There are a lot of titles being thrown around lately regarding Angelina Jolie’s decision to continue having parts of her body surgically removed in attempt to prevent cancer. Courageous and brave are not words that come to my mind. I feel bad that she has such anxiety about the same risks most of us face. It is frightening when almost every family member that has passed on has done so from cancer. You can’t help but worry and think every twinge or odd feeling is a sure sign that you have developed the same thing yourself and that’s not to say you haven’t.
I do not feel that Angelina is grounded in anything but fear and anxiety and I was shocked to hear her quoted as saying now that she has had both tubes and ovaries removed that her children will never say that “mom died from ovarian cancer” as her mother had done. We can’t and shouldn’t remove every part of our body as a preemptive measure in the hopes of warding off our imminent demise. Doing something like this could actually exacerbate the thing we wish to prevent by Doctor error, infection or cause you to have to take medication such as artificial hormones which are far worse on your body than if you had just left one of the ovaries in for the next 10 years or so.
I say this as someone who knows.
I am a person who is very private. Not a great candidate for a blog. I am always amazed at those unafraid to share their deepest fears and darkest secrets with anyone who will listen. I have never been that person. I was upset with my husband for sharing things I did not want mentioned. I don’t know if I posted anything about my surgery before but I became ill in my mid-twenties and with the help of a skillful surgeon was able to raise both of my babies to adulthood. My Doctor was apologetic because previous testing appeared to show I had fibroid tumors, but this turned out not to be the case. I was told that they had left one tube and one ovary in because they were clean and she did not want me to have to take the artificial hormones for the twenty or more years I would need to be on them to prevent premature menopause.
I am very thankful for this decision because other than my six month biopsies which followed, I only needed one additional surgery on that ovary 10 years later and it continued to do its job until one day, around the age of fifty, it gave up and menopause hit me like a ton of bricks! I am concerned with the fact that Angelina, being a celebrity, will influence others to do things that may not really be in their best interest just because she did it. I don’t believe that anyone should undergo any type of surgery or even invasive tests unless it is absolutely necessary. They all carry risks that are needless if the tests and surgery are needless.
It’s one thing to wear a seatbelt, eat healthy and exercise and not engage in risky activities such as texting and driving, which is one of the most insane things anyone can do. These are things we can all do to give ourselves a decent chance in life. Just use common sense and go to the Doctor if you are experiencing any changes in your health that don’t appear normal. If you do this right away you should catch most things in time. Other than that, don’t worry, try to be happy in all things and you will stay healthier in your life.