By Guest Blogger Leah Mitelman
On October 16, 2006 I had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, by choice. The story began several years earlier, when I was 26 yrs old, and my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I guess this shouldn’t have been too surprising since both my grandmothers had survived their own bouts with breast cancer. My mother had a lumpectomy and underwent several months of radiation and chemotherapy. The whole situation is really somewhat of a blur now. I was living in a different city than my mom, working at my first “real” job and newly dating my husband.
At the time, I wasn’t worried about myself or my own chances of getting breast cancer. After all, my mother and grandmothers were all post-menopausal when they were diagnosed, which usually indicates that the cancer is not hereditary. I had had a bit a “scare” the previous year when I found a lump myself in my own breast. But it turned out to be nothing and I was told not to worry. A few months after my mother’s diagnosis, I had found another lump in my other breast. But same story as before… I was told that I had nothing to be concerned about.