Welcome to my website

Thank you for stopping by to read about my personal journey with BRCA2.  While this is just my own experience with BRCA2 screening and cancer prevention I hope that other young women facing similar decisions can find relatable information on this site.  Here you will find my BRCA story, beginning with my positive test results, my initial discovery of a lump and subsequent attempts at imaging and biopsy and the ultimate decision to go through with a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and sentinel node procedure.  I aim to be as honest and open as possible (without being totally disturbing).  Again, thank you for reading and good luck on your own journey!    

Visitor's notice

There are many options for individuals carrying the BRCA gene mutation.  This website provides just one person's experience.  I am not saying that my choices are the only correct choices.  What I have decided to do is what is best for my body, mind and family.    

Scheduled my surgery for 3/13.  Thanks family and friends who have offered to help us! I love and appreciate you!!



Surgery rescheduled for 3/8.  The day before Dave's birthday.  Happy Birthday babe :/

I REALLY love this.  Some people think that a mastectomy is very similar to a cosmetic breast augmentation.  If you Google mastectomy pictures you will see that it is not an aesthetic improvement by any stretch of the normal imagination.  There is a reason that many people (not myself) call it amputation or mutilation.  It is difficult to come to terms with the idea that I will look like that at any age, but specifically, as someone still in my 20s.  I like being reminded that the scars are only as ugly as you perceive and they are certainly wayyyy better than the alternative.    


I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone with a BRCA mutation, considering preventive surgery or close friends/family of someone dealing with cancer odds.  Jessica Queller is a professional writer so she very eloquently describes the feelings surrounding surgery- before, during and after.  She also tackles the topic of family members battling cancer and in some instances ultimatelly succumbing to the disease.  A link to the Amazon page is included below if you would like to read a professional review or purchase this highly emotional and informative piece of work.      

A quick excerpt describing BRCA:



Great site.  Not for the faint of heart.  Words from the photographer, Kimberly Reed, discussing how she felt just prior to her surgery:


Hours spent searching for solace that I could emerge from this with my femininity unscathed yielded disappointing results. Most of the images I found reminded me of mug shots: detached, emotionless, sterile. They didn’t provide the hope and reassurance I longed for.
Facing the loss of my breasts was a traumatic and emotional experience. The idea behind Beauty and the Breast began as a response to an area I found lacking while I was preparing for my mastectomies and breast reconstruction. 
I hope you find the images both challenging, and encouraging. 



Planning on heading to DC in April to support this really important case.  There is absolutely NO reason that another generation should have to deal with the burden of a gene that scientists want to research further but cannot due to silly, unconstitutional legalities.

cussociation for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics

February 19, 2013

Whether human genes can be patented.

ACLU Challenges Patents On Breast Cancer Geneslar Pathology v. Myriad Genetics




Had expanders replaced with implants 6/10 and feel great! Hopefully will have time to update more soon!

I just wanted to drop a quick update because it has been quite a while.  My family has had a very busy summer and it has really made the events of the spring seem like a blur.  I can no longer remember how many days I took pain meds after each surgery or how long I went without a shower.  I cannot remember at which week I felt various symptoms or a lack thereof.  Right now I feel mostly normal.  I wish I could re strengthen my arms more quickly but I know that is very minor and will come in due time.  When I see my scars in the mirror I almost can't believe it is my own body.  I cannot believe what my family and friends have been through with me.  It seems surreal, which is very encouraging for anyone debating surgery.  The weight that was (literally) lifted off my shoulders is too much to even describe.  I don't think we realize how far we get from ourselves when we are stressed- it is not until we return to normalcy that we realize how far gone we had been.  I feel so blessed.

Outer Banks 3 months post expander to implant exchange                         

Colorado white water rafting 2 months post exchange (I'm in the front!)


Life on my own

05/09/2013 20:09
I haven't updated this page in a little while, which is actually a good thing, because it means...

Genetic Rights

04/15/2013 09:50
I have not had a lot of extra time to post lately, but I want to say good luck to everyone rallying...

My first fill was OUCHHHH

03/22/2013 20:14
Wednesday I went in for my first post op appointment with the reconstructive surgeon.  I was...

The first week(ish)

03/22/2013 18:08
It has been two weeks since I had my surgery and there have been a lot of ups and downs since then...

Here we go

03/07/2013 21:43
It is the night before surgery and I am surprisingly calm.  I think it is because I haven't...

Last hurrah ended with a (literal) bang onto the cobblestone in Fells Point

03/03/2013 18:38
Saturday got off to a ROUGH start - it ended pretty rough too but the middle was enjoyable.  I...

So then I had a panic attack . . .

02/13/2013 13:21
And another, and another and another.  I'm exaggerating a little, but barely.  I am...

Visitors notice

02/07/2013 20:13
There are many options for individuals carrying the BRCA gene mutation.  This website provides...

Website launched

02/07/2013 20:12
My new website has been launched today. The top of my blog says, "I've got two tickets to...

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