There are a lot of things that are traumatizing about a Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment, but one of the hardest things I have ever done is go bra shopping for the first time post partial mastectomy. You are already self conscious of the changes that have happened to your body and now you have to face that reality head on.
My first experience buying bras post surgery was a hot mess. I brought Dave with me for support and went to a lingerie shop to hopefully get measured and find the correct bra for my new and smaller tatas. The sales associate was very nice, bringing me into the dressing room, measuring me and providing some options for me to try on. The first bra didn’t fit very well and the associate asked to see it to evaluate what could be changed. This is where things went horribly wrong. One look at my newly disfigured, post surgery body and the sales associate scoffed, stated “That’s messed up” and I got dressed, tears in my eyes and left without a new bra.
Even today, over twelve years later, I still have anxiety bra shopping and especially when someone wants to measure me. Here are some tips that you may find helpful for bra shopping post mastectomy.
- Bring a friend or trusted loved one with you. It is ok to need support on a day like this, do not be too proud to admit that. There is strength in numbers, and a loved one can help lighten the mood and take your mind off of the task at hand as needed.
- Understand that this might be a process. You may have to try a few stores and a few styles before you find something that is comfortable physically and emotionally. Also understand that you may need more than one outing to complete this process.
- Do your research and go to a professional. Find a shop that specializes in women’s lingerie or women’s apparel vs a one stop shop. Once you find a style, size and brand that you love this will not be as important. I recently came across an initiative with JC Penny stores and Jodee Masectomy Bras. I have yet to try out these bras or this service, but they specialize in post mastectomy intimates and bra forms. You can find more information via the links below.
- Lastly, be kind to yourself. You are an amazing and beautiful being. Your scars are your battle wounds, your changed body your trophy for your courage. You are worth so much more than a few numbers and letters on a bra tag.