Not a one of us knows for sure if we will be here tomorrow–or tonight for that matter. I understand the theory of living each moment as if it were our last. However, I have yet to personally meet such a person who wasn’t keenly aware that they were living on borrowed time. When faced with the inevitable shortening of their lives, they strive to live as they should have their entire lives, but are too week to whoop it up. Facebook is full of fairy tale lives, and I wonder about some bloggers.
My early blog posts were about what I found beautiful each day. I still look for these things, and I take note of all little things. It’s what gets me out of bed. However, writing about how beautiful the taste of my toothpaste is, how I love the feel of my cats, the luxurious feel of the yarn I’m knitting with at the time, or the simple fact that I got out of bed, was becoming a bit tedious.
I had a lot meandering though my mind, and I was stuck recycling negative thoughts. Letting them loose through blogging has helped me look at myself in a more objective manner.
How I write is the true me. The me who isn’t feeling as if I’m hovering outside my body while trying to interact with people. The me who doesn’t have a problem stumbling over the correct word, or pronunciation of anything that spills out of my pie hole. While I consider that I my be using commas in the wrong place, my syntax is incorrect, or the fact that I’m putting someone to sleep, I’m okay with my lack of writing expertise.
I have met people who have a more positive outlook than I. They laugh deeper, and appear to live a fuller life. But what are they like when they’re alone? Do they make sure they are never alone in order to avoid examining what’s on their minds?
While I was lying in the doughnut machine yesterday (my word for the CT scan device), I went through my coping techniques for anxiety. I thought about my dad, brother, and sister. I waited for what I believe is toxic contrast dye, enter my veins, so that they can see any funky junk more clearly. I contemplated what decision I would make if I were given the news the cancer had returned. I thought about my husband and kids. Would I finally learn to live each day as if it were my last?
The test was over, and the agonizing wait begins.
How would you live if you were told that, out of 10 people in your group, only 7 of you will survive after five years? Three of you will not.
The “disclaimer” is that these numbers are averages–everybody is unique…blah, blah, blah. Yeah, doctors don’t know everything. In fact they don’t like to quote cancer survival rates because they don’t want to pop our balloons and take away any hope.
They use larger numbers, like out of 100 people diagnosed, 70 of those people will still be living large after 5 years. They don’t say 7 out of 10. Besides, there is no such thing as a half of a person, when the percentages are 15% or such. Also, they go to pretty great lengths to divert our attention from the 3 of 10; 30 of 100; or 30% who aren’t so lucky. If a person seriously wants to know their prognosis, the doctors use percentages. Numbers which require us to do the math in our heads is intended to throw us off, tricking us into thinking we have more hope. 🙂
The story behind the anxiety I have struggled with since my lung cancer diagnosis, is that out of 10 people in my group who have presented with a 1 cm (roughly 1/3 inch) lung nodule, 1 of us will be incubating a cancerous nodule.
I was that 1………….
A little bugger which can fester, because it doesn’t produce many symptoms until it has grown to a stage, where out of 10 people, only 1-1/2 will be alive after five years.
Yet—I’ve been told by my Primary Torturer, Blunt Oncologist, Brilliant Thoracic Surgeon, and Twilight Zone Pulmonologist—that I shall never see lung cancer again. Hmmmmm. Yes, they have filled my balloon with tons of hope–but I do have a brain–which may not function at 100% all of the time–but I can read, and if I forget, I can read it again.
I’m not sure what happens after 5 years, because I haven’t found any studies yet. It’s also constantly brought to my attention, that these statistics usually lag 5 years, and that new treatments are developed every day.
Blunt Oncologist is exactly the type of doctor I love. However, she told me I should be very happy with a 70% survival prognosis.
I don’t know—100% sounds better to me.
…..and I have 5 1/2 days to wait for my results.