What Lies Beneath

As I was driving today, some lady in a gold Maserati cut me off.  She pulled one of those, “I’m just going to plop myself in the middle of your lane while I try to make a left turn into the opposite lane.  Oh what’s that?  That lane is totally stopped and now I’ve stopped you and everyone behind you?  Ooops (shrug).”  She waved to me and mouthed, “Sorry, just trying to go there (pointing to the other lane).” Yeah, no kidding.   So before I flipped her the bird (just in my head, Mom, I promise. It was like less than a mile from my house and the girls were with me.), I thought what’s going on with this lady?  You can’t pull such a move like that with that kind of car without knowing you’re going to receive some backlash.  The direction  her car came from was right next to a doctor’s office.  So whether this is the case or not, I told myself, “Self, she may have just come from getting bad test results from the doctor.  She is distracted and can’t drive for shit.”  So I just smiled and nodded at her. 
Obviously, there’s no way to know what was really going on with her, but it got me thinking, what lies beneath?  A lot of us don’t know our family history.  My father-in-law, for example, is adopted.  His family history has some blind spots.  So I called the genetic counselor that works at the hospital where our youngest was born.  We had met with her when doing our first trimester screenings.  I asked her what tests she recommends for people who are adopted or those who just want to take whatever genetic tests are out there.  She said there are really only two that effect the general population: BRCA and LYNCH.  LYNCH is a hereditary cancer syndrome for those with a family history of colon , uterine and endomitrial cancers. She said that they don’t recommend testing just to test.  For people with a “limited family structure”, you would test only if there is an unusual or early onset of a cancer.  Unfortunately, that kind of means that you have to wait and see (unless you want to pay out of pocket, then I think you can test for whatever you want).  There are other genetic cancer syndromes that you can test for but most are quite rare and the tests would only be covered by insurance if there’s an unusually high frequency in your family.  Obviously, if you’re concerned about getting tested, I would recommend doing some research yourself and speaking to other informed health professionals.  I’m not a researcher, so the extent of my information above stemmed from one phone call where I took notes and my 2 year old mimicked my note-taking from across the table in her playroom. It’s not like I wasn’t paying more attention to the phone call though, because as I looked up I found her calmly writing with red pen all over her face and hands with quite impressive penmanship for her age.

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