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Thursday, June 26, 2014

family medical history...





While checking here and there among family members that I know (there are tons of family members that I don't know both in the US and across the pond but that's neither here nor there) I finally came across the criteria I needed to have my BRAC1/BRAC2 test run under my medicare insurance. I was informed by both my cousin and my niece that my maternal grandmother (Me'mere') died of ovarian cancer. Since she died the same year I was born, I wasn't aware of this and don't remember my mother ever mentioning it. All I remember mom saying about her mother was that she was the sweetest gentlest woman. And she would have had to be as my maternal grandfather (Pe'pere') was in my opinion the sweetest gentlest man. He died when I was 9.  Anyway, I needed 2 people in the family that both had Breast Cancer or Ovarian Cancer. Since my sister died of Ovarian, and apparently my grandmother did also, that should do it... according to the lady at the Genetics lab.

But the story goes on... 

Before I got this joint info from my immediate family, I *churned up the waters* a little online.  I had done some ancestry research a while back and had come across a site called "findagrave.com". On it a relative that I didn't know had done a memorial for her great great great grandfather who had 2 wives and 23 children (Yes! 23! - now you can see why I said we had tons of family members that I don't know). My family had always hinted of this, but our actual facts were a bit sketchy. As the lineage goes, it turn out that her great grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. Anyway, during this disclosure, we emailed a bit and turns out that her father's sister and her own sister both had/have Breast cancer. However, these would be 2nd cousins and maybe second cousins once removed .... and too remote to aid me in my criteria search. But we shared info and dates and a few pictures... so it was a most fascinating turn of events. I appreciate the fact that she took the time to answer my email and even do a little searching for me. Kindness.

Now my interest in our ancestry has peaked again, but I don't feel that I can rejoin ancestry.com right now as their membership fee is a bit high. But I have compiled the info that I do have and am now using a board to try to keep things straight. And I'm trying to find some free sites that may help. If you know of any, I'd appreciate if you'd post them in my comment section or email them to me.




 Saw 3 squirrels eating from the cats dishes in the backyard...


Took a closer look...


One of them was bi-colored.... a combination of brown and blond

At first I thought maybe he had mange... but then the hair wouldn't be blond, it would be missing. So I'm guessing that he had some genetic mutation (looks like he got bleached in spots).

DH and I have been very busy this week. We decided since we were both home and had no appointments or commitments this week that we would thoroughly clean the house room by room... taking one room each day and taking the time to wipe down the walls, take everything off shelves, move furniture, vacuum under cushions, etc.  It has been exhausting, but satisfying. We've sorted through a lot. Some to be given away, some to be thrown away. I already have 3 boxes of books ready to go.  The best part is that the things we had high up on top of cabinets (that only gather dust) we removed and didn't put back. Next time we do a thorough clean like this  (maybe next summer - if we are still able to do it at 70), we won't have to climb up to reach these things as they'll no longer be there.

Of course we aren't finished... but should be by Monday. And luck would have it, we haven't been too sore. Although DH mentioned that getting up and down so much is getting a little hard on the back. I told him that I agreed, but that we'd better do it while we still can. We just have to be very careful and not overdo. 

The cats have been very curious watching us move things around. For the most part, they just stay out of the way... but occasionally jump up where we're working to check it out. Ghost really dislikes the noise of the vaccuum... so she generally hides in the bedroom when it's on.


Julie and Rose









16 comments:

  1. That medical information is sobering. It got me thinking about my own family/medical history. I hope all goes well with your testing. Did the blondie squirrel seem to be having more fun than the others?

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    1. DH and I both laughed at your comment on whether the blonde squirrel has more fun. To be honest, the other two were harassing him a bit... guess when you're 'different', you tend to get picked on (seems like we haven't evolved much on that score).

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  2. My sister had that gene testing once her breast cancer recurred. My mother had it, too, along with my grandmother, all on my mother's side. Her testing came back negative for every genetic mutation, but when she learned how much it all cost (although she didn't have to pay it), she was flabbergasted! Hope yours turns out well. Keep me posted. :-)

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    1. We did just get the results back... "negative" ! Good news! Just informed my daughter. Doesn't mean that she (or her daughter) wouldn't or couldn't get breast or ovarian cancer, just that she wasn't *predisposed to it* due to a genetic mutation. And yes, I too was flabbergasted at the cost... although I was told by the lab that insurance would cover it.

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  3. My family links don't go back very far. I'm recording what information I have now, then I'll search for more somehow.
    Free genealogy programs I use:

    Legacy: www.legacyfamilytree.com/ There is a deluxe version for $29.95 and books, CDs, etc. The free program is enough for my needs right now but I might buy the deluxe version someday.

    Family Search is run by the Church of Latter Day Saints.
    https://familysearch.org/ It's free but you can volunteer to help them do research or give a donation if you like.

    We Relate. It's a wiki type site. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it.
    http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Main_Page

    My Heritage
    http://www.myheritage.com It has some nice looking charts. But they try to sell a monthly subscription. Their ads kept popping up on my screen. I erased my browser's history then the ads stopped.

    The problem I have with my research is the lack of family documents. So far I've only gotten back to my great grandparents on my mother's side but I only have a date of death. My father's side has even less information.
    Maybe I'll have to be satisfied with what I have.

    Is there a better way to search?

    ~John M

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    1. Thanks for the info, John. I will try those sites. Ancestry.com is a great site with worlds of info... but it's a bit expensive (about $300/yr). However, I could get back to great great greats... with census, occupation, births, marriages, deaths, ship passenger lists, etc. I could even follow up into England and France, but hit a wall once we got to Ireland. Will probably get back on it at some point, but can't right now. We do have some family documents which help... things like birth certificates, marriage certificates, baptismal, etc. ... even some newspaper clippings. It all helps.But when it comes to medical info... the only real place that I've found that is on death certificates.

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  4. Both of our cats vamoose for the vacuum.

    Before I quit Ancestry.com I bought Family Tree maker. It self filled from my Ancestry.com site, and since then I've filled in more on Family Tree. I don't know if it's available independently of Ancestry. I like that I have it and can use it independently.

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    1. I'll check into that, Joanne. Thanks.

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  5. Hi Rian

    Ancestry is available free through my library systems. You have to go to an actual library site to use it, but it's free and you can get the information you need there and work on it at home. I usually take my laptop to the library and just save the information to it, to work on later at home. Good luck (and really glad to hear your good news!!)!!

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    1. Thanks, Pippa. I may try that. However, I don't have a laptop at the moment.

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    2. You can use the computers at the library. You could take a flash drive with you and just save anything you want to keep to it and then bring it home and put it on your computer.

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    3. Great idea! I can do that.

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  6. Such a nice feeling to have an organized, clean house. Lots of work but worth it.

    It's been my experience that cats love to see someone else hard at work.

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    1. You are definitely right there. I think watching someone else work fascinates them. We had one cat (Jack who we lost not too long ago) that followed workmen around the house watching whatever they were doing, putting his nose into their work bag, etc.

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  7. It sounds like you've been very busy in several ways,. Rian. I'm glad your genetic test came back negative. As for your cleaning and sorting, DH and I plan to be doing rather a lot of that when we get back from France, but I bet we won't get it done as quickly and efficiently as you have.

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    1. Yes, we have been busy and it's taken my mind off the tests. But please continue to share your French adventure with us... as that really makes me happy. I'd love to see pictures of your house (inside and out) as well as the land around you - and/or local pubs, etc (do they call them pubs in France?) I doubt that we will ever get to travel much beyond the US anymore... but I can enjoy it virtually through blogs like yours.

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