Angelina, Thank You!

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

A shot in the arm

Wow. Just when everything was going along as usual, late Monday night, my husband calls from work at his San Francisco television station and BOOM!

"Did you see the e-mail I sent to you?" he asks.

"No, I'm painting," I tell him. "Shit!"

"What's wrong?"

"I dropped my paintbrush on the cat." I'm half listening to him when Figgy begins fussing and I try to wipe the purple oil paint off her black fur before she runs away into our living room to roll around on my blue carpet. Yes, I said blue. No, it's not some obnoxious blue from the 1970s; it actually looks really pretty.

Sorry. Back to the story.

"You need to read the e-mail I sent," Mark tries to draw me back into the conversation.

"Why? Can't you just tell me what it says?" For all I know, it could be news bloopers like the guy who said "fuckin' shit" his first time on air recently, got fired, got invited onto late-night comedy shows, then got offered a much better job. Crap! I can cuss away on TV if that will get me a better job than the horrible-paying freelance writing job I currently hold. Or perhaps something like the video he e-mailed today of the video, "What it would look like if a grizzly bear was eating your head." Really. A friend sent it to him.

(Keep reading below after you check out this bear's molars...he really needs to brush his yellow-stained smoker's teeth. Can you smell the dog breath? Shivers.)

Here's the Grizzly bear video. What, you thought I was kidding?

Brava, Ms. Jolie!

"There's going to be an Op-Ed in the NY Times written by Angelina Jolie telling about her BRCA experience and having surgeries like you did."

I stopped fiddling with my paint brushes. Finally, Mark captured my attention away from the pretty paints.

"Wow. You're kidding." I was excited. And then came the sarcasm. "Well, shit...I've had more surgeries than her and even worked for a NY Times paper, but you didn't see my Op-Ed in the paper." Bitchy, cranky me. Of course I'm going to see the glass-half-empty.

Strike that. I agree with a Woody Allen quote from his movie "Scoop." When Scarlett Johansson accused him of being someone who always sees the glass half-empty, he responds, "No, you're wrong. I see the glass half full, but of poison."

So, if you have followed my BRCA writing in the past few years and you were passing these last few days wondering, "Gee, I wonder where the hell Joelle is these days. She must have died, or something, not to have taken advantage of a story like this...especially since her book Cancer Time Bomb is about this very subject," than you would be wrong. I'm not dead (yet), nor have I been incognito. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Interviewed for the evening news

I hate how I look in this photo. The best look was on KGO.
I hate how I look in this photo. The best look was on KGO.

Who should pay?

Should health insurance pay for the BRCA genetic mutation test?

  • Yes. The test should be available for everyone. It's too expensive for many people and it shouldn't only be accessible to the wealthy.
  • Yes, but only in cases where there is a clear family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers, or for anyone adopted.
  • No. Why should insurance pay for something that doesn't impact everyone?
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Burning the midnight oil


If you go to my book web page that Hubpages won't let me list, otherwise they think I am being too self-promoting (just put my name after the w's and add the COMmon extension after the period), you will find out on the "In the News" page that I've been interviewed five times in the past three days. You can watch any of the three TV interviews, or listen to the two radio interviews (did one this morning...in my pjs and sitting in my kitchen). Actually, I'm waiting for the mp3 from this morning's interview. You'll also find another blog that sounds similar to my name where I write a lot more than I do here...wink, wink, nudge, nudge to my followers who can also find a great deal on a particular book if they read to the end of the Angelina story there.

Now, what do I think of Angelina's announcement? I think it's wonderful. I think it's great to have such a high-profile ambassador using her celebrity in support of women all over who are facing their own BRCA status and prophylactic, proactive health choices. There are too many women out there who feel alone, and it may sound silly, but I never thought in a million years I'd have anything in common with someone like Angelina Jolie. Now, I do.

I sent my book to her agent and manager today asking for them to give it to her to read (if she is emotionally ready to do so). Do you think she'll get it, or read it?

What do you think of her choice to go public with her BRCA story? Are you like me and think it will help women all over, and possibly/eventually impact the greedy health insurance companies to cover the high expense of the test? Or do you think her announcement was only a self-serving Hollywood move? Okay, really? You don't think that, do you? After all, she's already involved in so many social movements.

Brava, Angelina, my BRCA sister. Brava! Keep that momentum rolling!

A question of change

Do you think it makes a difference in the world of women's health when celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Sharon Osbourne reveal their BRCA stories?

  • Yes. It helps promote proactive health choices.
  • Possibly, but as soon as the hype goes away, the issue goes away and nothing much changes.
  • No. It's all just a self-serving act.
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Angelina Jolie's BRCA announcement

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Angelina Jolie

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Comments 3 comments

lisa42 profile image

lisa42 3 years ago from Sacramento

Bravo to Angelia Jolie for being willing enough to speak the truth! I don't think it was a self-serving Hollywood move. I think she really wanted to help other women know that it's ok to make this decision. She's already rich and famous enough. She doesn't need to try to capitalize on her medical issues. I think she did it for all the right reasons - to help and inspire others.

As for the insurance companies... I never have much faith in insurance companies, but I HOPE her article will encourage them to pay for tests.


Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

I had never heard of this subject at all before Angelina Jolie's experience. I think it's great that she spoke out about it, educating the rest of the world. And you as well, but sorry, I hadn't heard of your book till now. Hopefully both of you are paving the way for other women to know their options. I also hope this helps you sell more books. Bravo to both of you. Voted up and interesting.


celeste inscribed profile image

celeste inscribed 3 years ago

I think it is important for the people with a public voice to bring these issues to the fore. I am a breast cancer warrior (still on chemo) and I could not afford the BRAC test. I am not the only one in my family to battle breast and other cancers. I would love to see the day when we can all afford the test and take our futures and healthy into our own hands.

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