Angelina Jolie and Me

Angelina Jolie and Me.

Want to know what we have in common?

MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at age 53. But that’s not all.

Both Angelina Jolie and I have written about genetic testing for breast cancer, the BRCA genes, and the decision to undergo prophylactic mastectomies. Angelina Jolie, in her article My Medical Choice, wrote about her personal experience, while I wrote from the personal experience of watching my beautiful mother succumb to breast cancer and information I obtained by interviewing close friends.

In my book, Secrets of a Shy Socialite, Jena, a young mother, just like Angelina Jolie, made the difficult decision to undergo bilateral prophylactic (aka preventative) mastectomies to significantly decrease her chances of developing breast cancer. So she could live to raise her children.

This is important stuff, because today women have choices and options that our moms and grandmoms didn’t. We can get testing to determine our risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer and we can be proactive in our health care decisions BEFORE the mutant, damaging cells invade our bodies and takes over the direction of our lives.

I write for a very small line of Harlequin, and so far a few thousand people have read and maybe gained inspiration from Secrets of a Shy Socialite.

I am thrilled that Angelina Jolie has gone public with her very private health care choice, because she has the reach to touch millions. To educate and empower women around the world. To inspire us with her courage. To motivate us to take action. So even though she’ll never see this, thank you Angelina Jolie. You are a true inspiration!

To read Angelina Jolie’s NY Times article click HERE.

To read Secrets of a Shy Socialite, check out my Books page for an excerpt and links for purchase.  

Thank you!

Please share your experiences with breast cancer.



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  • Posted May 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    My mother (79) and my mother-in-law (62) both died of breast cancer. I worry for my daughter. What Angelina Jolie definitely took a lot of courage – both the preventive surgery and sharing the experience with the world.

  • Dale
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this Wendy and writing on such an important topic for women!


  • Tracey Rogers
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Wendy having read Secrets of a Shy Socialite I can honestly say that I found it to be inspiring too. Such an emotive subject that you handled with great sensitivity.
    Angelina Jolie’s article had me in tears. I can’t imagine how difficult that decision was, but how courageous of her to share her experience.
    I have lost grandparents and a very close friend to cancer and hearing positive experiences is wonderful.

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Hi Regina!

    It’s important to note the part of Angelina Jolie’s article that says: “Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation.” Genetic testing isn’t for everyone. I did a lot of research on it for Secrets of a Shy Socialite. Some women would rather be diligent with annual screenings, and that’s fine, too. The important thing is for women to know they have choices and options.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Dale!

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Hi Tracey!

    I remember being out on my screened-in-porch, alone, crying while writing certain parts of Secrets of a Shy Socialite. I want people to know the book is not a downer, but there are some very emotional scenes. You can’t deal with issues like cancer and mastectomies without high emotion.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Secrets of a Shy Socialite! Thank you for your wonderful reviews of my books…and for visiting my blog!

  • Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    When I read Secrets Of The Shy Socialite, I found it be inspiring because it boldly went where no other Medical stories usually go. It gave us courage to be proactive about our health choices.

    And now Angelina Jolie, being a person in public eye did it. Kudos to her. It takes courage to make a decision like this and then to share it.

  • Posted May 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    Hi Nas!

    Secrets of a Shy Socialite was just as emotional to write as it is to read. I’m glad you found Jena inspiring!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Posted May 16, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    You and Angelina Jolie deserve mega kudos for having the courage to share such a personal piece of yourselves!!

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Aimee! But Angelina and the women I interviewed for Secrets of a Shy Socialite deserve the Kudos! All I did was use my personal experience with my mom to enrich the emotion in the story.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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