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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Great Dinner!

Today was so much better. Paula brought Sameer and I an amazing dinner, persimmon bread and fruit! It was the first meal that I was able to eat tons of : ) I haven't had much of an appetite because the meds make my mouth so dry and everything tastes weird. But tonight was great! I'm so thankful for everyone that is helping make food for us. It means a lot and helps so much.

The fluid in my drains have been consistently under 30 cc all weekend. That's how low they have to be in a 24 hour period for several days in a row before they get to come out. So I'm thinking I will be able to get them out tomorrow!! I'll be so happy if that happens. I'm going to the cosmetic center tomorrow to check the left drain site that got wet and then hopefully get them removed.

I can feel something poking me on my left breast...well tissue expander haha it's weird to call something that is foreign to my body my will take some getting use to...we just met : ) But it's a weird and kind of a painful poke. I'm thinking maybe its the stitches inside. It started after I threw up the other night so that motion might have pull it a little bit. Hopefully it's okay.

All of my stitches are dissolvable and on the inside. I have strips of tape over the incision site that stay on until they fall off on their own. The incision site is right in the center where the areola and nipple were. They cut around the areola, remove it, and cut a little on either side and thats where everything was pulled out of and tissue expanders and Alloderm went through to go in. Then the skin was pulled together and closed up, so now I have a horizontal line going across the center of each breast. I can't really tell how big with the bandages, but its seems to only be a couple of inches.

I will post pictures soon. Off to bed! Goodnight.


Anonymous said...

Hi April - heard through the grapevine that you had a rough stay in the hospital but in checking your blog now sounds like you are improving day by day. With the holidays here should be a prime time for much relaxation. God Bless.

Love, Cindy De La Rosa

Amy said...

Woo Hoo! Glad to see you having good days!. Can't wait to hear how your appointment goes today. I have another physical therapy appt today at the chiroprator. There is a girl there that could be your twin I swear! LoL. I showed her your pic from the blog and she was shocked at the resemblance. They ask about you all the time and if you have updated anything. I'm usually checking while I'm up there. Better go get ready to leave. I'll check back later.


(hugs) that's a small light squeeze, lol

Karis Guerrero said...

Hey girl!! So glad your home!!! About the only thing I can relate to that your experiencing is the migraine and I am so so sorry you had one. Pain meds always give me really severe ones but I know the meds are about the only thing thats getting you through right now. You are one incredible woman!!! I hope that ya'll start getting some more sleep soon and that you feel well enough to enjoy christmas this week!!! In 16wks if you need a distraction from everything I'll hopefully have delivered my lil one by then and we'll come over and you can hang out with the baby cause babies are the best distractions ever! Hang in there, praying for you 24/7!!!
Love, Karis

Sarah Ott said...

I'm amazed at; your pro-active stand, discipline to strengthen your body, courage to put yourself thru such radical changes and pain, your trust in God, and immense love you must have for Sameer and the desire for your future of a long life, I am amazed and inspired.
with love and prayers, Sarah