Today while I was at work I publicly groped myself. Again. I didn’t intend on being indecent, (again), I’m just still becoming accustomed to my curvier figure.
When I wrote last about my history, I had just discovered that I inherited the BRCA1 mutation. My decision to have prophylactic surgery, specifically a mastectomy, was clear. I didn’t waver; not with my family history, and especially not given the facts presented to me regarding the risk reduction possible with surgery. Although there are other options to reduce the risk for cancer, my personal best decision was to have prophylactic surgery.
I discussed both of these surgeries in-depth with multiple health care providers including my breast surgeon, gynecological oncologist, genetic counselor, family and friends, as well as doing a massive amount of my own research. I started interviewing plastic surgeons as well.
One of the next steps was to decide which type of procedure would be best for me…there are so many variations of a BPM, or bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. Tram, or implants? Skin sparing? Nipple sparing? One step? Expanders? Saline or silicone? Tattoos? I was overwhelmed.
Luckily, I struck gold along the way. Online, I found Bebrightpink.org. Lindsay Avner founded the organization after contending with her own BRCA history and ultimately BPM, and has assembled a wonderful organization and website full of information, resources, and opportunity for connecting with other women in similar circumstances. Until Bright Pink, I was inundated with information, and had no one with whom to compare notes.
Finally I realized that I wasn’t alone, and although there weren’t many of us out there speaking about this yet, that we found each other, was a source of hope and strength. I found other women, in their 20’s and 30’s, who understood what it felt like to be a child of a mother with breast and or ovarian cancer, and to now be a woman with options that could change the future for our families.