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Melissa, San Diego, CA

     

 

Age: 33

I'm BRCA positive and had a prophylactic double mastectomy in Feb. 2009.

 

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My journey

I discovered my BRCA gene in August 2008. I began having yearly mammograms at the age of 21, due to a strong family history of breast cancer. My mother had breast cancer at age 34, my grandmother in her 40s, and my great-grandmother in her 50s. As I approached the age of my mother's onset of breast cancer, I decided to be tested for the gene, and I was positive for BRCA 2.

After a long search for the right plastic surgeon, I underwent a prophylactic double mastectomy in Feb 2009 and breast reconstruction in August 2009, just before my 33rd birthday. My mother, a nurse and breast cancer survivor herself, was by my side the entire time. Now, a year after my mastectomy and seven months after my breast reconstruction, I couldn't be happier!

The hardest part of my journey

Though the decision to have a mastectomy was difficult, the procedure itself was definitely the hardest part. I did not expect the difficulties surrounding that procedure, but with my family and boyfriend's support, I made it through!

If I could do it over again

Nope. I am so happy with my new breasts. They are even better than the originals!

My participation with FORCE

I discovered FORCE after my surgeries, but I am happy to know that there are others out there who I might be able to support by sharing my own experiences.

Other thoughts

Please feel free to contact me if you are considering a prophylactic mastectomy and breast reconstruction. I would love to share my story with you and offer you any support that I can.

 


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