I have known that I was BRCA1 positive since I was in college. I watched my mom walk through breast cancer at 38 and choose to get a mastectomy way back when it was considered extremely radical. She walked through it with such faith and grace and grit that knowing I had this genetic predisposition never scared me. I have always been thankful that I know so I could do something about it.
I had my initial mastectomy and reconstruction surgery back in the beginning of 2018. I had the privilege of choosing when I had surgery, before any kind of cancer diagnosis. I was 4 weeks out when I showed signs of infection. I went back into the OR and got the right expander taken out to clear the infection. 6 weeks later I had the expander back in, only to find out 2 weeks later that the infection didn’t fully clear out. My plastic surgeon threw everything he had at the infection and was, thankfully, successful. 4 surgeries and 8 drains later, I finally got my implants.
I am a proud breast and ovarian cancer previvor. I love to share my story, that it might encourage and help others that are considering genetic testing and preventative surgery. This experience has taught me so much about the faithful God I serve, myself and my amazing community.