I know today has grown entirely too long because I am just now, at slightly after 10 p.m., lighting the yahrzeit candle for my grandfather, who died 32 years ago tomorrow... and having no luck with either the wick or the match.
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
, a grassroots organization that offers information, resources, and support
to individuals and families affected by hereditary cancer.
Ironically (or perhaps not), my grandfather died from BRCA-related
metastatic prostate cancer before “BRCA-related metastatic prostate cancer”
was in the lexicon. For the last seven-plus years, though, it’s been part
of my lexicon, as I’ve worked to raise awareness about the prevalence of
BRCA mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish families – and most especially how they
can lurk in the background, undetected for generations.
Making the tough decisions to undergo multiple surgeries and long
recoveries to prevent cancer and ensure my genetics would not determine my
destiny has helped me grow.
Learning the ins and outs of these mutations, advocating on behalf of the
community affected by them, and offering advice and information to women
(and men) following me on this path has helped me grow.
Perhaps most of all, the warm, wonderful embrace of others in the
hereditary cancer community has helped me grow and enriched my life in
untold ways – ways I could not have ever imagined back when BRCA wasn’t
part of the lexicon.
Ima on (and off) the Bima
, this post is one in a series marking the days of the Jewish month of
Nisan leading up to Passover, which begins at sundown on Friday, March
30, corresponding to the Hebrew date 15 Nisan 5778. If you want to play
along, check out
this year's #BlogExodus and #ExodusGram prompts