I’m not sure if you guys heard about Angelina Jolie having a double Mastectomy. It has been all over the news and at first I thought “Wow, how brave.” But the more I thought about it, the angerier I got about it. The fact that she never really had cancer and really doesn’t know if she would ever have had to have done this makes me feel like she is getting praise for something so many of us have HAD to go through.
When I heard that it took her all together about 3 months for her Mastectomy, and reconstruction, it just proves that money talks. I am canadian, I am lucky i don’t have to pay for these procedures, but I have been going through it all for 2 years now & am still not done, it took her 3 months! For those that do have to pay….Well, Mrs. Jolie writes about her “stuggle” but I think it is a slap in the face to those who can’t afford all of it. That go through the fear of knowing they have to go through Chemo, that they know for a FACT that they have a tumor and the surgery is something they need to do to fight for thier lives. Are we suppose to praise this woman for something we are going through because we have no choice?
The article she wrote didn’t teach us anything new, didn’t give us any sense of hope, are we suppose to feel better cause she’s famous?? Who cares?
I don’t know maybe I am just bitter from umm I don’t know, being told I have cancer when there was no prior signs of it, of losing a breast and some use of my arm due to Lymph Node removal, maybe it was the chemo and losing my hair that makes me bitter, or a reconstruction that rejected part of my Diep flap surgery and had a gruesome rotting whole in my breast that took about a year to heal. Or maybe I am just bitter at the fact that this rich, famous, beautiful woman (which is married to Brad pitt), went ahead and did something that I would never have done to myself if I had a choice, and wants praise and recognition for it. Paaaalese!
I’m sorry this is just how I feel, though I go through each day trying to be happy and trying to enjoy every moment, I still have a lot of pent up anger and needed to let it all out:)
Hope you are all keeping strong and you are all the TRUE HERO’S! Keep fighting.
Don’t want to comment about her…except to hope that she wrote her story with an intent to help. I don’t have to face the question.
I just want to give you a hug, and glad that you can come here and vent, what would we do without BFAC?
Her story cannot help anyone since you would need to be rich and have the money to do this.
Very few are in her class of wealth
That is sadly true of a great many aspects of our health care today. I fortunately have Medicare, which hasn’t been ruined yet, and had my treatments without financial problems, but I know many many people who spent as much time fighting their insurance companies’ denials as they did fighting the cancer. It is horrible.
Interesting opinion and I agree with you.Although she was told she carries the “gene” that CAN lead to cancer, she did not have it.Everyone here MUST go through these horrible ordeals and do not have the luxury to simply have “preventative” operations for ailments that may or may not occur.Another case of rich fat cats with too much money and not knowing what to do with it.The true heroes are you and others here who have suffered and continue to everyday.Who says she will still not get cancer? Sh*t happens and all the money in the world cannot stop that..
Mary by no means be sorry for how you feel and any bittterness after cancer. Yeah I think we all heard about Angelina, cause we hear about everything her and Brad do. I can’t say if doing something so aggresive would be the right thing for me to do or not as I have never been in the position. I do feel that she has done some good things but the only reason we hear about it is because she is a famous personality! Also I do feel that a lot of the famous people need to continue getting attentioin. I am not sure if that is why she is such a do gooder or not, but being alsways in the public eye does give a lot of attention soooo thats why I wonder.
In saying this I am not sure about all these genes that can cause breast and other cancers, I need to do some reading on it. I do however know that my dear aunt has had breast cancer 3 times, and surgery 3 times and treatment twice. She is well up into her 80s now after having the last surgery last summer and is doing amazing.She and my cousin have the HER 2 positive gene. I do know that she found out about this with her first diagnosis and had asked for a full masectomy and was denied.(Back in the early 80’s) I do ish they would have done as she asked, because that is what she asked for, even though it still came back a third time. I don’t know if this would have stopped reoccurance or not at that time.
I really do feel for someone with these genes, knowing the chances are higher in getting cancer, can’t say what I would have done cause I am not walking in any of their shoes I can only talk about my walk. I do agree with you about the rich and famous thing and really feel that part of what she does is for attention. I think she is a very poor actress aand has been in very few movies I enjoyed. To me her acting skills give her the female equivelance of an Arnie baby movie
and feel all the high action movies do not take a lot of acting. I too am Canadian and feel this is a reach for more attention. I feel that a lot of people thrive on hearing things like this ( celebs and what they do) in the news and that the news media overplays all this because of the popularity. I do not call someone like Angelina a hero because of spreading this kind of word, as you said only the rich have the money to be able to do what she has done.
