Sjoerdje (53) thought her life would be very different after her mastectomy. No more going to the sauna, no more swimming or playing sports and no more wearing normal lingerie. She didn’t want to do that, so she looked for ways to continue her active lifestyle. Fortunately, she found the Qups straight after her operation last August. Now she alternates between Softqups and PearlQups and her life is back to normal.

Text Clary Scheres

‘I am an active woman’ Sjoerdje tells us ‘and am not bothered by the idea that I only have one breast. It doesn’t suit me to be stuck in my grief. After my treatments, the hospital sent me to a lingerie specialist to have my breast prosthesis measured. But no matter how nice everyone was, it still made me feel like a patient. I was looking for a positive setting where I could feel normal again.

How did you find what you were looking for after your surgery?

I just wanted to get back to my normal life, so I went online to look for experiences and tips on living with one breast. I felt right at home on the ProudBreast site where I found stories from the positive. Stories in which women share how they were able to turn the pain into something positive, that breast cancer had brought them so much. But also, stories about just being able to go on with your life again without experiencing obstacles. That’s how I discovered the Qups. I decided to try out the Softqup first.

Did the Qups feel comfortably right away?

The Softqup was very comfortable at active times. Not only during sports, but also during my work in the care sector. I’m busy all day with taking care of people, washing them, and getting them dressed. You’re very active and get hot very quickly. It’s nice not to be bothered by that at all. I wear the Qups in a prosthesis bra because people in my ward suffer from dementia and they can be unpredictable. They can suddenly grab you. Then it’s nice if the prosthesis is hidden in a cover.

So your expectations were right?

Yes, so for me, the Qups were exactly right, exactly as in the stories I had read beforehand. Because I’m the type of person who cares about comfort and positivity. I want to get back into fitness and spinning, go swimming and schedule massages. Then it doesn’t have to look so pretty but your prosthesis should be more practical. I am less of the perfect lingerie and symmetry, while for others that will be crucial.

Still, you started experimenting with different Qups?

Yes, in normal lingerie I found the Softqups a bit too high. I’m not the youngest anymore and my own breast is just a bit different. So, I started trying the PearlQup for normal days, which turned out to be a great solution. When I’m not working or exercising, I like to wear more beautiful lingerie, like the Triumph model I bought at Livera Leeuwarden during Ladies Night. I can just wear the PearlQups loose in these bras. I also started experimenting with the different sizes. For example, I like to wear a size smaller when I swim. It works better in my tight swimsuit, which gives nice pressure and keeps my shoulder tissue flexible.

‘The different Qups fit perfectly with my varied lifestyle’

You said something about massages, how does that work?

Previously, I was a shiatsu therapist and gave massage treatments to balance body and mind. Now I don’t do that anymore, but I still enjoy having myself massaged regularly by others. I did worry about being able to do that, because lying on the massage table with one breast seemed uncomfortable and uneven. Therefore, the first time after my operation I kept my sports bra with Qups in it. To my happy surprise, that went completely well! It felt very natural and gave me a liberating feeling; something that could stay normal again.

Are you looking forward to anything more?

This massage experience also gives me courage for the sun vacation we have planned. My sister-in-law put a pocket in my pre-shaped triangle bikini from before the operation. So I didn’t have to get rid of it at all. So nice! I already know that I can sunbathe on my belly.

Carefree. Normal, as always.

Sjoerdje has now become a home fitting point for ProudBreast in her region. Also curious about the Qups? In Friesland you can try them on at Sjoerdje. Here you can find more information: