My secret, not so secret vice, is shopping at Nordstrom. I love their merchandise, customer service, cafe's...All of it. However, a recent shopping trip made me love Nordstrom more than I thought possible, so much so, it brought me to tears. Yes I'm a total emo, but there's a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Bra shopping SUCKS!
Bra shopping hasn't been a walk in the park for me at all these days as my breasts are disproportioned from the surgeries and inflammatory tumor that returned in my right breast. Things have recently taken a turn for the better and I am going to have a mastectomy and reconstructive in the very near future to fix the problem, which is great news! However, this in-between time hasn't been easy... at all. Getting dressed is an everyday struggle, and I can't wear certain things that I am accustomed to. I've literally had to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate this issue, and have had to come up with innovative ways to make my breasts appear proportioned. The stick on Nu-Bra pads have been my go to for the past year as I can wear one form on the right side to make them appear even, but they only last so many wears and aren't the most comfortable option... whatsoever. They are great for wearing backless dresses and tops but certainly not for everyday wear. But anything beats having uneven or distorted breasts right? So I ran into Nordstrom to buy a new set a couple of months ago, and it ended up being the best shopping experience ever! Who knew.
Hallelujah! Nordstrom Breast Prosthesis Program
The sweetest sales woman approached me and asked if I needed help and I told her what I was looking for. She directed me to my old faithful Nu-Bra. She was super friendly so we began to chat and I felt comfortable enough to disclose my issue with her. She looked at me puzzled and asked me why I wasn't a part of the Nordstrom Breast Prosthesis Program. Huh? I had no idea what she was talking about?? She went into the backroom and returned with several prosthetic breasts! WTH, seriously?! How did I not know about this!? They're so soft, like actual breast tissue, and come in different sizes and styles. And don't have that sticky backing that suffocates you and melts off your chest in the heat. They are made by a company called Amoena who specializes in making high quality products for women with breast cancer or post breast cancer. They can be inserted into almost any bra or camisole. And as a courtesy, Nordstrom offers free pocketing on any bras, camisoles or lingerie purchased from them. The pockets are sewn into the bras or garments to hold the prosthesis in place.
Pretty awesome right!?! Nordstrom has had its mastectomy bra program running for an impressive 35 years and has full-time associates who are fully trained and certified. "Our prosthesis bra offering and fitting service is a successful part of our lingerie business and we're pleased to offer it to our customers. For us, it seems like a natural connection to offer this service to our customers, many of whom are impacted by breast cancer," said Nordstrom spokesperson Tara Darrow. "We want to do what we can to provide them with the same level of personal service, product selection and knowledge during their prosthesis and bra fitting that they expect in a regular fitting. We offer certified prosthesis fitting in every Nordstrom full-line store and we believe we offer the single largest network of certified mastectomy fitters in the country."
Your Insurance may even cover it!
And the cherry on top..... They are a participating provider for selected insurance companies eligible in selected states. So essentially the form is covered and you may even qualify to be covered for bras as well! I qualified for full coverage for both the form and two bras! For a detailed list of Breast Prosthesis Program Insurance Carriers click here.
I had my oncologist write me a prescription, faxed it in and was able to schedule my appointment within days. A week later I had my fitting and have to say (here come the tears), I left that day feeling more confident than I had in quite some time. Having a compromised chest totally puts a damper on your self confidence, to say the least. But this is pretty damn good band aid as I await reconstructive surgery. I had not the slightest clue about this program. And being the self titled breast cancer guru that I have become, I was shocked that I had never had.
What a hidden gem! I know Nordstrom isn't an advertising company, but something of this magnitude, that has the potential to improve the quality of peoples' lives, needs to be talked bout. I'm currently on the hunt to talk to the right person to see if we can make a little more noise and shed some more light on this awesome program...fingers crossed.
In the meantime, I have been feeling so much better about my circumstances with my new bras and form! Needless to say, my obsession with Nordstrom is now on overload. What a compassionate company to implement such a program. I am seriously forever grateful and they have loyal customer for life.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please take advantage or pass the info along.