Full Name: Sara Altschule
Type of Cancer: BRCA 2 mutation
When I was younger, I thought by the time I was 31 I’d be picking out a wedding venue instead of picking out which implant I wanted for my preventative double mastectomy.
I had no family history of breast cancer – no woman in my family had even had a breast cancer scare. So, naively, I thought that wouldn’t be “my thing.” Fast forward to six months ago when I got an email from 23andMe, a DNA kit I did a year ago, saying they were now FDA approved to tell you if you have three of the BRCA mutations they test for. Something in my gut told me I had this mutation. But everyone in my life thought I was just being normal Sara. (Okay, I’m a light hypochondriac). But soon enough I got my test back and it was confirmed, I carry the BRCA 2 mutation. That means in my lifetime, I have up to an 84% of developing breast cancer and up to a 30% chance of developing ovarian cancer.
As you can imagine that news was devastating. After many (and I mean many) tears, conversations and doctors appointments, I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to beat cancer before it beat me. So six months later I went in for a preventative bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Six days ago to be exact.
I’m on the road to recovery and slowly gaining my emotional and physical strength. Along the way, I’ve been writing a column for Bustle on what it’s like to be BRCA + and to get a double mastectomy in hopes I help one woman feel a little less alone. (https://www.bustle.com/braving-brca)
You don’t choose what happens to you in life. And sure, it can be so shitty sometimes. But I have chosen to show this diagnosis it’s messed with the wrong gal!