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, May 17, 2011
1 Week Post-Op
I have the steri-strips over the incisions like I had after the mastectomy and placement of tissue expanders. They will stay on until they fall off on their own. Also, I forgot to mention that the surgeon went through my scar from the last surgery!! I'm so happy about that because now I won't have more scars on my chest. He actually cut the old scar off and closed me back up, so it should just be a thin line. My scar got stretched last time because of the expansions. I'm glad I will now have a thinner scar.
I slept propped up for a while because that was most comfortable for me. The past few nights I started sleeping normal again and even a little on my side. I sleep pretty good, but my right shoulder and armpit hurt a lot so I've kind of been waking up from time to time from that.
My husband and I got out of the house yesterday. We did some grocery shopping and tried to get a bra. I actually went home with one, but I'm going back Thursday to return it and try out another one. For now I'm just wearing my sports and cami bras. Hopefully I'll find a great fitting underwire bra on Thursday! Today I was a bit lazy : ) Being out all day yesterday made me so tired today. I'm going to start a movie and head to bed soon. I will post some pictures soon.