A woman, a mummy and a BRCA1 mutation carrier.
I’m 32 and live in Edinburgh with my fiancé, our two crazy kids and our puppy.
I was offered genetic testing after losing a close cousin to ovarian cancer in 2015. At that point I hadn’t really heard of the gene before. After the result of the genetic test came back positive for the BRCA1 mutation, my fiancé, genetics counsellor and I discussed the various options available. It was a lot to take in, a lot of decisions to make and a LOT of emotions to deal with.
As we have two young children, after a lot of researching and talking, we thought it best to go ahead with risk reducing surgery. That was the right choice for us as a family but not necessarily the right choice for other women. It’s so important that such life changing decisions are yours to make.
When all is said and done you have to do what’s best for you.
My initial operation was Lipomodelling in March 2016. It’s where fat is removed from your thighs, hips or abdomen and transferred to your breasts. It helps to plump out the skin and give your breast a more natural feel. It has to be said though; I was not prepared for the extent of bruising that I had. WOW! I then had my mastectomy with reconstruction in June 2016. Physically I’ve recovered well and I’m happy with the results. Although, having the kids ask why my boobs are so ‘sticky outy’ when I’m lying down and getting used to my ever pert right nipple took a bit of time! I went on to have corrective surgery with additional Lipomodelling in January 2017, followed by an implant exchange on my right breast, further lipomodelling with nipple correction and finally, removal of my fallopian tubes in October 2017. Hopefully I will not need any further breast surgery…..fingers crossed. As much as I love my surgeon, I’d like to see him under different circumstances for a change. I will still however need to have my ovaries removed around the age of 40-45 to further reduce my ovarian cancer risk.
It took months battling through a fog of emotions, with a lot of support that only now, 3 years on from my mastectomy I feel truly empowered about my decision. There have been days when I wish I had never found out about my mutation but ultimately, I am grateful. I was given knowledge which gave me power. It’s made me realise how precious life and health really are and just how blessed I am. I’ve learned to accept the scars I see when I look in the mirror.
Becoming a part of LoveRose came at a time when I was learning to love myself again. Perfect timing.