I am also someone who didn't go through her breast cancer (inflammatory)experience with the most grace. In my case, I know what was at work--and I knew it then. But then I knew what was going on just a tiny, little bit. Today, I understand much more fully.
You have my sympathy, Barbara...not my judgment.
I, too, have chosen to go flat. I don't feel self-conscious about it. However when dressing up I often drape a scarf loosely as is the fashion that drapes across/over the chest wall area. I just found the PERFECT bathing suit...a tankini top that the manufacturer has oodles of choices for fabric. I'll get the name...Hapari. Google it and choose the sport tankini...it is wonderful! I got one on sale for around $30.
I'm not sure about my summer dresses yet, some are very sleek...may have to ditch them. But for ordinary day to day wear I find that a snug camisole (found a bunch in WalMart for under $2) under a Tee is great so if the neck gapes open, the camisole is there snug my chest. I chose flat because I had BIA-ALCL from my implant. Yes you can get cancer from your implant, a type of lymphoma. I'm just coming out of chemo for it, so much is new for me. I chose an implant in 1994 for athletic reasons, and I have chosen a prophylactic mastectomy for the other side so I'll still be symmetrical for athletic reasons. I cannot have another implant if my body made cancer from the first implant, I don't want to chance getting this cancer again. I didn't want an external prosthesis flopping around my tennis game, etc. I hope this helps. As you found, people aren't looking at your chest. They mostly look at your smile. I throw my shoulders back, tuck my tummy in (Mother's advice) and enter a room as if I owned it. People see my smile first and forget to look elsewhere! But I also try to dress nicely even going to all those doctor's appointments. It makes me feel great! Much luck to you and your new "look". Wear it well and no one will think twice about any missing parts!
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