet my friends still say, “hey you get new boobs!”…uhhhh no, I get nubs.

Barbara vlachos
Barbara vlachos

August 06, 2016

I just completed a “re” reconstruction. A prepectorial conversion to switch my implant from under the muscle to over the muscle as I was having complications to my initial reconstruction from radiation. I am a momma of two toddler boys who again is limited to no bending, lifting, pushing, or pulling. The gift that just keeps on giving.

Donna Shrader
Donna Shrader

August 06, 2016

Just some comments that I have about my journey quickly. Simple right mastectomy. Chemo. No reconstruction. I was 63 years old when I went through this.
Believe it or not women my age still want to be sexy! We still want to look good and have desire and want to have sex! Even now many years later, I still do! I want bras that I can close from the front and wear a prosthesis with that are both pretty and lacy as well as sport bras. I cannot reach behind to close them and hate pulling them up and down over my shoulders to take them on and off. I want a bathing suit that I can wear a prosthesis with that is attractive. All of these items are very hard to find and usually more expensive.

Samantha Gollop
Samantha Gollop

August 06, 2016

I had hoped that I would feel fit enough to put myself forward for reconstruction sooner rather than later; I tried to convince myself that it was a “free boob job and tummy tuck”, but I have come to realise that the physical assault that I have already undergone needs to be got over, and before I submit to any further life-changing procedures, and to be quite honest, I’m afraid to put myself through the pain again, so soon….

Susan Holbrook
Susan Holbrook

August 06, 2016

As well expressed in this article, " What’s missing from the conversation?" Is “the conversation”!
I was dumb founded and angry as an agitated wasp when I came home after initial surgery, double mastectomy, tissue expanders. I could not beleive the debilitated impact on the use of my whole torso, arms, hands, not to speak of the butchered state of my chest. I am a Yoga teacher and retired Ballet dancer and teacher of 40 years. I have always been an anatomy geek. I was fully aware and insulted by the fact that the information that was given pre surgery by all 3 surgeons that I had consulted before choosing one, was so sketchy and incomplete. “Conversation”? Not.
Moving on was when “friends” would come to visit. Myself, being astounded at what I was enduring and dealing with under my baggy blouse, I assumed people who cared about me would be a little curious too. I would ask them if they wanted to see this strangness that man has come up with to deal with our rogue cells. The embarrased responses, such as “Oh no, those aren’t for me to see” like I was offering them a peek at my forever gone boobs. There was that lonely feeling of being a freak.
All I really wanted at that point was to hang with ladies who knew this changed world first hand, unfortunatly.
Then there is the “pink month of October”. That was the month I had the 2nd surgery. My first outing on my own, off to the mall for the useless task of finding a bra for these round baggies on my rib cage called foobs. No such animal. The " breat cancer specialist" at Nordstroms kept bringing me pointy bras. I would politly say no until she got frustrated with me because I would not settle and she barks back at me that " I would just have to get used to it and pick something as that is all they had!". I left, walking past every single store window pushing “Pink” YUK! I did not feel pink.
4 months after my mastectomy I started an adaptive, therapeutic yoga program for us boobless, fooby ladies. The Healing Chest, www.thehealingchest.org. Dana D. Showed up for the program. She was beautiful, smart, so young, bald and ready to get going. This was of course before she moved. Beautiful bras for these foobs was a seed thought. Out of it grew Ana Ono. A fantastic venture.
We learn in the practice of Yoga to allow the dark spaces to be our teachers, i.e. " make lemonade out of lemons". That is great, and it really is, but instead of pinking October in such a superficial manner, “others, the booby people” need to step up and not be so closed off when we need and want to share. That is how we will all come to the realities of this disease, after all what if you are next? Are you going to have to go through the same darkness. Look at the pictures! We foobies are here to teach, to share. Drop the fear and truly walk the talk.Thank you Dana for AnaOno, and thank you, who ever wrote this great article.

