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My very personal path to La Mesma
My path to La Mesma was a long one. It was full of health issues and mental challenges. Initially, I had to learn to accept and love myself. I am beautiful the way I am, with only one breast.
It took me 9 years to do so.
In my case, it wasn’t breast cancer. It was an inflammation in the breast that eventually led to breast surgery. As a young mum, wife and passionate swimmer, it was a shock for me. I no longer felt whole and was feeling paralysed.
I was tired of the hospital stays, the operations and all the pain. Losing almost my entire left breast was the last major operation on my body.
Since the age of five, I’ve had repeated operations and various therapies due to a birth defect.
The breast is gone.
Here I was, half my breast was gone. Yes, I survived. Yes, my husband and children were always by my side. und meine Kinder waren immer an meiner Seite. Yet, I was still plagued by many fears. Will I stay healthy? Will I be able to be a strong mum to my children? Will my husband ever see me as a full and beautiful woman again? It took me 9 years to grieve. Mourning for my breast. Mourning the fact that nothing will ever be the same again.
I was afraid that I would no longer be able to enjoy my favourite hobby, dolphin swimming. I have lost a hobby before. After several major injuries, I had to give up playing basketball.
Giving up on swimming either was not an option. I had spent my free time at the lake since I was a child. It was very important to our mum that we could swim.
It must go on.
There are no alternatives.
I started to search everywhere for suitable swimwear. Medical supply stores, online shops, small boutiques. I couldn’t find any appealing prosthetic swimming costumes or bikinis that did what they promised.
My aim is to look beautiful on the beach. At the same time, I want to be able to fool around with my children without running the risk of my breast prosthesis slipping out of place. And then having to endure these shocked and pitying looks. Sometimes it was just too much. Apart from the look, many of the prosthesis swimming costumes and bikinis I found didn’t feel good on the skin.
They often scratched and pinched. I imagined what it must have been like for women who had lost their breasts due to breast cancer. Many still have their port under their skin. They have pain in their armpits due to severe scarring and shortened tendons. And there were actually some that didn’t provide enough support.
Unbelievable! My prosthesis weighs 400 g after all. A bikini top has to be able to withstand that.
I decided to do something about it myself. Yes, nothing will ever be the same again, but I could now do something to feel better. I started to design the swimwear I dreamed of myself:
modern cut bikinis and swimsuits
that would hold a breast prosthesis 100%.
And then came the first doubts. Could I do it alone? Do I have enough strength and money? Would I be able to gain the trust of my customers?
Would I be able to survive alongside the competition and realise my ideas?
And then came Filipe.
But then I met Filipe Marinho from FLM Textil. It was immediately clear to me: I wanted to produce my swimwear with him and no one else. FLM is an established manufacturer in the north of Portugal. Filipe makes sure that he only uses high-quality fabrics for his
his textiles. He believes in a sustainable production process.
Maintaining health and safety standards is a matter of fact. And with Ana Loureiro, a wonderful product developer at FLM Textil, I have the best support when it comes to realising my ideas. Together with her, I managed to design the bikini tops and swimsuits in such a way that the breast prosthesis can be inserted from above and not from the side as it is usually done. This makes it very easy and uncomplicated to insert and remove the prosthesis. The bikini or swimsuits does not have to be taken off for this.
We also spent a long time looking for a suitable fabric for the inner lining. It had to be particularly soft to cushion the mesh that holds the breast prosthesis in place. And we succeeded. I can say with a clear conscience that our swimwear is beautiful. It gives women who are going through a difficult time support,comfort and the feeling of being a beautiful woman again.
“La MESMA doesn’t make fashion for the standard woman, but for the unique woman”
Women who wear LA MESMA feel beautiful, sexy and complete again – in their very own way.