DEER LAKE Deer Lake breast cancer survivors say what actress Angelina Jolie did for the pink ribbon cause was amazing.
© Star photo by Paul Hutchings
Deer Lake sisters Linda Goobie, left, and Barbara Nichols were both diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50, with the younger Goobieâs diagnosis in 2010 and Nicholsâ in 2001.
The actress made headlines this week by penning a column for the New York Times in which she described her reasons for undergoing a preventative double mastectomy to avoid getting breast cancer. Jolie wrote that she wanted to be in the lives of her family as long as possible after hearing that she had an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer later in life. The 37-year-oldâs own mother died at age 56 of the dreaded disease.
Linda Goobie of Deer Lake chose to undergo a double mastectomy after being diagnosed at age 50 with breast cancer in 2010. After finding a lump, she said the doctors talked her out of having her breasts removed and performed a lumpectomy. Six weeks later they discovered that the cancer had spread, and Goobie said she knew what had to be done.
âI told (doctors) to take them both at the beginning right away and Iâm sorry for not getting them off right away, I mean itâs only a set of boobs, get rid of them if theyâre going to cause heartache,â she said. âWhen I was going through that there was another woman I knew of who had one taken off 10 years earlier and there she was getting the other taken.â
Coincidentally her sister, Barbara Nichols, was diagnosed nine years earlier with breast cancer, also at the age of 50. The lump on her breast turned into a major tumor and there was no question the breast had to be removed. She had the other one taken off as well as a preventative measure and has been cancer-free ever since.
âIt doesnât make you any less of a woman to get that done. Thereâs more to a woman than her breasts,â said Nichols. âIâve always felt like I was a very happy and optimistic person anyway so we got through it.â
It pained Nichols to see her sister go through the same thing later but she supported Goobie in her decision. Jolieâs column first appeared May 14 on the New York Timesâ website and she has been praised by healthcare providers and fundraising groups for going public with the news.
The Deer Lake sisters say they admire Jolie for her actions.
âI think itâs already made a difference,â said Nichols. âItâs wonderful what sheâs done and it shows that there is hope.â
Taking a more realistic approach, Goobie said what Jolie did isnât necessarily an option for some. She stressed that she appreciates what the actress did, but there is another side that needs to be looked at.
âI admire her, itâs amazing what she did and itâs opening peopleâs eyes,â she said. âBut the sad part is that people with money can get their lives straightened out, they donât have to worry about who will take care of the kids or how theyâll go to work, itâs a lot to think about (for those who are not as well off).â
Still, both sisters they hope everyone can learn from the actress and themselves to face cancer head on and do what it takes to live a long, happy life.