The Hardest Part

There is one aspect out of all that is going on that weighs more heavily than anything else. The thought that I may have passed the CDH1 mutation on the Conor and Kiley. Basic genetics… I gave them either the gene I inherited from their grandfather or grandmother. They have a 50% chance of inheriting the bad gene. Yes, they were both born before any of us knew about hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. There is nothing I can to about this now. And, of course we shouldn’t focus on a particular future because there is always the chance we could get hit by a bus. Knowing this does not lessen the guilt. It is instinct to want to protect them, but all I have at the moment is hope. Right now, I don’t know their status. Consent must be informed, voluntary and the person must be competent. This would depend on the individual. The general practice is that genetic testing for a disorder with such serious consequences should not be done prior to age 18. Conor is 18, and will test after he completes his Spring term. Kiley expressed she “wants to know”. She will have to wait, another year. So, we all wait, and I do what I can to convince myself that they have many healthy and happy years ahead of them.

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