Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Cancerversary!

A graph that plots the chances of  distal recurrence (versus local recurrence) of estrogen positive BC vs TNBC. At one year, the chances of recurrence are about 4 times greater than ER+ BC.  At 8 years, the recurrence risk drops to zero for TNBC but remains more or less constant for ER+

So how much has my risk diminished? One would have to intergrate the area under the curve. Before we had computers at work, for certain applications we would blow up a graph, cut the irregular areas under the curve and compare weights. Lacking an analytical balance, I will just have to eyeball it and say that about 70% of my risk has gone away.
It has been three years since I entered the scary Land of Cancer. I have almost escaped it. All that is left is a mutilated breast, a deep scar in my armpit, bad balance, and a diminishing fear of recurrence. Truthfully I don't think about cancer much, bigger fish to fry, etc. I do keep up with the literature to prepare if it does come back. TNBC tends to come back fast and furiously as it targets soft tissue versus the bones. But as they say, I could get hit with a bus tomorrow.

Breaking an arm was much more painful and took almost as long to recover from but with the arm, there was not that chilling fear of death. It was a sucker punch. Please don't come much unfinished business here.

I went to my last support group more than a year ago, maybe two years ago. I can't remember. We had a mix of diagnoses and prognoses. One woman was Stage 4, fairly young and very bitter. She was angry about having to die so soon. What does one say? Some tried to diminish her fears with that old homily about not having expiration dates stamped on us. One person indirectly criticized her for being negative. But if you can't bring your fears and emotions to a support group, where can you.

It continues to rain here. The blimp is floating through our skies in anticipation of The Big Game which I am to tape for my international traveler. If UM loses, he said I could just erase it.

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