My Boobs! My Decision!

My Boobs! My Decision!

Bras

Angelina Jolie has written a brave account of her decision to have a Preventative Double Mastectomy.  (chopping both boobs off)

She outlined her personal experiences and reasoning for the decision in her article. 

With a history of Breast Cancer in her family, and news from her doctors that she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer. I think her choice was informed. Either way, it was her choice to make.

Reading commentary on a Facebook post of Nicholas Kristof , I have to tell you I was surprised at first, but now not so much.

‘Pure STUPIDITY’

‘Expect sympathy and claims of bravery’

‘This is a ridiculous approach..’

Women can be bitches.

Angelina wrote, ‘I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience.’ 

I’m thinking women commenting perhaps did not read the article, or have the ‘not-so-rare’ ailment of selective reading. Perhaps the tree growing out of their own eyes are helping them to identify the splinters in others. *snorks* Throwing around all sorts of assumptions about the reasoning for her decision, one woman made the statement that it was Jolie’s;

‘Slick way of getting a breast enhancement’

Sure, some of us have boobs that would get gravel rash if we went running around without our bra’s on (me), or that could be described as inverted mosquito bites. 

But Seriously.

‘A slick way of getting a breast enhancement’

Give.

Me.

A.

Break.

I don’t expect all women agree with me. I DO expect women to present their varying opinions and provide reasoning for it. (The non trolling, intelligent ones who care about being credible) At least then, I’ve opportunity to understand where they are coming from.

We do not need to agree with each other. We also do not need to attack each other. 

I don’t know if I’d do the same thing in her position.  However, I respect her right to make her own choices.  I’ve still got my boobs. I like them. I have no intention or reason to cut them off. That stated, I appreciate Jolies personal testimony. Testimony that will provide some comfort to people who HAVE had similar experiences. 

 ‘Her Boobs! Her Decision!’

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56 responses to “My Boobs! My Decision!

  1. Ugh. Misogyny and sexism at its finest. It’s up to a woman as to what she can do with her body. Angelina’s boobs are her own and since they were a severe threat to her health, it made total sense for her to get a double mastectomy!! Who gives a crap if she got implants afterward?! I agree — women should show some solidarity & support each other for the freedom to make our own choices, not hate on each other.

    • I’m entirely with you.

      I was recently twitter surfing through some previous posts and someone had linked to a post done through NYT about Angelina missing an opportunity to ‘educate women’ and had instead ‘women permission to chop of their boobs as a first course of action when faced with the possibility of breast cancer’

      Comon… as if ANYONE would take that decision lightly, and base their choices on the sole fact that someone ‘famous’ did it.

      In my mind, she articulated her personal situation extremely well, outlining her circumstances and her reasoning which she entirely owned. – A great example of a well thought out process.

      One could be forgiven for assuming some people have way too much time on their hands if they are coming up with ridiculously creative nonsense that serves no purpose other than to tear a person down for making difficult choices when faced with adversity.

  2. Agreed. For it seems pretty simple to me – One’s decisions as to what to do, or not do is their decision and no one else’s. A similar argument is often made for tattoos and piercings – I amy not agree with all your decisions regarding them – but its my opinion – not my right to tell you you are wrong.

    • I do agree with that fundamental principle. When it comes to personal life decisions.

      In a Professional Setting, or a situation where your behaviour is directly negatively affecting another persons life (I.e abuse of another person etc) There is a need for the intervention of others to try and help set things right.

      Miss Lou
      x

  3. First, thanks for the follow!
    Came lately to the party of this post. Not sure if I have much to add, the people before me did an admirable job of sharing intelligent responses. Kudos to you for having such great followers… they are hard to find these days. When Angelina made her announcement I cheered, though, in truth, I usually cheer at whatever she does. Would I do it? How could I possibly know that since I am so not in her shoes. What I cheered for was the intelligent and brave manner in which she handled it.
    We certainly have turned into a judgy group, haven’t we?
    Anyway,
    thanks for a great post and I look forward to getting to know you.

