I recently got prosthesis certified. Meaning that I work with women who have survived breast cancer and have lost a portion, one, or both breasts to the disease. I have found these women to be profoundly strong and optimistic, not to mention open about their bodies and experience. I admire them.
I have quite a tool set these days, including balance forms. What are balance forms you ask? Well, they are different weighted silicone half breast forms to slip into the bra to balance out uneven sizes. Usually, they are used for women that have had lumpectomies, and are left with one DD+ cup and one smaller cup. However, in some cases insurance and your doctor, can authorize coverage if you haven’t had breast cancer but are naturally unbalanced. If you’re doctor doesn’t cover it, you can pay out of pocket too. They are made of flesh colored silicone and designed to be lifelike. Honestly, through a bra and clothing you cant even feel the difference. So here’s the story.
I saunter in to work, am perusing my daily responsibilities, when I get asked to do a double fit in another department. I’m fresh from prosthesis training so I’m raring to go. I go up the escalators, and find my ladies in their respective fitting rooms. Not the usual customers I deal with on a daily basis, but non the less, I am un phased. I go into the first room, where this big tall girl is, she looks down at me and smiles and say “You’re a little one aren’t you”. I laugh and tell her I am a magic bra elf here to solve her problems. I immediately notice that one breast is drastically larger than the other. I measure her, and move on to her friend in the next fitting room. I explain to them my fit process and go down to get my fit bras.
Upon my return, I enter the friends’ room first, and fit her. Easy. She loves the bra, and will take two. I move on to my new tall friend. She tells me, as she takes off her wonder bra ( do not ever buy them ever they are the worst invention ever), that one is bigger than the other. I smile and tell her that I will be fitting for the bigger one first, but that I have options for her. She looks surprised and says really? I then introduce her to the idea of a balance form, something she can slip into her bra everyday so she looks even in her clothing, and will balance out the weight on her body. She looks a little taken aback and says she’ll think about it.
We move on to the fit bras, I get a perfect fit in a __GG, think maybe a big round watermelon. The other one is swimming in this bra… think a small melon, or a large grapefruit. She is smiling and so happy to have the weight distribution and the bra on, but looks at me and asks nervously ” Maybe, lets try those forms and see?” ” Sure, I’ll run down and grab my kit. Can’t hurt anyway right?”
I return with my kit of different shapes, sizes, and weights of forms. I have tiny little ones, and big ones that are larger than even some breasts. She giggles and I let her feel the soft, flesh like silicone. Her friend peaks her head out and I let her feel too. They are pretty cool, I’ll admit. So after introducing the forms to her, I take my largest, most weighted form and slip it into her bra. I adjust accordingly, and Ta Da! A huge smile spreads across her face she as looks down. I turn her to the mirror and the smile grows, and grows. “I’ve never been even before, my whole life. Thank you, so much.” I take her hands and place them on her breasts, you can’t tell the difference between them. She looks at me and says ” Can I try on some shirts with it?” Her excitement and enthusiasm is something I can’t put into words, I just hope you can imagine how happy and good she felt. She bought it out of pocket, though I fought with the insurance company. Her appreciation and happiness made that day complete for me, and I think about her almost everyday since.
Daily I find it upsetting and frustrating and sad that so many women have no idea the things that are out there for them. Silicone forms to be balanced, wire free padded bras, camisoles designed for surgery, a good fitting bra to take the weight off the shoulders. We as a population, gender, people, are under educated in our bodies when it comes to our breasts. I could tell you all about a period when I was 14, but beyond picking out a random bra when my nipples started showing I couldn’t tell you anything else. I try to educate my customers and women in my life as best I can in general maintenance and care. Again, it’s all about body image and body maintenance. You shower, and clean your butt, you buy new clothes, and new underwear, you clean your underwear… why must the bosom be so neglected? ( For a later post I could rant all night on that topic)
Wanna look at silicone balance forms?