Nina Garcia speaks on a panel in Pasadea, Calif., Jan. 29, 2019.
camera (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) Nina Garcia speaks on a panel in Pasadea, Calif., Jan. 29, 2019.

Veteran Elle magazine editor Nina Garcia is missing New York Fashion Week this year to instead make a very brave choice that might have positive ramifications for her future.

It's the first time in 25 years the editor-in-chief won't be watching all the new looks from the runway floor, but instead will be recovering from a preventive double mastectomy.

"As an editor, I’m used to expressing myself in words, but now I’m having a difficult time finding the right things to say," she wrote in a very personal essay for Elle Thursday.

Garcia says she's certainly asking herself the normal questions any woman in her position would.

"Am I scared? Yes. Am I relieved? Yes. Am I making the right choice? Absolutely." she wrote.

The "Project Runway" judge, 53, explains that her health battle began in 2015, when she found out that she did have a gene mutation, which means she's at a high risk for breast cancer.

"So, for three-plus years, I’ve been closely monitored, getting regular mammograms and breast checks. Throughout this time, I’ve had numerous biopsies, two lumpectomies, and countless follow-ups. I’ve been marked up, poked, pricked, and turned upside down," she adds. "This January we did more tests, and after studying the results, my doctors and I decided that I should have a preventive double mastectomy."

And though the surgery may be a scary choice, the trauma of worrying about her health everyday was just as bad.

"I was living in a loop of testing, every day waking up thinking: 'Is today the day I will get cancer?'" she adds.

Though her instinct was to be private about this health struggle, she started to tell friends and an amazing thing happened.

"I called another friend who’d had a mastectomy. And then another, and another, who gave me the number of her friend. I realized I’d entered an incredible community of strong women who had been through this and wanted to help, share their stories, and support me," she writes.

"So here I am. Still scared. Still not looking forward to what I’m sure will be a pain-in-the-ass (or boob) surgery. But I am so deeply grateful," she continues.

While she has a long road ahead of her, she's grateful for the new community she's found, her family at Elle and the insurance that affords her this potentially life-saving surgery.

"My heart is heavy for the millions of other women out there who are not as lucky," she says. "In all this, I have learned that you have to pass it forward, be there for people, be open about your life. I ultimately decided to write this in hopes that my story might serve as comfort to at least one woman out there who is going through something similar. For that woman, I want you to know that you are not alone."