The Stuffed Bra and the Wandering Socks

by | Cancer, Health & Wellness, Living with Cancer, Writing & Blogging

One of the frustrations I’ve had to deal with because of this breast cancer is my lopsidedness. Getting dressed in the morning takes quite a bit more thought and planning than ever before. I wasn’t small breasted to start with, but thanks to my mastectomy I have a bouncy D-Cup that swings a little lower since breastfeeding, and a rock hard, absurdly high, almost A-cup.

To make matters a little more interesting, the mastectomy side is augmented by a saline implant called an expander. I periodically go in for expansions, which means they inject more saline into the implant.  This is in preparation for reconstruction after I complete the cancer treatment, but the expansions have to be complete before I start radiation.  As a result, the size and shape of my mastectomy side “breast” changes to frequently. I’ll wait till the size and shape stabilizes to invest in a prosthesis, in the meantime I’m stuffing my bra with socks.

Stuffed Bra | CoffeeJitters.Net | by Judy Schwartz Haley

Yeah, you read that right. I’m stuffing my bra with socks. How very seventh grade.  But at least in junior high they were both the same size, I wasn’t trying to make different sizes match each other.  No matter how many socks I stuff into this bra, they will never bounce quite like my real breast.

The Stuffed Bra that Wont Stay Stuffed

These socks were made for wandering, and they do like to tour my chest wall as I’m moving about.  They really like to get around while I’m running on the treadmill.  Before I know it, they’ve worked their way under my armpit and each pump of my arm jams them a little further back under my arm, or even more frequently, they pile up right in the center of my chest.  Excuse me a moment while I reach in and readjust my “girls” while running, and hopefully not stumbling, on the treadmill.  Graceful, no? I find myself pushing my socks back into place as I walk around town.  The boob is gone, it doesn’t feel like a boob anymore, so it’s easy to forget that while they’re just socks to me, to the average pedestrian it looks like I’m groping and playing with my boobs and I try to corral them back into place.

And yoga?  the socks are likely to wind up just about anywhere, but I’ve mastered the art of readjustment during downward dog.  People look at each other less during yoga anyways.

It’s not just while I’m exercising that the socks become an issue.  A few weeks ago we sailed around Seattle on a gorgeous schooner.  I disembarked the ship and my husband handed my 1 year old daughter down to me.  She was a little wobbly on her feet as I set her down and knelt next to her on the deck.  To catch her balance, she reached up and grabbed my shirt, and managed to grab my bra in the same handful.  Out tumbled my sports socks in full sight of everyone looking down from the ship.

So if you see me out and about with a big lump under my arm, or up by my neck, or down by my abdomen, its just an errant sock trying to make a break for it. No need for concern. You might even be treated to a glimpse of my readjustment dance as I try to surreptitiously work it back into place.

Mama's Losin' It


You can learn more about my cancer story here:

my cancer story | Judy Schwartz Haley


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Judy Schwartz Haley


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