Malignant, maligned and misaligned

When I first saw my Doctor back in September with the newly discovered breast lump, she told me there was some “asymmetry” which needed to be checked out.  Well, you should check out the asymmetry now!

 I have previously recounted the tales of shopping in Bangkok for a prosthesis to fill the blank temporarily and the difficulties of even finding post surgery wear.  That was when I became the proud owner of the earless-rabbit prosthesis. 

I had had an unsuccessful attempt through mail order to get equipped and although I did get another “featherlite” prosthesis made of a kind of foam rubber, the bras did not fit comfortably and are still sitting gather monsoonal mould in the cupboard. 

I was finally directed towards an agent in Bangkok for post surgery attire and swimwear through a friend in the same boat.  However, my unusual size meant that there was nothing in stock which fitted me.  We ordered some goodies but the timing coincided with the troubles in Bangkok so the supplies had not been delivered by the time we headed to the UK in May.

In the UK I had great fun trying to track down some appropriate attire and to a certain extent I was successful.  There are specialist sections in a number of shops and I spent quite a while in changing rooms while the specially trained staff ran around finding me their best options.  Thanks to Twang Arm in the post radiation phase, it was really painful and difficult for me to dress myself.  I was therefore ASTONISHED to find that there was no such thing as a front fastening, post surgery bra available in the shops!!!  There seems to be a fair selection available through mail order but I have found out (the hard way) that it is vital to be fitted.  However, I was happy to get a variety of suitable options and was finally able to wear the fabric earless-rabbit prosthesis (let’s call it P1) I had bought in Bangkok.  This one has seams on it and is not really the most comfortable.  It is also as heavy as a bean bag, but it was better than nothing. 

I also managed to track down a post surgery swimsuit (out of a range of – one!) which has sewn in pouches for a prosthesis.  The pouches are essential – a friend of mine went swimming in a costume which didn’t have the pouch and parted company with her prosthesis – luckily she caught it as it floated off before her eyes!!  I am able to wear the featherlite prosthesis (P2) with this, although it is not as suitable as a silicon or synthetic one would be.  When I swim with this one, the foam absorbs a little water and creates a kind of mini Jacuzzi effect when I get into the pool.  But otherwise, it looks almost symmetrical and I don’t think you can tell that I am wearing a prosthesis.  And if I don’t think you can tell, then I think that is pretty convincing as my scrutiny is pretty thorough!

Back in Bangkok, my orders had arrived and with it another feather light prosthesis made of a synthetic kind of fibre (a bit like cotton wool). So I am now the proud owner of 3 fabric type prostheses but I am still on the hunt for a plastic/silicon type so that I can wear that swimming.

Now, going back to the question of symmetry, I have to say that none of my prostheses are quite perfect.  None of them are quite the right size and shape to match my remaining lonely asset.  Two of them have labels which I find very puzzling!  Why on earth do I need labels for a falsie??  The rabbit one, P1, is very heavy and a bit small.  The one I received from the specialist company by mail order (P2) is a reasonable size but does not sit comfortably in its pouch.  It tends to shift as the day wears on and tries to escape via my neckline.  It has a label at the top end which makes it very awkward to wear, as a label peeking out from under my blouse is not a good look!  By the end of a working day I am having a tussle with it and trying to be extremely subtle to keep it in its place.  However, it has been more successful in the swimming pool.  The superlight one  (P3) which I ordered in Bangkok is the one I wear most often as it is comfortable and feels the best match.  It is also the best behaved.  However, even that is not perfect and I feel like a lorry with misaligned headlights – one on full beam and one dipped!  So the quest for symmetry continues…………………

2 thoughts on “Malignant, maligned and misaligned

  1. Hi Pip. Hope this finds you with things improving all the time. We have a change of e-mail address so hope this is as good a way as any to get it to you. More later. Take care Jane and family x

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