Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Angelina's Health Decision

Angelina Jolie made a powerful decision.

It's not a decision that every woman has the opportunity to make, but I stand and applaud her courage and wish her a future of wellness.
Faced with medical information from her doctors that she had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer because she carried the BRCA1 gene, she decided to take control of her health and be proactive.  She decided at the young age of 37 to have a double mastectomy which means she had both of her currently healthy breasts surgically removed.
Jolie didn't want to wait around for the cancer to come and claim her.
Jolie, the winner of an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild and three Golden Globe awards, wrote an op-ed piece which appeared in yesterday's New York Times about her medical decision and I think every woman who read it paused afterwards and thanked God for their good health and blessings and maybe at the same time they also thought about someone they had already lost to breast or ovarian cancer or is in treatment.

Whether a mother or a daughter, grandparent, sibling, or friend, chances are very good that almost every New York Times and Cry, Laugh, Heal reader knows someone affected by fbomb cancer.

Actress Angelina Jolie and her partner, Actor Brad Pitt, with their six children
I imagine that every woman, when first diagnosed with breast cancer has two burning questions, "What am I going to do?" and "Will I lose my breast?"  As the mother of six children and the daughter of a woman who died from cancer at age 56, Jolie said she had all the information she needed to face her scary health dilemma, stare down her future and go forward.

Her New York Times op-ed is amazing and for me, her most inspirational words came in the last two sentences:

"Life comes with many challenges.  The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of."
Cancer can many times take us to the land of grief and, believe me, it is not a place anyone wants to visit.  But once we find ourselves thrown there, we can and must find a way to get through the tears and the pain and work to find a new way of living our lives.
It is about trust, and love, and being human.  And it is most of all about hope.
Please don't ever give up.
You've got the power.

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