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.
Friday, January 7, 2011
I'm getting pretty stir crazy. I'm tired but I'm sick of sitting around and sleeping is uncomfortable. I completely forgot to mention that me and Sameer weren't able to sleep in our bed until 3 days ago! Our bed is pretty tall and I wasn't able to get in it because I can't push with my arms. We got a step stool but I still couldn't do it until now. So we were sleeping in the music room. I slept on the futon and Sameer slept on the floor...for a month! The futon is low so it was easy for me to get in and out of. Sameer still has to put his hand behind me and raise me up since I can't pull/push/etc. But he slept on the floor because if he turned over or anything it would pull on me and hurt so bad. After about 2 weeks I kept telling him not to worry about it and just sleep on the futon...I hated that he was on the cold, hard floor: ( but he was too worried about making me uncomfortable so he never slept on the futon. He's so good to me.
I started getting tired of being in the music room. It's the only room in the house that isn't really finished being put together, so it's not very comforting and its the coldest room. So a few nights ago we moved to our bedroom! Yay! Since I don't have all those heavy pain meds in me, I have enough balance and strength to walk up the step stool to the bed and then Sameer helps me sit up and get back to the stool to get down. It feels good to get my legs going again.
Since I came home from the hospital I've have bad night sweats. At first I thought it was because I sit in one position the entire time since I can't really move myself...but now they've just gotten worse. I'm not sure why this is happening. I don't have too many blankets. I'm not wearing heavy pj's. The heater isn't set too hot. But I'm sweating in the night so bad that the bed, blankets and pillows are soaked...my back, neck and hair is drenched. Then I'm freezing because everything is wet! Last night I slept for 3 hours and we had to get up and change the bedding out so I didn't freeze. It's pretty annoying and making me fear going to bed. I'm so tired right now and I'm just thinking about my back, butt, hips and legs aching and sweating until I look like I took a shower in my bed. Ugh.
I'm going to try and start a movie and see if that helps put me to bed. Poor Sameer, he is so tired all the time now. Tomorrow evening I have a friend coming over for a little bit so he can take a nap, play guitar, get out for a bit. That will be good for him.