The NY Times published this piece by Ms. Jolie two months ago, and I have spent the past two months thinking about it. Yes, it has taken me a while to write this post.
You see, I too have a BRCA genetic mutation, passed down to me through my mother, and nine years ago I underwent surgeries similar to those Ms. Jolie discusses. During the time of my surgeries, I had the support of most family & friends, but there were a few who insisted my choice was a radical one. These several family members & friends suggested I monitor, meditate, sniff magic aromatherapy oils, etc... Nine years ago, there was no movie star paving the way to help people understand and validate the choice I had made.
I am very grateful to live in an era when I can take a blood test to detect this genetic mutation and then choose to have surgeries to minimize my risk. The surgeries are long behind me now, but there are still repercussions and ramifications which lead me to write blog posts like this one here.
Thinking about the piece written by Ms. Jolie, what I like most about it is this: she wrote, "I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer," and this is the same thing I tell my children. Is there any better reason to undergo testing and surgeries than to stay healthy and alive for one's children? That's why she did it, and that's why I did it, too.
Thank you, Angelina Jolie, for helping women who are faced with a diagnosis of the BRCA genetic mutation. Thank you for paving the way and validating difficult choices.