A woman standing wearing a tank top with her breasts lopsided, one is large and one is flat

My Pursuit of a Full-Flat Life

Almost 8 years ago, I had a modified radical left-side mastectomy. For nearly a decade, I have been a real-life unicorn. For a long time, I had pockets sewn into my bras, and I wore a prosthetic breast. My "cutlet," as I lovingly referred to it, went with me everywhere. It traveled across the country with me, went on flights, saw live music, and evened out my appearance.

The truth about prosthetic breasts

Not many folks talk about this, but prosthetic breasts are heavy. They are uncomfortable. Mine, in particular, would rub my skin raw, and since my skin was numb from having surgery in most of that area, I wouldn't notice until I peeled everything off after a long day of faking having 2 breasts.

Unable to get implants

At the time of my surgery, I wanted to get implants. It was the easiest option for me; it was less invasive and something I felt like I could live with over time. My breast cancer treatment plan consisted of some pretty heavy-duty radiation after I healed up from this mastectomy, so my options for reconstruction were slim. Radiation would damage my skin too much and would cause it to lose its elasticity.

Living the "unicorn life" after mastectomy

So, the "unicorn life" was one I lived. During the pandemic, I threw my cutlet out and have been presenting myself "as-is," so to speak. Since 2020, I have considered the "full flat" look. I have yearned for symmetry in a way that I never thought I would.

Changes that resulted from a modified radical mastectomy

In 2021, I had a rod placed in my arm. The cancer came back in full force, and it caused me not to be able to have a complete shoulder replacement. I'm left without a rotator cuff, putting quite a bit of pressure on my right side, where I have the remaining breast. The weight of the breast has caused my port scar to travel south, and it pulls down on my collarbone.

Seeking a palliative mastectomy

Going "full flat" would relieve so much pressure on my right side and help clothing to fit me, making my life so much more vibrant. I could live out my remaining years in a body that works for me and is comfortable.

This is equal parts for comfort and looks here. Sure, a mastectomy is a pretty big decision, but the way this would change my life for the absolute better is more than I can dream. What I have been searching for for all these years is a palliative mastectomy. I finally found it. A palliative mastectomy is mainly a way to prevent or reduce the severity of breast or chest symptoms and pain.1

Looking forward to more comfort

It will involve some scheduling on my part to work in when I can break off my cancer treatment for a while to heal up properly. So far, however, it doesn't seem like a majorly invasive surgery, and I won't have to spend a night in the hospital, which is always my biggest fear.

I still can't believe I've made it this far, though. I can share that shortly, I will finally have the symmetry and comfort I have been longing for and deserve.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AdvancedBreastCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.