Erica
Erica

August 06, 2016

I used to love getting a massage- now I can’t feel half my body. My son pushes his face against my tummy and I can’t feel it. My husband caresses my side and I can’t feel it. Frankenstein here I come. But do I feel lucky that no one else knows? You bet I do.

donna
donna

August 05, 2016

Nice article, I’m two time Survivor.after my last surgery which was a partial mastectomy I live with one. it’s very challenging to get a proper fit and something comfortable that may also have a hint I’m sexy. it would be nice if companies would know women still want to look and feel feminine. feel free to contact me as I am an advocate and cheerleader for survivors.

Julie-Ann brown
Julie-Ann brown

August 05, 2016

Some women choose preventative mastectomy due to family history.

Amanda Neely
Amanda Neely

August 05, 2016

I can’t tell you how much I loved reading this! I was diagnosed in February 2016 with DCIS on my left side at the age of 32, which was determined after surgery to be stage 1. I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and they also removed lymph nodes on the left. I had no idea what I was in for, which is what I keep hearing from other people who have been through the same thing. I researched and googled as much as I could before surgery but still was not prepared for what happened to my body. I am still in the reconstructive process, luckily I did not need chemo or radiation. Already had to have a redo on my right side after the exchange surgery. I am going to share this on fb and pray that as many people stop and read it as possible! Thank you!!!

melinda Briceno-Keith
melinda Briceno-Keith

August 05, 2016

I had the DIEP flap, and even after a fat graph, one breast is still smaller than other. Trying to hide it with bras esp. since I don’t want to wear a bra (no nipples and don’t want them). .

Licia Y.
Licia Y.

August 04, 2016

It has been 6 years since I was told I had breast cancer. And it has been 5 years since my reconstructive surgery. My reconstructed breasts don’t move, they don’t hang & they don’t bounce, so I don’t need to wear bras. The most I would wear is a pull-over bra top or a tank top under my blouse so my tattooed nipples will not show. My 7-year old daughter doesn’t know what a bra is. She has never seen one in our house. She refers bra as “the two circle thing grandma wears”. I feel bad. Because if my breast cancer, she doesn’t get to know, doesn’t get to talk & doesn’t get to ask about bra. Although I am certain one day she will understand why mommy doesn’t wear one.

Sid
Sid

August 04, 2016

Why did she cover her face, she is beautiful!!

Rebecca Nero
Rebecca Nero

August 04, 2016

Here is my blog, same story, my love!! We need to keep talking and writing about this as much as humanly possible and our doctors need to address these issues BEFORE we have recon. I feel like they are so focused on how we will LOOK after recon, but not how we will FEEL, for a very long time.
http://beckysbigbytes.blogspot.com/2016/05/my-foobs-and-how-they-compare-to-marie.html

Karen Wallwork
Karen Wallwork

August 04, 2016

I was diagnosed at 42, after having my first mammogram for a lump that turned out to be a cyst. They found 3 tumours in my other breast, I had no symptoms to indicate that I had a problem. Lumpectomy, then bilateral mastectomy with 2 weeks. No reconstruction as of yet, due to chemo and radiation, as well as difficulty in finding a surgeon that will work in my local area. I thank you for this article, I’m tired of others being excited for me because I get a free boob job. I have tried to explain that there is a huge difference between augmentation and reconstruction, but to no avail. I hate to say it, but you only get a true understanding when you have been through it. Thanks again, with live from Australia xx

Joan Crowder
Joan Crowder

August 04, 2016

I wish more of your products had pockets for prosthesis as well. The problem with prosthesis bras that I have is that they tend to ride up and rest right on top of my scars plus I need them to go all the way over and under my arms to help contain the fatty tissue under my arm. I am 53 and had a bilateral mastectomy 3 years ago. I chose not to have reconstruction because I did not want to go through any more surgeries and could care less about having boobs of any kind. But I would like to have the option to just have something to wear with a little padding so that my chest doesn’t look sunken in —not everything I wear requires “boobs” for it to look right.

