Monday, November 15, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss?

One of my blogging friends subscribes to The Daily Prompt in which you are sent a subject to blog on. Last week's prompts seemed to be colors: I would have written about PINK of those suggested. Another week a while ago concerned adages: My favorite would be : You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!
But in Cancerland, is ignorance bliss?

This ran through my head repeatedly right after I was diagnosed. If only I hadn't shown up to my appointment, I wouldn't have found this out and I wouldn't be so upset! Of course sooner or later, this type of thinking would cause my death. But no, I tried to learn everything about my situation as quickly as possible. Immediately I came across the words poor prognosis, quick metastases to soft tissues, no targeted treatment, etc. Did I need to read this?

Initially no one said anything about my specific odds. On the Susan Love website, they have an odds calculator. I plugged in my numbers and my odds coming out were very scary. I said something about them to my surgeon who thought they were not correct. She plugged the numbers into the commercial, just for doctors site and came up with better ones. Later the oncology asst gave me more dismal ones from the same site. She had plugged in that my tumor was 3-5 cm whereas the other doctor said it was 2-3 cm. I complained. She said I was focusing on the wrong numbers: she wanted me to see how much better my odds were IF I did chemo. In various support groups, it seemed that no else knew their odds and I certainly wasn't going to ask as I can't imagine a more personal question. Some of the ladies had no idea what chemo they were on: I show up, hope they know what they are doing, and hope I'm alive at the end of it seemed to be a common sentiment.

But I have to know everything.

The odds though can't be correct as the database is constantly changing for the better. Still it is hard to confront your mortality way before you thought you would have to.

This has not been a fun week.A Kafka-esque situation has arisen which we are handling. I've been running alot to relieve stress.
Every weekend Josh or his friends throw a UM football party though I don't think anyone in their crowd actually went there (I did). Josh always invites Naomi, which I am happy that he includes her and exposes her to other life styles. Maya seems to like the attention too.

1 comment:

Teri Bernstein said...

Ignorance is not bliss. I am all for finding out as much as possible, and keeping my mind open to new information. It is a risky process. I think a parallel adage is "no news is good news."


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