When the Family Legacy Includes Cancer: A Mother’s Story

A warm, sunny autumn day filled with infinite possibilities. A bike ride, a walk in the woods with my dog, Charlie.

Instead, at a regular checkup, I was told I had a rare and aggressive form of colorectal cancer. And since I am a mom, the worst part of the news was learning that FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) is, as the name suggests, genetic.

I got my diagnosis at age 47, much older than most patients. And by then, I had three teenage daughters.

It took me two days after getting the news myself before I could bear to tell my husband of 30 years that the doctor had found a tumor in my rectum, and what FAP could mean for our children. Kevin and I cried. And then he never stopped researching and educating himself on FAP and how to help us.