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Why Gwyneth Paltrow Really Pissed Me Off







Sometimes people can really infuriate us – especially when they say particularly stupid things. That’s how Claudia Schmidt, of My Left Breast, felt about this statement.dr. habib

The quote above is by Dr. Habib Sadeghi in the latest Gwyneth Paltrow Goop newsletter which I  subscribed to a while ago and still haven’t cancelled (although after this one, I may just have to).

I take such umbrage at this quote.

It bothers me deeply because it insinuates that those of us who have experienced cancer are somehow responsible for bringing it on ourselves because of unresolved emotional pain or unexpressed desires.

I have spent many years of my life in active pursuit of self expression and continually work on advancing my self-expression and self-awareness, and for this man to put this notion out there into the universe is so simplistic and irresponsible.

Why Gwyneth Paltrow Goop Newsletter Really Pissed Me Off

Ok, in full transparency, let me just share that at this specific moment I’m sitting in the LAX airport, the air conditioning system in my terminal is broken and it’s about 95 degrees in here (can you spell hot flash), so granted, I’m in a particularly pissed off frame of mind and sweating like crazy…. but…. even on a good day, this quote would infuriate me.

I’m all for holistic health, I’m pretty much the queen of holistic health.  I believe in a mind/body connection, I believe that you need to be aware of what you put in your body, as well as how you react to outside stress while aiming to maintain calm and peace in your mind and body. But, sometimes your body just takes it’s own course and you’re there for the ride. Which is what happened to me in 2010.

So I don’t need Gywneth Paltrow or Dr. Sadeghi to tell me that I got breast cancer because I wasn’t fully expressing myself or some such nonsense.  My family will tell you I express the heck out of myself.   In fact, they have often let me know that perhaps I express myself a little too much for their liking….

It drives me crazy when I read articles on how you can cure yourself of cancer by eating massive amounts of broccoli (I have eaten tons of broccoli over the course of my life), or avoiding anger, or willing yourself to health, or meditating, or somehow “positive thinking” the cancer out of your body in some miraculous airy-fairy kind of way.  ‘Cause that’s not really how it works.

You go along with your life eating well, getting a decent amount of rest (or as much as you can when you’re a working mom with 2 kids), exercising a bit here and there, taking care of your family and life in general and then one day your body takes a slight detour, goes a little haywire and you have cancer.

And it turns out that the best medical experts around advise you that your best option is to pump a lot of extremely toxic drugs into your body, and have a series of body-mutilating surgeries to remove the cancer from your body (or at least the visible cancer).  And then you still aren’t even 100% sure that it’s not going to come back.

So, please Gwyneth and Dr. Sadeghi, don’t go telling me that it’s my fault, and that if I were more able to express my desires or had dealt with my inner emotional pain that I wouldn’t have had breast cancer. I’m sorry but that’s just insulting.

Phew, that felt good.  A pox on those two.

Now let me get back to watching tonight’s episode of the final season of “Sons of Anarchy.” God, do I want this last season to be over.  Please, Kurt Sutter, just end the madness.  Jax and his merry band of bikers have gone off their rockers and have spiraled out of control.

Did I mention that I was trying to reduce the stress in my life?  Then why in the world am I watching this insanely violent TV show about mayhem and madness among the Southern California biker community?!

Claudia Schmidt

Slightly obsessive-compulsive, self-employed mom with 2 very cool but snarky teenage kids who just happens to have been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in February of 2010. Looking at life through a new lens now.

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Roz Warren

Tuesday 16th of December 2014

I just LOVE a good rant. And this was a good rant.

Claudia Schmidt

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Thanks, Roz. Sometimes I need to get a good rant out there to clear the anger out of my mind and body! Thanks for reading.

Jenny Kanevsky

Thursday 11th of December 2014

Great post, Claudia. She pisses me off in so many ways with self righteousness, I'm eating clean, living pure on millions a day and nannies and personal chefs and trainers and yoga instructors and blah blah blah but to say this, it's insulting and irresponsible and shows just how far entitlement can really show true (lack of) character or compassion. Thank you for this insight.

Claudia Schmidt

Friday 12th of December 2014

Thanks, Jenny. Yes, she is really starting to get on my last nerve with that Goop newsletter. Love your blog, thanks for the kind comments!


Thursday 11th of December 2014

Well said! I got breast cancer, too, despite my healthiest intentions. If Gwyneth Paltrow knew anything about the human body - or bothered to find out - she'd know it is not that simplistic and cancer is not one, but many, many diseases that strike people for varied reasons. It's easy to pin in on emotions and sidestep all the tough(er) explanations.

Claudia Schmidt

Friday 12th of December 2014

I'm really sorry you had breast cancer, Sheryl and yes, it's a very complex disease -- not one that can be willed away or that can even be avoided by living a very healthy life as you did. The reality is,no one knows what causes it, so they can't really cure it or figure out how to prevent it. Frustrating to say the least.

Teresa from Nanahood

Thursday 11th of December 2014

Great post and I totally agree!

Claudia Schmidt

Friday 12th of December 2014

Thanks, Teresa!


Thursday 11th of December 2014

I'm glad you wrote this, Claudia. Though I, too, appreciate the points made my mind-body-spirit advocates, it's simply not true or rational to believe that we can think ourselves through certain medical conditions. Not everything is up to our desires or frame of mind. Not everything is up to 'vibrational frequencies', or things we can conjure up in our minds and bring forth to reality. It's simply naive to think this way. So thank you for your voice.

Claudia Schmidt

Thursday 11th of December 2014

Yes, my sentiments exactly. I'm all for being positive, but sometimes you need a little medical intervention as well and as you say, it's naive to think otherwise. Thanks for the comment!

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