Chek2 – Direct to Implants, prophylactic 2.2 – Empowered Mastectomy

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I found out that I have a Chek2 gene mutation. My surgery was a prophylactic double mastectomy.

After Chek2 gene mutation Mastectomy

Ugh there is so much to say about the aftermath of a mastectomy. I should start by saying it isn’t an easy process. There are set backs, pains, aches and changes that are out of left field, it feels like. Example, I was advised there was an increased risk of incisions opening going immediately to reconstruction. My right breast opened twice, the second time leading to a wide spread infection and hospitalization for 24hours on IV antibiotics. Fever, body aches, just feeling so incredibly worn down. I almost lost that implant. I was sent home on a strong antibiotic for 14 days. 

Fever and body aches after mastectomy surgery

The picture below of my blue breasts? I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to tell when I got too cold. I figured I would be able to tell right away. I was beyond wrong. My body was hot, breasts frozen. Oops. 

Blue Bruising after breast surgery

 

My biggest struggle was the weakness that came after it was all said and done. My upper body strength was zero. But it does get better. Getting the Chek2 gene mutation diagnosis was a wild ride. And I am not out of the woods yet, but despite the complications taking my health into my own hands and finding a community of women who understood, who fought, who continue to fight and empower others has made a terrifying decision easier and so much more tolerable. My mom lost her 2.5yr battle with stage 4 colon cancer in June. She led me to my own testing. If it weren’t for her strength and fight I wouldn’t have had the chance to take my health into my own hands. No one should fight alone. And no one should go untested. Everyone has the right to early screening. Genetic testing and choices. 
Fear birthed my decision but from it came immeasurable empowerment and strength. I don’t regret any part of it.