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Dear Christina Applegate...

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Momlogic's Jackie's letter to the Samantha Who star, who revealed her secret battle with breast cancer.

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Dear Christina,

Bravo for your candid, thoughtful and brave interview this morning on Good Morning America. What's especially impressive is that--although you weren't ready to share your story and were basically "outed" by the press--you decided to stand up and let people know your story anyway.

Like you, I got the call telling me that they found something suspicious during a doctor-ordered MRI. Like you, I found out I was positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation and had an up-to almost 90% risk of having breast cancer in my lifetime. Like you, I had seen my mother suffer from it. The difference for me is that my mother did not survive--I was three years old. 31-years later, it was my turn to face the music.

Like you, I made the decision to have my breasts removed before they took over. It was the most excruciating, liberating, and terrifying experience I've ever known. Looking into the faces of my little boys and my loving husband were sometimes the only thing that kept me going.

Your ability to reach out to women everywhere who have had similar experiences so soon after surgery is astounding. Mothers, daughter, sisters and friends around the world feel less alone because of your powerful words, "It's ok to cry. It's ok to fall on the ground and scream."

My heart also goes out to your mother. I look at my kids, terrified that they will carry on this legacy--that I am somehow responsible for potential future pain. But I remain hopeful that by the time they are old enough to deal with it, research and science will have already wiped out cancer--once and for all.

Those living with the gene that makes us high risk for breast cancer have needed someone like you to come forward. A celebrity who is young, well-respected, smart and outspoken. While it's not your job to represent the rest of us, your fame is a powerful platform that can be used to evoke change and awareness. Your dedication to making MRI's more affordable to those high risk as well as provide genetic testing is a positive side of a very difficult journey.

And, for that, I--along with millions of others--am grateful. Thanks for joining us in kicking cancer's ass.

If you carry the BRCA gene or are at high risk for breast cancer, there is support. Visit FacingOurRisk.com for more information.


next: Phelps: From 'Nothing' to Hero
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kathy F. August 19, 2008, 5:48 PM

Dear Christina,
I found my cancer in March of this year by just brushing prespiration off my chest after Yoga. I have one tumor that is 5cm. and other paces in my breast. My doctors recommended chomotherapy first of which I just finished last month. Within the next couple of weeks, I will be having a double mastectomy, reconstruction, and, radiation. None of this is my choice….But, I do have a choice about reconstruction. I am thinking of breast expanders, then permanent transplants: but, I am not sure if I shoud go with saline or silocane. I’ve heard so many bad things about silicone. I personally know a woman who sued over silicone breast implants that ruptured and won a $70,000 law suit.

Please tell us what your choices of reconstruction are and why?

Thanks so much!
Kathy


Anonymous August 19, 2008, 6:13 PM

Jackie, what kind of reconstruction did you have? rock on to jackie and christina.

Allan Potter August 19, 2008, 6:36 PM

Hello my very dear friend Christina hi it is great to hear your great news.I am a great fan of yours and I just love you so much when you were in Married with Children.You such a very beautiful and very attractive woman.I live in Australia and just would love to wish you all the very best for your future and once again free from cancer.Keep up the great work you are doing Take care Allan

Jackie August 19, 2008, 7:01 PM

Hi Anon,
I would be happy to share my info. Just email me at jackie.macdougall@momlogic.com.

Thanks!

Tami October 2, 2008, 11:40 PM

Jackie,

Loved this letter! Thanks for sharing your story!

hugs
Tami

Kathy F. November 12, 2008, 2:24 PM

Dear Christina,
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 1st. (April Fool’s Day)
Because my tumors in my right breast were large, a team of doctors sent me into 6 sessions of chemo first to shrink the cancer. I was told from the begining that I would need a mastectomy, then, radiation.
I also for both breasts to be removed and chose expanders for reconstruction.
I did this because I thought it would be the simplest and easiest surgery for me to take.
My mastectomy, with expanders, was done Sept. 15th. 2008, and, I have been in pain from the expanders since.
I have 600cc’s of fluid in each and I’m now going through radiation.

What kind of reconstruction did you choose, and, how important was the plastic surgeon you chose?

I don’t even know what size I will end up being after all of this. It’s been hell.

I admire your courage.

Love,
Kathy


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