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, March 9, 2011

My 9th Expansion-Graphic Content

On 03-01-11 I had my 9th and final tissue expansion!! I have an appointment with my cosmetic surgeon in a couple of weeks. When I see him we will discuss the implants and hopefully a surgery date. My last expansion was good, but for some reason I'm experiencing the most pain I've ever had after one. Usually I'm sore for a couple of days, but this time it's lasting much longer. It's already been a week and I'm still in a lot of pain. Sleeping has been horrible!! My chest just hurts so bad : (  And I'm having a hard time hiding these crazy frankenboobs in clothes. They are uneven and don't smoosh so it's just awkward. BUT the good news is I'm in California enjoying my vacation!! The weather is perfect and I'm eating at some amazing vegan restaurants. I was pretty nervous about making the drive out here since I'm not totally comfortable in the car for that long yet. We ended up flying and I'm so thankful because there is no way I would have survived that drive.

Tomorrow (March 9th) is my 24th Birthday!!!!!!!! And guess what I'm doing??? I'm going to see Eric Clapton perform at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk!!!!! Are you kidding me?! I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I came out here with no plans for my birthday and Sunday night I was just looking around on the internet for stuff to do and found great tickets. This is going to be the best birthday ever! I'm SO excited  : )

Here are the photos from my 9th tissue expansion on 03-01-11:


Just before my 9th expansion on 03-01-11
Right side view before my 9th expansion
Left side view before my 9th expansion
After my 9th expansion going from 325 cc to 350 cc
My left "boob" is the one that makes it really difficult to get dressed. It sits so much higher and sticks farther out. I can't wait to get these crazy tissue expanders out of me!!
Right side view after my 9th expansion
Left side view after my 9th expansion

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo, done with expansions! So glad you are enjoying your birthday in Cali. I agree, driving would have been rough. We just drove to AZ last Aug and it felt like forever. Well, I hope your pain subsides so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Luv Ya,

Amy

Anonymous said...

I am a 33 year old guy. My Great Aunt got breast cancer. I admire your bravery and uplifting attitude. You are an inspiration you say the least. I pray everything works out for you. Plus Eric Clapton rocks!

ristina yuliani zain said...

I was dx on 2012 and did right mastectomy. Finished my chemo and a year herceptine. Last 3 days finished my delayed reconstruction surgery with silicone implant . Many thanks for sharing this pic i can understood better and prepare thinns to prepared. Youre rock!!!