Man to man, boob to boob, I thought I’d drop you a quick line.
My BRCA blogger wife and I can’t thank the Jolie/Pitt team enough for stepping forward with your experience and emotions behind this defective gene. Your rationale and attitude shed new light on risk-reducing surgery, normalising and even glamorising the way other BRCA carriers have gone before. But the discovery of Angelina’s genetic make-up must have been traumatic for you all, particularly as she so sadly lost her mother at such a young age.
I remember the day my wife was tested for the gene. The new world began right there. One day it’s business as usual, the next it’s a parade of doctors, geneticists, experts, questions, tests, statistics, tears, a little laughter and some more tears. As the non-affected party, you sit patiently. Allowing the information to permeate the male cortex in a non-threatening fashion. Offering affection where necessary. But ultimately you know you are just the emotional sponge to a decision-making process where the partner has the daunting prospect of her fatality. As well as her future within the family framework. But when presented with the stark reality of medical statistics combined with her joie de vivre, the decision to operate becomes a no-brainer. Your wife goes on to commit a selfless, sacrificial act and her actions deemed heroic by all. Whilst all this is going on, her man tries to ensure that the ride is as smooth as possible.
As a team, you grow closer as a result of the experience. And lose a few hairs in the process.
Then the whispers change. The eyes scrunch a bit more. The adoring Joe Public speculates. So what do the boobs look like? Go on, so what do the boobs actually look like now? At first it’s just a sixth sense. Then prying eyes start focusing.. And before you know it one of your friends will wait till you have supped a decent slug of beer, before asking the BIG question… the one that is waiting patiently on everyone’s lips…..
Anyway, enough about our wives and their journey. But if you ever find yourself on this side of the Pond and want to shoot the BRCA breeze over a cold beer, the door is bilaterally open….
PS a final word of advice: if you’re celebrating a landmark birthday, don’t end up in a table-dancing bar …