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

Drains Free!!!!

I'm free of my horrible drains! Yay!! Best day ever ever ever : ) Now I can take a regular shower and wash my hair all by myself again haha Great things happening. Plus, I don't have to sleep sitting up anymore.

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 : )


Anonymous said...

I bet you do feel like a new woman with those drains out. We are hoping to get up to Dallas some time next week to do Christmas with my side. Maybe we can work out a day we can swing by for a quick visit.


Brittany said...

hey love,

i've tried to bbm you, but it doesn't look like any of them have gone through. [you know how you can stalk someone using bbm :)] but i've been keeping up with you on your blog. It's crazy to be able to take this journey with you, but i'm glad i get to.

i will be trying my hardest to come visit you next month. i'm so glad you are slowly getting better. know you are in my prayers, and i love you tons!

can't wait to see you!

sarah said...

You don't know me, but i work with Pam Carder, and she has shared your story with me. Your courage is very admirable and I love reading your blog. Most women our age take for granted their health and the prevention methods available to them. My heart and prayers go out for you pretty bird. May God continue to healthfully bless your body, your marriage, and mostly... your knowledge of Him who holds us all together :)

Keep pressing On,
Sarah Welch

Karis said...

Thank you Jesus! So excited to read that everything is healing the right way! Hope y'all had a wonderful holidays, keep getting better:)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, when I got to this part of your blog I felt such a relief. Maybe if the drains coming out had been painful it might have distracted you from how freaky it felt..haha.. I can just imagine how that would have freaked you out. You are responding so well to everything that you have had to go through... I'm so thankful for this blog to know how youve been doing. I love you April and Sameer. I'm so proud of you guys.

April Bhattacharya said...

Sarah Welch,

I don't know if you will ever even read this reply to you! I'm not sure how to write people back on here when they leave a comment. This is the only way I know of haha But I wanted to say thank you for your prayers and your comment on here has been so nice for me to go back and read when I'm needing some encouragement.

Thank you!!