Health & Wellness

'The Bachelor's' Lesley Murphy shares revealing post-op photo after double mastectomy

When former "The Bachelor" contestant Lesley Murphy learned that she'd tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation, which indicates a significantly higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, she knew she wanted to be proactive. Murphy's mom is a breast cancer survivor, after being diagnosed three years ago.

Murphy, 29, decided to have a double mastectomy to give herself the best odds of beating cancer before it strikes. And she knew she wanted to share the process with her fans and followers.

On Monday, less than one week after surgery, Murphy posted an open-shirt photo revealing her body as it is now — along with a message revealing where she is in her healing process.

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RELATED: 8 things to know before getting tested for BRCA

"My mom washed and dried my hair today," wrote Murphy, who gained reality TV fame during Sean Lowe's season of the love-connection series. "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."

Even with all that help from mom, recovery hasn't been easy for Murphy.

"I have to sleep on my back in the exact same position every night," she 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!"

As for what's really on display in her photo, Murphy offered a straightforward explanation.

"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," she added. "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!"

RELATED: At high risk for breast cancer, why this woman decided against a mastectomy

The now travel blogger hopes that sharing her story will help others. It's already helped her.

1 week post op: Today was a good day. I put on make-up and pants for my doc appt. Make-up and pants! And shoes! I actually left the house for the first time since surgery. I didn't even have to wear the dreaded pink cape for very long today either😂They are always used on patient's so doctors can have easy access to check their handiwork. This one really wasn't so bad. It's very 2017 Hospital Spring Collection, if you will💁🏼Maybe just fringe the sleeves and boom. Coachella Weekend no. 2 outfit is done. Anywho, I was so excited to wake up today because I was getting 2 out of the 4 drains removed! I wish everyone could know what that before-and-after felt like. Beforehand, 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. Now with 2 drains out, so much weigh feels lifted from my chest. I can breathe a bit deeper and sit up faster. I can't wait until next week when the final two come out, even though it truly felt like snakes were slithering through my body as the doctor pulled at them this morning.🐍BLAH. Gives me chills just thinking about it. Check my Insta story for more explanation. As always, I love you guys. I read every heart felt comment and truly feel the love of this incredible support system. I'm amazed by all the stories told in comments, emails and DMs. Young, old, sad, happy, preventative, or a fight of a lifetime. Each one is inspiring, so thanks for telling your story and being so open and vulnerable here with me💞Together we are creating so much awareness for early detection, screenings, gene mutations and how to work with the options we have. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A post shared by Lesley • The Road Les Traveled (@lesleyannemurphy) on

"I read every heartfelt comment and truly feel the love of this incredible support system," Murphy wrote in her most recent post. "I'm amazed by all the stories told in comments, emails and DMs. Young, old, sad, happy, preventative, or a fight of a lifetime. Each one is inspiring, so thanks for telling your story and being so open and vulnerable here with me. Together we are creating so much awareness for early detection, screenings, gene mutations and how to work with the options we have."

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