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.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I feel like I have so many more questions for my surgeon now. At my last appointment to sign paperwork I felt good about it all. Now I'm just freaking out wanting to talk through things again and confirm everything. I don't know...then I just think...silly me, get over it and everything will be okay! haha
I'm definitely at a entire new place emotionally with it all. The look of these tissue expanders is really starting to wear on me. I know the implants will be way better, but it's hard to image at this point. And I'm really sad about creating more scars with this next surgery. I wish he could go through the same ones. But I want to do what the surgeon thinks is best for me. It's funny because I never thought I would go through all of these feelings that other women and websites talk about...but here I am, like clockwork, feeling exactly like others said you do through this whole thing. At least that lets me know I'm normal and that it will only get better : )
For those of you that are about to go through a mastectomy and reconstruction, I found a great website that has a section called "Preparing for Surgery". There is tons of info on the web, but this really broke it down to a simple and direct point about getting ready for the surgery. Here is the link: