By Sonia Verma
If you read about one celebrity today, make it this one
“Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes. But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.” —Angelina Jolie, in the New York Times, March 24, 2015.
Two years after having a preventive double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after finding out she is at an elevated risk level for developing ovarian cancer. Jolie writes about her decision in the New York Times, and stresses that she made the decision after a great deal of thought and medical consultation, and that no one should rush into preventive procedures without those two things.
It is not, as I had simplistically wondered, the story of a celebrity so scared of mortality that she is willing to keep having parts of her body removed. Jolie makes it clear that her family history, test results, exhaustive consultations and the fact that she has already had children all played a role in her decision. The more I read, the more respect I felt for this woman, who faced down something scary by making a tough choice. A follow-up story in today's New York Times quotes several doctors who applaud her decision and hope her candour will encourage other women to explore their options.
“I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.”
The entire piece is a lovely read, all the more personal because it’s written so matter-of-factly.
Speaking of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Today is Aretha Franklin’s birthday. The Queen of Soul gave us an empowering anthem and an inspiring story. Sock it to me, indeed!
Museum Week in Canada found an unexpected champion in a small stuffed rabbit. Staff at the Nova Scotia Museum gave #foundbunny the most fun museum tour in plush history, documenting the entire thing on Twitter, where it went viral. #foundbunny visited dinosaurs, a tortoise, a puffer fish and a bear, to name just a few. No word yet on whether he’s found his way home.
Awww. Sniffle. Awww.
This is a beautiful pregnancy announcement from a couple who were once told they’d never get pregnant. Grab a tissue and smile-cry along.
[video:https://youtu.be/NvTGxSEosys width:400 autoplay:0]Read the full story of Whitney Quinton at Today’s Parent.