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, January 30, 2011

Love this!

The weather was absolutely beautiful today!! Me, Sameer and Audrina headed to the park for lunch and a mile and a half walk. Go me! haha it was great to get out and exercise. But now I feel like someone has been punching me in my chest, armpits, and thighs...that's okay : ) I'm building my strength back up! Tomorrow I see my cosmetic surgeon to find out if I need anymore expansions. If I do, I will have another one while I'm there.

Man, it feels so good to be getting back to normal day-to-day activities. I can finally open our fridge!! haha I've been enjoying cooking and light cleaning around the house. I got my haircut yesterday so that made me feel really great! Sleeping is still pretty painful, but each night is a step forward. I'm still wearing button ups, hoodies or tops I can pull up from my feet. It's too painful to pull clothes over my head. And if something in my chest starts hurting, I have to get to it immediately or else I feel trapped!

I found this encouraging story online.... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1170068/The-19-year-old-double-mastectomy-beat-family-cancer-curse.html

What a great reminder that I'm not alone!

2 comments:

Shelly said...

I am so happy that you are able to get out and about now. Heck your hike is more than most people that have not just had surgery can do. That artilce was amazing, it is so great that we have the ability to get tested and to make those choices.

Love you

Amy said...

I bet that WAS just about the best day you've had so far, congrats. What a great article! It is indeed encouraging to know that others are going thru this too with great success. I really need to find a Dr. Not ready for the top part yet but they can take out my lower half to start off.