My name is Antoinette, I’m 26 and I’m BRCA2 positive.
A lot of people are unaware of what that actually means, they see that I've had a bilateral mastectomy and mostly think I have breast cancer which is understandable.
The BRCA gene is a tumour suppressor gene, it’s responsible for repairing damaged DNA. Therefore we all carry BRCA genes, however, if it’s mutated, like mine, you have a higher chance of developing a host of cancers but primarily Breast and Ovarian cancer.
I opted for a preventative mastectomy because I wanted to live my life without a 'what if' and without feeling like I was waiting for cancer. Breast cancer has been prominent in my family and I didn’t want to risk it.
2 surgeries, 20 hours collectively, and 4 months and counting of recovery to me is better than a lifetime of worry. For those reasons after childbirth, I’ll also be having ovary removal.
This means so much to me because I told myself if I’m going to go through all of this it has to be for a purpose greater than me. I need to bring awareness to BRCA mutations and help other young women like myself. I’m happy to be able to share my journey through social media and pages like this!