I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fitness Friday: Family History Edition


Hi Everyone! We're back from the farm, and it was OUTSTANDING. My goodness, I have so many posts to share about all our experiences since last I blogged. But today, I'm back on with Fitness Friday posting, and will be joining you in this family history edition.

I have to admit that my family history has some pretty scary stuff in it. Cancer seems to be the death of choice for many on my mother's side of the family. Her father, and almost ALL of his (five, six?) brothers and sisters died from some form of it.

My mother died from T-Cell lymphoma when she was 42. It started in her spleen, then moved to her lungs and other organs. She was (finally) diagnosed in November of 1992 and died in March of 1993. This is a rare cancer that the doctors said is not passed down through the family. However, my grandmother died of the same kind of cancer when she was in her seventies. I was pregnant with Snow White at the time, so this was YEARS after my mother's death (2003). Everyone in our family was up in arms about it, since we were told this could not happen.

We were all given paperwork and told to have genetic testing done to see if we carried it. I have not done that, as the idea has kind of creeped me out a little. I feel like a science experiment waiting to happen. Anyone ever had this done?

On my father's side of the family is heart disease. My Grandmother died of it when I was in sixth grade. Admittedly, the one uncle who died of it was extremely overweight, and smoked. And did I mention these are hearty West Virginia people who ate fried potatoes, sausage, and biscuits for breakfast pretty much every day? Yeah. Not my first choice either. (Unless you've ever had my Aunt Dianne's biscuits...then you may change your mind...so good...)

This is all MY family's problems. I haven't mentioned the Prince's side of what my girls may be up against. (hypertension, suicide, Parkinson's Disease) When I think of it all, it can be very overwhelming. But I praise the Lord that even when I was almost thirty pounds heavier (just a few months ago!) that I never had any health issues that went with it.

That's not to say that I recommend being thirty pounds heavier than I am right now. Which would put me at over two hundred pounds. Yuck. I much prefer my weight now, though I still have a ways to go. See the counter at the bottom of my screen? It's my tracker, and it needs to move again. Soon.

Anyway, I have been taking steps to stave off the effects of my family history. We eat (probably) two vegetarian dinners a week. Things like Lentil Soup, Butternut and Carrot Soup, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, and salads. (Like cous cous salad which has yet to make it into the Foodie Friday Archives. Shame on me!)

We do also eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables. I mean lots. My kids love them, and here in SA you can get them for not too bad of prices. It depends on the season, of course, but when what we love is in season, we eat them A LOT. And even if it were a little pricey, what is a bit more money compared to a healthy body? Don't we pay even MORE to go to the doctor when we're sick often? I think it's a fair turnaround. Why give money to the selfish insurance companies, when you can be using that money wisely to fuel your body in a healthy way? [end rant]

And we have been going to they gym. (I know, that's past tense.) Since being on vacation, we haven't been, but we WILL be going back. I am working on making a schedule with the girls so I can get to the gym and not interrupt the school day too much. Here the gym is PACKED in the early morning (5 AM to roughly 10 AM) and I can't go before 8AM without the Prince, since there is no child care available until then.

This is not an excuse, (ok maybe it kind of is) but rather an obstacle to work around in order to ensure I'm doing everything I can to avoid a demise related to my dreaded family history.

So, do you think I should become a human pin cushion and get the genetic testing? Or do you think I should (as I have been) leave it in the Lord's hands and face it if/when it comes? Is it irresponsible NOT to be tested? I don't know.

Any thoughts?

Head on over to Fitness Friday where the other ladies are sharing their ideas, struggles, encouragement, and goals. Share and learn. That's what the journey is all about.

14 Comments:

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Welcome back. I've missed you but glad to hear you had a wonderful time. Can't wait to read all about it.

    About the genetic testing, if it were me, personally, I'd leave it in the Lord's hands unless there were some kind of preventive thing they can do, should you find out you're carrying it. We all have to go some day of something, and your grandmother did live into her 70s before coming down with it.

    But those are just my thoughts. Pray about it, and see how the Lord leads you.

  • Rhonda in Chile

    Glad you had agood time.

    As far as the testing, I personally would not have it done, because even if you are pre-disposed to something, that doesn't mean you are going to get it.
    But don't go by me, I never like going to the dr, and I don't like being sick.

  • JulieMom

    Thanks ladies. Those are my feelings EXACTLY. I think I'll wait it out. I mean, I've waited sixteen years so far, what's another...well, whatever my life expectancy is...

    :0) Thanks for the advice!

