Last night I had a very unusual, albeit humorous encounter with a coworker.
Here is some background on the incident: My company moved offices this week, from our location on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica to a larger space a few miles away. To help us properly bid farewell to our old home, the company hosted a karaoke party at one of our favorite locales, the King’s Head. There was liquor involved.
In general, most of my coworkers know about my mastectomy and reconstruction. Last year I shared a bit about it during a “Think Pink” party, a fundraiser for a breast cancer charity walk the company sponsored. And a few months ago in a team meeting I gave an instructional presentation about running a blog, which focused on how exactly I run this blog. I made the conscious decision before my mastectomy to tell people about it, coworkers included, and they’ve all been extremely supportive and flexible, for which I am grateful.
When a coworker approached me at the bar yesterday and sheepishly mumbled “I have to tell you something,” I didn’t know what to expect. We do not work together closely, and I don’t know him particularly well, but we had talked the week before at a party, so I assumed it was related to that.
“I saw you on HuffPo Live,” he confessed. I was not expecting to hear that. Two days after Angelina Jolie’s announcement in the New York Times, I participated in a segment on HuffPost Live about my decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy.
“Were you browsing yourself or did you see a tweet about it?” I asked.
“No, I go on the Huffington Post all the time. I saw something about Angelina Jolie and then clicked and said…’Whoa! I know her!’ and it was you!”
And now for the kicker:
“I was watching it and I stopped for a moment and thought, I could have sworn she had boobs! Last time I saw her, she definitely had boobs…And I looked around behind me but no one else was around the office but I wanted to ask them, ‘Doesn’t she have boobs?'”
I lost it. I started cracking up. After howling for a bit, I explained to him that I’ve really “always had boobs” and that I just “replaced the stuffing inside.” And I also said that my plastic surgeon obviously did a good job because he wouldn’t have known had he not watched the HuffPost Live segment.
I must applaud his courage to approach me about it. It was certainly an unusual way, but hey, why not? I’m glad he did.
But on that note, I am finally posting the links to all of the interviews I did following Angelina Jolie’s prophylactic mastectomy announcement. The morning after AJ’s New York Times column went live, I received a very early phone call from a sorority sister at ABC News, asking to interview me for a story. A few minutes later, I spoke on the phone with a woman at the UK’s Daily Mail. Then later that morning I saw an email from a friend in Germany who had written an excerpt for a newspaper about me.
The days following AJ’s announcement were pretty crazy for me. I received an enormous amount of traffic to the blog and quite a few media inquiries. Here’s a round-up of all of the publicity:
- Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Lifesaver for Some, Not Others, ABC News article
- A mastectomy at 21, and implants that ‘look better’ than the real thing: Why four women chose to have preventive breast cancer surgery like Angelina, Daily Mail article
- Angelinas Entscheidung, article from German newspaper die tageszeitung
- Double mastectomy at 21, on-air interview for Weekend Sunrise, an Australian TV show
- Preventive Mastectomy: Benefits & Risks, HuffPost Live segment
- On-air interview for the Simi Sara Show, a talk radio show on Canada’s CKNW station (no audio here…I can’t upload the files =/)
It was pretty freakin’ sweet. The on-air interview for Australia’s Weekend Sunrise was interesting; I was at the Beverly Hills studio at 3 pm on Friday, streaming live to Australia, where it was already Saturday morning. Here are a few pics:
And here’s a pic a coworker snagged of me during my HuffPost Live interview, which she tweeted. I promise I was not bored, just intently listening!
THIS IS FREAKING awesome.
HUFF post Live – WHUT WHUT?! Did you post about this and I missed it or did you keep it hushed?
I didn’t post about any of it…it all happened very quickly and then I got lazy and didn’t write about it until now. Actually I did post about it on Facebook, but we’re not FB friends, are we?
Nope, we’re Instgram pals tho. 🙂
You are beyond amazing ! Go girl go ! 🙂
Congrats Rachel! I’m so proud of you for doing all these fabulous interviews. You are putting a real face on the very tough decisions made by BRCA +patients. You are helping many. Kudos!
Thank you so much, Renn, for following my journey and for all of your kind words and support.