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Who Invited this Guy to the Party?

My first surgery for ovarian cancer was a hysterectomy. I woke up in the ICU with breathing tubes. I could only communicate with my hands, my eyes and by scribbling notes that my sister could barely decipher. Standing at the end of my gurney was a doctor that I had never seen before. He was making "small talk" with my mom and my sister about the possible genetic links of ovarian cancer. The whole conversation was freaking me out. I wanted to bolt from the room but that was not an option. 

Before any of us had the chance to ask "who sent you here and why?" this unnamed doctor was advising that since my family background was of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, and since I had Ovarian Cancer at a relatively young age, not only were the rest of the family probably going to get cancer, but, "just to be on the safe side" - I SHOULD GO AHEAD AND REMOVE MY BREASTS!!!

This man went off to enjoy the rest of his day. On the other hand, we were left staring at each other in shock. Who invited this guy to the party? I was lying there just having abruptly removed all of my female organs, some plumbing parts, my appendix and a layer of fat called the omentum (which I was glad to see go), to imagine myself without breasts as well was complete torture and further - medically unnecessary. Since the surgery, I did have genetic testing and am glad to report Ovarian Cancer and Breast Cancer are NOT destined in my family! Doctor what's-his-name, was just a little premature!

- Jana "Ultra" Rosenblatt, Van Nuys, CA

 

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