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Heavy Hearted

Posts: 72
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm very sad! received some very bad news regarding my aunt who is losing her battle with lung and bone cancer. Our family has been hit very hard the last 10 years with a total of 3 deaths from cancer. My dad age 56, aunt lorretta 45, aunt marguerite 54, aunt tiny who is fighting for her life right now and my aunt mary who survived neck cancer.

And then there's me..... and they ask me why I'm so scared! our family gene's suck!

I dont understand how one family can be hit so hard!

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

It happens to a lot of us. I lost my mother and three aunts to breast cancer, and my sister survived the same cancer. I am a survivor of head/neck cancer and lung cancer. Stuff happens.

I think of cancer as the culmination of a trio, a tripod, of possibilities, or likely causes, including behavior, environment, and genetics.

Some people smoke for 60 years (really I know a guy in here who has done so) and never get bitten by the disease. Meanwhile, other people never smoke or drink a day in their lives and suddenly find themselves in the battle of their lives.

Genetics plays a huge role, there is no doubt. But so does environment. Ask anyone who has worked in a shipyard in the past, or down in the coal mines. Or in any number of other venues where it turns out there were carcinogenics as part of the program, known or not at the time.

And then there is behavior. If you smoke, if you drink, your chances increase, especially when combined with either of the other two legs of the tripod (I am not a doctor...these are just thoughts I have had over time). There is some discussion about how behavior (smoking and drinking, for example) create 'cancer fields', that is, they help a pre-disposal to cancer to find a path to success. I think I buy into that.

In any event, you are not alone. If you are worried about your own future, you cannot change your genetic disposition, as far as I know, but you can certainly alter your environment and especially your behavior.

Eat better, exercise more, reduce stress, those sorts of things.

You have more control than you apparently think you do.

I wish you the best.

Take care,


sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

I am so sorry, Donna. Cancer has hit my family very hard as well. We have lost five, two were in their early 30's and two in their 40's. When my uncle passed from esophageal cancer just before I started rads, I was petrified. He was a big, strong, tall man and I watched it kick his *** and when he passed I thought, I am a whimpy 125 lbs little whiny girl, I'll never make it.

It's so hard. Can only hope for a cure someday.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I know what you mean Donna, my Mom 56 died of colon cancer, my brother 41 died of lymphoma and I am fighting NPC at 54, but somehow I feel lucky because of the people & friends I made along the way. It has been a long hard road but never did I have to travel it alone.

Cancer Sucks and we are all scared that is why we have each other and that is why we are all there for you.

ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

I have lost one grandma to liver cancer after she overcame leukemia. I lost the other to suspected cancer, she refused the biopsy. I lost one of my cousins sons, he was 13, almost 14, when he passed. My dad and his twin both had prostate cancer and one of my aunts had skin cancer (they have battled and won)...then you add me in and we have a strong family history of cancer. my cancer is rare, just like my young cousin's was. I won't let those thoughts about my family bring me down or make me paranoid though...it could easily happen, but I am determined that my children have as normal a life as anyone gets.
I asked my doctor about family history and my cancer...she said it is too rare for them to know why I have it, but they doubt it is due to genetics. I know within my heart that I will win my battle...hopefully the war as well...but only time will show if I have won that as well!
It is hard to stay positive when you think of the family history, but I feel it is important, that way you have the strength to heal and win these battles!
I can understand being scared...I try really hard not to go to that place where I dwell on it...it would bring me down and I have to stay positive, for myself and my family.
wishing you the best of luck! Hugs and prayers coming your way!

Posts: 72
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm sorry to say this but thanks for making me feel NORMAL. I'm not alone.

I'm so sorry to hear about all the special family members you's have lost.

I want to say thank you for helping me make the transition of having cancer to living with cancer! I understand having this disease is livable. I just need to make the adjustments and life changes even if other people dont get it!

I get it now!

"Its ok to be different and march to a different beat as long as its my beat"

It's hard to understand when you have always put other people first and yourself last.
It's not done on purpose, its just happens!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

You are so right we dance to a different beat of the drum and for us survivors that is our new normal

God bless and be with you

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry for your loss, Donna. All we can do is keep moving forward. When I came down with NPC in 11/08, I told people there really is no C history in my family. But I had forgotten my Mom's Sister, who died when she was 25, and my Dad's Sister, who had died of ovariun in her early-40s. And then, with my being just two months post-treatment, my 52 year-old Sister is diagnosed with lung C that has spread to her brain, and elsewhere. She didn't even make it 4-months after her diagnosis, having been fasttracked to the "quality of life" mode. This C does take a toll on most every family, sooner or later. Our being Survivors, perhaps, allows us to get a better appreciation of this C monster, than most. So sorry for your loss, Donna. Just keep doing what we all must do- moving forward.



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