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!

I'm feeling good lately! I've been staying active and enjoying some spring cleaning : ) It's been so great reading all the emails from women that have found my blog that are about to have a PBM or considering it.  Tonight I spent time writing people back and it's so nice to have that connection.

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!

3 comments:

Jenn said...

You did a wonderful thing by drastically reducing your risk of breast cancer. I don't know how old your mom was when she lost her battle to breast cancer, but my mom was 43. I'm so grateful that this surgery will help give me my life back and not have to constantly worry as I approach that age. Granted I was told at 30 that I had breast cancer, but that is taken care of and now with the surgery my risk of reoccurance will be reduced.

I need to email you because I'm in Texas, too. :)

Amy said...

Spring has sprung! Indeed this is the best time of year, apart from the allergies, LoL. So glad you are feeling so much better. You are almost there! I bet you are just bursting with excitement!!! I'm so happy for you. It makes me smile to read your "good day" posts. Of course I cry on some of the bad days too. We lost her too soon at 42 and knowing you won't go through what your Mom did shines a bright light at the end of this tunnel you have almost reached the end of.

Luv ya,

Amy

Anonymous said...

I was very happy to read that there are other women that have chosen to do the Profylactic bilateral mastectomy. I am BRCA 1 positive and my mom had both breast and ovarian cancer. I did not want to go through what she did. She passed at age 56. I have expanders in right now as my surgerty was on April 7th. My first injection is May 5th. I am so looking forward to getting these things swapped for implants. I decided to keep my nipples which I guess still gives me a small chance of getting bc, but not much...This is so scary what I am going through, but I know I will not only look good, but feel better soon.