Archive | May 2013

My Medical Choice by Angelina Jolie


Since the release of Angelina Jolie’s revelation of her medical condition in the New York Times op-ed, it has naturally been all over the media. As many have said, It took a lot of courage to disclose such a private matter, especially being such a high-profile person. Everyone must make choices in their life. And, the decision she made is probably made by hundreds, if not thousands of women on a daily basis. The majority of women going through the same or something similar, cannot reach the masses as she is able to do, so I commend her for sharing such a personal struggle.  I think her words need highlighting not because of her status in the industry, but, because when you take all of that away, at the core of things, she is just a woman, dealing with the same struggles that face many women.  I also like the fact that she ends it by pointing out the fact that, unlike her, many cannot afford to have the many procedures which she was able to have done.  It is a very touching, heartfelt and important message, and a must read for all women, and those who love them.

My Medical Choice

By ANGELINA JOLIE
Published: May 14, 2013

MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.

We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer andovarian cancer.

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.

Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.

On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.

But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.

My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.

Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.

Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.

I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.

It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.

I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.

For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.

I acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.

Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.

I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.

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Angelina Jolie is an actress and director.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/opinion/my-medical-choice.html

NY man finishes writing out entire Bible by hand


Associated Press/Mike Groll, File - FILE - In this Tuesday, April 30, 2013 file photo, Phillip Patterson transcribes the King James Bible at this home in Philmont, N.Y. Patterson, a 63-year-old upstate New York man who has spent years writing out every word in the Bible has penning the very last lines. Patterson completed the final lines of the Book of Revelation on Saturday evening, May 11, 2013 during a ceremony at St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, near the Massachusetts border.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Associated Press/Mike Groll, File – FILE – In this Tuesday, April 30, 2013 file photo, Phillip Patterson transcribes the King James Bible at this home in Philmont, N.Y. Patterson, a 63-year-old upstate New York man who has spent years writing out every word in the Bible has penning the very last lines. Patterson completed the final lines of the Book of Revelation on Saturday evening, May 11, 2013 during a ceremony at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, near the Massachusetts border.(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Whatever your beliefs are, after reading the following story, you must admit that what this man did was pretty profound. I think one of the responses, by a poster, says it all:

SPENCERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — At last, it is written.

Four years after he began his project to write out every word of the Bible, Phillip Patterson penned the very last lines Saturday at an upstate New York church.

“Every single curly-q, every single loop, it was all worth it,” said Patterson, 63, moments after inking the final two verses of the King James Bible. “I’m really going to miss this writing.”

It took Patterson just a few minutes to copy the final lines of the Book of Revelation before a crowd of about 125 people at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown. He ended the ceremony by saying “Amen.”

Patterson, of Philmont, began copying the complete King James Bible in his neat, looping handwriting in 2009. He spent two years copying the first five books of the Bible as a prototype before starting fresh. He said he’ll spend about another year working on the book’s binding and covers before donating the fully completed Bible — more than 2,400 pages — to St. Peter’s as a gift.

For now, he said, he’ll just have to get used to his new life without holding a Pigma Micron pen every day.

“I’m going to miss the writing, that’s what I’m going to miss,” he said. “My fingers are fine, no callouses.”

Patterson has said he started the project to learn about the Bible, not as a spiritual quest. But he said the project has helped him become more patient, confident and loving.

The project was slowed by his health problems, including AIDS and anemia. The retired interior designer relies on two canes and leans on walls and furniture to get around his apartment near the Massachusetts border.

Paterson worked as much as 14 hours a day on his project.

source: Associated Press

Sunday Smile: Song and Dance at the Gas Pump


This happy couple will certainly put a smile on your face.

Live Like You Were Dying


written by: James Timothy Nichols, Craig Michael Wiseman

He said
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”
I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”

He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”

He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again
And then

I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fu man chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?

Skydiving
I went Rocky mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fu man chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying”

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive


written by: Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer

Gather ’round me, everybody
Gather ’round me while I’m preachin’
Feel a sermon comin’ on me
The topic will be sin and that’s what I’m ag’in’
If you wanna hear my story
The settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin’
The attitude of doin’ right…

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything seemed so dark?

(Man, they said “We’d better accentuate the positive”)
(“Eliminate the negative”)
(“And latch on to the affirmative”)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

(Ya got to spread joy up to the maximum)
(Bring gloom down to the minimum)
(Have faith or pandemonium’s)
(Liable to walk upon the scene)

You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive
Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative
And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, don’t mess with Mister In-Between

What is Love?


Bill and GladFor the answer to that question, watch this video:

Bill responds to the reaction to his video:

The song “Real Love” by Eric Benet came to mind after watching the videos above. Read the lyrics to see if you agree.