Hi, I feel self-conscious to ask these questions but really need and appreciate any advice on these two things.
1) TYPES OF BREAST PROSTHESIS -- I had a left mastectomy over 3 1/2 months ago and now have a prosthesis and bras (which I am glad to say, look very good and normal), but now the prosthesis is starting to feel a little heavy, the weight of the bra band seems to make my rib area sore and also the way the prosthesis pushes into me (I guess) has made the remaining tissue (the surgeon left the underlying structure and tissue) sort of lumpy and cave in or flatten in and out instead of being smooth and rounded like it was. (Or could this be a natural part of the healing process? sure looks ickier.)
I went back to the mastectomy boutique where I got the items. After they first just tried to adjust the bra straps (which I should have tightened myself because the bra had stretched out in the 6 weeks I've had it, and the tightening maybe helps a little, but not a lot), they said they would order a 1500 prosthesis which she said doesn't lay up against you or something. Does anybody know about the different types of prostheses? What is a 1500 type prosthesis? (I asked and couldn't seem to get much specific information.) How is it decided which prosthesis you should use? At the shop I was originally just told "this is your prosthesis", with no choice or options given, not that I would have known what to choose.
2) STARTING SWIMMING AFTER MASTECTOMY -- I am trying to regain my energy and optimism and do things like swimming, which I used to do, and having trouble getting started. I've become about 40 lbs. overweight in the last 5+ years and so was already having a heck of a time finding halfway flattering swimsuits anyway. And now this!! (the surgery) which I guess limits me to mastectomy suits?
The boutique had some suits, I tried a few on and just wanted to DIE. I don't understand this clinging spandex the swimsuit designers seem to love, which wouldn't flatter 90 percent of us, I don't think! Anyhow I looked and felt like a little barrel with these delightful rolls clearly outlined for all to see and enjoy! And then the "missing" upstairs story
Feeling pretty freakish...
I did find one black two-piece swimsuit which I think they call tankini style which the top draped rather nicely instead of clinging that awful way, but in order to be big enough to drape down my midsection, the cups were ENORMOUS (too big)! And the panties part of it was like wearing small and way-too-skimpy-style underwear, no thank you!
So anyhow...anyone post-mastectomy (or anyone else, thanks for any thoughts), how do you deal with swimming? Wonder if I could use a regular suit and try to put a regular prosthesis in the built-in bra part? I understand there are also special swim prostheses that are lighter and maybe $100. Does anyone use them? Does anyone swim with a regular prosthesis?
I am pretty discouraged right now...with the extra blubb I've acquired
and now the loss of a breast I feel kind of freakish, basically just want to hide away (and eat, the perfect solution
. I know I need to skip the self-pity, start swimming to help get the weight off, etc., but having trouble getting started.
sorry this is so long. Thanks very much for any help!