If you watch or read the news, you probably heard that Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy a few months back. She didn't have breast cancer, but she found out through genetic testing that she carried a gene BRCA1, that increased the likelihood that she would have breast cancer at some point in her life. Here is a link to Jolie's Op-Ed.
If we're lucky, we get to go to the doctor and have our annual exam where we are screened for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and our blood is usually drawn to check our cholesterol or thyroid levels. I'm not going to say I look forward to these exams, but after I go through it, I'm glad I did. It's one less thing to worry about and I feel like I'm being proactive about my health.
But, and there's always a but, I don't ever want to look into the crystal ball of genetic testing. I view it this way, we're all going to die of something. And I personally think it adds a lot of stress to our already stressful lives to know if we have a predisposition to a certain disease or ailment. I think it's better to do the things you know you're supposed to do to keep healthy as long as you can. You know, eat right, exercise, drink lots of water, don't smoke, that kind of thing. Why open up Pandora's Box?
Plus, I don't imagine that insurance companies are going to cover this sort of testing, nor will they foot the bill for a preventative procedure. They don't do much, if any, of that now. So, who gets to do this type of thing? You guessed it, the people that have the money to do so. The uninsured and the poor peeps just have to live and die with the genetic cards they've been dealt.
So what do you think of genetic testing? Do you think it's somewhat frivolous to opt for a double mastectomy when cancer isn't present? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
This past weekend I attended the DFW Writers' Conference in lovely Hurst, TX. Actually, I volunteered for most of it, but that was the best thing for this socially anxious gal. If I've got something to do, it's a lot easier for me to talk to people. The conference festivities began the night before for members of the DFW Writers' Workshop at Billy Bob's Texas. Hence, the cowgirl gear. Thanks go out to my friend Lori for loaning me the outfit and the boots!
The next day, it was all business. I moderated two classes for Mike Capuzzo, who I invited to attend the conference as a keynote. I interviewed him on this here blog last year. You can hear that interview here. He was a hoot and I very much enjoyed his keynote speech.
On Sunday, I attended a class about sex at 8:30 am. The speaker/author, Suzy Spencer, is a true crime writer who admitted that she was tired of writing about murder. She wanted to laugh, so she started out writing a journalistic exploration into alternative sex practices and it morphed into a memoir. I tried to pick her brain, as I did the same thing with death. She probably had more fun! There I am with her book. I started reading it last night. Very interesting material!
Despite the fact that I didn't attend many classes, I had a great time at the conference. It was killer to see Dawn Frederick with Red Sofa Literary at the Non-fiction panel. She knows the writing world and she's a roller-girl ref to boot! How cool is that?
I also got to meet up with a few people that I only communicate with in the social media world. It's totally cool to see those peeps in the flesh.
So, now I'm totally energized to write and make those changes that my editor suggested. I don't know if I'll go the tradition route with "Death Becomes Us" or if I'll self publish. What I do know is that I love the writing life. I know sometimes that I bitch and moan about it, but I can't imagine doing anything else.
Monday, April 15, 2013
National Health Care Decision Day
Yep, it's today. How's that for A to Z timing? Click here and go get your Advance Directive. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you definitely need to click on that link.
Okay, now that I've reported the official business of the day, I'd like to talk about something that has been consuming my thoughts since last Monday. And that is Nicotine. Yes, it starts with an N. How convenient! Well, kiddos, the death writer used to love her some cigarettes. I was a two pack a day smoker for many, many years. I did not love how they tasted, but I loved that I could take a break from life to step outside and smoke. About three years ago, I gave them up and became equally addicted to Nicotine Lozenges.
You're not supposed to use nicotine lozenges for three years, but according to a lot of message boards here on the internet, many people do. So, I've been going through nicotine withdrawal which is horrible. I am supposed to be preparing my manuscript for editing and I can't even think. Nor can I really blog.
So, that leads me to the point of this post. Go get your advance directive and don't ever start smoking. It's a BITCH to quit. And last, but certainly not least, I am bowing out of the A to Z. I wish all of you the best of luck.