Y'all remember this beauty of an outfit? I wear it 24/7 except for showers.
The nurse from my Plastic Surgeon's office provided me with a list of suggestions and brands of what to buy. They also make it VERY clear that you should NOT spend a lot of money on bras right now. My size is still changing and will definitely be altered after my second stage procedure this Summer. Most of the recommended bras and girdles were available at Walmart. They also suggested Target and JCPenney.
I will admit to you...I'm cheap...when it comes to undergarments. I just don't really care about fancy bras and I hate spending money on things like that for myself. I'm bad about just buying whatever is on sale, fits, and works...usually from Walmart or Target. I've heard it said that most women are wearing the wrong size and type of bra and that every woman should have a professional bra fitting. Never saw the point in that until today!
As soon as my second stage is done and I'm wherever I'm going to land size-wise, I am going for a bra fitting! And, I will never buy a "cheap" bra again.
Like I said, I was excited to go shopping. Today was a gorgeous day and the stores were not crowded. I totally thought we would run to Walmart, find what I needed, grab a few groceries, and be home. NOPE.
My mother and I found the recommended panty girdle right away and started gathering various bras that looked the part. I needed something with full support, wide side bands, foam cup, and no underwire. There were lots of bras to choose from but so many of the sports bras had no cups or had underwire. Then, there was an entire array of really stretchy ones that had absolutely no support.
I took around 8 bras and two girdles into the dressing room. I was in there forever!! First of all, I tried on the panty girdle. Imagine how you wiggle into Spanz on a regular occasion...now picture it without the ability to bend over and limit ability to pull with your arms. It was a trick. It worked though and I moved on to the bras.
We were unsuccessful at finding anything that fit the requirements in a front clasp. Most of what I took in were sports bras without a clasp of any kind. Remember, I cannot lift my arms above my head so nothing over the head is allowed. I was having to step into these sports bras and pull them up. Not sure how to explain the problems here.....even after finally getting them up my body, they were so tight, I could not get my arms thru the straps. One bra and I was winded. By the third bra, I was exhausted. I called my mother and said: "There is no way! This is impossible. None of these work." I finally found two I could get on, but neither offered any support...too comfy. Finally, when I was almost to the point of needing to sit down for a break, we decided to just buy the panty girdle and waist girdle I liked and move on for bras. My excitement was no more...I was tired and disappointed.
We went to a nearby shopping center with both a Target and a JCPenney. Thankfully, we chose to try JCPenney first. The department was a mess and it was a little off-putting. We found a couple of bras and then I saw an employee in the dressing room. She was fantastic! She took one look at me with my surgical bra peeking out from under my tank top and said: "Yes, you need help, Honey." Turns out she had worked in a "breast cancer doctor's office" for awhile and she was so very helpful. She understood what I needed and just sent me into the dressing room while she brought more bras into me.
|May not be pretty or fancy, but it feels great on!|
They also happened to be having a "Buy One Get One 50% off" sale today....SCORE! I found two I really liked and bought them. I spent more than I usually would on bras today, but honestly, I was ready to pay anything by the time I tried on the last ones. It was a long morning.
My incisions were all tingly and numb from taking clothes on and off and all the rubbing on them. My breasts were completely numb...like how your lips feels after dental work...it was weird.
It wasn't nearly as much fun as I had thought it would be, but in the end I am very happy with my purchases and super excited to get to wear them tomorrow. I still have to wear them 24/7 for quite awhile, so I need them to be comfortable.
My recommendation is to plan a longer trip than expected and more time in the dressing rooms. Everything takes longer right now...and that's okay. You can go to Walmart and maybe have a better experience, but be prepared to try on things. Nothing was the size I thought it'd be. If you can, take someone with some bra knowledge or find a great salesperson like I did....makes all the difference!!
Who knew I'd ever reach a day when wearing a panty girdle would make me happy???
PS> Shared this pic on my Facebook page this week....it made me feel good to see an hourglass shape returning instead of the rectangular shape I've been with all the swelling:
12/22/16 Routine Screening Mammogram
01/18/17 Repeat Imaging and US of left breast; LUMP found.
01/20/17 Core Needle Biopsy
01/24/17 Biopsy results positive...Stage 0 DCIS, left breast
01/25/17 Meeting with Breast Center Navigator and Genetic Testing
01/30/17 Consultation with Surgical Oncologist, Dr. K
02/08/17 Consultation with Plastic Surgeon
02/21/17 Pre-op Visit with Dr. O's nurse
02/27/17 Pre-op Labs and Testing
03/05/17 Lymph Node Injection
03/06/17 SURGERY DAY!
03/10/17 Home!03/16/17 10 day Post-op Visit with Plastic Surgery nurse
03/20/17 2 week Post-op Appointment with Surgical Oncologist, Dr. K