Choices and why I feel a little like Angelina Jolie

Updated March 24, 2015.

Today People reported that Angelina Jolie elected to have some surgery done. While I don't always agree with the minutiae of  a celebrity's life being reported as news I was struck by the report. Over 15 years ago I was presented with a similar dilemma - I had uterine cancer and decided to take on a significant surgery, not only to get rid of the cancer but to prevent cancer from appearing in other parts of my reproductive system. This decision wasn't without consequences and impacted the rest of my life - HOWEVER, it was the best decision for ME.

The followng is the original post I wrote some time ago - still with Angelina Jolie in mind but mostly about me.

Original Post
Let's be straight up... I read People. I know what the stars are doing. I have my finger on the pulse of Hollywood.

No, not really but some stories catch my eye.

This week it was Angelina Jolie's story on a double mastectomy. For those who aren't in the know she underwent this surgery as a preventative measure against ever developing breast cancer. She witnessed the death of her mother of this disease.  Most of the things in her life are discussed in a public forum so I wasn't surprised that something like this was reported too.  To each their own, while I am typically a private person, not everyone shares that logic.

Huh... Am I a private person? I have shared on here and in social media some of the most laugh inducing and in contrast painful periods of my life. So, let's just keep this train a-moving.

Why would I say I am a little like Angelina Jolie? In a past post (click link to read) I spoke of the time where I was very intimate with Cancer.  It was a miserable damned experience and promptly kicked the a$$hat out of my life. So how was this situation preventative?  Let's review and discuss...

It's 1999: I am 26 and in an oncologists office having a yarn about Endometrial cancer. The options presented are few and the best bet is a hysterectomy.  As I learn, they can elect to remove all reproductive organs or simply remove the uterus - a radical hysterectomy. Well... if you knew me you would know radical is the only way I roll (snicker).

They asked me what I wanted... I said "Take the works of it". "Now Lori, are you sure? There is this issue and that issue.  You are still young. Hormones... blah, blah, blah".

Pause scene

Let's travel in our time machine back to 1979-1980. I am 7 years old and my mom is dying of cancer, cervical cancer to be precise - she's 39. From what I remember (and it isn't much) it was awful, she was so sick and facing the reality of leaving a husband, 3 children and all she knows.  Pretty darned sucky. Imagine that being a memory for 20 years...

1999 (Humming Prince song)

Seated in the doctor's office I ask them one question. "If your mom died of cervical cancer and you were presented with my diagnosis, what would you do?"

Oh yeah, "the works" went.

Do I feel that I absolutely needed to have the surgery I chose? Yes. Would I have eventually developed cervical or ovarian cancer had I chosen to keep the rest of my reproductive organs? Don't know.  But as an 8 year old, standing at the foot of a bed, looking at your mom dying - you can be assured I made THE RIGHT decision.

Everyone makes choices. I have never regretted mine...


Seriously...

No really... Seriously


Camino de Santiago - September 2014
If I didn't make the choice would I still be here?

4 comments :

  1. You were brave to share this, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tragic! I'm glad you are strong enough to have shared. You have helped someone who is struggling, I'm sure :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good on you for making the best decision for you. It's good that people share their stories, so we can read different perspectives...so if we are one day faced with a similar decision, we will have heard from many different voices.

    You are strong and brave. Thank you for sharing this. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good on you for making the best decision for you. It's good that people share their stories, so we can read different perspectives...so if we are one day faced with a similar decision, we will have heard from many different voices.

    You are strong and brave. Thank you for sharing this. :-)

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate you taking time to comment. I read them all.

Thanks ever so much!
Lori

 

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