Yesterday I got to spend an hour on the phone with my mom. This doesn't sound like such a bad thing... until I tell you that we spent the hour talking about cancer.
No. There is no emergency or reason for panic (at least with regard to me or mine--at the moment).
The thing is, cancer runs in my family pretty hard-core. And today I'm going in for the first step in the process of getting the genetic test done to see if I'm at greater risk for breast or ovarian cancer. That meant I had to fill out paperwork on my family history with regard to the disease.
Here's the deal. I know, in my heart, that at least one of the two tests will come back positive--likely both. I've known since I was a little girl that odds are, cancer's going to get me. It was never an "if," it's always been a "when."
But it's different to watch that piece of paper get filled up. It only goes as far out as grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins. Of my four grandparents... three had cancer (two died from it). One aunt had it (survived). Her daughter died from it--she was the same age I am right now. Closer to home, one of my sisters is a cancer survivor. (She was diagnosed when she was younger than I am now.) Of the other three, two have had lumps removed that were thankfully benign. My mother did too. Of the two that have been tested--both have the genetic markers.
It's a vicious, vicious, scary-ass disease.
Why am I writing this post today? I'm not sure. Maybe because it's a topic that people don't talk about enough until it's already an issue, and then the conversations start with "I'm so sorry..." Maybe because I'm more nervous about the test than I thought I'd be. Or maybe it's just because it's late and this is what's on my mind. Maybe all of the above.