A BRAVE woman who was told she carried the BRCA1 gene has thrown a “boob voyage” party before having a preventable double mastectomy.
27-year-old Samantha Webber from Borehamwood, found out she carried the gene seven years ago, shortly before she lost her mum to ovarian cancer.
Samantha found out she carried the gene seven years ago[/caption]
Aged just 20 at the time, assistant buyer Samantha didn’t feel ready to deal with the repercussions of preventative treatment, but last year, after building up the courage, she was booked in for a preventative double mastectomy.
Shining a light on what was a difficult time, Samantha and her aunt decided to throw a “boob voyage” party three weeks before her surgery along with 20 of Samantha’s family and friends.
Each guest was asked to bring boob-related food, with sweet treats including nipple cupcakes and a large cake shaped like two breasts.
Samantha wants to raise awareness about the BRCA1 gene and hopes to encourage more women to get tested.
She held a “boob voyage” party three weeks before her surgery[/caption]
Each guest had to bring boob-related food[/caption]
Nipple cupcakes were also on the menu[/caption]
“Losing a parent is unbearable pain, and the longer I’ve had to grieve the loss of my mum, it made me picture my future and how I would never want my children to feel this pain, and how I want to be around to watch them grow old,” Samantha explained.
“When I found out I had the BRCA1 gene it made me feel like I had two split personalities.
“Half of me was relieved because I knew that I would be watched like a hawk and hopefully would catch any kind of cancer if I was to ever have it very early.
“The other half of me was gutted, knowing that not only would I have to put myself through preventative operations, but also at the thought of potentially passing it on to my children in the future.”
Samantha wants to raise awareness about the BRCA1 gene[/caption]
The 27-year-old held a party with 20 family and friends[/caption]
Sam and her aunt planned the party[/caption]
“At the time of finding out, I was only 20 years old. So initially I didn’t want to take any course of action,” she continued.
“It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 when I made the decision that it was time to do something about it, and that decision was to have a mastectomy.
“When I realised what a blessing in disguise this really was, that I could take control and try to prevent myself from getting cancer, it was a no brainer.
“Considering I had so long to come to terms with my decision, I didn’t live in fear. And if I did ever get scared or worry, I just thought of my beautiful mum who was far more of a brave and courageous lady for what she had to go through, and that would take the fear away.”
Her friends and family have been a huge support[/caption]
The party was to celebrate Samantha’s strength[/caption]
Celebrating Samantha’s strength in deciding to go ahead and have the mastectomy, guests at the boob voyage party also wrote messages of support in a special book.
“I planned the date for the ‘Boob Voyage’ party and my auntie, who is basically like a mum to me, hosted it.
“I wanted to make the whole experience that I was about to go through more light-hearted and to have some fun, rather than getting sad. I wanted support around me.
“There was endless sushi, salads, cake, biscuits, drinks – it was amazing.
“I asked everybody to get involved and have some fun by bringing a boob themed cake, and they did just that. There was food for days which was so yummy.”
Sam wanted to have some fun and make the experience more light-hearted[/caption]
She revealed she was “showered with love and support”[/caption]
Sam’s friends and family shared messages of support in a special book[/caption]
Samantha reveals she felt “showered with love and support” at the party, with her sister also giving an emotional speech.
“We chatted about everyday life to keep me distracted, but also played a couple of silly games, took lots of photos, ate endless food, and everybody signed a cushion and a little book for me, to show their support,” she revealed.
“My sister also did a speech which was sweet, and I just felt so showered with love and support.
“It was pure girl power as there was lots of support, laughing, and lots of love. The ‘Boob Voyage’ party was quite simply the best way to make what was about to happen a positive thing and lift my spirits before the big day.
“It made me feel like I will always have someone there for me and that there’s nothing I can’t achieve. It will always mean so much to me.”
Sam says the operation was the “best decision” she’s ever made[/caption]
Sam says her husband has been incredible throughout[/caption]
After the surgery, the 27-year-old admitted it wasn’t easy at first – but with the help of her incredible husband, she’s now back at work, admitting the operation was the “best decision [she’s] ever made”.
“Recovery from my mastectomy wasn’t easy at first, but again my incredible husband along with family and friends, went above and beyond to help me through it,” she revealed.
“They changed my drains, took me to and from hospital appointments, even bathed me and got me dressed. They were fantastic and I couldn’t have had the operation if I didn’t have that support system.
“Since I went back to work, I’ve been fine. The only thing in my life that has been affected is that I still can’t run, but that hasn’t stopped me from staying healthy and fit and enjoying my life.
“It’s minor in comparison to how little chance I have of now getting breast cancer.”
Samantha after her surgery[/caption]
Samantha has now made it her mission to improve awareness of the BRCA1 gene, revealing she wants to get the message out there and encourage women to keep checking their breasts.
“I don’t think there’s enough awareness about the BRCA gene, both types of it, and I don’t think women would even think to regularly check their breasts,” she said.
“We need to do far more to get the message out there regularly. Girls, get checking.
“You are stronger than you may think, and if you ever doubt yourself, then don’t. Be the beautiful and brave woman that you are and just go for it. It really was the best decision I’ve ever made.
“I used to have far more anxiety at the thought of developing breast cancer, but now that doesn’t happen.
“Your family and friends will support you, and you will come out on the other side even stronger than you already are.”
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