  4. My mother had breast cancer and later died from the cancer spreading. My good friend had double mastectomies after being told that not only did she have cancer but she had the nasty gene. She knew before that she was likely to have breast cancer; her mother had it and a sister died of it. She regrets waiting to have the mastectomies until after the cancer was found.
    I’ve watched her go through the surgery and recovery and it ain’t easy people. It’s not a little nip and tuck, it’s full out cutting it off and more than just breast tissue for some. I don’t know Angelina Jolie, but does any really think she just decided she needed a boob job? People who think that was her plan should go online and check out surgery pictures and get a look at what she really went through.

    • Hi! I’m very sorry to hear about the death of your mother to this terrible disease!

      I completely agree with all of your points. It is NOT a decision made lightly (one would think for the majority of people) – That decision may be a little easier to make when you are faced with such confronting statistics and circumstances.

      When faced with Life and death, Boobs No Boobs, I think I’d probably choose no boobs. Maybe? I guess I can never really know unless faced with that decision.

      If you are dead, it doesn’t matter if you have boobs eh?

      Thank you for taking the time to share your personal experiences. I appreciate that!

      Miss Lou
      xx

  5. I respect the way you have brought this out here. If Angelina- who is known for her oomph, can do it, there’s a huge message, not controversy, that should bubble up.

  6. Hi Louella,
    First of all: You bring up GREAT topics for discussion!!
    As for AJ’s decision, I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one to make and for me she is a hero to have brought it out into the open. She has triggered a worldwide discussion, including here in Israel (in the wake of which BTW I found out that a dance instructor I know and whose obviously silicone breasts I had once made a snobby remark about to a friend, had undergone double mastectomy….I felt soooo ashamed and definitely learned a lesson: not to judge people so quickly and in such a superficial way!!), and increased awareness and for that she has my respect. I think every person has to go with his or her personal feelings, intuition and understanding. Remarks like “Slick way of getting a breast enhancement” are plain STUPID.

    • I absolutely agree Heila. Even if you wouldn’t act in the same manner as her when faced with the same circumstances, it is important to note those things;

      1. She was brave enough to admit her dilemma and share that with the world – without a doubt, that would have provided comfort to many women

      2. She has created awareness about the procedure to detect your level of risk (which I didn’t even know existed)

      and

      3. She has highlighted and created discussion about how expensive that particular procedure is, particularly for people in 3rd world countries to access.

      She’s a hero to me.

  7. Everything that you have listed here has been truthful. I usually don’t condone the use of cosmetic surgery in this country, only if it is a life or death situation.
    I admire Jolie’s bravery, knowing that this will cause a stir in Hollyweird, and possibly demote her sex symbol status (which has been on the decline anyway for the past few years). I don’t think she’s trying to inspire or raise awareness, she’s just doing this for her, not us.

    • I absolutely agree, Jibber and in my mind, that is the best reason for making such a decision. She, although she did not need to, outlined her reasoning behind it quite clearly. I believe that by doing this she has probably helped countless numbers of women in similar circumstances who also have had hard decisions to make.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and for your well considered comments 🙂

      Miss Lou
      x

  8. Hi Louella, this is a really great post. I didn’t have a preventative mastectomy in my 30’s because my Dr said I was unlikely to get breast cancer (despite more than 5 generations of women in my family all dying from it before age 50!). Low and behold I developed breast cancer at the same age as all my other female relatives and have been through surgery, chemo and a whole heap of other stuff that doesn’t bear thinking about. If I was in AJ’s shoes I’d do exactly what she did. If I’d listened to my instincts ten years ago instead of to the ‘current medical thinking’ I wouldn’t have spent the past 12 months fighting to survive. I probably wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life checking to see if the cancer has returned and I wouldn’t have scars and fake bits that have no sensation. I don’t believe any woman would have her breasts chopped off to get a breast enhancement – the fact is you don’t get an enhancement and your body is never the same again afterwards. I do believe that cancer kills and it kills younger women far more frequently than older ones. If we turn AJ’s statistics around and say ‘if you keep your breasts you only have a 13% chance of remaining cancer free’ it puts the whole thing into very clear perspective. Thanks for a very thought provoking post & for the follow. Personally I wish women didn’t have to make the decision to have their breasts removed but until there’s a way to prevent cancer, with odds like AJ’s its the most sensible option.

