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, October 29, 2013

It's been too long

I have wanted to post an update for a very long time now. I apologize that I haven't. Things got tough for a does that sometimes huh? Then the other night one of my best friends (love you Brittany) was very encouraging and reminded me of the importance of this blog.

Since my last update, I found a new wonderful surgeon and have since had two more surgeries with completely different implants. Crazy right? haha I'll explain why and details with photos in my next post this week!

Anyway, after all that happened I got so overwhelmed and depressed I couldn't bring myself to post here. I'm currently going through all of the emails y'all have written me and it's a great reminder of why I blog this journey. Each of you are so beautiful and encouraging. I love hearing everyone's story. It's wonderful having that much needed reminder that I'm not alone in this type of journey. So many brave and strong women out there. Thank y'all for the kind and encouraging words! Means the world to me.

Look for a detailed update this week! xoxoxo


Anonymous said...

April - an update would be appreciated. I don't think you know how many people are looking for information on this surgery and following your story. You have been amazing - Kate.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this much needed update! Thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are doing well! This blog has meant a lot to me as I am facing the same procedure because of breast cancer. An update would be very much appreciated!

Shahrzad Baber said...

Thank you so much for your blog, I am getting ready to go in for a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction on December 4th and your blog has helped ease my uncertainties and believe I could look normal after, I hope everything is ok, looking forward to your update!


RKLW said...

Dear April,
I had a bilateral preventative mastectomy with expanders and implants in Nov.2011. It was your blog I turned to in the year leading up to my surgery and in the months afterwards. Your words and courage normalized my experience and gave me such strength, hope and most importantly real first-hand information that I found invaluable - and also very difficult to find elsewhere.

Your courage and honesty - in turn -gave me courage and hope.

Your blog became almost like a friend; when I was too scared or embarressed back then to discuss it, or in the quiet of the night or in the hours alone researching; it was your blog I turned to.

Words cannot express how much I appreciated your ability to share through words and photos. Thank you so much for sharing and helping women from all over the world.

Thanks April...all the way from Western Canada!

p.s - Also, to anyone reading this, in need of information about this surgery, I am more than willing to share my very amazing life-changing experience.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your update! I have been wanting to hear how your revision surgery went. I, like so many others, had a double mastectomy in May and my exchange was performed in September 2013. I am waiting to undergo a revision surgery and was hoping to hear from you with your details. This might sound funny to some, but I am in love with my right breast! My results are far better than I could ever have imagined. My left breast offers discomfort and has some issues. Please share what you have been dealing with to help me and others going forward. Thank you again for your courage and strength - Melonie

Anonymous said...

April, I came across your blog a few days ago. It is very interesting and spot-on with so much of what I have experienced with my bilateral mastectomy 2 months ago. The pain, discomfort, and agony that goes along with our surgery and reconstruction is very real and your details are much like what I have experienced.When you get to it, please update us. I found my interest in doing much of anything has disappeared, so I would not be surprised that you might feel the same. Your process has been much more drawn out.