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Monday, July 18, 2011

Question of the Week: Ever Think 'That Could Be Me'?

A headstone in the Jerusalem British World War...Image via Wikipedia

After learning about the death of my 42 year old cousin from complications of type 2 diabetes, I wondered if the same fate lay in wait for me.

I thought the same exact thing when my mother died from metastatic colon cancer in 1999. My mother was only 61 when she died.  Her death spurred me to get my first colonoscopy last year.  This screening test was something my mother didn't do consistently and it wound up costing her her life.

I also found myself concerned in 2004 when, at the age of 70, my dad died from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Although, if I am honest, I was worried about getting Alzheimer's ever since I knew my dad had it back in 1997.  And I still worry about it from time to time.

Since my cousin's death sort of knocked me for a loop, I thought I'd do a quick Google search and alleviate my fears. No such luck...

I thought there would be some kind of information about predicting your own cause of death based on how your family members died.  Can you believe that I couldn't find one article on this subject?  That just doesn't seem right.  After all, it is my understanding that some illnesses run in families and are passed from one generation to the next.

I really wanted to find a plethora of articles that explored my risk of death from diabetes, colon cancer and Alzheimer's disease based on my family history so I could get some perspective and put my fears to rest.  Instead, those fears get to inhabit a small, dark corner disguised as huge question marks.

*sigh*

Do you ever find yourself wondering if you will die from the illnesses that took your grandparents, parents, sibling or other family members away from you?  I'd love to hear what you have to say on this topic, so leave me a comment or head over to the OMA&P! Facebook page to join the discussion.


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