First social night out since surgery.....help!

Hi there!

I’ve been through 3 lots of surgery since June, having had a dx of DCIS and one node involved. I’ve not needed further treatment but I had temporary implants put in with a view to recon next year! I had a massive infection on 17th September and had to have the left one removed and spent another 9 days in hospital so now have one flat side and one implant. I have a softie and I tried it out today with a new bra and it was really weird. I felt like it was going to stick out of the top of my t-shirt even though it was in a mastectomy bra.

It’s my brother’s birthday on Sunday and he is having a party tomorrow night. I feel very self concious on 2 levels being what to wear and the whole what conversation to have. I’m such a sociable person so not worried about conversation but almost that I can’t be bothered. It’s so difficult because I know people are going to want to ask me about it. I don’t mind talking about it but I hope they aren’t going to see me in a different way!

Any advice on how to handle the situation would be gratefully received.

Viv xxx

Hi Viv,

It sounds like you have been through a lot since June, what with 3 ops and an infection, so if you are feeling like you can’t be bothered its hardly surprising as you are probably exhausted after all this - I’m sure no-one would be offended if you cancelled or left early.

I can’t offer much advice about wearing a softie as I only got mine today. However I did take some of its stuffing out to make it a more natural shape and you could pin it to your bra if it feels like its going to move about or come out. And if you wear a patterned top or dress it helps camouflage any uneven-ness.

Hope it goes OK whatever you decide.

Squeakymouse xx

Hi Viv,
Sorry you have been through so much.
I can soooooooo relate to your dilemmas. I had bilateral mastecomies in Feb, with implants but ended up with an infection so I then had the implant removed and a complete mastecomy.
I found the comfie really tricky. Someone on here gave the idea of putting a coin or two in the middle of the comfie to give it weight. I subsequently bought a comfie from Nicola Jane and it has a weight in the middle. Even so, it does ride up, even in a mastecomy bra.
Re. clothes- I am frankly amazed that no-one has come up with good ideas for clothing for women with a mastecomy and wish I could design clothing. I really tried to get ideas but was quite disappointed by the lack of nice clothing. Like squeaky, would suggest patterned tops, darker clothes, patterns- shirts, or yoke necks. Layering works- a waistcoat, scarves, and eye-catching (high) jewellry. Assymterical tops can work well too-apparently. T-shirts dont really work so well, or not for me anyway.
In terms of handling social situations. Like you, I worried about this. I think you have to work out what is best for you but would suggest trying to have a ‘cover story.’ Practice beforehand something you can say which you feel comfortable with. You certainly dont need to feel that you have to share personal details. I told most people about my decision to have bilateral mastecomies, but they didnt understand how I could then have another. Some people just accepted my ‘I had the implant removed due to an infection’ without really realising what was involved. Or, you could just say ’ I had to have further surgery due to complications.’
It does all get easier with a bit of practice.
Rattles, xx

Thanks guys, that’s all really helpful advice.

Squeakymouse, I’m glad your softies arrived, I replied on your other post!

Rattles, thanks for your advice. The people I will be with are mainly people I know already so they all know what’s been going on.

I have decided to go and brave it out! I plan on getting there about 7.30 and then to leave about 10 after we’ve eaten! I’m driving short distances so have got a quick escape if I need to leave!

I shall let you know how it goes.

Fingers crossed! Arrrrggggghhhhhh!

Viv xxxx

Well the night out was great fun. Everyone was really pleased to see me and I didn’t feel too bad. Was sweating like mad as I was so anxious and it was so hot in my brothers house! The softie kept feeling like it was riding up but I get fitted for my silicone prosthesis at the end of October so won’t stress too much about it!

Just felt good to be out amongst friends and family!

Hope you ladies are okay today!

Viv xxxxx

A tip for future situations - if you’re feeling like you’re being given the third degree about your health, brusquely turn the conversation round with “that’s enough about me, how are YOU doing? How’s your husband/wife/kids getting on at work/school? What have YOU been up to since I saw you last?” and just make them talk about themselves for a while. You may have to do it a few times, but it really works.

Thanks CM, I will use this in the future! good thinking! I’m sure it gets easier!

xxx