The elected double mastectomy

A lot has been buzzing around about Angelina Jolie and her double mastectomy.

I will not download pictures of her or quotes from her recent interviews. I have no wish

to use her image to sell my blog. My blogs are my opinions, nothing more. But such a

strong opinion has developed in me over Angelina's recent activity that I couldn't stay

away from this page. I had to get my thoughts out.

First let me say that my grandmother had a double mastectomy. She was a breast cancer

survivor. I've a very close friend who has had regularly scheduled mammograms from early in

her life because of the frequency with which her family has encountered the cancer. I take

breast cancer and all cancer very seriously.

But not as seriously as I take life.

Life is more important then cancer.

It always will be.

But when thinking about cancer,

preparing for it, and preventing it, becomes a priority in life my skin begins to crawl.

It was because of the discovery of a faulty gene, one that makes breast cancer far

more likely for the carrier, that Ms. Jolie decided to undergo a preemptive, preventative

double mastectomy. She is a mother of six. She wants to live.

I can understand that,

more then understand that. My son is my reason for living. He is "my best thing".

I'd take out anyone who may take something away from his life,

I'd even take on death itself.

But is that what Ms. Jolie did?

Because I don't think so.

She decided to play into the odds that, because of this gene, she had a 60% chance of developing

breast cancer. She decided to decide that cancer was inevitable because of this specific

gene that may or may not decide to show itself.

It is her right. Had she decided to take off her breasts simply for aesthetic preferences,

it is her right. That is her body, she can do what she likes with it. And she's never been a particularly

conventional girl so it wouldn't have shocked me. But my concern is not for her actions,

but in the reactions of the press and public.

Ms. Jolie is a hero.

She is being hailed as "brave" and "strong".

I do not agree.

I do not believe that bravery and strength is reactionary to "maybe" and "what if".

Nor do I believe that either can live where one is so willing to surrender to a "possibility".

My possibilities for success, based on my birth place and life experiences thus far, is slim to

none. Should I play the odds and stop trying?

Athletes throw themselves into harms way daily, making their bodies 95% more likely then mine to

be injured, possibly irrevocably.

Should they stop playing?

But Beyond the playing of probabilies,

what of all this making God out of science?

Now science not only creates life, but is the sole provider of it's sanctity as well?

Genetics is now predicting our future and it is brave, strong and, yes,

(at least this is what the press implies)

MORAL to concede to it's predictions!

Are we living in the world of The Minority Report?

We can now predict and are being encouraged to react to what MIGHT happen as

what inevitable WILL happen and so here comes our higher evolution.

But I think it's de-evolution.

Because once upon a time people were brave enough to not have to predict the future to get

through each day.

They used a thing called faith and it worked very well.

And yes, sickness would come

and so would death.

But that didn't scare people either.

Not only because of the belief in an after life, because not everyone with faith believes in an after-life,

but because of their belief in the sanctity of life, and it's right to run out of us as surely as it

ran into us.

Fighting for our lives is at the core of who we are as a species. Every species is programed to

do what it must to survive.

But is this what we're doing?

Are we attempting to survive, or refusing survival by attempting to take out any and all obstacles?

To me, survival is not so simple as preserving our lives or extending our life span. It's about facing

down obstacles and persevering through them.

This is not what we do when we decide to react to what MIGHT happen as if it were what WILL happen.


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