The Next Big Thing is a literary game of tag in which writers answer questions about a work-in-progress. So come learn about my new project: Pandora’s DNA.
Two years ago, I had my healthy breasts cut off to reduce my sky-high risk of breast cancer. Last year, I wrote a post chronicling my feelings one year out, but two years out, my feelings have changed enough to warrant another (and perhaps final) post.
A year ago today, I cut off my healthy breasts to reduce my astronomical chances of developing breast cancer. The months leading up to the operation were brutal, to say the least. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m really glad I did it.
Lizzie talks about hereditary breast cancer on the Today Show.
Yeah, I did it. I amputated my healthy breasts at age 28 after discovering my sky-high chances of getting breast cancer. And I don’t regret it one bit.
Anyone who reads my blog is probably aware that I have an unholy obsession with preserving foods, and that in 17 days I will undergo a life-changing operation, a double-mastectomy with reconstruction done on my healthy breasts. I’ve always cooked,
When I decided to write a piece about my decision to have a preventative mastectomy I never imagined it would generate so much response. Over the last few days, I’ve received dozens of emails from readers in similar situations, notes of support from other women who’ve undergone the procedure, and tips about what to have on hand after surgery — a stack of videos, projects, and most importantly, button down pajamas. Friends, relatives, and associates came out of the woodwork to share personal stories about their own, or their families’ struggle with cancer. I feel really well-supported — thanks to everyone for all their notes, comments, and other messages.
Even though I’m a healthy 27-year-old woman right now, I’m going to have both my breasts removed as a preventative measure because I’m a member of a very exclusive club: Like one out of 1,000 women, I have a genetic mutation that dramatically ups my chance of cancer. My gene — called the BRCA1 gene — gives me a 40 percent to 85 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, and a risk of ovarian cancer that is 30 percent to 70 percent higher than women who do not have this gene, according to the Mayo Clinic.