New Beginnings: Mollie West

Mollie West shares her best tips and advice after a BRCA+ diagnosis, mastectomy and hysterectomy.

Mollie and I met several years ago and we quickly discovered we had two things in common: blogging and breast cancer. While she has never been diagnosed with breast cancer, both her grandmother and mother died from the disease. Mollie learned she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation and made the decision to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy in 2013. She has shared two incredible and very personal experiences here on the blog. Today she updates us.


Mollie West

Read Mollie’s 2013 submission here.


I had nipples tattooed by Vinnie Myers mid-October of last year. Vinnie is amazing. If anyone has any questions or is considering his work, I love talking about it, so feel free to contact me.
I also had a hysterectomy the day after Christmas. Finally, my surgeries are finished. I am no longer waiting. The hysterectomy went well and after recovering from DIEP reconstruction, this recovery felt almost easy. I am very lucky and blessed that I had so little complications with any of these medical procedures.
I am very, very happy to share that I am healthy.


Hot flashes suck. I finally started tracking situations that my hot flashes were frequent and realized that I definitely had some emotional triggers. Once I made that connection, I could be more prepared and be more aware when they were coming, which helped me overcome them. Like highly stressful situations trigger them for me, so if I know that I am in a situation that may cause one, I take lots of deep breaths and calm myself down to get through it easier.
I also started running. Incorporating that regular fitness in my life made me feel so much stronger and even invincible. It gave me strength and courage that I didn’t have before. Accomplishing a 5K and working towards something that was so intimidating to me gave me so much confidence and forward momentum. It didn’t hurt that I lost 20 pounds while training. I strongly recommend the C25K app by Zen Labs for beginner runners. 


I accidentally started a successful business this year. After my mastectomies I decided to make my own deodorant because I no longer trusted commercial products. It was such a good, effective product that friends and family started requesting it for themselves. It’s empowering helping others and educating loved ones (and even strangers) on harmful effects of ingredients in everyday personal care products or household products. I never intended to make or sell personal care products, but now Newly Organic Natural Deodorant is in two stores locally and I’m about to open an Etsy store. You just never know what the future holds and where life will take you.
I’m not sure if this qualifies as “awesome” to others, but I am so amazed at where I am in life right now. So much better than I imagined and far from where I thought I would be at this point in time, in the best way possible.

Read Mollie’s perspective on carrying the BRCA1 mutation.

Mollie West shares her best tips and advice after a BRCA+ diagnosis, mastectomy and hysterectomy.

Photo Source: “Hot Hot Hot” by xannah

Personal photos courtesy of Mollie West