Just a week ago, Lesley Murphy was saying goodbye to her breasts.
The former US Bachelor contestant, who appeared on the reality dating show in 2013, had discovered she carried a particularly sinister gene mutation that dramatically increased her chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer.
One week and one double-mastectomy later, the 29-year-old travel blogger has shared a powerful photo of her scars and a heartwarming message to her family.
“My Sunday best, or what I could manage to put on today with limited arm movements,” she captioned the image.
Murphy discovered she carried BRCA 2 gene mutation when a test she underwent came back positive.
“My mom was diagnosed almost three years ago to the day and came out a badass survivor!” Murphy wrote on an earlier image.
“It’s because of her diagnosis that I underwent genetic testing and can now do something about it. Knowledge is power.”
Murphy’s mum is not only the reason she underwent the preventative procedure, but the person caring for her now she’s recovering from it.
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“My mom washed and dried my hair today. She dresses me in the mornings,” Murphy wrote next to the image of her scars.
“She also measures my drains twice daily which are the tubes you see coming out of my lovely red apron I never take off. She’s the freaking best.”
She said her mum has been helping her with medication for the pain, which can be particularly intense when she’s sleeping.
“I have to sleep on my back in the exact same position every night,” Murphy explained.
“Sometimes when I make the wrong movements it feels like my chest is detaching from my body, but all in all, I think my upper half is healing nicely!”
Post-surgery, Murphy reflected on how she’s adjusting to life without her breasts, writing, “My boobs are gone. Crazy, right? Gone. It’s hard to wrap my head around.”
However, she revealed earlier this week that the surgeon had saved her skin and nipples, and she will undergo reconstructive surgery.
“Sure, it’s sunken in and lumpy because what you see are deflated expanders that were put in which will gradually get filled every 2-3 weeks as I get ready for reconstructive surgery,” Murphy wrote.
“So while all breast tissue is (hopefully) gone, I retained some of the old me!”