Vanessa Bell Calloway: I Chose A Mastectomy For My Health

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    vanesabellcallowayjpgActress Vanessa Bell Calloway couldn’t helped but be moved by the recent editorial by fellow actress Angelina Jolie discussing her decision to have an preventative double mastectomy. 

    I can still remember sitting straight up in my bed one morning thinking something’s wrong. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know where it was, I just knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain it. I told my husband, an anesthesiologist, about the feeling I had. First he asked if I was in pain and I said no and then he said not to worry, but of course I did anyway. I had that nagging feeling that all women get at one time or another when that little voice in our heads just won’t be silent.

    I’d always been very diligent about getting my yearly mammograms, pap smears, and anything else related to my health since I’d become an adult woman. Sometimes I’d even get them twice a year if the spirit hit me. I took care of myself in other ways as well. I’d been a dancer since childhood so exercise was a part of my daily regiment, and because I’m an actress, being fit goes along with the job description. A healthy lifestyle was an attitude I wanted to pass down to my two daughters, Ashley 22, and Alexandra, 18.

    But despite all those years of dogged dedication to my well-being and the fact that there is no history of breast cancer in my family, four years ago I heard the dreaded words no woman wants to hear: the results of my mammogram were “suspicious.” In my mind I knew “suspicious” could mean cancer, but as much as I tried not to dwell on that reality, I somehow couldn’t stop myself. I told as few people as possible as my husband and I waited for the doctors to probe deeper.

    Read the est of Vanessa’s moving honest  Editorial for the DailyBeast here.

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