Sunday, November 13, 2005

Grey's Anatomy

I'm watching it right now, and I just want to SCREAM! There's an attractive woman, about my age, who bursts into the hospital like a tornado on speed and demands a prophylactic total hysterectomy and double mastectomy, STAT! Like, TOMORROW!! Now start cutting!!!

And guess what? The doctors at this hospital are willing to do just that. Even worse, the doctor who is going to do the cutting is the best friend of the woman. And that doctor's husband is also a doctor in the hospital, and he happens to be the best friend of the woman's husband. This couple had been trying to have a baby when the woman's mother passed away from ovarian cancer. All of a sudden, boom, plans change. No baby. No ovaries. No uterus. No breasts.

Now, I believe there was some discussion that this woman tested positive for the breast cancer gene, which is also responsible for an increased risk of ovarian cancer. But when someone is gene positive, there is NO rush. Decisions can be made calmly, quietly, mindfully. I mean, shit, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told that I could wait up to six weeks to have my surgery. This woman didn't even have a diagnosis.

Now, I am all for genetic testing and then taking action if the results are positive. But this is a bit overboard.

Then get this: one of the interns in the hospital is offended by the woman's decision, stating that there IS an acceptable option of waiting to GET cancer and then fighting it hard. Yeah. That was fun. I can tell you, having had a double mastectomy and a bilateral oophorectomy - the surgery was WAY better than a lifetime of wondering whether cancer will come back. Oh, yeah, and who could forget chemo? That was fun too. So, you can imagine...I am a far bigger fan of prophylactic surgery than of waiting and seeing and fighting like mad.

There is also discussion of "instant menopause" (true) and loss of sex drive (sadly, true as well). But shit happens. Menopause hits all of us eventually. And loss of sex drive is part of that, unfortunately. As is weight gain. But weight gain CAN be reversed - I am living proof of that at 105 pounds, down from 123 - with a healthy, fairly spartan, but by no means anorexic diet and plenty of exercise. And sex drive, schmex drive. It doesn't disappear altogether. It just needs to be coaxed out of hiding. A decade of marriage is probably much worse for the sex drive than the removal of the ovaries.

Oh wow! Now one of the interns is calling the surgery "castration" and saying that the woman is having the parts of her that "make her a woman" removed. OK, now I totally object to that, and it infuriates me that a WOMAN is saying that, that the writers scripted it that way. A woman is not the sum total of her ovaries and breasts. I really don't feel that my "womanhood" was removed along with those parts of me. And I really don't believe that many women who feel that their lives were saved with these surgeries would ever cop to feeling like something less than a "woman".

Honestly, this is the first time I have ever heard such a thing - that what makes a woman a woman is her ovaries. I thought that what made me a woman was the fact that I was born with a vagina. After all, one look at me, and my mother's obstetrician knew exactly what I was. It didn't take a pelvic ultrasound.

OK, back to the show.

YC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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14/12/06 07:03 from Breast cancer blog from medicineworld.org
-------------------------------------------------------------
A clinical trial of a new targeted breast cancer drug, led by
physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer
Center, has begun enrolling patients. The TEACH (Tykerb
Evaluation After CHemotherapy) trial will investigate ...


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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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