Trisha
Trisha

August 04, 2016

I had a bilateral prophylactic mastectomies 6 weeks ago because I was high risk. I have now been dealing with " tissue necrosis", something I knew nothing about, and see rarely on breast cancer websites. I am so depressed and frustrated and have no idea if any women’s " foobs" survived this?? Thank you for any contact

Valerie Stanley
Valerie Stanley

August 04, 2016

My mastectomy surgeon told me that I could have boobs like Twiggy or boobs like Dolly Parton or anything in between. So they put in the expanders. They hurt me every second of every day. Nobody seemed to understand that. Getting out of bed was my biggest hurdle of each day. Before surgery I was a generous D cup. So that’s what I expected to return to. At my first meeting with the plastic surgeon, I was told that I might be able to get a B cup due to the damage from radiation.
So 8 months later and almost pain free, I have breasts that are smaller than my expanders. 1 is fine. The other hard as a rock. I can’t express how much I regret my decision to have the recon. They look fake. They are fake. They feel fake. I hate them. I am seriously considering having them removed. My surgeon was not truthful. I regret every step of these procedures.

Rachel Swanson
Rachel Swanson

August 04, 2016

Another great article featuring beautiful brave real women. I shared this with a little story how my 14 year old nephew showed me alternatives to foobbies and told me he thought those women are beautiful. His 13 year old brother after deep thought and the most irresistible smile said "so you are an Amp-U-Titty!!!! That was 2 months ago I still laugh out loud shared with doctors and are eternally grateful I have 2 nephews who are braver more accepting then 98% of the people I met. Cheers to my sister and brother in law for raising such great humans. Real hope for the future. Now how is that plus size line coming?

Lori Gallegos
Lori Gallegos

August 04, 2016

Loved this, Dana! I think I’m in the minority, I absolutely love my foobs! With a strong family history, extremely dense tissue and biopsies starting in my early 20’s, I never loved (maybe didn’t even like) my boobs. I saw my Barely A’s as things that would secretly strategize to one day kill me. So after 30 years of stress, they found DCIS and I chose a DMX (nipple sparing) and after several surgeries, I have beautiful, sensationless D foobs. I know I’m doing this backwards, but I now feel more feminine. Crazy, huh?

Dana Donofree
Dana Donofree

August 04, 2016

Wow! Such love! First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support. This has been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and obviously have strong opinions about. So THANK YOU for reading it, commenting on it and sharing the post!

Secondly, I also wanted to address some of the questions in the comments, if you’ll have me.

1. We firmly believe every person should take the path of their own choosing and do what they feel is right for them and their body during their breast cancer journey and treatment. I was 28 when I decided to get a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction. There were a lot of factors that went in to making that decision, and the choice I ultimately made was what I wanted for myself. That being said, neither myself nor AnaOno is for or against one surgery or another. Reconstruction is not for everyone, and we respect all decisions made within our community. What’s the right or best choice? The one that’s best for you.

2. We have been privileged to be able to dress women with no breasts, one breast, two breasts, permanent prostheses, breast forms and even women who’ve had lift, augmentation, reduction or no surgery at all. The AnaOno line and collection was started because I saw a need going unaddressed in the market place, and it was personally affecting me emotionally and physically. That was finding a bra that fit my reconstructed body. There was not a single bra out there that was specifically designed with the needs of someone like me in mind, so I made one. After we launched, we quickly learned despite options being available in the mastectomy and prosthesis market, women still wanted something more than what was offered, and they wanted choices. That being said…

3. We introduced our MAKEMERRY Collection not only as a option for women undergoing radiation, but also as a pocketed bra collection. We are a small, self-funded business, so our research and development, production and fit process is what it is right now. We DO have protoypes in the works that will have pockets for women who use breast forms. We are considering women who choose not to reconstruct and simply wear a form. Our Kelly and Sandi bras can also accommodate lightweight, self-adhesive forms, and we’ve dressed women who do wear their lightweight forms with these bras.

4. We also understand there are women who choose not to wear anything after mastectomy, and instead remain Flat and Fabulous, either bilaterally or unilaterally. Our Kelly is by far the most popular among this set because of its unique four-way stretch that allows it to fit your body, without gaps or puckering. The Jennifer is another very popular option for women who are flat; in fact one of the women on our site is wearing it without her forms.

5. Our line is also growing and expanding. We are working on different silhouettes, styles, fabrics and size expansion beyond XXL, 18/20, 42 DDD.

This is only the beginning for us. Every day we learn something new, or try out a new fit on women just like you. We get and use feedback from women across the globe, as we’ve done since before our first item went into production.

