Lots of bra talk today, friends!
You may know that traveled a bit of a distance to be fitted for post-mastectomy supplies a couple of months ago. The experience wasn’t awesome and I left disappointed and shelling out money that I didn’t expect to pay but I was happy that I at least had something. Fast forward to this week, when I was fitted for my lymphedema sleeve and learned that I wasn’t fitted correctly for my bras and that this place can refit me.
So before my radiation appointment yesterday, I ventured back to be refitted for post-mastectomy supplies. My goodness, what I completely different experience I had. The woman who helped me yesterday was incredibly knowledgeable, didn’t rush me and took the time to ensure that I was fitted correctly. She also didn’t make me feel bad about the fact that these are covered – by law – by insurance (and that there shouldn’t be any upcharges, unlike the last place). You see, part of the experience that I had the first time around, the woman who assisted me complained about the amount of paperwork and the hassle that it was to handle post-mastectomy supplies. Even though I had called a week ahead of time, she seemed bothered that I came in for assistance…which is literally the reason that the store exists. I am not one to complain but it was hard leaving that store. I felt like I would never feel comfortable in a bra again and that everyone would be able to tell that I’ve had surgery. And frankly, I felt a little ashamed that I needed to go there for supplies because of the way the woman spoke to me and handled the fitting. Sigh…but anyway…
I also learned that the insert that I have been using is typically used for ladies who have reconstruction after a single mastectomy. It’s an insert that is used to make the breasts look more symmetrical after a surgery like that, versus a double mastectomy with one over-filled tissue expander. So I was ordered the correct insert that will make the fact that I have had a double mastectomy unnoticeable (right now, even with the insert I am uneven…there isn’t enough volume to the insert).
After being fitted for 5 – yes, 5! Including a sports bra!!! – I asked about my expansion happening in the coming weeks and the subsequent reconstruction later this year; I wasn’t sure what that meant in terms of bras. Do I go back to wearing regular bras? Nope! I will continue to see this sweet woman as regularly as I want (for the rest of the year it’ll be every 2 months) and she will refit me and send me home with bras that fit my new post-surgery body. How cool is that?! And the most exciting part for me (well, aside from the insurance coverage, which is so awesome), is the fact that these bras are ones that I would have picked out at a department store or specialty shop. They are cute, won’t be seen under a tank top, not bulky and come in cute colors. This may not seem like something to get excited about but for me, it brought tears. I don’t need to hide behind a too-small insert and bras that stick out under any of my clothes because they are too big.
I feel a little more like me. A little more like a woman again.