    • Thanks so much Tracy. I really appreciate your comments and it is very interesting to hear your perspective as you are a person who has lived through this experience!

      Presented with the information we have, I also trust she did the best that she could with what she knew.

      I honestly do not know if I would do that same thing in her circumstances, but hearing stories like yours, and the struggle you went through certainly helps to put it into perspective.

  9. Hi Louella, Great post! Though I’m not a big AJ fan, one has to respect the fact that she did the research before making her decision. Her choice, her life, her rewards or her consequences . . .

  10. Many people are too quick to judge. I have watched the world (including myself) turn into skeptics about everything. Your title says it all. We cannot put ourselves in anyone else’s place and pretend to know why they do the things they do. Just be more accepting of other’s decisions. ♥

    • I absolutely agree. We can all have our opinions and feel we may well make a different decision. However that does not put us in a place to put judgement on someone else.

      We are all individuals and have unique experiences that determine the way we behave and the choices we make. My position not that it matters really, is that she made a well informed decision and considered things very carefully (who wouldn’t, honestly!)

      Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!

      Miss Lou

  11. A co-worker of mine, made the same decision. She has since regretted having had the surgery. She had many problems with infections, and is embarrassed about her replacement boobs. And…she has no nipples. AJ made her choice, I hope she made the right one.

    • IT appears, that where she is in here mind right now, she feels as if she has, and considering it is such a huge decision to have made, I really pray for her, that it is so.

      It sounds like you friend has a horrible time of it. 😦 I hope she is able to come to a place where she feels at peace with it all.

  12. Fabulous discussion you prompted with your post. I give AJ credit for knowing where her comfort zone.. By not being persuaded by ‘well-meant’ advice.
    Having been through thankfully only a lumpectomy when I was 35 I would hazard to suppose I would not do the same. For me it has little to do with any deep affection I hold my breasts or any vanity associated, I don’t.
    Like many women my identity is not a result of my breast’s.
    What it has to do with for me is; “The Do No Harm”. “The Less Invasive Trek the Better” and… I will take the :”Wait n See Approach.” Breast Cancer of course is a complex puzzle. And so are peoples belief systems.
    I applaud AJ because she did what she felt comfortable with,
    Her history. Her boundaries. Her Choice.

    By the way; thanks ever so much for the follow. I got carried away with your discussion.
    .I apologize for taking some time to return the follow. I had been on sabbatical and am just now returning ~ BB

    • G’day Barefoot Baroness ( I LOVE your name BTW)

      I completely understand your approach of “the do no harm, less invasive, perhaps wait and see’.

      I have to be honest and say that I am really not sure what I would do in the event it was discovered I had the gene which meant I had an 87% risk of getting cancer. I like to think that I would use the information have discussions with my medical professional peoples and then make an informed choice based on those factors – just as I think Angelina Jolie did. Unlike Angelina, I do not have anyone in my family who has suffered breast cancer (or any kind of cancer for that matter really) so I wouldn’t need to take that into consideration.

      I’m also not sure how I would feel about getting both my boobs chopped off. I’ve got big boobs 12DD or 10E depending on whether or not I am having a fat or thin day and although they could probably do with an uplift, I do kinda like them! Of course they do not define me (I can type in sentences n stuff).. lol

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 and the follow.

  13. Well kudos to her I say! It’s her body and people will do what they need to do to ensure they can be there as long as they can for their kids, grand kids etc. she did her proper research, and made a personal decision. Even with the negative responses, at least it leads to discussion. Though I am appalled that some women are so unsupportive!

    • I am so sorry I missed this one muse!! I absolutely 100 agree. Her body, her choice, and it really does appear that she did her research. She made a very informed personal decision and I think it’s completely unreasonable for people to be flinging judgement around about a decision and situation they are not in. Her situation, her history, her circumstances – and her emotions. No one else can lay claim to that.

