In December 2013, four months after my last chemo cycle, I went on vacation to the Caribbean. I enjoyed 12 days of sunshine and white sand beach. I only wore my swimming breast prosthesis in my bikini for the first two-three days.
The breast prothesis is a great idea, but I found it to be uncomfortable. It was heavy after it would get wet and it did not fit properly into the bra top piece I was wearing. Instead I would wear a strapless, lace bra top. I made sure that my scar from my mediport was covered and my mastectomy scar that showed under my under arm was covered.
At first, I felt like everyone could see that I was missing one breast, but after a while it didn’t bother me anymore. I was not walking around making it obvious and putting the fact on display, but I wasn’t hiding in my room or walking around with a t-shirt on constantly. I walked around the beach and pool area in my bikini freely. When I went swimming in the ocean the lace bra top would stay in place, only problem is that it would lose its form. The bra had built in cups that helped a round shaped form. I am not a big fan of tan lines, so I would also wear a regular black halter bikini top that did not have build in cups. That top was harder to work with because if it wasn’t tied in place around my neck, my scars would end up being exposed letting the sun make them darker.
After a few days of walking around without a prosthesis in my bikini I got used to the feeling of not wearing it. These things get heavy after a while and you can feel the difference. My natural breast is no as heavy as the prosthetic breast.
Surprisingly even with my missing boob and short hair, I was still getting hit on by the locals as if they didn’t even notice my missing asset. This was the first time that I went on vacation for 12 days with only 4 different swim suits. In the past, I would bring enough bikinis to wear a different one per day. In a previous post, I mentioned that I went swimsuit shopping in Toronto specifically for this trip. Turns out I forgot the bottoms to the bikini at home and the bikini top had to have a pocket sown for the breast prosthesis. Well I wasn’t able to pick up the top myself so I had my sister get it for me, the pocket was sewn incorrectly. The pocket was too small for the prosthesis, when I inserted the prosthesis it would stick out. I didn’t want to walk around with anything poking out so I did not end up wearing the bikini at all. The red full piece I wore one day to the beach. Thankfully the pocket was sewn in correctly.
I did not take many photos of myself while on this vacation, so I don’t have many photos to show exactly what I looked like. I can tell you that I felt no shame in walking around without my prosthesis. I have accepted myself and how I look at the moment. In March 2014 I will have a second mastectomy and will begin my reconstruction surgery for new breasts. I am excited and cannot wait to get new boobs 🙂