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Earlier this year, Lesley Murphy tested positive for the BRCA2 gene,  the most well-known gene linked to breast cancer, according to the Susan G. Komen website.

With the BRCA2 gene, a woman has a 45 percent chance she will get breast cancer and a 17 percent chance of ovarian cancer before she is 70 years old.

Not only did Murphy discover she had a much higher likelihood of getting cancer, but she’d also watched her mother battle breast cancer since her 2014 diagnosis.

It wasn’t long before Murphy, who appeared on Sean Lowe’s season of “The Bachelor,” made the decision: She’d undergo a double mastectomy and surgically remove her breasts.

But the choice was a hard one. The day after her operation, she took to Instagram to detail how she was feeling.

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Day 1 post op. Oouuuchh. My mom took this photo when I first arrived to my hospital room after surgery. It was hard to breathe. My chest was super tight and still is. There are so many tubes hooked up to me and lots of beeping noises. My boobs are gone. Crazy, right? Gone. It's hard to wrap my head around. My doctors and nurses come by all the time to check on my vitals and give me pills to ease the pain. I really love the people here. Everyone is SO nice at @uamshealth. The staff and level of care is topnotch. There is a chance I could go home tonight, but truth be told, I'm not so sure I want to! The grilled cheese and coconut chocolate cake make me happy. Moving hurts. I tried getting out of bed for the first time about an hour ago. I don't want to do it again but know I have to. I finally caught a glimpse of my bare chest during a FaceTime call a couple of minutes ago. Whoa. It looks like I was in a bear fight and lost. Badly. The human body is truly amazing, though, and I will heal soon enough. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from friends, family, followers and complete strangers. So so overwhelmed. You guys know how to make a bruised and weak woman feel on top of the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart?Your prayers, well wishes and good vibes are working?? #LesNipBRCAintheBud #LesleysBreasties #FightLikeAGirl #BreastCancerAwareness

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Her caption read, in part:

“My boobs are gone. Crazy, right? Gone. It’s hard to wrap my head around … I finally caught a glimpse of my bare chest during a FaceTime call a couple of minutes ago. Whoa. It looks like I was in a bear fight and lost. Badly.”

But then, she embarked on what would be a painful road to recovery.

Just days later, she detailed her slow, but steady, progress.

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My Sunday best, or what I could manage to put on today with limited arm movements.??‍♀️My mom washed and dried my hair today. She dresses me in the mornings. 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 slept in my hospital room and bed at home for the first few nights, helping me in and out of bed and giving me meds at horrid hours to control the pain. I have to sleep on my back in the exact same position every night. 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! 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. Hopefully by then the permanent marker will be off my body?I feel lucky because my surgeons only made one vertical incision on the lower half of both breasts while saving skin & nipple. So while all breast tissue is (hopefully) gone, I retained some of the old me! Happy Sunday. God is good.??? #LesleysBreasties #LesNipsBRCAintheBud #BreastCancerAwareness #FightLikeAGirl

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She made sure to stay positive throughout her journey, saying:

“Kicked cancer’s ass before it could kick mine.”

But aside from the highs, there were definitely lows:

“Sometimes when I make the wrong movements it feels like my chest is detaching from my body.”

Lots of them:

“4 drains made my chest feel so tight. It hurt like hell to laugh and to cry. To cough and to sneeze. All of these common occurrences reminded ever fiber in my body of the recent trauma it just experienced.”

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Sunday Scaries?I think this is the exact moment when everything hit me. The surgery. The possible side effects. The future pain. Just look at my face. Those eyes are like darts on that needle! The doctors kept telling me to prepare myself for the pain, but it's almost impossible to do that, especially since I never had surgery. I didn't have anything to go off of. I've never broken a bone. I've never birthed a child. What exactly did physical pain feel like? Well, now I know. It hurts like hell. It takes my breath away. It feels like broken glass in my chest…where every day, pieces get glued back together. More than all that, it has become empowering to know I can overcome it. The human body is just about the coolest thing ever created. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I feel so lucky that @uamshealth helped document my entire surgery day. Please let me know if you'd like me to take y'all through it by sharing various snapshots from that day. I don't want to overwhelm y'all, but if anyone is interested or is even about to go through a similar journey and would like to be more prepared, a virtual tour could be in order. I'm asking the audience – please let me know what you think! #LesleysBreasties #LesNipsBRCAintheBud #BreastCancerAwareness #FightLikeAGirl

