Posted by: Sarah | April 18, 2008

Positive and Negative

I’d intended to post about my 6-month checkup at the oncologist’s the other day (the first one to date that I didn’t panic about for weeks or months preceding!), but it was going to be pretty boring anyway. Yeah, healthy is boring. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

But instead I’m going to post a bit of a grumble.

As y’all are likely aware, I have one of the breast cancer genetic mutations. Specifically, I have BRCA1. There’s not a lot of non-technical books out there about BRCA gene mutations — mostly just passages in a book about the general topic of breast cancer — so when I caught wind of a memoir by a woman in her 30s who finds out that she is BRCA+, I got all kinds of excited to read it. I even pre-ordered it on amazon.

And it kind of wasn’t great. In fact, it annoyed me quite a lot. Constant name-dropping aside (sorry, but your average breast cancer patient or BRCA+ folk doesn’t get to write a piece for the New York Times OpEd page due to their connections), the DITHERING, oh the dithering. She carried on for most of the book about what a difficult choice it was, having a prophylactic mastectomy.

Look, I know. I get it. Trust me, I wasn’t remotely overjoyed to have to have a bilateral mastectomy (which, actually, was in part a prophylactic one, as the cancer was only in one breast, so I chose to sacrifice my other breast). I had a lot of trouble with the idea and still feel more than the occasional “this really isn’t fair” grumbly feelings about having to have had a mastectomy. But you know what? IT SAVED MY LIFE. So, for me, I don’t understand why someone would have a hard time with making a decision between their life and their stupid breasts.

So, if you’re getting the idea that I kinda didn’t like the book, you’re right.

I went to the book’s page on amazon to get the author’s name for a friend, and while there, noticed that the significant bulk of customer reviews were glowing. I mean absolutely 5-star, glorious, better than the Bible kind of reviews. Naturally, being the punk that I am, I wrote a not glowing review.

And it got deleted. Because I was criticizing the author and not the book itself. But, amazon hastened to tell me in their email responding to my “what the…?” inquiry, they still care about free speech.

Mmm-hmmm. Right.

Anyhow, don’t buy that book, and if you do, certainly don’t buy it from amazon.

p.s. happy sixth anniversary to me and Tom! well, in a few more days.



  1. S,

    Think you would ever write or be interviewed about being BRCA+ for Wheaton? Because you have some powerful words to write, lady!

  2. I’m with Anna! I would love to see (read) that.

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