I know I have mentioned before that my cancer is indeed a genetic cancer. I tested positive for Lynch Syndrome last year when I was diagnosed. My maternal grandmother had endometrial cancer (treatments were much worse then, and she lasted until she was 84). My dad had colon cancer and passed away at age 42. My oldest sister had ovarian cancer, and passed away at age 42. My older sister had colon cancer. She is nearly a 20 year survivor now.
I have three beautiful nieces and one gorgeous nephew. They are all successful and happy grown-ups now. And they all know that my older sister and myself tested positive for Lynch syndrome (the genetic mutation that can cause our types of cancer). My older sister’s daughter got genetic testing, and is negative for the gene (yay!) but still has some of the risk factors that lead to the cancers (obesity being the biggest – fat likes to hide an excess of hormones that can cause genetic cancers). My other nieces and nephew do not have adequate insurance to be tested, but are staying on top of the symptoms and are urging their doctors to do appropriate screenings (colonoscopies, gyno screenings, etc).
My oldest niece has been on a fitness kick lately, and has decided to run a 5K. The 5K will be held in Philadelphia on the 27th, and it is to benefit Ovarian Cancer research (not quite what I had, but related nonetheless). Lauren is running in memory of her Momma. And in honor of me and another friend of hers who was just diagnosed before Easter with pre-cancerous cells in her uterus.
I am so proud of her. Not only for running a 5K, but for honoring us in this way.
My oldest sister’s battle with ovarian cancer was swift and brutal. She was diagnosed in November, in remission in December and dead by February. It was an aggressive cancer and it ended the life of a brilliant and fantastic woman, wife and mother. My niece has struggled greatly with her Momma’s death, but has finally been able to get some perspective and channel her grief and frustration into this.
And I couldn’t be more proud.