My name is April Bhattacharya and I’ve created this blog to keep family and friends updated with my journey. I hope that others out there that are facing these same decisions find my blog encouraging and informative.
After losing multiple women in my family, including my mother, to breast cancer, I chose to have genetic testing. I found out in March 2010 that I tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation. This does not mean it causes breast or ovarian cancer, but it leads to an increased risk for its development. I have an 85% lifetime risk of breast cancer and a 40% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. The general population’s lifetime risk for breast cancer is about 12% and less than 2% for ovarian cancer.
After doing much research, discussing things with my husband, talking with doctors and genetic counselors, I came to the conclusion that a prophylactic (preventative) bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts) and reconstruction would be my personal best decision. By having this surgery I reduce my risk of getting breast cancer by 90%. I have also taken on a vegan diet. At 23 years old, I am empowered to take steps to prevent breast and/or ovarian cancer from taking my life early. I am grateful to be a woman with options that could change the future of my family.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I still have all the same limitations though and I can't raise my arms past what it takes to bend my head down to shampoo. But just not having the drains hanging from my body feels so much better.
I didn't mean to not write since Sunday. I don't know where the time went. I sleep most of it away. But my appointment ended up not being until today at 1pm. So that's when the drains came out, they said everything is looking good, no infection or anything on the side that got wet. All is going good. The drains coming out were so crazy looking! They look like worms circling around until they are all removed. The nurse just pulls them right out. It didn't hurt, it just freaky. Taking the tape off that was covering the drain sites hurt the most. Sameer took a video of them coming out so I could watch it after. I will post that soon too. Hopefully I can do that stuff tomorrow...or I should say today because it's 5am Wednesday haha I am still draining a little bit from the two sites. I have to tape thick gauze over them for the next few days until they stop.
Today (Tuesday) was a pretty great day. Warm weather, sweet tea, drains out, nap on the back porch and a real shower. Plus Sameer's parents came by to visit and brought tons of veggies, fruit and nuts! So excited about eating all of that : )