Thursday, October 11, 2012

NBCAM: My Preventative Mastectomy

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It's meaningful to us every year, but this year in particular since we're not finishing up treatment, but starting it up again.

Let me start by warning you that this post (really just the story linked to it) will be rated PG, which is atypical for this blog.

CNN posted this story over the weekend and I found it compelling.  I thought some of my readers might be interested in it because it will help you understand Anne-Marie's situation a little bit more.

Anne-Marie's family did not discover until late 2005 that the disease that was afflicting so many of the women in their family was caused by the BRCA2 mutation.  If you read the article, you'll see occurences of breast and ovarian cancers in BRCA positive women are pretty high and that treatment needs to be intense and intentional.

Gilbert (age 5) with her mother
This article says a few things that most don't and won't, including this:
...even Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the popular vegetables-are-key-to-health book "The China Study" admits diet may not be enough to protect BRCA patients from cancer.
One of the strangest things that happens after being diagnosed with cancer is having a lot of well-meaning people come to you and tell you ways to fix it.  Sometimes people are so forceful with their opinions that they nearly blame the person with cancer for having the disease.  Although, Anne-Marie's diagnosis wasn't a foregone conclusion--and certainly the recurrence wasn't--there are some things that are beyond any human ability to control.

I know none of you would ever do something like that, but if you've been that guy in the past, don't beat yourself up over it.  We know that people haven't intentionally sought to hurt our feelings and just want to help.  Sometimes it's just hard to know how.  I hope Allison Gilbert's story will get you a little further down that road.

So, if you've taken time to read this:

#1. Thank you

#2.  Understand Allison Gilbert's story is very similar to Anne-Marie's and demonstrates the weighty decisions that those faced with this type of cancer face on a regular basis.

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