Knockers… and I do not mean door knockers. I mean knockers.
One of the challenges I have faced since my mastectomy is finding bras and breast forms to fit my tiny structure and my even tinier bust. It took trying various brands, different sizes, and many different styles before I finally found a [silicone] breast form that fit me and felt reasonably comfortable resting against my scar. As for bras … sigh … the struggle just goes on.
Over the past 2+ years post-surgery of shopping, I have come to realize that most surgical tops, bras, breast forms, and swim forms are made for more well-endowed women. This is discouraging. I am, however, very lucky that I live in Toronto. There are several stores that do carry a decent selection of petite sizes. I have had success at both Melmira and Brava Boutique, and in the London area, The Bra Lady. All three establishments have been very helpful in fitting me with surgical bras. But – the selections are rather limiting due to the fact that the manufacturers choose not to produce a large selection of the cup size I need. Even when I do find my size, if the bra happens to be padded, then the cup is usually too wide for my breast form, causing it to slip slightly out of place, which causes me to search out a private place where I can readjust the form inside my bra. There is nothing more uncomfortable than feeling your breast form shift inside your bra. Again, rather discouraging, and it’s difficult not to feel a sense of frustration of the [unintentional?] discrimination toward petite women.
The other challenge I have found with using a silicone breast form is that I can sometimes be left with a small heat rash on my chest wall. This too, is uncomfortable, because it itches; and silicone can cause a slightly off-putting scent when it comes into contact with natural body sweat. This makes working out while wearing the prothesis a bit of a challenge. I am left with both a rash and an off-putting odour from the form. As for a swim form? I have not had success in finding one that fits, leaving me feeling self-conscious in my swimsuit. I do have a swim form, I just feel uncomfortable using it as the size of it (despite the endless efforts of my mother trying to custom tailor this too-large form to my petite frame) still feels too big and bulky.
But I am not writing this post for self-indulgent complaints – although I know it sounds like I am – I promise that I have a helpful hint for you petite ladies out there that struggle with silicone breast forms! In a forum on one of my support networks, my fellow breast cancer warriors were talking about knitted knockers. Intrigued by this concept I decided to investigate. I googled knitted knockers and found – to my absolute surprise and delight – that these are breast forms knitted to the size you require and sent to you directly within 2-3 weeks – all free of charge! I have managed to find two such organizations that provide breast cancer survivors with knitted knockers. Awesome Breast Forms and Knitted Knockers of Canada.
I ordered a nude-coloured knitted knocker from Knitted Knockers of Canada. As promised I received my knocker within 2 weeks. All that was asked of me was that I please Like and Share Knitted Knockers on my social media platforms. Done and done! After using my knitted knocker for these past 5 months I thought it time I share why I am loving this breast form:
- It’s soft
- It feels like a woman’s breast
- It has a little knitted nipple
- It fits perfectly in a padded bra and never shifts
- It allows my skin to breathe – so no rash and no peculiar odour
- It is flexible and moves with my body when I am working out
- You can resize it by adding or (in my case) removing stuffing
- It’s easy to wash and care for
What amazes me about these knitted knockers is that they are free! Free to any woman who has had breast surgery. The knockers are knitted by volunteers – selfless individuals whose own lives may have been touched by cancer. They are people who want to empower others. I’m awed by this; and I am reminded that there is so much kindness in this world. Two & a half years post-surgery and I am still witnessing the many small acts of kindness. It’s humbling and it’s beautiful.
I cannot knit. Everything I have ever knit, crocheted, or sewn has fallen apart… so my way of helping is to share this information. Hopefully it brings about awareness, gets those that can knit to volunteer their time, and possibly help someone recently diagnosed with breast cancer know that there are alternative breast forms available to you.
With the warmer weather oh-so-very-slowly approaching I decided to order a knitted knocker swim form. If it’s as amazing as the original knocker then I suspect I will be taking my 4-year old swimming quite a lot this summer season.
If anyone else has additional information about organizations that offer free breast forms please share!
Knockers. Published by: Crystal Joy Hall