Friday, 2 October 2009

70. Bra meltdown

So I am now a full time student at University. It's taking some getting used to but I am loving it so far, not a lot of work started yet but it's still intro stage I guess. Starting Uni and venturing back out into the world again after my surgery has thrown up a few problems, those which I hadn't really considered before.

I get a lift to the city outskirts with my husband and have been walking nearly 3 miles into Uni. I made sure I bought a comfy, extra padded backpack to carry my stuff but I am feeling the effects of my efforts. There has been muscle tightening and pain in my left breast, like everything is still pulling internal stitches. If I try to do anything too heavy going I suffer for days afterwards. I am calling my BCN today to see if I can see my surgeon and discuss any remedy for what I am feeling. Previous posts have mentioned my issues with my left breast and I guess I gave it enough time to settle down, but it hasn't. Even as I am typing this blog post 'leftie' is twinging in protest that I am writing about it in a negative light. It knows it is smaller or more spread out than rightie and has an image crisis.

I thought all was going so well, I was getting stronger, less incapacitated but it turns out, no..actually. I stupidly tried to push and pull a few uni doors and have grimaced at the effort required to do so. I can't be wandering through uni for the next 3 years as the woman who gurns when she opens doors!! The disabled button is welcomed!! Automatic doors in most buildings which is SO helpful.

The saddest of all the problems is that I realised how conscious I am of my dented nipple patches. I know they are going to sort them out but it scares me, I don't want them to be worse than they are now. I have been through so much already and I am worried about more deformity (although my husband still tells me I am as sexy as ever).

As I walked into uni the other morning, it was windy. I have only found one bra so far that kind of fits me okay but it is tight around my back and sides and I feel like I'm in a vice. I don't wear a bra and I love not having to but I have recently found some lovely fitting long sleeved tops but they show my dents through. I had an open shirt on this particular day with a tight top underneath but all the way in I was pulling it over my boobs to hide my dents. I was sad. I realised how much that still bothers me and I don't want people to stare or wonder what the hell is going on under my clothes!

To remedy the situation I went to the shops during a lecture break and hunted for a comfy bra. Eventually I just cried. I stood in front of the mirror in the fitting room and cried. I used to be a 36B but according to the bra measuring guide I am a 36A but I'm not. Not at all! I gathered different makes of 36Bs, 34Bs and 36As but all didn't fit. My new breasts are soft and the right one goes into a bra cup great but the left one doesn't. The surgery took a lot of tissue out from further up my chest but this hasn't been filled in by much. This means I don't fill the cup at the top. If I go smaller in cup size to compensate, the cups are too close together.

A 36B is comfortable around my body but the cup is too big, the top is empty and gaping.

A 36A is comfortable around my body but the cups are too close together and my boobs don't fit in them because they are quite a lot more fixed in position than my original boobs.

A 34B is tight around my body but the cups are in a better position and fit better.

What I need is a 35B I think but it does not exist. I had this discussion with my surgeon repeatedly, I almost begged him not to make me smaller as I would have bra trouble..and here we are, smaller and bra trouble. I am frustrated. Although I agreed I would rather not have implants I would like them if he couldn't make me the same size as before. He didn't use them even though they were on standby in the operating theatre.

Why does this matter to me? I will only get nipple reconstruction if I can wear a bra comfortably. If I can't wear a bra I will always have to dress in layers or thick clothing or wear stick on nipple pads to hide my permanently erect fake nipples! This whole dilemma frustrates me immensely and sometimes I get down with the amount of thought I give to this small problem, because in the grand scheme of things, it is a small problem. I need my nipple patches sorting out first and foremost, the dog ears make bra wearing uncomfortable too and they are going with the first tweak surgery. I won't go ahead with that until I have made up my mind about nipples because I want as little surgery done as possible and the tweaks can be done the same time as the surgery. I can't decide on nipples unless they can fix the pain and muscle spasm in my left boob. I can't wear a bra until the nipple patches are sorted and so I try and deal with my feelings, my self consciousness, my daily dressing dilemma.

It's getting colder so maybe I should just invest in some winter warming devices like these to cover up with?


Anonymous said...

You can have a 35B! I am an irregular size too (like a 33C+) and I go to a specialty bra store where they can simply sew on extra hooks to a 34 or take tucks into a 36. They get the thing to fit perfectly. If you do not have such a fitter near you, find a tailor that you like and explain the situation and see if she can help. Bra alterations are actually very simple.

Good luck. You've been through so much already. You deserve a bra that fits!

emily said...

hey, i am having the exact same size and "dent" trouble after my LD reconstruction. favoring slightly padded camisoles with "shelf" bras built in.

Jonesy said...

Okay so, since posting this I have purchased one of those bra extension things and it is STILL uncomfortable to wear and makes little difference to the cup fit. The tighter the better the fit but the more comfortable around my middle the worse the cup fit. I almost gave up and then I found this site!!

I am going to invest and see what they are like..I may never wear a bra again!!

Kayleigh said...

I feel for you -- I had a unilateral mastectomy and my reconstructed breast is just not quite the same as my other one. I have other health issues at the moment so any further recon is out for a long time. My clothes don't look right on me and the only thing I can wear are button down shirts that don't draw any attention to the chest at all. I miss my old clothes.

A sports bra is the only type I can wear for now, perhaps that would be comfy for you as well? If you don't need the support why not be comfortable?

Oh, and I wear a sort of soft breast pad thing over my unaffected breast to hide my nipple and help with symetry...I don't even know it's there so it's comfortable too. That would hide your dents.

Also, please be careful about over doing it or wearing things too tight...lymphadema could rear its ugly head and you don't need that!

To end -- I just wanted to say that I think you are so wonderful for addressing this many people think w/ BC you just get a boob job and move on. We know different :(

Kookoo.Doll said...

Thank you very much!
I love this blog, it is very interesting! Thanks for your work!
I have many boops to show in between my work as well, you can check:
Have a happy day!