Topic: The percentages and hope

Yesterday, I had a discussion with a nurse about my incisions healing slowly and then the conversation turned to this awful cancer and the even more awful percentages of it returning after having curative intent surgery, even with good margin and no lymph node involvement or spread beyond the liver.  I thought OUR stats are bad, until she shared with me that when she was 7 years old (50 years ago )she was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  The doctors at the university hospital told her parents she had a 5% chance of surviving.  She had surgery to remove the one kidney and apparently had chemo, though she said she doesn't remember having chemo and no one ever mentioned it, until a later doctor mentioned it to her.  The point is.....she had a 95% chance of dying....and not only didn't she die, but she thrived and grew up to be an awesome nurse.  Yes, her bout with cancer spurred her to become a nurse.  We don't know why some people survive and others don't yet.....but the fact is that someone has to be in that small, but good , percentage that survive with out recurrence.  We, myself included, often tend to dwell on the negative percentages, and as pessimistic as they are, it's so hard to have hope.  But, in order to make the most of each day we have left, to enjoy our lives , whether one day, one week, one year or years, we have to maintain hope for the future.  I've been trying to shift my thinking, and some days I'm just not successful, but I'm trying.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences.    As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: The percentages and hope

Julie, I just read your other post and I love your uplifting messages today. Makes me feel good all over.

Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: The percentages and hope

Julie, be kind to yourself.  Remember we all do the best we can and cannot beat ourselves up when we have the occasional negativity enter.  Acknowledging that it is there is half the battle to turning it around.  Sending very positive, healing energies your way.

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: The percentages and hope

Julie, that's a great story. I completely understand how you feel.  I too often focus on the negative rather than the positive, though am really trying to work on keeping up a positive attitude.  My last follow up appt with my surgeon she was on a flight for a meeting and ended up sitting next to a patient she did a resection on for CC 7 YEARS AGO!  Talk about small world smile Anywho, my surgeon often reminds me in so many words how amazing, awesome, and grateful I should be and focus on the good, and then shared that story with me.  She said the woman she did this surgery on is doing great and was on the flight I believe for vacation.  It stories like these that really give me hope.

Hope, love, strength...2013 and for the years to come, Porter.

Re: The percentages and hope

Julie - You are right, the numbers do seem terribly negative. Our doctor pointed out that those numbers are looking backwards, not forwards and as treatments get better and better those numbers get better. He said five years from now we can look at those numbers again and see the improvement. I now don't think about them (well, I try) and when people ask (and they do) I tell them he doesn't have an expiration date so I have no idea. This has a tendency to be a glass half empty rather than half full kind of thing. Keep up the positive energy.


Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.