Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bra Epiphany

Well I went back to work today. Good to get some normality in my very messed up world. 

I work for a large cancer charity – the irony doesn’t escape me.  I am very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive team and manager. Sure makes it easier.

While I did manage to get some work done, my mind wondered peristently to  

 processing the decision that I need to make by Thursday.

Guess I have to accept that no matter what decision I make it is not going to change the fact that  I have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second time and at the very least next Wednesday  I have to have a mastectomy

But there have been a few signs that I am heading in the right direction.

On Sunday I went to my local  Westfield shopping centre . It is very much like going to the casino, no windows and no clocks anywhere and you can just get lost for hours.

I thought I would catch the last of the sales and make some purchases for my hospital and post surgery “glory box”. I need some footwear that is easy to get on and off that can pass as going out slippers, I also need some button through tops ( so I don’t have to lift my arms up to get them on and off) and I could do with  a new pair of trackie pants.

How then did I end up in the lingerie department of Myer? 

You may think that I was torturing myself, but in actual fact it provided me with a moment of clarity.

As I stood and looked around at all the bras, the pretty, the sexy, the functional, not once did I feel sad about the fact that I may never be able to wear any of them again. Even the bright pink push up one that the young model looking twenty- something in the queue in front of me  was buying .

In fact I felt quite glad. I actually hate bras and have never found any, except the very functional ones, comfortable.
After my first breast surgery, while I was left with most of my breast, there was a still a bit missing at the side. Getting bras to fit both has always been a challenge.

I have tried the lacy, the frilly, the balconnette, the moulded, the push up, the expensive and cheap. And nothing really seems to feel right. 

The best feeling for me is taking my bra off at the end of the day.

What I really like is a soft singlet or camisole and I will be able to fill my underwear drawer with those.

Now I know that not liking bras is different than having  no breasts to put in one.

However  if I only have the single mastectomy then I sense that getting bras that fit is going to be whole lot more challenging and going braless not an option.

The freedom of being flat chested has some appeal.

P xx


  1. Ahem...

    (That's just me clearing my throat in preparation for writing my first ever commentbox on your blog.)

    The idea of a beautiful, soft camisole brings a smile to my face. I can totally see you rocking that look.

    Simple elegance has always been your signature style!

    Eleanor (from your commentbox) xxxxx

  2. Hi Pauline - lovely Eleanor sent me here - I am so sorry that the bastard cancer has struck again.

    I, too, love the idea of a beautiful camisole. My sister in law ended up having a double mastectomy although only one breast was affected. It seemed like it was the doctors who were keen for her to keep the other breast whereas she could not, in the end, see the sense in that.

    In any event you will make the decision that is right for you.

    I will be along for the ride and sending you my love.


  3. Camisoles are comfortable, beautiful and also run the full spectrum from cosy to sexy. I think you'll really enjoy being able to fill your underwear drawer with them as you discard your bras.

  4. again from my point of view, there in the room helping women recover their full and wonderful function after the surgery, or even years down the line... and having done this part of my career for 22 years (really??, when did THAT happen?) I can only offer the comment that the ones who did a double with no reconstruction are, in the end, the happiest with their outcome.

    I just chatted with a friend who is a very long time away from her double, and she still loves the freedom of it, the ability to choose no boobs, little boobs or big boobs to wear under an outfit, and even has extra stick-on nipples when she wants them to show.

    So 2 US cents from the other part of the world...