WELCOME!  This site is here for YOU, addressing various mastectomy clothing, undergarment, and breast-form comfort needs. 

As a breast cancer survivor who lives with bilateral mastectomy problems, I look for easy solutions to the problems so many of us have in common.  If you can sew even a little, there are lots of photos, instructions, and tips here to use.  It's easier than you think to make or adapt your clothing into mastectomy clothing.

Though I've mainly written this site for those of us who've had bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction, you'll also find many of these same solutions will work great for those with a single-side mastectomy, and some may be helpful for women who've had lumpectomy.

Please bookmark this site & come back often, it will change frequently as new solutions are found and new patterns and/or photos uploaded.  Feel free to pass this website to your friends who have had breast cancer.  Everyone knows someone who can use the patterns, and I'd love to hear tips from others as well.  :^)
 

*****NOTE: 
I'm also placing a link to my blog on WordPress here, in case you miss it elsewhere on this website.  It'll keep you up to date on any additions to this site, news and photos of a current item of clothing in your local stores that would work well with microbead mastectomy forms, maybe news of a nifty department store bra that doesn't need pockets added, sale prices on hard to find stuff I've happened on at a great price, things like that.  I won't blog all that often, so you'll just receive an occasional email.  To 'follow' the blog, go HERE, look down near the bottom on the right hand side of the page.  You'll see a place to enter your email address, then click the 'FOLLOW' button, and that's it, easy-peasy, nothing more to do.  No advertising, no spam, just an occasional update from me.

**************************************************

Hello, my name is Mary, and I'm a survivor...  isn't that what we're supposed to say?  Well, I am also an everyday PERSON, who wanted to go on with life as normal, but found that some things just aren't as normal after cancer treatment, especially after bilateral mastectomy.  Clothes don't fit the same, and mastectomy bras are sometimes downright painful on scars.  (Many bra bands ride up into the scars where lymph nodes were removed and cause the pain.  This can also be a factor in developing lymphedema, because the lymphatic fluid is obstructed.) 

The various 'breast forms' sold are usually really nice looking, but not always practical or comfortable for general everyday use, and... if you read the fine print... are not recommended for wear over 8 hours.  (Um, do you REALLY want to have to go remove your breast forms after a few hours? Really?)


Also, many women do not have a medical insurance that covers breast forms or bras.  These patterns will help you to adapt your regular clothing into what you need, and make your own forms if you like.

Much of what you'll find on the internet is written by advertisers and well-intentioned support people, most of whom haven't had bilateral mastectomy.  If they have, they may accept the discomfort and pain of some regular products as normal.  Personally, pain can be a disruption in our lives, and I'm too busy for it!

I'm a lifelong crafter and love to design & sew.  When there isn't a product commercially available yet that totally solves my problem, I usually learn to build it myself or retrofit the closest thing I can find into what is needed.


PLEASE NOTE: ***Professional mastectomy garment fitters are the BEST option and should be your first attempt at a solution if your insurance covers it or you can afford it.  I highly recommend you see one in your area to help solve your pain issues as well as possible.  I love mine and she does a great job, but for some of us it still takes a little more adapting of products for daily comfort.  Everyone's body is different, scar placement is unique to each person, and surgeon's can't possibly make everyone's end result exactly the same, so there isn't always a product to solve everything right off the shelf.

To solve my own clothing and painful breast-form (prosthesis) issues, I have slowly acquired dozens of books on pattern making and design, studied everything I could find that could help with this, and am intent on making it easier for other mastectomy survivors to be able to more easily solve their garment problems without having to spend the years it's taken me to find the solutions! I'm sure if you've found this website, it's probably because you've looked long and hard for solutions, too.  I've put everything I've done into one place, where it'll hopefully be stored as long as possible for everyone to use... no strings, no cost, no hidden agenda.

