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, April 6, 2011
Spring Is Lovely!
Good spring weather always lifts my spirits. My husband and I have been going on a daily walk in the late afternoon/evening with Audrina. We're cleaning out stuff in the house. Leaving the air conditioner off and the windows open all day. I've been cooking a lot of new dishes...including some yummy desserts!
I no longer have constant pain in my chest. I have random shots of pain happen, but I'm use to it at this point. I'm just ready to have these hard tissue expanders out of me!! I know I write about that all the time but gosh they are awkward things haha Driving has gotten better. Sleep is still not super comfortable, but I know it will be once I have the implants.
I've been having a lot of sad moments of looking at my scars and knowing that I will never have my natural breasts again. But I only let it happen for a moment and then I remind myself that this is a such a small sacrifice to hopefully never be diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm so thankful for the PBM and I know I did what's best for me. My husband has been looking at me with this "dang girl, you look gooood" face a lot lately haha So that's encouraging : ) He's so great!
I'm excited that my surgery is in May because that means I get to go swimsuit shopping after and enjoy the summer with my new chest!