Backstory: My dad is from a family of 15. He is full blooded American Blackfoot Indian. He grew up in the Upper Peninsula Michigan where his family
(all 13 kids, my grandma and grandpa) ran a saw mill until the UP was timbered to nothing then they moved to Kentucky and started a tobacco farm. My
dad is the oldest of 13 kids. My grandmother was 13 when she had my father and when she and my grandfather married. (it was 1939) dont judge). All 9
boys served in the military at some point, and went on to have decent blue collar jobs. (railroad, construction, steel mill) The 4 girls all married
and are great productive citizens. I have 87 first cousins on that side of the family and over 100 second cousins. It is an amazing tribe. They came
from NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING.
Fast forward: 1988 my Uncle MIke dropped dead after getting up to heart burn medication in the middle of the night. His heart basically exploded. All
the boys went and got their hearts checked. My dad and the other brothers have some congenital heart defect that if this hadnt happened would've
killed them all much in the same manner. Every one of them have had valve replacements and stents put in and some quadruple bypasses.
1999: My aunt is diagosed with breast cancer.
2005: Another aunt is diagnosed with breast cancer.
2007: Another aunt diagnosed with breast cancer.
4th aunt is clear and has remained so.
2008/2009/2010 3 great uncles and 3 great aunts all diagnosed with alzheimers and dead within 2 years.
Their doctor decided to check them for the cancer gene..BRACA. Sure enough they all carry the gene. All the checked...all grandkids checked most of
them have the gene.
2010: All aunts are in remission doing great. The first aunt diagnosed gets her yearly pet scan and bloodwork and gets bad news it is back. She is
told it is so advanced there is nothing they can do. She is dead within 6 months.
December 12 2010 3rd Uncle from the oldest is found dead in his bed. He hadnt been sick. His heart basically exploded in his sleep from the same thing
that took the first uncle and despite the bypass and stents and valve replacement it happens anyway.
flash forward: NOV 13 2012. My dad, and two uncles are getting ready to go on their annual deer hunting trip to the UP. One uncle breaks out in a
crazy hive like rash. He goes to the doctor who tells him he has blood poisoning and admits him to the hospital. 5 days in the hospital, countless
infectious disase doctors and specialists they see no signs of infection and have no idea what the rash is. He is released. He goes home. A week
later, he back in the Er. THey admit him again. This time they do an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Colon is clear. endo comes back with a questionable
spot near his esophagus. Tests are run. They tell him he has small cell cancer and it is agressive but it is just a few cells hasnt spread and to
start chemo asap and he had a 90% chance of going into remission.
Flashforward 12-11-12: Uncle with cancer is taken to hospital with difficulty breathing. One hour later they called the entire family in (it was a
sight!! and overwhelmed the hospital staff!) and told us he wouldnt make it through the night he had a horrible infection that he didnt have the
immune system to fight off.
Today 12-12-12 two years after the 2nd uncle died in his sleep this uncle is told the cancer has spread to his liver lungs and brain and there is
nothing more they can do. he has a dnr and is being kept comfortable. They do not think he will make it through the night tonight.
Why do I feel the need to tell all of this?
I simply dont get it. How can you have a few cells of cancer a month ago been getting chemo and all of the sudden it has overtaken your entire body?
How can a family be subjected to so much ?
It doesnt seem fair and I am pouty and sad.
I have a few questions for God when I get there. I told the backstory because I think it is important to know this family's horrible medical plagues.
Is it because they are American Indian? Are they more prone to this stuff?
Now for me...I was adopted. I am a heinz 57 American and thank God I do not have my familys genes.
I love them all though and it breaks my heart.
i mean come on...Alzheimers, congenital heart issues, cancer gene??? It is unreal.
Someone told me today all this seems like a lot only because my family is so large. I dont agree. What do you think?
Please say prayers to whomever you believe in to give my family some peace tonight and if my uncle has to leave us please let him do so painlessly and
peacefully and that there really is something amazing waiting for him next.
edit on 12-12-2012 by k21968 because: typo