Coworker: Welcome back! How was your trip? Where did you go?
Me: Actually the nonprofit I’m involved in was an exhibitor at a cancer conference in Toronto!
Coworker: Oh, what kind of cancer?
Me: (Give her the short version about LFS and my family history)
Coworker: Oh that sounds just like my family, we have all kinds of cancer on both sides!
Me: GO GET GENETIC TESTING NOW WHILE YOU’RE 27 AND DON’T HAVE KIDS YET! (Proceed to tell her the benefits of screening protocols)
Coworker: That makes so much sense! I never thought it was something they could test for, I thought it was just the way our family was built! I will call! Thank you so much!
This isn’t the entire conversation, but you get the jist.
I thought similarly about my own family — I thought we just had bad luck. That cancer could be hereditary, and that there might be something I could have done about it in advance, never occurred to me.
Nobody wants to find out they have Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. But in hindsight, given the choice between knowing my mutant status as early as possible or not finding out until after I got cancer — I wish I’d known sooner.
I hope my coworker has genetic testing done.