  14. I heard a panel of women on a CBC radio interview this morning on my way out of the city. They were talking about their decisions to have preventative mastectomy(s). It’s not just Angelina that is doing this. It’s an incredibly challenging decision to make and not taken lightly in the least. It’s frightening that women are faced with this sort of decisions. The screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is found in an average of 0.6% of women so there are potentially other variant mutations to look for. Angelina (and many other women) who are screened for those particular mutations generally have a lot of death in their families to account for the decision to have surgery. One panel member talked about her reconstructive surgery after the mastectomy. She spent 17 hours under the knife and took months to recover and one of her breasts didn’t take the reconstruction so she needed to repeat. The ladies who think Angelina did this as a ‘slick’ way of getting breast augmentation are sadly misinformed and ignorant. I’m so sad to see that women would say such horrible things about each other. Angelina is using her celebrity to start conversation. And in return she gets shut down by women. Wow– just wow.

    • Thanks for you comment Maesha, Right, it isn’t just Angelina doing this. She has done a fantastic service to women, creating an opportunity for us to have a really engaged, serious conversation about Breast Cancer. Not only the cancer itself, but the diagnosis, the treatments, the availability and the cost involved. This is especially relevant to women who do not have access to medical care.

      I’m totally with you on the wow @ the way some women behave. There is a difference between voicing an opinion, and chasing after someone in a psycho frenzy trying to beat them down your comment in CAPS.

  15. It’s really difficult to consider the idea of “genetic problems” until you actually have one. Speaking as someone with wonky genes, if I could have surgery, even drastic surgery, to ensure that I’ll be able to play with my grand-kids, I’d sure as hell do it!
    People do things every day to reduce their chances of cancer (sunscreen, to name but one) for much lower chances. I’ll admit that the surgery is extreme, but medically speaking, people do things on much lower statistical probabilities. (Like the MMR avoidance due to spurious links to autism in the UK, or the decrease in egg sales because of the salmonella scare) At least Ms Jolie went out and actually researched, got some solid statistical evidence and proper science to back up her decision and make a logical decision from it (although it may be a difficult one to understand).
    And as far as the women being ridiculous is concerned – I think it’s probably partly down to jealousy. She’s stunning, and a huge proportion of the male population find her attractive (and probably an appreciable amount of the women too). Any flaw in these “super human celebrities” who are seen as rich, clever, successful AND beautiful is magnified and vilified until they seem like monsters.

    • Thanks Hyper! Your comment, particularly with consideration to your own illness is really appreciated in this context.

      I understand that some people may find it difficult to relate to the decision that she made, but if nothing else, – as you have outlined, we can see that it was a very well informed and thought out decision. I does not appear to have anything to do with vanity. (One of the ridiculous statements made)

      I’m not sure why some of the women have made the statements they did. Jealousy, I agree, could certainly be one possibly. Having seen hateful and negative comments all over the place, I wonder if it isn’t part of ‘Desensitizing’ we see almost everywhere on the internet. People think that because they do not have a personal relationship with someone, their comments can be a free for all. – https://misslouella.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/q-is-for-quotation/

      • Yep, I’m well aware of the “because you’re on the internet, you’re not a real person” phenomenon. This is why I always use a pseudonym/nickname on the internet. It disconnects me a little from the persona I’m using online and makes it easier to deal with morons! It’s also why I stopped playing MMORPG’s. Too many people forgetting that there’s a real person behind the fire-wielding warlock.

      • Jealousy? I think that is a very real possibility. But I think, more so, that fear dictates this reaction. Women (people in general) integrate their sexuality and gender deeply into their human identities. And the idea of removing such integral parts of our bodies is incredibly frightening. There is a psychological-emotional component to this and I think the idea of it causes trauma to our sensibilities. I can’t imagine being faced with a decision like this. Trying out short hair is easy, but removing the parts of your body that strongly identify you with your femininity is, for most of us, and incredibly courageous consideration. What the hell would I do without my breast? I think it’s easier to balk at someone, than to look the issue in the eye.

      • Yes, Fear is also a likely factor. Most of our cultures focus primarily on the appearance of a person, and anything unusual is usually, in some way frowned upon.

        If I had to make a decision to remove a part of my body, for the sake of my overall health, I can certainly see some challenges coming to terms with that. Makes me think about how I view myself. Interesting perspective, Thanks 🙂

    • Right Pebbles, She doesn’t. The statement, in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous. Her reasoning was sound to me, and even if I didn’t agree, I still appreciate the fact it was her decision to make, and it would not have come easily.

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