This post was sponsored by Elemental. All words and opinions are mine.
It has been 8 years since my mastectomy and reconstruction due to breast cancer, and it’s been quite a ride. I’ve had several surgeries because of reconstruction complications over the years, which is quite common with mastectomy reconstruction, so I know I am not alone.
It was so it was strange to focus and heal elsewhere with my most recent oophorectomy surgery. It was a much easier surgery than what I am used to and I am so happy to be fully healed from that!
Focusing elsewhere may be shortlived, however, as I will be needing another breast reconstruction surgery in the future.
I am prone to keloids and have scar tissue pushing my implant toward the center, and causing discomfort. The discomfort is bearable, but if it gets worse it will become more than a nuisance. I am hoping to put this surgery off as long as possible!
Memories of Mastectomy and Reconstruction
I had 4 different reconstruction surgeries between 2010 and 2014. It has been so nice to have a long 4-year break from surgery!
Oh, the memories I have of reconstruction…from being delighted about my immediate reconstruction right after mastectomy, and nipple reconstruction a month later, to both of those procedures being ruined within a year thanks to a sliding implant…oh yes…that one that gave me bad dreams in 2011!
There was another time when my surgery was postponed, and we were surprised by a phone call while on the road to the hospital the day of surgery.
It was my nurse calling to tell us that my implants were stuck on a plane in Texas due to an ice storm of all things! Surgery was canceled and we turned back around and headed home.
There was also that time I had a hole in my expander which meant 2 surgeries in one week.
My surgeon is almost retirement age, the best in the region, and it was first expander hole he has ever experienced in doing hundreds of these procedures over the years. He calls me his rebellious patient and I couldn’t agree more!
Oh yes, do I have reconstruction stories and memories!
Cold Breasts After Mastectomy and Reconstruction
One memory that stays with me..quite literally…is how chilled I felt right after my mastectomy.
There is a difference between a woman who gets breast implants for enhancement compared to a woman who has mastectomy then implants for reconstruction purposes.
That difference? Breast tissue.
When enhancing, you get to keep your breast tissue. The soft, blood-vessel-filled tissue that is warm and insulating. Ladies…don’t take this warm tissue for granted, no matter what size or shape you are. Embrace it! It is a gift that literally keeps you warm.
I didn’t have much breast tissue naturally before my mastectomy, but boy was it cozy warm!
When it comes to mastectomy with reconstruction, they take all fat and tissue and leave you with muscle and skin…and it is cold!
This is one reason why there are so many complications with reconstruction.
Other complications include little to no tissue to work with which means less blood supply, an immune system that is compromised thanks to recent chemo or skin that has been radiated which makes things a bit trickier.
Once I healed from mastectomy I remember being so puzzled that my implants made me so chilled…even to the touch, they are cool. It is a very different feeling from natural breasts or enhanced breasts.
Our midwest winters don’t help much…it takes quite some time for my chest to warm up after being out in winter weather.
Elemental Thermal Bras
There is an answer to “chilled” problem that now exists thanks to a thoughtful company called Elemental. They are an awesome company that creates quality thermal bras designed with needs of breast cancer survivors and previvors in mind.
Their uniquely functional, innovative bras are made to be warm, comfortable and beautiful…and I think they are amazing! I’m so proud to tell you about this company and their great products.
Elemental Thermal Bras addresses several issues for those of us who are going through or have had reconstruction, and this video shows you the dedication, science, and thoughtfulness that they put into making their bras.
Complicated Breasts Means a Thoughtful Bra
Having chilled breasts and chest can be such a unique problem for cancer survivors. We are complicated.
We are chilled from chemo and radiation and think we will never get warm again.
Then our warm tissue is taken replaced with cold implants.
On top of that, a percentage of us are given medications that mess with hormones or brings on premature menopause, and we don’t know from minute to minute whether we will be hot or cold.
Hot flashes make us sweat, and we are so hot but then are chilled immediately after the flash passes as the sweat cools and we instantly add clothing layers that were just ripped off.
We heal from surgery and find ourselves needing a bra that is soft, comfortable and made with healing in mind.
Many of us have multiple surgeries, reconstruction is often not a one-time thing, and according to this article from the NY Times, 1 in 5 women have complications from their reconstructive surgeries and need more than one.
I can’t tell you how much money I have spent on bras specifically for comfort while healing. So much time in stores, shopping before or after all the numerous surgeries I have had.
I was looking for just the right bra that is soft enough, warm enough, breathable, won’t hit incision points in a rough way and is still attractive and one I would wear after I heal, too.
I have memories of being measured by strangers in a store while still healing, and it was uncomfortable and vulnerable. Not a fun memory, but I was on the hunt for a specific bra. I didn’t find what I wanted.
Trust me, that bra did not exist until now. Thank you Elemental! I have a drawer full of bras I bought after surgery that won’t ever wear again or wish on my worst enemy…ok that is a little dramatic but I certainly don’t like them or ever want to wear them again.
I’m not sure why they are still there, especially now that I have an Elemental bra. Time to do a bit of “Marie Kondo-ing!”
Yep, we breast cancer survivors are complicated….especially when it comes to our temperature and our bras!
We have more than needed a company like Elemental to address these specific issues and create a thoughtful bra. They have, and the Elemental Thermal Bra solves every one of these issues.
Features of the Elemental Thermal Bras
The Elemental thermal bras are beautiful, comfortable, warm without being suffocating. I have 2 styles– the Jodie and the Gretchen. The Jodie would be my choice to wear right after surgery as it is just a ‘gentle’ bra.
It has a super soft thicker band that reduces pressure at the underbust area which is not only great for incisions but also tender nerves that are healing.
It is a wideband bra and the straps can be straight or criss-cross in the back. It has a 4 hook clasp.
The Jodie is a narrow strap bra and the features are a bit more traditional. The straps can also be straight or crisscross.
They are both very very comfortable and the fit was right on.
They instruct very clearly how to measure yourself on the Elemental website…no more need for awkward measuring in store with a stranger!
I love that there are no underwires and that the wicking fabric keeps skin super comfortable.
It has a higher price point, but the high-quality material they use, the thoughtfulness they put into the design of the bra and the warm but breathable comfort it brings makes the price so very worth it.
No more numerous shopping trips wasting time and money. Definitely worth it!
It feels like a custom bra made specifically for me as a breast cancer survivor, and on top of that, it is attractive, provides ongoing comfort.
It will not sit around in a drawer but will be worn no matter how far out you are from reconstruction.
It fits nice and smooth under t-shirts and I’m not dying to take it off at the end of the day unlike when I wear my old bras.
Elemental truly has made a phenomenal bra and I’m happy I get to share this great company with you.
If you are interested, it is easy to determine your perfect bra size. Go here for their sizing guide.
Gift A Cancer Survivor – Elemental Thermal Bra
Have a friend who is going through breast cancer and reconstruction or has been through it before? An Elemental thermal bra would be such a thoughtful gift.
Send her the sizing chart and let her know you want to gift her with a bra made specifically with her in mind.
Breast cancer and reconstruction is complicated enough. Finding a bra for our unique needs shouldn’t be. My hope in sharing my mastectomy and reconstructive surgery stories is to help another feel less alone in their unique story.
I also love letting the world know about this very unique and caring company called Elemental.
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This post was sponsored by Elemental company. All words and opinions are mine.