Saw this movie recently and really enjoyed it. Definitely a must-see
If you haven’t been keeping a close eye on the story in West, Texas, a lot has happened since the deadly explosion a few weeks ago. Bryce Reed (right), an early responder who was one of the first EMTs on the scene of the incident, was found in possession of an alleged pipe bomb. While he has not been charged with anything in connection with the explosion as of yet, authorities have opened up a criminal investigation into the incident since his arrest. As Talking Points Memo reports, he had a shaky personal situation in recent days.
A white guy with an Anglophone name was found with a pipe bomb in circumstances related to a blast that killed a dozen people, injured scores, and devastated a town?
No, I hadn’t actually heard anything about that. Weird.
15 casualties, 12 were first responders, from this explosion. I did not know how devastating this explosion was because all media coverage was on the Boston marathon bombing. To learn more, see this.
Expect to see a lot of food and/or rants. You have been warned. #sharkweek #girlproblems #sorrytobeblunt #sorrynotsorry #suckit
Is this why water births are less painful?
Angelina Jolie on why she had a double mastectomy, and how it can save lives
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 and ovarian 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.
FAIRYTALES FOR LOST CHILDREN
Five years ago I sat down to write my first short story. It was a 2500 word narrative loosely modelled on my own life. Although I had previously written two unpublished, structurally messy novels, this one piece of short fiction altered my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. This particular story was about a Somali teenager who had immigrated to the UK and although discouraged by the unforgiving weather and poverty had found a great deal of solace in exploring his sexual identity away from the prying eyes of his parents and community.
As we mature and grow wiser, our perceptions shift and we begin to fully comprehend the risks we took in our youth and see them not as perilous acts of recklessness but as necessary rites of passage. That is the thrill I felt after writing my first short story because I knew it was the most honest representation of myself up until that point. I was gay and deeply closeted but this small act of putting pen to paper and telling my story freed me up, allowed me to push open the closet door and greet the world outside.
Since writing that piece many things have happened. I came out to my family. I lost my family. I fell in love. I fell out of love. I made new friends, I went to university and I kept writing. In short, I became an adult. It was a stressful way to grow up for sure but each challenging experience was character building, vital to where I am today.
My book ‘Fairytales For Lost Children’ is a chronicle of what it means to be young and endure struggle. It’s about being different, revelling in that difference and forging forwards despite the constant curveballs that life swings in our direction.
At a time when the youth in our collective global community are losing their lives to homophobic abuse and hateful dogma, it is important to remember our shared humanity, the fact that we all ultimately have the right to be who we are, regardless of our gender, sexuality, religious affiliation or racial makeup.
I hope you enjoy reading ‘Fairytales’ as much as I did writing it. And I hope it offers you solace and comfort in the same way that it did for me.
‘Fairytales For Lost Children’ is available to preorder here
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Love the flesh-colored ballet shoes they’re all wearing.
they dye them. i had to do the same back when i was in an all-Black ballet company as a youth. it’s part of the inherent white supremacy of ballet that you still can’t buy pointe shoes in anything other than pink, for the most part.