My brother and I have always been very close. When it came to my wedding day, there was no doubt in my mind that he would be my “Man of Honour”. When we found out in 2009 that we had a 50/50 chance of inheriting the CDH1 genetic mutation, we decided it would be better if both of us had it or neither of us.
Yesterday, my brother, his girlfriend, my mom, dad and I sat around a large table awaiting to hear his genetic test result. This was a situation all too familiar for our family. In 2009, my dad sat with my mom to hear the result. In 2013, my mom, dad, and husband repeated the same process. Now it was my brother’s turn. Third time’s a charm right?!?!
Just before the genetic counselor joined the table, I told my brother, “remember when we discussed us both having the gene vs. neither? Well, I no longer feel that way”. We all had a good laugh and then the counselor walked in. After saying our hello’s she quickly cut to the chase.
“We all know why we are here today and I have good news for you, you are negative!” . My mom did her happy dance and I immediately broke into tears. This time tears of joy. I am not a person who cries so this was a HUGE deal. I didn’t even cry on my own wedding day! My dad kept his cool as always but we all know he was celebrating inside. I jumped up and gave my brother a big hug. We were all so happy. The counselor then proceeded to show my brother the paper that describes what the test showed but she could tell that we were not paying attention. After negative, I don’t think any of us heard anything else. Haha.
My brother had been preparing himself to hear positive for the past eight weeks. He and his girlfriend had a game plan of what he wanted to accomplish before having his stomach removed. We were obviously all so happy he was negative but also in a little bit of awe because we had heard about many families where more all siblings were affected. The genetic counselor mentioned that it may be normal to feel guilt that he tested negative when I tested positive. But I assured my brother that that should be a non-issue.
Sometimes you may not realize how much something sticks to the back of your mind until it’s gone. Although the test result was not for myself, I kept thinking of my brother. It’s so fantastic to know that we can close the CDH1 book on my immediate family.
So now when I look at the top 5 events of my life thus far, this one definitely makes the list and a day that I will remember forever.