You are so right about the TRUE HEROS which I also will continue to praise. For anyone who thinks she is a hero because of this please read about TERRY FOX a true hero! He is my hero and I am sure your Mary! Hugs and thank you for this post Val
Mary did you never get full function back in your arm? I’m on week 3 & better then I was. I have feeling back in most my arm now but I still have very little function & a lot of shooting pains. I can not rotate or move my arm at the armpit hardly at all, its painful & like my body restricts a nerve or something from moving to open up my arm.
Doctors keep saying it will all be fine everything is normal but why was I never told about this side effect before? Is this a normal thing? I for real can not lift my left arm higher then an inch at best….. I wanna shave darn it! Lol
As for these faces on TV, I try to find the ones I know at least attempt to use their fame for better & I don’t even care for her to much anyways but she has done good in her life too. Maybe she didn’t mean to offend & a lot of people just don’t understand or fear the word CANCER so much they will do anything to advoid it. When I had my genetics test done I started thinking about this from every angle, if it had been positive I would have taken a healthy right breast along with my left cancer one to prevent this from coming back, give me a piece of mind. Maybe she is blessed to afford these types of test to know what she is at greater risk but instead of being so angery at her be happy for our evolvment in man kind. We can now look at a gene in your body to know your risk for all sorts of illness or defects. Maybe she felt that word scared her as it did all of us, wanted to better her odds for her children, and thought in her mind to go public in hopes it helps those who have done it & feel less beautiful. Not that I agree or believe it all but if the cup is not half full its only going down hill from there.
We are all the heros, some bigger battles then others but in the end we all felt the emotions of this illness & seen the looks in our loved ones eyes. I decided from day one I was going to never belittle what I’m going through because any part of this process takes courage, instead I’m putting it all out there & supporting the ones who have it way worse then me but also easing the minds of those who are future fighters on here down the road. I am so very sorry you have had a tough road sugar, I hope to be done in about a year with all my treatments & surgeries.
It is normal for your arm to feel that way, it will feel tight for a good 2 monhts at least. But ask your Doctors about the exercise you can do to get your arm moving a little easier. I have mobility in my arm, but since I had all my Nodes removed I am always in danger of getting lymphedema. I have lost a lot of Muscle and still feel strain/pain when trying to lift things like groceries. I also still have no feeling under my armpit which is really weird.
I didn’t mean to scare you! In time it will get MUCH better, it just won’t be the same is all:)
Don’t get me wrong the advancement in medicine and being proactive is wonderful. I am not angry really, it just seems like everywhere I turn I see something about cancer where I never did before. I actually like Angelina Jolie it is just the principal, we don’t all have the means to get the precautionary measures done and that is what upsets me. I think what she did is better than getting esthetic surgery done. It was done for her reasons, her children. I get it. But I just feel like it was way to public..
I wrote a book. Sorry. I hope Jolie’s intent was honest. For the most part, I tend to believe it WAS . . . the media blitz ruined the intent though and I fear others, maybe, panicking and running to get this procedure w/o really needing it??
Thank u so much for your posts and support! We r here to say what we feel and love to read people’s opinions!
Mary, my favorite blogger. Not afraid to speak your mind, not afraid to post photos of what your going through. Love you. Angelina begs the question would you have done it? You’ve already answered that. But if you had, would you have gotten the attention, No. Now, did she do the public a favor, I don’t think so. Most people can’t afford the surgery. Insurance won’t pay for it. But I certainly can’t blame her for do so if it prevents her from suffering the pain that you and others have gone through.
Way back in the 70’s my grandmother had breast cancer, and they said it was like a tumor in her breast surrounded by fat. They took that breast and all the lymph nodes up under her arm. The scar was really bad and i remember crying with her and we thought she might die. She didn’t and lived all the way to 83. She had tried wearing a prosthesis but then opted not to wear anything . I think back how after the initial shock she never said anything about it, life went on. I think how brave she was and how strong, no one even talked to much about cancer then like they do now.
