My two-year #boobversary is fast approaching. In celebration, I have chosen to share my experiences as a Previvor. This day deserves to be celebrated and remembered as the day I made the hardest decision of my life. On this day, after being diagnosed with the BRCA gene and waiting 13 years under surveillance, I decided to begin my journey with a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Achieving self-confidence has been a long journey. I felt very insecure before the reconstruction and even after. It took a lot of effort for me to gain my confidence back to what it used to be. Looking at myself in the mirror and exposing myself was just the hardest step throughout my journey. Then I began to think “I caught the C***** before it caught me.”
Life isn’t that bad, I am healthy. When I look in the mirror, yes, I look different, but mentally and physically when I look in the mirror I say, “HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?” I am no different than the person I was before my surgery- I just now have scars and no nips. However, I always remind myself that, “scars tell better stories than tattoos.” My battle wounds don’t make me any less of a woman. I will always be a beautiful feminine woman. No scars and no nips can’t stop that!
I am thankful for my journey because through it I have found my strength, self-worth and I learned to truly appreciate my body. At times, it is uncomfortable to be open about my journey, talking about my physical changes can become emotionally challenging.
My self-confidence and appreciation for my body happened months after rubbing orange oils and all different kinds of creams, only realizing that my scars weren’t going to go away. Accepting the beauty of my “imperfections” physically, mentally, and emotionally has helped me come extremely far in my journey. Through this journey, I have learned how to love myself. It was like I was given a second chance to accept who I was! Embrace MY individuality, as well all should. My advice is to love yourself without worrying about judgment. Over the past six months, I can say I have really started to become comfortable in my own skin.
To be truthful– from time to time, I find myself wishing that I had my boobs again. However, I know that removing my breasts benefits my health and outweighs the alternative.
I am now 35-years-old and one battle I do seem to face is hot flashes. I am sure it is due to the fact that I am trying to battle this hormone-free making it more challenging. I have noticed adjusting my diet has helped. No more tomatoes or chocolate and I had to give up coffee and go back to tea. I do not want to do bio-identical hormones as I had a reaction once. Yes, I do see a difference without hormones! What to do? I have tried peppermint oils and natural products, nothing seems to be working.
Previvor-Single-Mom-Life, I am finding a little difficult. When is the right time to explain you have scars and no nips? Is there a right time? How do you start the conversation? Where to begin? As these thoughts have gone through my head over and over again, I just encourage myself to be open and honest, they will either accept you or reject you. You have to be prepared for both.
This journey has no regrets as I found my strength!!! Be strong at BRCAStrong.
“My BRCA2gene started the fight but I am going to finish it.”