Former Bachelor contestant Lesley Murphy, who appeared on Sean Lowe’s season, had to make a huge, life-altering decision that nobody wants to make. Murphy recently opted to have genetic testing done to determine her risks of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Lesley tested positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation. After discovering her increased risk, Lesley made the ultimate decision to undergo a double preventive mastectomy. Murphy has been documenting her journey on social media in hopes of raising more awareness for breast cancer and genetic testing.
As shared by People, Lesley opted to have the genetic testing completed after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer just three years earlier. Lesley and her two sisters all had the genetic test done and only one of the results came back negative. When Murphy learned in February she had a positive result, she wanted to meet with physicians and discuss her options as soon as possible. Luckily, an appointment opened up for the following week. Her older sister, who also tested positive, will have the mastectomy when she is finished having children.
After visiting with her gynecologist, who was also a family friend, Lesley made the decision to do the double mastectomy. Lesley says there was zero hesitation in her decision. Murphy knew having the gene greatly increased her odds of breast cancer and she knew it was a “Ticking time bomb.” Lesley, who is a travel blogger, had a jam packed March so the surgery was scheduled for April 11.
Lesley has been sharing updates on Instagram from before her big surgery to now. On April 9, Murphy’s friends and family threw her a party in support of her mastectomy she would endure just two days later. The Instagram photo posted shows Lesley in pink with a breast cake and one of her many supporters.
“Lots of pink today as we say Ta-Ta to the TATAS!????????
Cake✔️Pin the boobs on the babe✔️Pick your cup size drinks✔️The best support team ever✔️Ready as I’ll ever be for Tuesday’s surgery!????If you didn’t see my Insta live today, I’ll be doing more either on surgery day or shortly after! #thanksforthemammories.”
The night before her surgery Lesley posted another update for supporters on Instagram. The photo showed her in pink looking out over the water.
“The sun has set, and my final night with all body parts is here and now????In less than 24 hours I will wake up different. What a strange feeling it is to miss your boobs, but I know this prophylactic double mastectomy is for the best. I have lots of life to live and potential cancerous cells aren’t welcome here????????✌????.”
Lesley went on to thank everyone and give a little background information about her decision and her mom’s breast cancer diagnosis.
Lesley’s surgery was a success and now comes the healing. On April 12, Lesley posted another Instagram update. The photo she shared was one her mother took just after surgery. Murphy detailed how she was feeling in the post. Lesley talked about the pain and the realization that her breasts were gone.
The days following were rough and Lesley shared that it wasn’t easy. While the scars are fairly large, Murphy says she is happy there is no horizontal scar, just one that goes from the base of her breast up to her nipple. On Easter, Lesley shared another photo on Instagram and in this one, her hair is hanging over where her breasts once were. Fans can partially see the four drain tubes that were placed during surgery. In part of her caption Lesley says the following.
“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.”
Two days later Lesley had two of her drain tubes removed, and in another week, the final two will come out. Lesley still has a lot of healing to do, but she is well on her way. Murphy reveals that she will have reconstructive surgery done and expanders were already placed at surgery to help prepare her body for future implants. While Lesley does not have an actual date set for her next surgery, she thinks it will be sometime late summer. In the meantime, Murphy is looking forward to getting back to traveling, which she can safely resume in May.
In her candid interview with People, Lesley also shared that she has been contacted by a few fellow Bachelor alumni. Murphy reveals that Catherine Lowe sent her pink pillows that came in handy to prop her arms on since she has to sleep in the same position every night since the surgery. Lesley says she has also been contacted by Daniella McBride and Robyn Howard.
Lesley has tons of support and has been inspired by the numerous stories that have emerged of women and their fight with breast cancer. Murphy hopes her experience will raise awareness of the options and testing that are available to women in the fight against breast cancer.
Stay tuned for further updates as Lesley continues on her journey.
[Featured Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Longines]