At 29 years old, Lesley Murphy was making a living traveling the world, writing about it on her blog The Road Les Traveled, and making her hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers jealous. But that was sidetracked when the Bachelor alum tested positive for a gene that links her to a high risk of cancer. Murphy decided to get a double mastectomy after learning she had the BRCA 2 gene mutation, and kept her readers updated through the entire process, even when it meant showing the graphic, not-so-pretty moments.
Murphy's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, and underwent treatment. (She's now cancer-free.) Murphy and her two sisters decided to get tested for the genetic variations that can reflect a higher risk of the disease. Her sisters got tested first — her older sister tested positive, her younger sister tested negative. Once Murphy took the test, it turned out she tested positive for the BRCA 2 gene. (Angelina Jolie revealed she tested positive for BRCA 1, and also underwent a preventive double mastectomy, in 2013.)
When she got her test results Murphy was actually on her way to her annual gynecologist appointment, so she had someone to talk to right away. "[My doctor said,] 'I would not want to sit on something that's potentially cancerous,'" Murphy tells Cosmopolitan.com. "Right then and there, I decided I would go through with [a double mastectomy.]" Her older sister will explore treatment options once she is done having children, Murphy says.
Murphy's surgery was on April 11. And the pain during her recovery was debilitating. "Every time I moved I felt like my chest was detaching from my body," she says. But throughout her rough recovery, she posted raw, intimate photos from her surgery and the aftermath, including up-close shots of her surgery and photos in which she posed topless, with her so-called "new" breasts.
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