An after mastectomy shirt for feeling normal during recovery

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a month before my 40th birthday. Instead of planning a big party, I was having a double mastectomy with the first steps towards breast reconstruction. It was the fastest 2 week of my life from diagnosis to surgery. I didn’t have time to come up with questions because I hadn’t had time to process what was happening to me. I

Prior to my mastectomy surgery, I had been instructed to wear a zip-up sweatshirt because I would be wrapped up and have drains. I packed a cute matching sweatsuit that my kids were familiar with. I wanted to feel “normal” but more importantly, I wanted to return home in clothes that appeared normal to my kids. Little did I know then, the challenges I faced due to this surgical wardrobe decision would lead to my creation, LBC Post-op Top.

I had a double mastectomy with lymph nodes removed. This means that my mobility was even more limited than a mastectomy without lymph node removal. I found that I couldn’t move my arms back enough to get them both into the zip-up sweatshirt I was told to bring. I had to wear my hospital gown home. As I sat outside waiting for my husband to bring the car around, I vowed that I would make it my mission to make ensure that other women could return home after mastectomy with the comfort and dignity I was missing.

Back at home, after two days searching unsuccessfully for something to wear around the house and to my follow-up doctors appointment, I was out of patience. I had been wearing my husband’s over-sized shirts and my old pajama tops. I wanted to go to the doctor with some dignity and anonymity. I found a shirt that I could wear that made me feel good as well as concealed my drains. When I went to my doctors appointment the girls in the office commented how cute I looked and that they had no idea that I still had my drains in. I went home and with my sister, got to work designing the LBC Post-op Top.

We will be launching our new top this spring. It is a step-in top with a waistband that is geared for the younger ladies impacted by breast cancer. Check it out at www.postoptop.com.

by Lesa Behrens

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