Yes, she "came to our window"...even if it was brief-she was there. Live on twitter in chat last night 10/30/14 The topic was "Facing Fear". Etheridge has talked about "FEAR" in many of her interviews on BRCA. So, I decided to invite her to the twitter chat.
Melissa Etheridge appeared on the October 20, 2014 episode of Dr. Oz. A few things struck about this episode: First, Dr. Oz and his personal comments about EBOLA directly before introducing Melissa Etheridge. Oz says, "Power is knowledge and knowledge is power". How ironic he said this at it is a statement often said in the BRCA community. Wouldn't THIS below have been an incredible transition into the segment with Etheridge where they discuss BRCA?
"Speaking of Knowledge is Power, this is especially true when it comes to hereditary cancer and BRCA mutations, the knowledge about BRCA & hereditary cancer can be lifesaving...which leads us to our next guest..."
The failure to connect the dots using that type of transition plus the following has led me to come to my own conclusion that Dr. Oz himself does not throughly comprehend the dangers and intracacies surrounding BRCA/hereditary cancer risk and cancer risk management. In the interview with Etheridge, Dr. Oz asks Etheridge for her OPINION (Etheridge is BRCA positive but not a genetics expert or medical doctor) on women having preventive mastectomies. Dr. Oz: I am curious why you chose not to utilize that precious tv time to give your expert MEDICAL opinion on preventive mastectomies for high risk women.
Our BRCA community had an opportunity last night with the twitter chat to engage Melissa Etheridge; open the door with respectful communication. There was some great interaction and information shared. While the chat was great, in my opinion, the tweet attacks directed to Etheridge personally--drove her away. Many in the BRCA community disagree with Etheridge immensely and how she utilizes her platform, how she has talked about Angelina, and her philosophy on BRCA. The tweet chat however was a great opportunity to engage in respectful discussion and have her hear us and our views. Not everyone shares our knowledge base on BRCA and it's important to hear what others have to say because ultimately, it only helps improve our own advocacy efforts. We are in no position to chastise someone publicly or otherwise. Every comment provides a learning experience. I understand BRCA is an emotional subject and heated conversation can occur. I am thankful Etheridge accepted my invitation and joined on for the short time that she did. Etheridge has a huge fan base, huge voice and I'm sure will be interviewed again. Having Etheridge participate in our twitter conversation and hear our views is beyond a huge opportunity for the BRCA Community. WHY? Imagine one BRCA story, one snippet of , one research study seeping into her psyche and Etheridge then sharing that information the next time she is interviewed on the subject. Perhaps Etheridge was happy to accept my social media olive branch extended to her and just wanted her own personal support. Regardless, on all fronts with BRCA, sensitivity needs to trump insensitivity. I am sure most people who are BRCA positive have faced some version of insensitivity at some point or another. Moving forward, perhaps if we the BRCA community take the first step and give Etheridge a "little piece of our hearts", stand up and say,"The War is Over", it will keep communication going. She may just hear us. Everyone is different, what is right for one person may not be right for another. What is the same is that all BRCA sisters/brothers need support in feeling like they are not "the only one".