However, I realize that not everyone is confident enough in their sewing skills to use the patterns provided for free on this website.  If you don't feel you can do it, perhaps a sewing friend can help.  I'll even be happy to make as many pairs of microbead breast forms for you as you need (see the "Items for Sale" tab on this site) but, if you have a sewing machine and basic sewing skills, you can do it yourself and I'll be here to answer your questions along the way if you have a problem.  :^)

I am always looking for more solutions and designing more patterns for this site, but text & photo editing are labor and time intensive so changes come slowly. Please be patient, more photos will be added to further clarify the written directions.  My designs are tested and worn by me, and friends with the similar mastectomy issues, for quite a while before they are shown here.  By our testing, generally most of the design flaws have been worked out already.  If you find more, please let me know so that further upgrades can be done.

Please let your friends know about this site.  Everyone knows someone who has been through breast cancer, some who may not complain to others, but continue to experience pain long after mastectomy.  To have a more normal degree of comfort in everyday life is important, so that we can move on with the more fun aspects of life.  If I can pass a little 'pain relief' on to others, it'll make my day! 

Have you (or someone you know) been recently diagnosed with breast cancer?  Please visit my other site at www.chemogirl.yolasite.com, or just CLICK HERE to open it in a new window without navigating away from this site.  There are helpful tips on dealing with a variety of issues such as getting ready for surgery, what to take with you to chemotherapy, loss of hair, etc... so you'll know what to expect those first days at home, and more.  If you have recently found a lump and don't have medical insurance, there's also information on where to go to get the testing and treatment you need.

HERE'S SOMETHING NEW!  You can click the buttons above to share this site with others, but I'd especially appreciate it if you'd please click below to add your 'Like' to the new www.Facebook.com/MastectomySolutions page that I use to keep readers updated when information changes here.  After enough people have done so, there are going to be regular contests and giveaways there for my Mastectomy Solutions website readers!  (Also, I will be randomly contacting a few people to 'test' upcoming new design ideas that I'm working on.  You'll get to keep the item and you'll be helping others who could use the patterns.)  Don't worry, you won't be overwhelmed with my posts, lol... most of the time, it's all I can do to keep THIS site updated, but things are changing!  Thanks!  :^)

Look down this list to find your problem, then click below it for the solution.  If you don't see the answer you need, email me and we'll work together on it.  There's almost always a way!

Need another mastectomy bra and your insurance doesn't allow more?  Changing a regular full-coverage bra (purchased in any store) into a mastectomy bra, is easy!  Yes, even if you can barely sew a straight line.

************************* 

Is your bra constantly riding up until the band sits in that very painful scarred area left from removal of lymph nodes?  12 inches of swimsuit fabric and a few minutes of your time, can fix that!  (It may also slim your tummy while you're at it!)

*************************

Do you feel sore and achy after wearing your heavy breast forms for only a few hours?  Make your own lightweight microbead forms this evening, that weigh only about one ounce each.  AHHHHH! The comfort!

*************************

What's wrong with my clothes?  Why aren't things fitting right anymore?  Well, it's time to clean out our closets, ladies, we're a 'new model' now... let's go check things out and see what can be saved and what needs to go.

*************************

Do you still have days when everything you wear hurts you?  Make a pocketed mastectomy camisole out of a slip, and discover true comfort again.  It'll gently suspend lightweight microbead forms over  scar tissue with no pressure ANYWHERE.  Wear it all day, wear it when you get home from work, or even wear all night it under your pj's, it's THAT comfortable!

*************************

 Having trouble adjusting or sewing clothing for the 'new you'?  Make yourself a fitting double!  Everyone could use a mannequin that's EXACTLY like their body, right down to the scar placement.  It'll take an afternoon and a few rolls of duct tape...intrigued?

*************************

We're told to hand wash our 'mastectomy breast forms' and garments carefully, but seldom does anyone go into detail about exactly how to do it easily and quickly on a daily basis.  Here's a few tips that worked for me.

*************************

"Why would you choose mastectomy instead of lumpectomy, why did you have bilateral mastectomy, and why not just get reconstruction?"  This is a question I'm often asked, usually by people who are just curious.  I don't mind, just click on the link to my page about that.  If you're tired of being asked the same questions, feel free to copy any of my reasons and forward them to your friends.  Or just send them a link to my page.  :^) 

*************************

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.