Thursday, November 11, 2010

Those who went before

I had a conversation with my neighbor about the drains. She asked if I ever wondered about the first person they tested drains on. Then she reminded me that often it was veterans who were the testers of many medical advances, especially those relating to war injuries, like prosthetic limbs. I am thankful for their and their families' sacrifice both in battle and at home. Yesterday at L and C's school they had a breakfast and had the students invite veterans to it. Then the veterans went in the classes and shared their experiences. Based on the detailed explanations at dinner from L and C of whose grandpa was a spy and whose dad was a paratrooper and so on, I think it was very meaningful for them.

Thinking about medical advances and studies reminded me that my family and I are in a long term study of breast cancer in young women. It is through the Siteman Cancer Center. They did genetic testing on my parents and I. The requested 6 vials of blood from me as well. Even though I have small veins, the most difficult item for them to obtain was my medical family history. When they called to get the information they freaked out a little when I told them I had 5 siblings. Then they started to ask about my dad's family. He has 8 sisters and 1 brother and they were surprised I even knew all their names. In our discussion we concluded that it would be more efficient for me to obtain the information they desired and then email it to them. I ended up sending them a color coded spreadsheet with all my siblings, nieces, nephew, aunts, uncles, and cousins on it and what health issues, if any, they had. I also sent a four generation chart with the cause of death listed for each person. I am young enough that the conclusions they come to might even help me in the future, in addition to my daughters.

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