Yes – tantrum.
That’s what it felt like when I was standing in the Target dressing room stuck halfway in and out of a sports bra with very little range of motion, 2 months after my mastectomy.
I was on the edge between cursing and sobbing hysterically. I had gotten these other bras to prepare for my surgery – surely I was ahead of the game. So why didn’t they feel comfortable? What the actual?!
So there I sat, tangled in the pullover sports bra because I was being overly ambitious after feeling somewhat human for a week. I went through all of this… to end up here. Do I sit down on that little red peg of a stool and sob hysterically until someone finds me… or do I live the rest of my days here, in this tiny, 5×5′, red-walled room with one singular mirror to stare at my pathetic self in for eternity. My new home.
Tears streaming down my face, I took a deep breath and with every ounce of energy I had left I snapped that sports bra so hard off me that it flew at the mirror and bounced around the dressing room. Then I had the idiotic, but human reaction to reach out to try to catch it before it hit the floor. Sharp pains – and I sat down on that little red peg of a stool and sobbed as silently as possible.
Moral of my story – don’t try to always be an overachiever? No, go easy on yourself. Push, but not too hard. Be prepared to be uncomfortable and perhaps shop online and return what doesn’t work. OR, take a few days to break in the original front-zip sports bra you had ordered before surgery, because in the end it will most likely be your favorite. My tip – don’t be too ambitious with the over the head stuff.
When everything already feels unnatural and uncomfortable it’s hard to figure out which bra is the best for you. Living in sports bras isn’t easy – especially in the year of light and lacy bralettes, oh how I miss you…
<< Old Boobs Flashback >>
When “support” is the word being used by the PAs as the most important thing to look for when transitioning from mastectomy bras, it’s hard to figure out how much and where. I tried on multiple bras that day, from low to high support. My experience had me terrified of high-support-suck-you-in sports bras on the first try. The low support felt terrible too as my new breasts didn’t know where to be. I found solace in medium support.
Unfortunately – comfortable is a lot to ask for. I found that I needed to explore multiple kinds before finding the right one. I do have a few bras I may be donating if they don’t work for me after phase 2, but I’m glad I had the options to try to wear and figure out what would be the new comfortable.
So here you have it – I’ve found two bras that I am 100% going to recommend. One passed the test before my surgery and after. One I found as a saving grace during this terror of a trip to Target.
Mackenzie’s Top Two After Mastectomy Bras
Linked above to Amazon – I had one gifted to me before my surgery from my mastectomy registry and I loved it then and I love it now. I’m unsure why I doubted it so when I first transitioned from my mastectomy surgical bra. I needed to break it in a few days – my first two days and after only 1 wash the zipper liked to come down a bit. However, after a few wears (and me constantly tugging it back up) I washed it and now when I put it on the zipper stays set.
After wearing it, along with testing other sports bras, I ordered another one and basically live between the two. In the end I figured the annoyance of zipping it back up for 3 days was worth it – I mean I’d played worse games with swabs and gauze pads during this recovery.
Size – XL – $26.99
Color – Deep Black Space Dye
I ended up exchanging the Large for an XL before my surgery mostly for the fit around my ribs and not the cup size. I was a 36 C before and I’m now in between a 36 D and DD – damn side boob. It fits wonderfully!
<< Grey Bra Pictured Below >>
My second favorite bra isn’t even a sports bra… how’d that happen?! I was determined to find an inexpensive wireless bra that would be comfortable and still work with nicer shirts and possibly a dress. I have my father’s wedding and I didn’t want to have to get too creative with a dress that would hide a sports bra.
Still silently sobbing, I tried this one on and suddenly my tantrum started to clear. I think this was an important bra for me. It gave me the feeling of normalcy and allowed me to wear clothes that weren’t really made for a sports bra, hurrah! Also – it doesn’t break the bank, so if I can’t wear it after phase 2 I won’t be heartbroken.
Size – Large – $14.99
Color – Gravel Grey
As if bra shopping wasn’t painful enough?! I hope my pain and tantrum help you avoid one. But, if not – give me a call and I’ll come find you in the Target dressing room and peel you out of that dang bra.
i hear it’s sunnier…
…when you’re tits just fit!