I wonder if everyone shouldn’t get the test if they have breast cancer in their family and find they carry the gene. If its a real high likelihood you would get cancer be better to get the mastectomy rather than get cancer I think. Then save up for the reconstruction if you want to if the insurance doesn’t cover it. If Jolie can take this tragedy and raise awareness and money towards a cure would be the best for women and men to. Mary I love your spirit and always appreciate everything you bring up.. Your awesome and so brave with all you have been through. I am so glad to see your posts! hugs and love Sabina
Mary—I agree overall but do think that the attention (thanks to the news media especially in the US) provides to “normal” people is very low but to “famous” people—that is where the news media concentrates.
I had two cancers—one gyne and breast cancer. My aunt died of breast cancer so although it isn’t a first link—it still gave my Doc’s pause for concern and they recommended the test. Being in Canada, I didn’t have to worry about the cost of these tests. I was negative for the gene but know that if I was positive—both those breasts would be gone. After two bouts—I wasn’t looking to take any chances. The celebrity factor especially in North America is huge—so if it makes one person head in for extra tests—then to me, no big deal. I know the real people battling this disease are out of the celebrity eye—- many of them on this site alone :)
I think you should mail a copy of this letter you wrote to Dear Abby (in the States)to be published. Or, to ANY journal(s). I feel the exact same as you.
In 2004, during a routine mammogram to get my hormone patch renewal (after hysterectomy/oopherectomy/urolgoy surgery 1-1/2 yrs earlier) microcalcifications were found. Less than one week after the first mammogram, I received a letter telling me to schedule, ASAP, a more definitive imaging. They got me in that week.
After the scan the tech told me the doc wanted me to wait in the dressing room, until he viewed the image—Docs usually aren’t there for “routine” scans.
I will never forget him telling me: You need to see a surgeon As Soon As Possible! I cried right there in the dressing room. The tech said, “This is the part of my job I hate”, and got me a diet Coke. (sweet)
God was with me because I had surgery within two more weeks. I happened to run into a surgeon THAT DAY, who had just operated on my daughter a few months earlier (I went to the hospital I worked at to sob to a nurse who had had breast cancer. AFter my sobbing-and green tea by said nurse, I was about to walk upstairs. The surgeon was on the stairwell! I had worked there for several years and had NEVER seen him there: before NOR after, my incident. . . The LORD . .)
Anyway. I had to have an “Open-excision Biopsy” where a Radiologist puts wires, like a fence, around the area of calcifications. I then went to the hospital for surgery. They removed EIGHT CMs! (I said that much, ‘cause I was fat. ha, ha) My breast HURT . . FREAKING HURT . . for TWO YEARS after. It’s still touchy once-in-a-while.
The doctor said I was “5/7”, “7 being full-blown cancer”. YOU, Mary have gone through far worse than I.
I used to, daily, scan EVERYTHING about microcalcifications and breast cancer, for YEARS. That was before my anal cancer was diagnosed two years ago. Sorry to tell my story, but, it depicts the valid fear of actually HAVING TO HAVE SURGERY.
You are correct to be upset when they treat Jolie (and some other celebrities) as if they just liberated POWs or something. I think it is a money-making gimmic to be honest. And, I thought about this a lot: Angelina Jolie would have been SMARTER to have first had her OVARIES removed since, 1) Her mother DIED from ovarian cancer. 2) Ovarian cancer is usually found at advanced stages, therefore, I think. a MUCH greater risk to Jolie than the “maybe” of breast cancer. If she’d have had the oopherectomy, that would reduce the Estrogen in her body which, in turn, would reduce her risk of breast cancer—-which, as we all know, can be discoverd early (hopefully) and treated.
This prophylactic double mastectomy . . stupid. Dare I say a publicity stunt? Or, worse a doctor who lied to her for his gain. Farrah Fawcett was lied to too, I think. For money. And she suffered for it.
You, Mary, and those who HAVE TO, as you say, go through the FEAR—REAL FEAR, are the “heroes.” Those of us who worry about every freaking new—or “old” pain, who worry how in the hell you are going to pay all of your doctor bills, how are you going to care for your family, work, YOURSELF, those who shit on themselves from chemo and how humiliating that is. The FEAR of doing it any time you are in public. The PAIN that never seems to go away . . . .
Mary, please publish your letter.
p.s. I hope I didn’t offend anyone??
*** Mary, Sorry I went off on a tangent. I stand by most of what I said. I’m sure “Ang” was scared and the “87%” R/T breast CA was scarier than the 50% for ovarian. Just to clarify my comment.