Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Expiration dates

Do we really want to know how much time we have? Can they really ever tell us?

You can always be run over by a bus tomorrow.

Yes we could, but how likely would that be?

A woman with stage 4 BC in my cooking class so far has outlived her expiration date by 2 years. Perhaps she has an especially slow growing kind as it took 10 years to recur.

Recently I have been reading Cancinista ( who battled ovarian cancer for 6 years. She wrote well and candidly of her struggles. Six months ago she asked her onc about how much time she had left. At that point, she was on a new chemo. She had tried numerous chemos over the years. Initial success  in many of them but each time, the cancer found a way  to come back. She was told that without chemo, she'd have 6 good months and then maybe a year of not so good. She was taken back: 6 months is not a long time to live plus she had young children but she was on a new chemo and supposedly better trials kept popping up, she told herself that she will live longer than that expiration date.

She didn't.

I never got a firm expiration date. I was told that women with my disease had a 70% chance of being alive in 10 years. But those numbers were based on old data.

I really don't think about that much though I am aware of the odds. There are other things that occupy my mind more.

And cancer is just one of many things that could happen. Last night I ate dinner with a woman my age that had a brain aneurysm 4 years ago. She was 'lucky' her husband was around at the time as he was just leaving to run an errand. She also was 'lucky' to survive the 50% chance of dying even though she was given immediate care. She was left with the inability to form new memories for almost 2 years. She had to be told over and over the sad news that she had an aneurysm. She lost a parent during that time and had to relive the sadness anew each time she asked where her father was. She is articulate and now can form new memories. She remains paralyzed on one side. Her lack of mobility has caused other medical problems.

Ugh! Of all things, I developed 'pink eye'. Various family members seem extra susceptible to this and I never caught it from them. But I share a pillowcase with a certain someone. It is not pretty but we do have the suitable drugs on hand.

I made my first farmer's market trip this year and am starting to fix my patio up. I love making container gardens.

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