There are many differences between Angelina Jolie and myself. I have breast cancer. She does not. She has the genetic predisposition for breast cancer. I do not. She chose to have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. I did not. I had a unilateral mastectomy. For me, I could not cut off a healthy breast, but more and more women are making the same choice as Angelina Jolie....more
When I walked into the genetic counselor's office last week, I fully believed that I was going to hear that there was absolutely no problems with the test results that I'd had done. I mean, I'm the kind of person that can be visibly as sick as sick can be and yet, my blood work will miraculously look like I'm well enough to run a marathon....more
When Michelle Kolath-Arbel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, her life was turned upside down. In July of the same year, she had just concluded her studies at New York University so the couple decided to return to Israel and to have a second child. She was devastated when, after a battery of tests, her doctor announced her that she had a malignant lump in her right breast....more
My question to Glamour is this. Why did I get these emails? I don't subscribe to Glamour magazine, and I don't follow them on any social media. Why are they emailing me?
I'm sure the answer is publicity, since I write a blog that is about living after breast cancer. The question they pose, however, strikes me as being sensationalist journalism. "How would your life change without YOUR breasts?"
Here is my answer, Glamour magazine.
"My Medical Choice", is a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times. It is an article written by Angelina Jolie in which she shares her story about choosing to have a preventative mastectomy.1 Also called a prophylactic mastectomy, she chose to have this surgery because she was diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene. She's speaking out about this to spread her story in hopes that she may encourage other women be proactive.
"Today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action." -Angelina
One of the hardest things a person can hear from their physician is the words "You have cancer." In January of 2013 two women in my immediate family were diagnosed with breast cancer and so began the journey. They did not have the same type of breast cancer so they took a different path when it came time for treatment. One would have the tumours removed, still keep her breast and begin chemotherapy. The other would undergo a radical mastectomy with no treatments to follow as this very rare cancer appears not to respond to chemo, hormonal or radiation therapies....more
If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?That question came at me recently while sitting with my boys in a theater watching a trailer for the movie, "Brave." The main character, a young girl named Merida, asks that very question as the film fades to black leaving the opening date looming large on the screen....more
This week Giuliana Rancic made an announcement that she'll be undergoing a double mastectomy. Having experienced my own slew of cancer drama, I just want to say how nice it was to have a relatable, inspiring spokesperson for this sort of thing.Recently at MD Anderson, the hospital I attend, I witnessed a vast display of quilts - all made in the name creating ovarian cancer awareness. (My particular disease.) While quilts are nice (I guess?), I really had a hard time feeling connected to them. I mean, they're quilts....more
I was talking to 2 friends the other day, who both had double mastectomies for advanced breast cancer. Kim and Ellen (not their real names) had complete reconstruction and neither one had been able to save their nipples. They were both talking about how difficult it is to have one nipple that's horizontal and points straight ahead like a headlight, and the other that's off in it's own direction, like a wandering and wayward child....more