Women with the TP53 mutation, otherwise known as LFS or Li-Fraumeni syndrome, have an extremely high chance of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Because of this, many women choose to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. And, I’m proud to say that I became one of those women on November 9th, 2020.
There are a lot of factors that go into this decision, and it looks different for everyone. I am fortunate that I am young, healthy, and in a really good place both mentally and physically to be able to make this choice with confidence. I feel so fortunate that I was able to do this on my time. For me, the decision was “easy.” I knew that I needed to choose to do a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy if it meant I could minimize my nearly 100% chance of getting breast cancer.
However, I won’t lie when I say that it was difficult to come to terms with the idea of losing “the girls.” I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I had nice boobs. I wasn’t exactly ready to part with them. It’s weird saying goodbye to part of your body, and unfortunately, I am no stranger to that as an amputee, but it still never gets easier.
Quite honestly, I think the time leading up the mastectomy is the worst part. You are nostalgic about losing the girls. Every time you go past a mirror you stop for a few extra seconds just to try to engrave how your body looks into your memory because it’ll never look the same again. I seriously cherished spilling piping hot coffee down my shirt one morning because I knew in just a few days I wouldn’t be able to feel my chest anymore. And, I wore my favorite bra one last time the day before surgery because that shit is expensive and I am mad I won’t get my money’s worth. There are so many weird little things that you come to realize will never be the same, and that’s hard.
Cherish those last few days. Soak in those moments. I know I did. My friends made me a boob cake and we celebrated. It was a boob-voyage of sorts. But, it felt like a proper send off and going away party for something so important to me.
But, I really feel like the worst part is over now. Now that I finally did it, I’m shifting my focus on not what I had and what I lost, but what I have to look forward to…like, some brand new foobs (fake boobs). I think in life its so easy to get caught up in what we had or what we lost, and it’s okay to have time to grieve those things. But, remember that there is so much beauty in what we have to look forward to. So, let’s focus on that.