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She wrote that just before going into surgery, everything hit — and hard:

“I think this is the exact moment when everything hit me. The surgery. The possible side effects. The future pain. Just look at my face. Those eyes are like darts on that needle! The doctors kept telling me to prepare myself for the pain, but it’s almost impossible to do that, especially since I never had surgery. I didn’t have anything to go off of. I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve never birthed a child. What exactly did physical pain feel like? Well, now I know. It hurts like hell. It takes my breath away. It feels like broken glass in my chest…where every day, pieces get glued back together.”

But soon, the bad days came fewer and farther in between.

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On this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy… ? 4. The 4th and final piece to the surgery day puzzle is finally here and all inside the O.R. where it gets a little graphic, even though I spared y'all a lot of the blood and guts, literally.?I found it so incredibly fascinating to see this stuff since my mind immediately goes to Grey's Anatomy type scenarios, aka not real life! The first photos are of me arriving to the OR, of which I have zero recollection???Then you'll see the amazing Dr. Ochoa taking out my breast tissue (video included and her Hello Kitty cap is everything). After her work is done, the talented Dr. Wright, my plastic surgeon, places my expanders inside my chest (another video) and closes me up! So incredibly thankful for these amazing humans who are so good at what they do, while loving what they do.?In complete awe. New blog post is live: My Surgery Day in 24 Photos (link in bio). All photo and video credit goes to @uamshealth #LesleysBreasties #LesNipsBRCAintheBud #BreastCancerAwareness #FightLikeAGirl

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She had expanders in her chest that were filled with saline every week — via large needles — giving her a tiny shred of normalcy before she would receive breast implants:

In fact, she even expressed gratitude for the tough but worthwhile experience:

“Looking back at this day from where I’m sitting now, I’m relieved. I kind of can’t believe I made that decision, and so quickly. I found out I was positive for the BRCA 2 gene mutation mid-February and about 50 days later, I was on an O.R. table. I didn’t mean for it to happen so fast. March was filled with planned travel and my best friend is getting married this Fall. I knew I wanted to be healed by then. So April it was. April 11th. There was no time like the present. There was no time like NOW to take control of my health.”

She continued, saying she was also grateful for those who not only followed her medical journey, but for who greeted her with support:

“Today, I feel really good. I have boobs again. Well, foobs, but I can’t complain. They are literally growing every Tuesday as I receive saline fills, and my doctors are body magicians. In the past 4 weeks, I have read countless stories from y’all about your own trials with breast cancer or gene mutations. I read every message that comes through and want you to know your support has eased my recovery in ways you can’t imagine.”

And on Monday, 12 weeks after her double mastectomy, Murphy was finally able to receive her breast implants. She wrote:

“In a few hours I’ll be back in the hospital completing a task I knew I’d set out to do the moment I found out I was BRCA 2 positive. Knowledge is power and I feel powerful knowing I kicked cancer’s ass before it could kick mine. The past 3 months have been a whirlwind.”

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Happy with a 100% chance of swollen?Exchange surgery was a success and a huge difference from the double mastectomy surgery. After 3 hours I woke up and drank some ginger ale, saw my mom, discussed things with my sweet nurse and was wheeled out of my favorite hospital…where I felt like we hit every bump in the road on the way home?Ouuuuch. My plastic surgeon said he tried many different variations and sizes and after consulting every woman in the hospital?he decided on 500 CC implants, which is actually smaller than my expander size when you take into consideration those CCs plus the bulky expander. Dr. Wright, thank you for ridding me of those boulders and giving me my normalcy back! You are a magician and I am in awe of your talents. Thanks also to everyone @uamshealth for treating me like a queen ever since I first walked through your doors at the beginning of March. What an incredible experience this has been.??#lesleysbreasties #lesnipsbrcainthebud #breastcancerawareness

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Her caption read, in part:

“Happy with a 100% chance of swollen.”

Murphy will continue to detail her life, post-mastectomy, on social media, and it’s clear that nothing, not even her own body, is going to stop her adventures.

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