Friday, July 14, 2006

Ignorance is Bliss

Unfortunately the stark figures were presented to me yesterday, which 24/7 meditation can't do nowt about. There is, as we all know, no cure for cancer. On the other hand, Breast Cancer is the best one you can get. In ten years time I have an 80% chance of still being alive. Which is quite good. In fact very good. If I got exam results like that I'd be pretty damn pleased. But this statistic increases to 90% if I take all the poisons which are currently on offer - chemo, hormonal, and radio. I'm effectively poisoning myself for 8 months to give myself a 10% increased possibility of being alive in 10 years time. My chances of dying from something else in the next ten years are not quite 1%.

The problem with not doing anything now (which bearing in mind I haven't yet been made redundant and so am currently enjoying six months paid sick leave) is that microscopic bits of the tumour could have gone to my lung, liver, blood, bones or (possibly worst) brain, which is virtually impossible to detect until that's killing you anyway.

Thinking 'Knowledge is Power' yesterday morning I 'tooled myself up' by reading what could be quite frankly out of date material. One of the stories was a woman (older than me of course) who had a very similar tale to mine - 20mm lump but aggressive grade, who had a lumpectomy like me. Anyway a few years down the line (after she had a horrendous time with chemo) she died anyway after it went to her brain.

But could the chemo have prolonged her life by a year? Who knows? Was it her silly husband's fault who went off with another man which can't have helped?


Sue said...

Difficult to respond to this. You have expressed the cruel dilemna facing you with painful clarity and I am full of admiration for your courage and intellect in facing up to the decisions that have to be made.

Don't forget though, as well as the 'poisons' you talk about, there will be other things on offer over the next few weeks and months, including the 'buckets of love' that one leading oncologist is trying to create in his hospital. And already you have a vast network of loving friends and relatives ready to offer you practical and emotional support over the coming weeks. So, rather than dwelling - at some unearthly hour of the morning - on stark figures and out of date material, draw strength from the power of the love that we can offer you. Some people would say that love is not only a form of knowledge but also a form of healing.

cookie said...

Don't. Just don't look at other people's dark stories & apply them to yourself. You're young, you're strong & you're loved. Hold to that xxx

cookie said...

2nd Attempt. Wrote what I thought then worried about it. The reread sounds so trite & short & judgmental-- none of which were intended. What I want to say is what I already said-with love. No one else can be right where you are, but we're all beside you xxx

Jo said...

Anna - I think you probably know somewhere inside you which way you want to go on this one - that's the best guidance you can have. xx