Where to start... My first real experience with breast cancer I was 15 years old.
My mom had breast cancer for the first time at 38 years old, in total now she’s had it three times.
Many other women in my family all on the maternal side had breast cancer, so my sister & I decided to get a test for the BRCA mutation. Our tests came back negative.
Then my sister in 2016 at the age of 38 years old was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. So once again we did genetic testing, by this point they were able to test for at least 10 more genetic mutations than when we were first tested. My mom, my sister & my self we’re all diagnosed with the ATM mutation. Because of my families extensive breast cancer & cancer in general history, I was at an 87% risk of getting breast cancer. So I met with my breast doctor & my oncologist and we all agreed it was in my best interest (if I wanted to) to have a preventative double mastectomy.
So on May 16, 2017, I had my preventative double mastectomy. Unfortunately, within 2 weeks of my surgery, I had a staph infection in my right breast. My plastic surgeon tried to keep it at bay as long as he could, but finally, on June 29, 2017, I had my first exchange surgery & I also had a PICC line placed so I could go home on IV antibiotics to kill whatever of the infection that was left.
My infectious disease doctor wished he’d been a part of my case before the exchange surgery because he would not have placed an implant in the right side until he was sure the infection was gone. So he called my plastic surgeon to let him know that once the PICC line was removed that I would need to have my implants swapped out for clean ones to help make sure the infection didn’t come back.
So on October 18, 2017, I had my second reconstruction surgery. I was so happy I thought yay I’m finally done! Wrong.
In July of 2018, my left implant flipped & my plastic surgeon was unable to manipulate it back. So now I’m just over 2 weeks until I have my third & hopefully final reconstruction. My plastic surgeon will be replacing both implants because he’s going to be placing an internal mesh bra to help keep my implants in place & to give extra support in hope to keep on from flipping again.
One thing I’ve learned from all of this is no matter how hard the road may be stick to it. Because in the end, it will be worth it. My kids will never have to go through what I went through with my mom & for that I am grateful.