We are so grateful to have such incredible support from our community and from those beyond the breast cancer community. You are why we do this, and why we’re here aiming to improve and expand and help as many people as we can. My “door” is also always open. Please feel free to email me at dd@anaono.com. Reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (all @AnaOnoIntimates). We truly value, listen to and hear your opinions and feedback.

And our mission is beyond the bra. We want to address and discuss the aspects of life after breast cancer – the things we struggle with, but are often not talked about from chronic pain, PTSD, sex and intimacy, loss, grief, self-esteem, survivor guilt and so on. So please keep coming back and voicing your opinions. Let’s make this happen together!

xoxo Dana

Leslie G
Leslie G

August 03, 2016

I cried when I read this post! You took these words from my head and my heart. Foobs and not boobs. Foobs are not breast enhancements. Foobs are not real, but yet they are part of me. I had a double mastectomy (amputation) at 45 years old, and they sent me home from the hospital after 11 hours, with drains, and pain, and depression, and fear, and the new knowledge that I needed a year of chemo (and part surgery) very quickly.

Fast forward a few months to trying to find comfortable, sexy bras and I’be been having such a hard time. I need them – because gravity, but can’t find anything that fits except for a mastectomy bra. Foobs are not as deep as breasts, yet they are as wide as breasts. Sports bras fit, but who wants to wear that all day, and forget being sexy. Some bralettes fit, but there’s very little support and you have to wrestle them on/ off over your head.

I cannot wait to check out your whole line! Thank you so very much for speaking xle all of us, and let me know if you need help selling these to stores in the Southern US! I’m your girl.

Kandi Adams
Kandi Adams

August 03, 2016

I’m facing a bilateral mastectomy in about a month. I’ve gone through chemo & will have 6 weeks of radiation after surgery. One year later, I will begin the reconstruction process. I appreciate the realness of this post. It’s the first time I’ve seen it referred to as an amputation which is so accurate. Thank you for being so open about this.

Pamela Rich
Pamela Rich

August 03, 2016

I have asked before but I will ask again…..why are there no mastectomy bras ……bras with pockets for those of us who had modified radical mastectomies without reconstruction (it wasn’t an option in 1989) and use prostheses ….why is it so hard to find any? please consider my needs/our needs ….those of us who have no breasts …thank you !

Judith Turner
Judith Turner

August 03, 2016

Two months out of breast cancer treatment, bilateral mastectomy, node removal, diep flap reconstruction, chemotherapy and radiation-nobody talked to me about how to adjust to my new body. It’s bad enough to wait for your hair to return, but now you look in the mirror and everything has changed. Your spouse is supportive but you know that you can see the change in your spouse’s eyes when he looks at you as well. We need more conversations about what goes on in our heads and hearts during and after breast cancer treatment. We need help to deal with the conversations in our heads.

Cecilia
Cecilia

August 03, 2016

This was great. Thanks for being a voice that’s fearless and true!

Molly Edelen
Molly Edelen

August 03, 2016

I want to talk about choosing not to have reconstruction, and not to wear a prosthesis after having just one breast amputated. I choose to be me, to be lopsided, to have no added surgical trauma and not have a prosthesis slip-sliding-away. Why are there no bras made with us in mind? Why do even medical professionals ask me if I’m sure, don’t I want to look normal?…etc. I get tired of having to explain my choice. I don’t ask others to explain theirs. I try to support them in their decision without judging. Only you know what’s right or not right for you just as only I know what’s right or not right for me.

Heidi
Heidi

August 03, 2016

Love!! XOXO!!

Jean
Jean

August 03, 2016

Thank you Ana for putting my reality into words. I’d like to talk about nipple reconstruction or just choosing to live with one real boob and one mountain of flesh. Your description of what a foob looks and feels like matches me to a tee. I WILL share this.

Jane Doris
Jane Doris

August 03, 2016

Hi Dana,
This is a terrific article!
There are so many truths in it, and you’ve hit on a real need with the bras that you designed.
How’s your adorable niece, Madlyn?
Jane

Karen Gantt
Karen Gantt

August 03, 2016

Have you had any success in selling a bra for prosthesis?

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