Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend usually mark the beginning and end of summer. But for me, the Fridays before each will be marks of another sort.
The Friday before Memorial day my “c” diagnosis was confirmed. And today, at 6:10 PM it is was Lynch Syndrome.
“What is Lynch?” you ask. Lynch Syndrome is a hereditary disorder caused by a mutation in a mismatch repair gene in which affected individuals have a higher than normal chance of developing colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and a dozen other types of aggressive cancers, often at a young age. In the United States alone up to 1 million people are projected to have it but only 5% are currently diagnosed. Lynch Syndrome is not a rare condition but rather an extremely underdiagnosed one.
Sigh! Although suspected, Megan (Genetic Counselor) delivered the news to me in her sweet yet timid voice. She carried quite a bit of apprehension in her tone as she carefully went through details of “what’s next.” A myriad of yearly appointments and tests – let’s call it a medical management program – awaits this body but will do so willingly if it means quality of life and longevity.
Seated on the staircase as we spoke, chills surged through me upon the call’s end. Anger wanted to creep in but instead sadness. My thoughts immediately turned to Gia – she has a 50/50 chance of inheriting this disorder. Exhale.
I’ve dreamt of a peaceful life for her, free from disease and disorder. My cup has been filled to the brim with both and like any mother you wish for your children to live a fulfilled life. Certainly we will navigate through this challenge. But maybe…God…ummm…you could calm the waters for a few days? Pretty please with sugar on top?
Hug your loved ones a little tighter and a lot longer tonight. And depending on your age, you or someone dear to your heart will be affected by “c” at some point. Join me in holding on to hope and faith that cures will be discovered and lives saved before you will ever have to encounter it.