To start at the beginning, in the next ten years, I have a 3% chance of dying from something other than cancer, so, there is that.
All right, next step - Radiation is a given.
If I only do radiation, I have a 37 % chance of relapse and a 60% chance of no relapse.
If I do hormonal therapy in addition to radiation, I have only a 19% chance of relapse and a 78% chance of no relapse.
If I also do chemo, I have a 11% chance of relapse, and a 86 % chance of no relapse.
See why I am worried about losing my cognitive abilities? I struggle to understand. Jeff explains more.
If I look at the relapse numbers, then chemo almost cuts my chances in half, because it goes from 19% to 11%.
If I look at the survival chances, it goes from 78% to 86% which somehow seems like a smaller increase.
Okay, once again, I see that chemo makes sense. Thank you cognitive abilities.
On the other hand, what if I just went to Mexico, and became a beach bum. Jeff says that won't change the odds on whether or not the cancer is still in me. I believe my shock today is that I thought chemo gave me an even chance again. I somehow didn't understand that it wasn't a given that everything roaming around would be knocked out. I understand that all of this is new and no one really knows. So much of this depends upon my attitude, which I think until today has been pretty positive.
Another correction. I misunderstood also on that in two years they would be able to diagnose more easily. It seems that that may be in the oncologist's lifetime, and she looks young to me, so, I don't think I am going to be around for that.
It is so odd. At times, I feel that my life has been so full that I could easily move along, but somehow now, when I am right up against this, and in the cancer area of Marin General which is quite nice with lovely artwork - a snazzy mobile, and a ladder of stairs you climb one step at a time - well, I just feel like I am in pre-school and people keep telling me it is just a few days until Christmas, and yet, each time I move another step along, it really is a month, or maybe there is no Santa at all. You see, I really am down, because no one knows for an absolute fact that Santa exists more than I.
I'm not sure this blog is the best way to do this, and yet, I know I don't want to discuss this any other way. I am just putting this out there to get it out of my head, and I really don't want to talk about it. The oncologist told me to wait until Monday to make a decision, and I think that is exactly what I will do.
Great care to you all!! I hope you each are enjoying each and every precious moment. All is still fine with me. I am just a wee bit disappointed that chemo didn't mean I had a 100% guarantee, and I understand there are no 100% guarantees. I feel like a spoiled child tonight. I apologize for my tantrum.
Ah, the clouds just parted to show me the moon. All truly is well with me.
A new note - Jeff is now depressed over the 3%, and the realization that is hitting us both. You won't believe this, but we now both realize that the odds are 100% that we are going to die, and this dopey little graph makes that very clear. I say I am deciding that I will dress as a clown and parade through the depressing oncology department. Jeff says that then I will definitely end my life as part of the 3% because someone is going to take that stupid artwork ladder with its positive message of "one step at a time" off the wall, and hit me over the head with it. We are now in laughter mode, as I hope are you. The ladder is actually lovely, and I commented on how much I liked it when I walked up the stairs this morning, and that is when I thought chemo was a given, and in reality, it still is. The oncologist would do chemo if she were in my shoes, which actually are very cute - a wonderful brand - and so, I will do what she would do, recognizing that as has often been said, offering someone a choice is often just a curse. We sometimes want to be told just what to do.
So, it is getting time for bed. Sweet bed-time stories to all, and a deletion of this update of the blog.
The moon is now out in full light - a half - resting joyfully on its side.
Love to you all,