Angelina Jolie has made headlines due to having test results show that she may have early cancer. My first thought when I read this was, the same first thought when she had her preventative double mastectomy, about her bravery. I can’t imagine the fear in finding out from a doctor that you are at high risk for a disease, and the strength in choosing to have the surgery to remove parts that may become cancerous.
Given my family history, and watching my own mother suffer from ovarian cancer, and ultimately lose her battle, I thought long hard hard about this topic. My Mom was from Thailand, and had no communication with her family from there. I don’t know a lot about my family history on her side. I do know that her mother also passed away when she was young, due to some sort of stomach ailments, so ovarian cancer isn’t out of the realm of possibility, due to inadequate medical care.
It leads me to thinking about watching my Mom suffer, and how I wouldn’t want my kids to go through watching me die from cancer. That experience had such an effect on me. I’ve suffered from PTSD concerning sickness, and have a hard time with hospitals and illness.
It’s something that I do think a lot about. For much of my life, I’ve been convinced that I won’t make it out of my 30′s. I go in annually for my female well checks, and each and every year, as I wait for the doctor to call me with the results, I feel like I have the sword of Damocles hanging over my head.
I do think that I could and would preemptively have anything removed to prevent cancer. I have actually considered looking into the testing to determine what my risks might be. I’m thinking about contacting my insurance company to see if they cover BRCA-1 Testing.
I actually had my annual pap smear on Tuesday, and am about to undergo further testing due to my doctor being very worried about some issues that I’m having. I’m not going to lie, it weighs heavily on my mind, and I’m hoping for fast results.