What's so special about 3 generations? I imagine many people have 3 generation pictures. I even have some. My 3 generations is a little different-it is 3 generations of cancer and I am one of the generations. I rarely think of myself as a cancer survivor, but I give thanks for surviving it every July. I am a 30 year cancer survivor. On July 2, 1980, I underwent surgery to remove a malignant thyroid and lymph nodes. I was 22 years old. Luckily, the surgery removed the cancer and I didn't need any further treatment. I am sure modern medicine helped in my early diagnosis and treatment. My grandmother and great grandmother weren't so fortunate.
Cancer seems to run on the female side of my dad's family. I went with my younger sister, a breast cancer survivor, to a genetic specialist. The specialist believes we have a mutation of the P-10 gene. The geneticist recommended further testing but due to insurance restrictions neither of us explored it further.
I can only imagine what the diagnosis of cancer did to my grandmother in 1965 and my great grandmother in 1932. I am sure they felt it was a death sentence. I remember, vividly, the day I was told I had cancer. I was shocked. It had never even crossed my mind. Being young, I was sure I could beat it. I did! I had wonderful surgeons, doctors and medical personnel with the newest technology available at the time. I am not sure what their treatment was like.
My hope and prayer is that future generations will live in a time when cancer is cured. Wouldn't it be nice if future generations have to look up what cancer is when they see it on death certificates like I have had to look up a few obsolete conditions? July 2nd is here and I have reminisced about being a cancer survivor and I am thankful for the wonderful care I received at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Here's to many more years of good health for all cancer survivors!