Thursday, May 16, 2013

Angelina Jolie's Decision

I can't remember if I wrote about this in the past, but I am positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation.  I found out about 1 1/2 years ago after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and found out that she had the gene.  Thankfully, she is doing well after her treatment.

When I found out she had the gene and decided to get tested, I thought about my options if I was positive.  Before I got my results, I decided that I would not get prophylactic surgery.  After I got my results and since, my decision has wavered a bit, especially when stories like Angelina Jolie's come out.

Over the last couple of days, I have been rethinking my decision not to have surgery.  I thought about the fact that I have such little kids.  I thought about the pain and suffering that my grandmother went through.  I thought about how my great grandmother, my grandmother, my grandmother's twin sister, and my mother got breast cancer.

I also thought about what surgery would mean for my body, my mind, my identity.  I thought about (and still think about) how going immediately into menopause would affect my body.  I thought about how my identity would change knowing that I would have parts of my body removed (as silly as it sounds).  I thought about how much piece of mind I would really have even if I had surgery.  Would I have less anxiety or would I still worry that I would get cancer even after having body parts removed.

I honestly feel like this is such a personal decision.  What is right for me isn't necessarily right for everyone.  What is right for Angelina Jolie isn't necessarily right for me.  I think that all options should be looked at and weighed out.  For me not having surgery gives me the option of changing my mind later after having time to think about it.  If I have surgery, I can't change my mind!

Right now, my choice is to eat right (more on the pH diet), exercise, work on the mind body connection, work on my stress level and how I deal with it.  I think doing this will not only keep me healthy and hopefully decrease my risk for cancer overall, but will also get me healthy to have surgery if I chose to do so later in life.

I am going to be forty this summer.  Things may change as I get older since my family seems to get cancer later in life.  I may change my mind about having my ovaries removed after I go through menopause.  I may change my mind if I find a lump.  Right now, I can't have surgery without having cancer.

My life is telling me that I need to look at the different things I believe in.  I keep thinking that I need to make changes in my professional career so that it goes along more with my beliefs.  I need to make sure that I look into more education that will help me have a career doing things I believe in and love.  Loving what I do and believing in what I do will help me with my lifestyle changes also.


1 comment:

  1. It is such an individual decision, isn't it? I send you lots of love that when the time comes you will rest assured that you made the "right" decision- whatever that may be.