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Angelina Jolie had a preventive double mastectomy...read her brave essay

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by dardar1126, May 14, 2013.

  1. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    I'm not sure that is true. If she had known about having the gene she may have opted for no biological children. And hysterectomies have much greater consequences than just not being able to have children. Removal of the ovaries lead to all kinds of issues - and she won't be able to have hormone replacement therapy because that would just defeat the purpose.

    I had a tubal pregnancy which led to a complete hysterectomy. The huge swing between my body being flooded with pregnancy hormones & the total lack of hormones led to a severe clinical depression = suicidal thoughts. AJ can expect hot flashes, mood swings, & changes to her skin due to the lack of estrogen, at the very least. Plus there are more wonderful surprises just waitin' 'round the bend.

    When I later had breast cancer plus my family history, my doctor suspected that I had the gene. At the time the test was $6000. I was lucky enough to have insurance that paid for it. Not all insurances do, and of course, a lot of women don't have insurance. (I didn't have the gene - YAY!) So while I am not an admirer of AJ and I suspect her motives in sharing so much in her "essay", I would not wish what she's going thru & will go thru on anyone.
  2. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    I have had a total hysterectomy and it is the removal of the uterus and cervix, not removal of ovaries.
    Removal of ovaries is oopherectomy. Removal of uterus does not result in menopause, removal of ovaries does.
    This is a very common item people confuse.
    I still have my ovaries, and still had physical monthly cramps during ovulation, just no bleeding, and still got cranky.
  3. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I was thinking the same thing. I don't think, in this situation, she would be changing her mind about future pregnancies. And, I suspect she will be diligent in getting her kids tested.

    When cancer is involved, they (almost) always take the ovaries.
  4. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    I am just on such a different page than everyone else on this issue. I wouldn't for a minute think to not have kids because I had the cancer gene, with the treatment options available today. My position is Angie has 1,000 reasons to be happy but people keep posting 1,000 reasons why she should be miserable.

    Oh, and several months ago I posted a thread asking about uterine embolization, as that, along with the various forms hysterectomy had been recommended as treatment for me for OB/gyn issues.
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    Snoopy, I don't know what your experiences are. I do know people who have dealt with breast cancer. They developed it after they had kids and certainly do not regret having their children. But, the girl I mentioned upthread is very seriously considering not having children. She has a 50% chance of passing on Lynch. She would be an incredible mother, so I hope she would consider adoption or an egg donor. But, I completely understand her feelings. Imagine knowing you have something like that and pass it on to your child, the guilt must be enormous. Whether or not there should be feelings of guilt.
  6. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    Snoopy, I think maybe the reason you're on a different page is that you are looking at AJ from your perspective, perhaps how you would feel in her situation and/or think she should feel, and you see her as extremely fortunate and feel she should be happy in spite of what she's going through. But what you can't do is see the situation from AJ's point-of-view. Neither can I. All I'm trying to do is to point out that the things you may see as reasons to be happy may not matter to AJ as much as you think they do or as much as they matter to you. Health-related fear can be paralyzing to some people -- regardless of their otherwise good fortune.

  7. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Well except Angelina wrote a piece for the NY Times and gave at least some indication how she feels. Her very last sentence of her piece pretty much wraps it up.
  8. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    What AJ wrote in that last sentence was a pretty general statement. It talks about taking control of the things we can. Well, of course. But it doesn't talk about her feelings about it and the process. I chose to get a divorce to literally save my life. I had the ability to take control of my life, and I did. And I'm proud of my decision and the "fight" I summoned to make it happen. That says nothing about the fear, emotional anguish, exhaustion, and uncertainty I faced throughout the process.

    taf2002 and (deleted member) like this.
  9. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Thanks. I think the divorce analogy works for a variety of reasons.
  10. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

    My husband and I chose not to have children and this was one of many reasons. With our combined family histories of various issues and diseases, we felt that it was too great of a risk. Add to that fact that I have just never felt the need or desire to become a mother. As it turns out, I couldn't have children anyway.

    I can say that each cancer scare and even actual occurance have been met by my mother with guilt. I remember waking up from a hysterectomy and oopherectomy in my hospital room to the sounds of my mother crying. I asked what news they had found out only to learn that my mother was feeling guilty that she had passed this on to me. That was the last thing I needed to worry about at the time.
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    (((ArtisticFan))). I'm so sorry you have had to go through all of that. I respect your decision to not have children. I know that your Mom's feelings of guilt were hard on you. And, possibly, she could have tried harder to not let you know of them. But, as a mother, I know I would probably have the same feelings. My daughter had laryngo malasia. It made her first 3 years very difficult. I cried a lot, just not around her. She did grow out of it. It is genetic and there was no incidence of it in my family, but I felt guilty. Thank goodness I tok very good care of myself during my pregnancy - ate wisely, exercised wisely, did all of the right things medically. Had I eaten processed foods, I probably would have thought it was my fault for not eating pure foods. Of course, that is the OCD in me - everything is my fault. But, It is hard, as a parent, not to feel guilty when something happens to your child that causes them pain. Even when you did nothing to cause it.
  12. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member


  13. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry about Angelina's aunt. Sadly it's even more clear -her aunt's death seems to confirm that Jolie made the right decision.

    I want to thank everyone who has survived breast cancer in this thread for sharing.

    I think Angelina made the very best decision for HER after consulting her doctors. I wish her a full recovery (she just had reconstruction in April I believe). It's good that her partner Brad is very supportive. She may also be in counseling sessions to help with her recovery. It's not just physically that she must recover obviously but emotionally, mentally, etc.

