Choosing Life

I woke up to a tweet that said Angelina Jolie joined the group of very brave women who have taken back control from the possibility of cancer. She had a double mastectomy performed. My first thought, “Good for her!”

Before reading her article in the New York Times, I already understand why there was no other choice. And as a person missing an organ, I can sympathize with the internal struggle she probably faced when making this decision. I mean yes, it’s a no brainer. Your chances of getting cancer are higher, so do everything you can to lower them and sometimes that includes removing a colon or a leg…or a breast. And although the choice to live is the only choice, the imperfect question over analyzing brain brings up the dumbness questions in the name of Vanity & Fear. Do breasts really make you a woman? Will people still see you as a woman? Will your children still see their mother? Your children. If you keep these breasts, will your children still have a mother at all?

Angelina, like most men and women faced with these decisions as the cancer cloud looms over head, are nothing short than brave. I remember seeing the photos of Kelly Davidson and her tattooed chest. I thought her photos were the coolest thing ever! She looked beautiful and radiant…she looked healthy! To come out and allow yourself to be a face for double mastectomies is huge. Because you’re not just talking about the surgery. Now we are talking about post surgery. Now we are talking about WHY surgery. Now we are making it necessary for insurance companies to make this life saving test available. I’m sure that Angelina Jolie’s children were the main reason why she had the surgery performed. But I’m sure that her mother’s death is the reason she came out. In a powerful democratic western society, no one should be denied valuable life saving tests and surgeries. They just shouldn’t. I’m grateful to women like her who share their story. I’m sure that if this gene testing was readily available to half of the patients with cancer who had a family member who died of cancer…they wouldn’t be a cancer patient. Everyone should be able to afford to save their own life. Something must be done. What? I don’t know. But I’m not gonna stop asking and looking for a way.

Today and everyday I salute Angelina, Sharon Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Davidson  and all the women that have taken that step and have chosen life!