If there is one thing I hate shopping for it is a new purse. I don’t switch purses so when I choose one, it will be my bag until a seam rips, the straps tears, or it gets too dirty and worn looking. So, it is a serious commitment! When looking for a new handbag I have very stringent qualifications. I like to have a couple compartments, not just a bag that you just throw everything in and do the hand seek-and-find until you grab what you are looking for. It must have some little pockets inside. I prefer that it zippers close. A pocket on the outside for my cellphone and one on the other side for my sunglasses would be a bonus, but that is hard to find. I also like it to have “character”. I don’t want a purse that is plain with no designs or just one color. Tasteful and pretty but not too busy. See what I mean? Picking a handbag is a very personal thing and takes time to find just the perfect one. The same goes for breast prosthesis.
After my chest healed from my mastectomy I went to a wonderful shop we have here in the area that sells breast cancer supplies as well as other things for lymphedema patients. I went to get fitted for some “foobs” (fake boobs) and bras. It was a very emotional experience. When I put on a bra with the silicone breasts, I looked in the mirror and cried. Looking back, I don’t know if I cried because I had a set of breasts again or if it was because of all I went through and now I was trying to replace what I lost. It was overwhelming and I didn’t really think much about how the breasts felt or how heavy they were. I placed my order for a nice “B” cup and a few bras.
When they came I was ecstatic. I started wearing them immediately. After wearing them to work all day I realized that my back was hurting. The prosthesis were heavy and I had to “work up to” wearing them all day. I’ve heard it all now…I heard of building wear time for things like contacts, but foobs?! So, I would wear them to work but would sneak into the restroom and take them out and hide them in my lunch bag to take home! But, even after building up to wearing them all day, I would take them off as soon as I got home and wouldn’t even wear them over the weekends. Weekends are for relaxation and that does not include heavy fake boobs. I hated wearing bras when I had real breasts and that didn’t change with the foobs.
I found on the internet a group called “Knitted Knockers”. They crochet breast forms for breast cancer survivors for free. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. They sounded interesting and I figured they had to be a lot lighter than the ones I had so I ordered a pair. They do say you can give a $10 donation, so included the donation, ordered white, size B and waited. They came fairly quickly and I tried them right away. Even though they were lighter in weight, for me they just didn’t feel right and the shape was not realistic in my perception.
Third time is a charm right? I went back to the “boobie shop” as I call it and the owner said she could order a pair that weren’t solid silicone but instead had a hollow inside that you added stuffing to a pocket to fill them out. I ordered a pair of them and some sport bras hoping they would be more bearable than the regular bras.
Those were definitely better. I wore these prostheses for a while, probably over a year. I still choose to go without wearing them during the weekends as the bras still bothered me. As time went on, I noticed that the foobs would “migrate” during the day. I would find myself discreetly rearranging them. I would have to push them outward because the pockets sewn into the bra are made for different size foobs; so they would have some room to move around instead of staying in place. It was getting super annoying.
Finally, one day I just made the decision I was going to dump the foobs and go flat. It took a lot of courage for me to go to work that first day. But it got easier as time went on. It has been over a year now and I don’t wear them at all. I have just adjusted how I dress to a certain extend. I usually wear a sweater or jacket over my shirt or I use a scarf to disguise my lack of boobs. I am happy to say that there are times I just wear a regular shirt and just don’t care that I am flat. It took a while to feel comfort with my new look and there are still some days that are hard but I’ve come a long way in accepting what I went through, what I lost, and submitting to the new me.
As far as finding the perfect pair, I realize now that despite finding flaws in my own real breasts, they were the perfect ones for me, and you can’t improve on perfection.