Thursday, October 16, 2008

6 days post op

I am truly amazed at how well I am doing--my knee is recovering much more quickly than I expected. However, I am irritated from sitting around so much! I guess that's part of the program, but it is hard for me. So far I have managed to work on my daughters' baby books (about time, they are both in their 30's) and completed the pages from the PA to DC trip. This AM I scanned and printed some old photos from when the girls were 5 and 8 years old, and sorted photos from when I was not much older than that.

I drove a short errand yesterday and found out just how recovered I am not... it made me weak in the knees. Guess I'll take it easy a couple more days... no more driving until Monday when I go for followup and the removal of the stitches in my knee.

I am going to a "Cup of Hope" tea Saturday, for breast cancer awareness. I found out recently that one sister and one of her daughters have tested positive for the breast cancer gene brca 1. It took a day or so for me to get the nerve to look up the implications of that, and they are severe. Not only a many-times-greater chance for breast and ovarian cancer, but implications for colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancer in those who carry the gene. My remaining siblings and I each have a 50-50 chance of carrying the gene. I will be tested when I get up the nerve to make that call... Of course if I have it then my children each have a 50-50 chance of having it as well.

The interesting part of the whole genetic testing thing is that the gene my sister and niece have is the one associated with the Ashkenazi Jewish population from eastern Europe. We were not aware of any connection with that population, but my paternal grandmother came from eastern Europe, entering Ellis Island very early in the 20th century. Next time I get my nerve up I will look up the region from which she came, to see if it is in that very small area the Ashkenazis originated. We are quite sure this gene is coming from my dad's side of the family, since he and his sisters, several of his nieces, and my sister and niece (who tested positive for the gene) all had breast cancer. Life is strange.

1 comment:

Marie Swan said...


What a small world. My daughter is a genetic counselor at Oakwood. We just watched a movie about breast cancer called In the Family. It was on PBS. The Smithsonian Magazine has a very intersting article about a group in the southwest that has the BRCA gene common to the Ashkenazi. See the article here:
Emily is always bringing me up to speed on the latest in cancer genetics. It is simply amazing the progress that is being made and all of it's ramifications. Keep on healing. Marie