Moms and Maids

Older bridesmaid post mastectomy/reconstruction

My sister is my only attendant will be 46 at the time of my wedding and I'm not sure what I should suggest for her to wear.  Our color is navy so it should be easy (ish) to find something that will work, but I'm not sure what direction to go in.  She just had a mastectomy and will be having reconstruction in the next few months (wedding is next May).  She lives on the completely opposite side of the country so I don't even know what she looks like/will look like post-surgery.  I just want her to feel comfortable but I'd like to give her some suggestions because she's really indecisive and I think would prefer some direction.  I rarely even see her in dresses, so I have no idea even where to start.  

Does anyone have any suggestions for or links to something age-appropriate (no huge ruffles/flowers!) and something that isn't too low-cut?  She already has a port scar on her chest from a previous bout of cancer when she was younger that I know she doesn't love and I have no idea what the scarring will be like from her surgeries now but I'm guessing she will want any scars covered. 

Re: Older bridesmaid post mastectomy/reconstruction

  • ^ This.

    Just tell her you'd like her to wear something navy.
    MairePoppy
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    Yeah. Leave it up to her. Its going to be hard enough for her to figure it out dealing with a major body change without the pressure of someone sending clothing "suggestions." I'm sure you would mean them kindly, but they do add pressure whether or not that was your intention. If she ASKS for suggestions: 

    My mom had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Instead of bras, she had to wear camisoles for a long time (per the doctor, for comfort and not damaging the work that was done.) She didn't really go out much during her healing time, but when she did, she preferred loose fitting clothes. Again, for comfort, but also because she felt a bit exposed wearing just a camisole. After a year though, she was fine with wearing whatever again. She was inwardly self conscious, because she missed her "working breasts" (her words), but her style really didn't change much. Don't assume your sister will be self conscious, or about what areas she will be self conscious.

     If she asks, I personally love boat neck dresses for all ages.  Maybe find some links of those, but wait until she asks for suggestions to send them to her. 
    MairePoppyOliveOilsMom
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2014
    My friend had a double mastectomy and several follow up surgeries for reconstruction and infections. She prefers soft, loose fitting knits because her implants are hot and cause her to sweat in the breast area. She also has discomfort in the under arm area, so nothing restrictive there. 

    This is a style my friend prefers, in a soft jersey knit. I would tell your sister to find something comfortable, in navy, and not worry about the color matching the bms exactly. @CMGRagain may may have some suggestions.

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    OliveOilsMom
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    Yeah, the under arm lymph nodes get REALLY screwy and painful. It took a very long time for my mom to be able to lift her arm properly. We have a ton of tiny 1-5 pound weights around the house that she used to get her muscles back into shape. 
  • I also think you should leave this one 100% up to her and assure her that she will look beautiful in anything she is comfortable in.  One of my good friends went through the same thing and reconstruction is no joke.  She had a lot of lingering pain as many have stated above and had a lot of tactile issues in that area for a long time (she was super sensitive to lots of traditional "fancy" fabrics as they would feel very hot, itchy, constricting, etc.).  Also, one of my bridesmaids was in the middle of her 5th year of chemo and she had a port scar.  She ended up liking halter styles the best.  Again, I'd leave this one totally up to her. 
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