I am linking with Christopher and Tia. I still can't get the button to work, so go see them here.
Oh this is a Flashback that will have my sister and a few of my cousins wanting to strangle me. Remember this Christmas?
Look at me in my pink sweater – I hardly ever wear pink – I don’t think to goes with my hair. I loved how my mom would put yarn bows in my hair. This had to have been 1983 and I was 6 because we lost my Papa the following August. I am almost positive of that because Amy was still a baby.
I love this picture. It was framed in my Meme’s house for years. I love my Aunt Becky’s sofa – they were such the fad – we had one too. That was a good Christmas.
Now, I have a question for you and the reason why I am asking during Flashback Friday is one because my Meme is in this picture and two because I would like to hear from people other then my family – who are normally a big majority of my everyday readers.
If you had the opportunity to know how you would die, would want to know?
Let me clarify. I was watching last week’s Grey’s Anatomy on my DVR where Meredith Grey was tested for the Alzheimer’s Gene. As soon as I saw it I hit pause and called my mother. I proceed to ask her why she didn’t tell me about the gene testing. She in turn proceeded to tell me she didn’t want to know and then after a long discussion she said if I researched and do it then she might.
I have a friend who was tested for the cancer gene because her mother passed away from ovarian cancer. I have seen people test positive for the breast cancer gene and wind up having a mastectomy in order to avoid the cancer, but I had never known that they have a way to identify the Alzheimer’s Gene.
If you are new to my blog, please go read this post about my grandmother (Meme), here. This may help you understand why this is so important. At the same time, though it is scary.
The Alzheimer’s Association states the following on their website, here.
“APOE-e4 on chromosome 19, is linked to a greater risk of susceptibility for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s, the more common form of the disease that is manifested after the age of 55 and generally associated with old age. APOE-e4 is a variant form of a gene that encodes the production of a protein called apolipoprotein E, which may play a role in repairing connections between brain cells. People with one copy of APOE-e4 have a greater risk of getting Alzheimer’s than people with other forms of the gene, and people with two copies of APOE-e4 have an even greater risk.”
“APOE-e4 increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but it is neither necessary (people without APOE-e4 develop the disease) nor sufficient (not all people with APOE-e4 develop Alzheimer’s).
Although there is no way to change one’s APOE-e4 status, lifestyle modifications may help reduce the potential effects of having APOE-e4. These lifestyle modifications include eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising and staying mentally active.”
A few things that I feel completely suck about this genetic testing is the social consequences. The possibility that an insurance company could find a reason to drop you or deny life insurance based on the outcome of the testing. That is why most people turn to at home kits which are not as reliable as going through genetic counseling.
The reason why I would have the testing would be to able to maybe combat the symptoms as they said above through lifestyle modifications. Also, to prepare, I can not begin to tell you how much more information I would have gathered from my grandmother if I knew that she would lose all of her memory. I so wish I could go back and record all of her memories – like what she thought when she met my grandfather. Those little details are now lost.
My question to you is – would you do it? Would you take a test like this one knowing that it could possibly come back and tell you that you are very likely to have Alzheimer’s? If you have gone through this with anyone, you understand the sadness that would be felt knowing that you would possibly end your life that way. I say possibly because even if you have the gene is it not a 100% definite that you will have Alzheimer’s.
I am torn – as you can probably tell by my rambling. It is so emotional for me – this topic. We are pretty sure my great grandmother had it along with my great aunt and now my grandmother. At this point it scares me more than heart disease and the history for stroke in my family – especially since I am a carbon copy of my Meme.
If you were me, what would you do?
In searching for the picture above – I found a few favorites of my Meme and Papa. I miss them both so much.
Also, before I forget! Vintage Pearl is having a give-a-way! Go visit her blog here.