Thursday, April 9, 2009

Statistics

It seems that my life has been broken down into small chunks of time since the whole cancer diagnosis. At first it was 'I'll just get through the diagnosing, and once I know, for sure, it will be better...' and then it was, 'Okay, I'll just get through the chemo and it will be better...' and now it is 'I'll just get through the radiation, and it will be better...' The next thing will be tamoxifen, so today, I was reading up on tamoxifen. The side effects are pretty sobering, but it reduces the incidence of metastic breast disease by 60%, they say. I clicked on a link and read about metastic breast disease. It tells me that I have a 25-33% chance of ending up with metastic breast disease, which is not considered curable. The average life expectancy is 2 years.

Liz walked by my office door at that moment and asked how it was going. "I just scared myself," I said, and told her that I'd just read about metastic breast cancer. "Don't even go there," she said. "Do not read those things." She then goes on to tell me that she has metastic breast cancer. She has been in remission for about 5 years now.

I'm pretty practical, but still, sometimes, things threaten to overwhelm me. It never ceases to amaze me how it works. I'm never far from an encouraging word. I resolve to work harder to be an encouraging word to others.

14 comments:

Daria said...

I too have metastatic cancer ... there is hope.

When I first heard I had it, I thought my life was over ... that is not the case ... please know, there is always hope and new treatments around the corner.

Kelly said...

Take life one day at a time and trust God to give you the strength needed for each day. He has a perfect plan for your life.

jeanie said...

There are lies, darned lies and statistics.

They should never spin statistics with individuals. I know. I have done my stint on making research figures speak a myriad of messages.

I was looking at my licorice packet the other day and it had "97% fat free" on the packaging - and I realised that it wasn't. 100% of that doggarned licorice probably had 3% fat laced through. I was pretty sure that I wouldn't find a 3% nugget 100% full of fat - nothing is as easy as statistics look, and nothing is as hard.

What is 60% but a 40% chance? And not just any 40%, not just "you have 40% chance", not just "you could be one of 40%" - it could mean so many things or nothing at all.

I think statistics are there to say F you to - because who knows, you might be the statistic that changes the statistics - or the statistic never counted because the need does not exist - there are too many pathways.

Enjoy the journey you are on right now, and bugger numbers!

A Novel Woman said...

Hey Deb, ignore the stats. Enjoy life. And that's it in a nutshell.

Mrs. Spit said...

You do so well at providing encouragement!

Alison said...

The only statistic I am interested in, is yours.
You Deb, are 1 in a million.

Mikey said...

Alison said it all...

Mary Paddock said...

My favorite part of statistics? Proving them wrong.

Bush Babe said...

Yep. What they all said. Particularly Jeanie. Having been a spin doctor myself, I can tell you: it is possible to read whatever the heck you want into a number. Any number. You are writing your own story here. No point in researching it elsewhere.
:-)
BB

Caroline said...

Skip all the numbers. That's all they are - numbers. You on the other hand are a person who is doing just fine.

corymbia said...

Stats only apply to a population. You are an individual - and a pretty awesome one that I'm starting to know via your blog.
You are such an inspiration.

PaintedPromise said...

oh Deb you are nothing if not an encouraging word! you are such an inspiration to me. if i get breast cancer (or any other kind) i could only hope to be even half as brave as you have been!

and numbers shnumbers lol i agree with Mikey, Allison said it all!!!

love ya Deb! i've got a donkey with your name on her whenever you are ready ;) we just have to figure out how to FedEx her to Pennsylvania!

Pam said...

I agree with my sister, Kelly. Take it one day at a time. It's taken me a lifetime to reign in my natural tendency to skip ahead to the future, the what-ifs in life.

At my age I can't afford to look too far out. I'm happier just staying within the relative present.

I've managed, over time, to keep myself within a few weeks at a time. :)

Lori said...

Your co-worker walked by and spoke just at the right moment, didn't she? Hang in there!