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State Dept. boots breast cancer survivor from blogroll over ‘nipple cozies’

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, May 17, 2012 15:24 EDT
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A woman checks herself for breast cancer. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
 
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A breast cancer survivor whose spouse works for the U.S. State Department recently discovered that her prior warm relationship with the agency’s blogroll ended shortly after she published details of reconstructive surgery she underwent after breast cancer therapy.

Jennifer Dinoia’s blog had previously been featured on the State Department website, but after it was removed from their blogroll she inquired why.

It turns out they were uncomfortable with her description of how doctors fashioned a new nipple for her, which she described as a painful and awkward experience that resulted in successfully restoring her natural appearance.

“Hopefully, you can understand that some topics covered in your blog are very personal in nature, e.g. nipple cozies, and wouldn’t necessarily resonate with the majority of potential candidates who are interested in learning about the FS [Foreign Service] life overseas,” a State Department employee tried to explain in an email published to Dinoia’s blog.

“Through our years of recruitment experience, we found that FS prospects want to learn more about the work that’s conducted, the people and cultures with whom they will interact, the travel experiences, and the individual stories our employees have to share.”

“So you mean describing stories about life after a diagnosis of breast cancer while your FS husband is serving in Iraq on an unaccompanied tour 6,219 miles away is not an individual story?” she asked on her blog, in a post published Wednesday.

“You mean detailing how you got through said issue, how you managed to pick yourself up off the floor each day despite feeling like your world had completely fallen apart (oh, wait, it had) and managed to somehow dust yourself off and keep going with your Foreign Service life is of no interest? Guess that means I am the *only* one who will ever have to deal with such a thing.”

Her complaint triggered a report by The Washington Post on Thursday, and she told the paper her husband is preparing to ship out to Afghanistan for a full year, unaccompanied. A State Department spokesperson told the paper he would investigate the matter.

Dinoia added that she plans to continue writing her blog, whether the State Department approves of it or not.
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Photo: A woman checks herself for breast cancer. Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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