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The bra question.

The bra question.

Posted by KerriKerri on May 13, 2020 4:19 pm

By the time all this cancer stuff came up, I had pretty much forsaken the whole bra thing even though I have 8 weeks of intensive bra making lessons under my belt. (So to speak) I'd been traveling, then sold my little shack, couch surfed for a few months, then lived and traveled in my camper van for the summer. then found a nice rooming situation until my present seniors apartment came up. Since moving in here, I've slummed with sports bras until I read the pre and post op information. Have a good support bra for post op it said. No underwires. ACK! Deer in headlights!

All my bra making stuff is still in storage so I had to start fresh. I ordered the stuff before surgery but didn't get to it until afterwards when the big bandage came off and I realized how badly the tissues needed that support. I made do by putting a separating zipper in one of my store bought sports bras for a bit. It took me 6 days to make a bra that I normally would have done in about 1, start to finish. Work a bit, rest. Work a bit, rest. Work a bit rest.

I got the main seams done and the front zipper in and tried it on and it made such a difference I wore it day and night half finished until a couple days before my 3 week follow up when I pulled it apart and finished it enough to wear where someone else would see it (the nurse, of course) 

I took into account the smaller size of the right breast, making sure there was nothing rubbing the lump incision  and cutting the armhole higher to miss the nodes incision. In a few more weeks I'll take it apart again and make further adjustments.

But it begs the question of what do those who don't have my skills do? 

Re: The bra question.

Posted by Essjay on May 13, 2020 4:39 pm

If you are looking for sports bras, Running Room has some great non-wired, front zip ones that completely stop bounce. They have a good returns policy too...
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: The bra question.

Posted by Buffythevampire on May 13, 2020 5:50 pm

When I asked my Plastic Surgeon whether I needed to buy a certain bra after my mastectomy/expander surgery, he told me no. Luckily I had found this site and the ladies on here gave me some advise. No wires and deep sides. I came home with a compression bra from the hospital, it looks like a tube top. I went to a specialty shop near where I live and bought a front closure bra, but after the surgery I didn't find it that comfortable. The one I like most is a Jockey one that I bought at the Bay during Bay days, it has a zipper front which has decent support. While I am at home I wear comfort and have bought a few different sports bras that have no hooks and you pull over your head. I am currently 2 different sizes until I have my next surgery. It is very awkward when one side is DD and the other is a big C or D. I still find that one day the bra is comfortable and the next day it's not. I do find that wearing a bra that does up in the front is easier when you have to see the Doctor as you just lift up the top and undo the bra instead of having to take your top off.

I do know how to sew but I have never tackled sewing a bra before. There was some days just after my surgery that I would put a piece flannel under the seams if it bothered me, a sanitary napkin works too.
Attached files

Re: The bra question.

Posted by LGS on May 17, 2020 6:09 pm

I wore a compression bra after my drains were removed following my operation. Am now going through chemo and do not wear a bra at all, mostly because I am living in isolation due to Covid. Threw out all my old bras and wonder if anyone has braved the specialty stores who sell the mastectomy bras, they appear to be operating still. I would like to get a bra and prosthetics(?) but how safe is it now. My chemo won’t finish until late July with radiation after that.

Re: The bra question.

Posted by Cynthia Mac on May 18, 2020 9:13 am

LGS‍ , my best suggestion would be to call your local store and ask them about the safety measures they’ve likely put in place. As well, talk to your oncologist or medical team member to get their views.

If consultants are washing their hands between customers and wearing masks, they would be protecting you to a degree, and if they are setting aside products that have been tried on until any chance of cross contamination has lapsed, if they’re disinfecting change rooms between customers etc., you might be able to have  enough peace of mind to venture out, especially if your medical team is on-side with it.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: The bra question.

Posted by Hezz on May 19, 2020 9:57 am

I dont have any sewing skills whatsoever...I'm a bit jealous!!!
I went to my local mastectomy shop (Compassionate Beauty in Calgary) and had a "glass door" fitting. I, literally, stood between the front glass doors and tried on bras and prosthetics over a thin tshirt. The store had put banners up over the glass so it was semi-private-ish.
They took all necessary safety precautions and I left with everything I needed. I went back a couple weeks later to do a wig fitting and it worked the same way.
It wasn't an intimate, comforting, bonding experience that they are known for, but I got what I needed in the midst of this covid craziness! So I was a very happy customer!
Hezz :)

Re: The bra question.

Posted by Carjac87 on May 20, 2020 10:20 am

Wow, KeriKeri, I am impressed at your talent, good for you!!! My Mom was a seamstress & an excellent one at that...sadly, those 'genes' didn't pass down to me lol

I bet you would do really well on Etsy...have you ever thought about it or looked into it?

Again, WTG! 

Wishing you a speedy & comfortable recovery....stay well!   ~Jacquie~