Thursday, November 07, 2013

Dancing before surgery

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I don't think women should make the decision to have a double-mastectomy lightly. So seeing this crop up on the interwebs today is making me a little crazy.

Before a Double Mastectomy, a Dance Party 
and also this
This Woman Was About To Go In For Surgery. What She Did Moments Before Was Awesome.

Yes, you read that right. A woman -- not just any woman, an ob/gyn and mom -- is about to go into surgery to have her breasts removed, and she is dancing with her surgical team.

You can watch it here

So I don't know her whole story. I am hoping that she's having this procedure for a good, evidence-based reason, i.e. she has one of the breast cancer genes and is at extremely high risk for breast cancer, and this is her best option. I'm hoping she's not just doing it out of fear; thinking that just "taking them off" will remove all risk of future cancer; or because she doesn't want to worry anymore.

But I don't have that information yet.

So why are folks so enamored with this woman (who arguably seems like a pretty cool person, and a good dancer, to boot)?

Because she's being brave in the face of something terrifying? Because she's thumbing her nose at cancer?

But what about folks who can't dance before their surgery? How about folks that are just too worried or scared or just plain sick to dance? Shouldn't they live in our hearts as well?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is: it's pretty neat that she seems so joyous before her surgery, but this isn't a typical response to surgery. Most of us would be terrified. I feel putting this video out there is making us feel like we have to be braver than is actually expected or needed. Her good attitude isn't going to change the fact that she has weeks if not months of painful recovery ahead. This is no joke. She's not going to be able to dance again for a good while.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, I guess I clicked "like" on this yesterday and it must have shown up in my news stream. I then heard from a dear friend who will do this in Dec (yes she has the gene and her father just had breast cancer). I agree all women need to be supported and I can't imagine many women can dance right before surgery (I know would be very afraid and just trying to breathe and not have a panic attack). Maybe b/c she is familiar with the OR as a doc or familiar with the staff she can be more relaxed. Whatever it is I'm glad it works for her. That said, it can't be a judgment about what all women should be like….surgery is scary. I guess for this women, the alternative is simply more so….