  • karly

    Oh, I've missed you too! So glad you had a wonderful time with your family, though!

    And, I am not sure what I would say about the genetic testing. That does make one feel like a science experiment waiting to happen. Did anyone else in your family get it? Yeah, I'm with you (and the other gals.) I wouldn't do it. But then again, maybe I would because I don't like surprises or things hanging over my head. Yeah, I'm not the one to ask for advice on this. Ahem.

    Oh, and I would be okay with having vegetarian meals a few times a week. But then if I made them, my husband would eat them and then ask for dinner. Because it's not dinner if it doesn't have meat. According to him. :)

    Blessings to you as you get to the gym this week! :)

  • karly

    I meant to say did anyone else in your family get the testing done? Sigh, if only I could write more clearly these days.... :)

  • Ploner

    I would be inclined to get the genetic testing if it's available and reliable. Unlike many fundamentalists, I believe technology, learning, and discovery are gifts from God.

    Often an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While some disease or defect may not have a cure right now, research may reveal even more targeted, effective means of prevention.

    Getting on the list of others who may also have this problem could open doors to an entire new community of folks you may have opportunity to minister to, those not so certain of what will happen after what they anticipate as a premature death.

    Other than the apprehension of knowing you have this problem (or else the relief that you don't), I don't see any negative outcome or signs of a lack of faith by getting the test. If you or your children do test positive, it could be an opportunity to grow your faith, learning to more fully understand the sufficiency of God's grace more than you would otherwise.

  • Luanne

    I always say "you pay for it now or you pay for it later..." with regards to food and their prices sometimes. I like to buy organic whenever I can too. You are such an inspiration...30 lbs?!! I would love to be thirty pounds light er right now. ai bet tit feels glorious! Great job! Have a great week!

  • JulieMom

    Karly- I knew what you meant! I no, I don't think anyone in my family has had it done, but I'll ask my Dad...that would be good to know.

    Ploner- Thanks for your input! I totally agree that technology can be useful, and a gift from God. I just hate needles, and I'm not really sure if anything would come of it anyway. And I'm in Africa, so right now it's not an option. But I'll keep it in mind.

  • AnnieKinVader

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Brenda

    Karly, my husband is the same way. If ever I tried to serve a salad (I mean a big meal salad), he would be making sandwiches to eat on the side. That's not a meal to him. Nor does he like chicken. He's not helping much is he? But we only eat supper together--I can eat what I want for breakfast and lunch.

    Oh, this isn't my blog is it? Sorry. I would not have the testing done. Colonoscopy? Yes, I'm plannign to have those when I'm older as there is actually something that could be done about the results. Percentages? Not necessary.

    Not excuses....obstacles to work around....must remember that one.

  • AnnieKinVader

    (I had an error in wording so I deleted my post and reposted)


    you encouraged me to be tested for multiple sclerosis even though my logic said if the doctor doesn't KNOW I have it then I don't. (You were the first person I told my diagnosis to.)


    The results didn't change anything.

    I just have a label now.

    ***It doesn't make me a different person. :)

    I just made me appreciate what I have with Matt and Lisa and glad to have another day.

    if you have this gene, at least then you will know and can take care of yourself according.


    Love, Annie

    ***remember, the lord never gives you more than you can handle.***

  • gin

    nice to have you back! as for the testing, i would opt out. personally i just don't like living in fear of things (would being tested and having a positive result totally freak you out? i would be afraid that if i had a 'tendency' toward a disease that i would live waiting for the other shoe to drop). i was diagnosed with melanoma 10 years ago, and for several years afterward, i lived with the fear that maybe God gave it to me because i needed a wake up call. but, He doesn't want me to live in fear! once i realized that, i was able to live more FOR Him than in fear of Him.

  • Victoria

    I agree with just about everyone who has commented. Genetic testing isn't 100% - which may be good or may be bad, depending on your results. So, if they say, "Yes, JulieMom, you have an increased risk of developing (insert name of horrible disease here)" what are they going to do about it? Will it change the way you live your life for the better? You are eating right and taking care of yourself now. That's all you can do. If you get (insert name of horrible disease here), then you can go about all the testing, needles, treatments, etc. I've never been one who wants to see into the future - only the Lord knows it and He gives us the grace & wisdom to handle it when it is the present.

    30 pounds - you are AWESOME!!!!! Seriously - I saw your pics on FB - you look FANTASTIC!!!!!

  • Bethanie

    I can only say what I would do if faced with genetic testing. I wouldn't do it. I don't really have a good explanation why, I just know I wouldn't.

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