health

My Decision to Have a Preventative Bilateral Mastectomy

About 11 years ago, after my mom’s breast cancer diagnosis, I found out that I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. You can read more about that journey here. I’ve known since that day that I would eventually have a preventative (or prophylactic) double mastectomy in order to reduce my risks of developing breast cancer.

Because I wasn’t sure if I was done having children, and I wanted to be able to breastfeed, I decided to go the route of surveillance for awhile. After the birth of my second child, Luna, nearly three years ago, I knew I was done having kids. I opted to have both of my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed about six months after her birth. This helped to reduce my chances of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer, which I am also at a higher risk for due to the BRCA gene mutation.

Now that I am done breastfeeding and Luna is older and a little less dependent on me, I have decided it’s time to get my mastectomy.

If I continued with surveillance, that would mean continuing with mammograms and MRI’s alternating every 6 months. Any time any little thing would be found, I would be stressed out and worrying. And honestly, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I recently went through the process of choosing a breast surgeon, who will perform the mastectomy, and a plastic surgeon who will do the breast reconstruction for me. I’ve done tons of research over the years, but in the past 3 months I’ve read nearly every article and blog post I could find in regards to preventative mastectomies. There is a lot more that goes into it than one might think, and a lot of decisions to be made.

This was a long and difficult process for me since I’m not great at making decisions, but I will document that in my next blog post. For now, I’m just putting it out into the universe that I’ve made this big decision and the date has been set for mid-October. I will do my best to document my journey because the blog posts of others who have gone through this have been extremely helpful to me. Hopefully something I write will help someone else in return.

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