Do you know what the term is for what Angelina Jolie Pitt did? It’s called ‘previvor’. I’ve decided I prefer to call having a preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction, AND removal of ovaries (and uterus, I think?) due to having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which increased her chance of developing cancer by 87% – a ‘smart-lucky-vivor’. Some people are criticizing her for many reasons. Really?!?! After reading the New York Times article she wrote in March, I feel that what she has done is nothing but brave, fantastic, and well-thought-out. The difference of what she’s done and I went through are – I had a gum ball sized tumour (5.1 centimeters) that had already spread to two of my lymph nodes (I’d like to take a second to say, as I’m writing this I can’t believe this happened to me…..breathe), and had to make extremely quick decisions. When she chose to have the mastectomy two years ago she had time to carefully consider her options. She faced cancer from a ‘pre’ point of view, and I faced cancer from a ‘post’ point of view. For anyone who thinks that because she has EVERTHING (including hot Brad Pitt) in life that that decision wasn’t hard for her? That she gets to recover in a chateau in France and sip wines from her vineyard or drink prosecco on a yacht being fed grapes – think again! Let me put it this way, if a simple blood test could reveal that you had an 87% chance of developing a cancer that could kill you, and by the removal of that organ it would bring that tremendously high percentage to a significantly decreased 5% or less, that you wouldn’t do it or at least consider it? Some wouldn’t, they’d let nature, faith, fate, take its course, which is FINE….but don’t crap on Angelina and be happy you’re not faced with said decisions. Do you think she has less sleepless nights than the rest of us?
I love her and think she is truly an exceptional human. I think she speaks with honesty, and in revealing to the world her health predicament is nothing but noble. Regardless of what the critics are spewing, she IS helping millions by doing this. Not because she wants or needs the attention, but because she wants to inform people about choice, and also that she is not untouched by life’s challenges. Here is a quote from the article that on one hand separates her from us commoners, and on the other hand reveals she is like anyone of us that is effected by sexy breast cancer:
‘I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours. The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful.’
Thank you Angelina for sharing your story.