Friday, June 16, 2017

BRCA2, Closets and Grandkids

The past couple of months have been hectic, and different.  Our family has been engulfed in something we just never expected.  BRCA2.  I'd never given it a thought until about 8 weeks ago, and then we learned that Don's family carried the gene.  Immediately my girls and daughter-in-law stepped into action.  Their doctors ordered genetic testing.   My son tested negative.  He will not pass along the gene to his son or future children.  However, both my girls tested positive.  They may have passed the gene onto their children - testing for them will not take place until they are 18 years old.

For my girls, the positive results put them into hyper mode.  They met with doctors, genetic counselors, surgeons, and plastic surgeons.  Surgeries were scheduled, with no time to really take it all in.  The girls, and their doctors, were completely in sync:  take out the organs most likely to be effected by this mutated gene.  Hysterectomies, double mastectomies.  These were words that were seldom voiced by any of us until 8 weeks ago.  Now, not a day goes by without a conversation about surgical methods, options, recovery, etc.  Logger daughter has had both the hysterectomy and the mastectomy.  She will finalize her breast reconstruction in September.  Camper daughter has completed the hysterectomy and her mastectomy will be scheduled for sometime in September.  With each surgery the relief my daughters feel is palpable.  Come September we all may feel a bit more normal, but I don't think we'll ever feel the same again.

So, while visiting Logger daughter after her surgery, taking kids back and forth to school, driving them to various practices, helping with normal upkeep while she recuperated, I took some time to try to help my grandson with his closet organization.  From broken plastic bins and towers of stuff, he now has several drawers to store some clothes and favorite items.  He has lots of hanging space, double rods on one side, tall hanging space on the other to store hunting garments and jackets.  A large drawer that slides under his bed will also help with shoe storage.

I'm glad I had something to do while there - it kept my mind busy with something other than the worry that's been lurking there ever since we learned about this unique genetic mutation that is now a part of our family history.

I'm so proud of my girls.  I'm sure they've had their moments of fear, anger, and frustration.  But, from the very first, they have not faltered in their drive to do whatever is necessary to reduce their risk of dying from breast or ovarian disease.  Once the surgeries are final, their risk is reduced to at or below that of the general populations.  And, they can live without constantly wondering and worrying when they would learn that the disease had caught up with them.  They've been a wonderful example of how to deal with this health risk - and they have shown their daughters and sons that their actions are reasonable and doable, and if necessary, that they, too, will be able to make these hard decisions without fear.

And, here's the closet stuff.  Not all that impressive, but I think it will help my grandson contain some of his belongings.  And, yes, that deer was shot by my grandson when he was about 10 or 11.  This family hunts for their meat, not for the pleasure of killing deer (although they do like the hunt!).  This deer head is just one of two that have found a home in his bedroom - and, although it's hard to believe, I've gotten used to seeing them!

Double hanging rods with a bit of room for shoes on the floor of the closet.

Drawers and shelves for socks and underwear and lots of other must have things!  The long hanging space holds hunting togs and boots and other tall things.

And, just for kicks - this is my other Logger grandson, my daughter's youngest child.  This was taken at his promotion to Jr. High School (6th grade!).  He was so cute - he picked out his outfit the night before, good jeans, black dress shirt, cowboy boots.  He was the sharpest looking kid there!