    Some remarks from certain posters almost seem to suggest it isn't so bad for her as it would a regular working gal because well she's Angelina Jolie, wealthy Movie Star. She's a human being and this has to affect her much the same as everyone else who has gone through this. Her breasts were amputated and she has suffered a necessary (for her) physical loss to (hopefully) gain many more years of life with her children. I wish for Angie and her family many more years of happiness together.
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

  15. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    Sasha'sSpins, you said that beautifully.

    Hearing about her aunt, this morning, just made me feel, even more strongly that she did the right thing. Obviously, she's known, for a while, that her aunt had breast cancer and that it would be fatal. Giving herself and her loved ones peace of mind means everything.
  16. Alixana

    Alixana Definitely NOT a sonogram

    In this case, I completely agreed with AJ's choice for herself, but this is a good reminder to me that even if I don't agree with a decision, I shouldn't be so hasty to judge because I don't what factors led the person to that decision. My heart goes out to Debbie Martin's family.
  17. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Very true, IMO. Sure Angelina's Dad became a wealthy actor, but that ironically ended up bringing heartache to her Mom. Angelina's life growing up was no bed of roses. Angelina's Mom, Marcheline, was so broken up when Jon Voight left the marriage for a young actress, that Marcheline reportedly ended up keeping Angelina (as a young baby) isolated in an upstairs room because Angelina looked so much like her Dad. Marcheline had someone else care for Angelina and did not see her or allow Angelina's own brother to see her for six months. That episode is likely the source of some of Angelina's psychological difficulties as an adolescent and a young adult. And, since her parents were divorced, she actually did not have what might be popularly perceived as a rich upbringing.

    Angelina, as described in a recent biography, ultimately experienced a loving, but a very odd and difficult relationship with her mother growing up, and especially with her father, as has been well-documented. Adopting her first child, Maddox, ended up helping Angelina (as she herself has testified) to become more emotionally balanced. Apparently, meeting Brad Pitt helped balance her emotions and her life even further.

    Contrary to popular public perception, wealth does not offer anyone happiness. It can certainly help with material things and it offers a lot of conveniences, including access to top-notch healthcare. However, if you don't love yourself and have the good luck to share true deep and lasting love with a caring partner and extended family, money can not buy those invaluable assets.

    Thanks for your thoughts in your above post, Sasha's Spins. ITA.

    I admire Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for putting their money where their hearts are (re humanitarian causes). And for putting their children first in every aspect of their lives together as a family.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  18. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the insight aftershocks. I had no idea Angelina Jolie had that sort of upbringing. That certainly explains a few things pre-Brad Pitt. As someone from New Orleans, I admit I'm biased, but I have a soft spot for Jolie and Pitt because they have done a world of good for the New Orleans community.
  19. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes, a recent biography reveals a bit about Angelina's difficulties growing up although I would take some of the biographer's assertions and interpretations with a grain of salt. Still he does seem to have done in-depth research and interviewed the actual baby sitter who took care of Angelina during her period of isolation, along with obtaining eyewitness accounts from family members and friends of Marcheline and Jon Voight. Angelina was a baby when the pushing away by her mother happened so she probably doesn't remember consciously but the isolation and separation from her mother, brother and father during a crucial period of early development surely had a disjunctive effect on the formation of her personality. At the time, her father was reportedly unaware of what Marcheline had done.

    Marcheline did finally get over her initial reaction re not wanting to be around Angelina, and over time they developed a loving if difficult relationship. Marcheline was overly controlling at times and also strangely accepting of (almost pushing) her daughter (into) having a live-in boyfriend at a young age. Angelina seemed more like the grown-up in contrast and she apparently was protective of her mother and did her best to try and please her.

    This 2011 article with quotes from Angelina becomes more understandable when you realize what happened to her growing up:


    I always felt caged: Angelina Jolie on why she was driven to cut herself
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    Aftershocks, you are so right, in that, having money and/or (perceived) privilege doesn't necessarily mean an easy life. It can often, as exhibited here, make life more difficult. She would not be the first, or last, child of a celebrity or wealthy business person to be treated horribly, be neglected, shown affection with $$ rather than time/love. Joan Crawford's daughter shined a light on that quite glaringly.
  21. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    I was reminded of Angelina's decision today, after reading about Pierce Brosnan's daughter Charlotte. :( She died at 41 of ovarian cancer. Her mother (Pierce's first wife) died of the same disease at 43, and HER mother died of it at a young age as well.


    If I were Charlotte's daughter, I'd get my eggs frozen and ovaries taken out at 30. I wouldn't risk it. With that family history, her body is a ticking time bomb. :( Early 40s is just way to young.

    This is so sad. No child should lose their parent at such a young age, and no parent should ever bury their child.
  22. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    I wish they had known about genetic testing in time to help Charlotte.
    My sympathy to Pierce Brosnan and Charlotte's family.
  23. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    I first heard about getting genetic testing several years ago because of the prevalent family history of breast cancer in my family. I think I first heard about it back in 2000 so this has been around for quite awhile. It has only just recently become more main stream which is unfortunate.
  24. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Such sad news for the Brosnan and Smith families...she and her husband have two children. :(
  25. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    My thoughts and prayers to the Brosnan family and friends.
  26. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    Jolie is not letting her misfortunes keep her from trying to bring positive change into the world:

    Jolie Urges UN Security Council to Act on War Rapes

    I know she cares greatly about what's happening in the world, but hadn't heard much about what she's been doing the last few years. I thought maybe she was staying closer to home and being a Mom (which is of course a wonderful thing in itself). I'm glad to hear that she's still keeping a lot of balls up in the air! :D
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  27. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Good for her :)
  28. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    So sad. :( I remember how crushed Brosnan was by the loss of his wife. To go through it again with his daughter . . . I can't imagine.

    May she rest in peace.