Thursday, April 5, 2007

just thinking

I've been thinking about death a lot lately. Not because I'm depressed or because anyone close to me has died recently. Mostly it's been on my mind because I've been watching Six Feet Under. Someone dies in every episode. Often the dead person appears to the living and interacts with them in some way or another. It's a brilliant show for the way it displays how people's imaginations can work for and against them, but also completely bizarre and most likely offensive to the majority of the people who at least read this blog.

I'm not particularly afraid to die. What I do worry about is what kind of impact that will have (or not have) on those around me. Sometimes when I'm writing in my journals I worry about the wrong person finding them and reading them. Some of them have written records of things I don't want anyone else to know about ever. Some of them have things I wrote in anger as I vented to myself about a situation or why a person was frustrating me and I don't really want them to know I ever thought those kinds of things about them. Some of them make me look retarded because of the things I wrote about being worried by and how ridiculously dramatic I can be. So I worry who is going to come across them and read every word. But I keep writing...

Today one of my co-workers was telling me how ovarian cancer runs in her family so she had her DNA tested to see if she had the genetic marker that would put her in the category of being 90% likely to get cancer instead of the general population 3% likely to get cancer. She was telling me how I should do it too because my insurance would totally cover it. My grandfather had Alzheimer's and sometimes I worry about my dad having it too later on. If he has it, I wonder how likely I am to have it. I know they are getting closer and closer to being able to predict who will have Alzheimer's.

I don't think I want to do the tests that show what kind of predisposition I have. They aren't 100% accurate which means I could easily be lulled into a false sense of security or be panicked into thinking I will die of a specific cancer or have some sort of other degenerative disease. I think I would rather do my best to be healthy, do the medical screening everyone is supposed to do to be on top of things, and make decisions from there.

Mostly I just hope I can live my life in a way that I will be missed when I am gone and that I will have as few regrets as possible.


Kate Love said...

You know, people can get those tests and do drastic things like have their breasts or ovaries removed. But then they can also get hit by a bus, get Carbon Monoxide poisoning, or choke on a grape, just like the rest of us ignorant bastards.

m3li558 said...

That's another thing I was thinking about last night when I was talking to this girl at Starbucks. She said she'd do it, no hesitation. I said what about all the other ways you could die? You'd think you were fine because this one cancer didn't show up in your DNA, but another one could rear its ugly head later. I think I might have freaked her out.