Burning the Cancer Chart of Doom

I’ve been thinking about my future lately, or more specifically, how long of a future I might have. A lot of people ask me questions about what doctors say now that chemo and radiation are finished. Basically they tell me to take my tamoxifen and watch for any symptom that is new, persistent, and a third thing I can’t remember right now. What I haven’t told many people (because talking about it makes that shit real) is that during my oncologist visit after surgery he used this on-line prognosticator program and based on tumor size, number of positive nodes, and being estrogen receptor positive, my chances of being alive in ten years were 52% if I had no treatment, and 76% with combined hormonal therapy and chemotherapy.

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I don’t know how radiation figures into that equation so I guess there’s another question for my next visit. Looking back I wish to hell he hadn’t given me this stupid chart. I was prepared to undergo whatever treatment he recommended, but I guess it’s his job though to present me with my prognosis based on the data. I stuffed this chart away in my closet right after I got it but over the last 8 months I’ve pulled it out several times, stared at it, and gotten depressed. And scared. Well I’ve decided my future is not a pie chart and I am more than just a statistic. Accordingly, I’ve decided to burn the chart of doom. In ten years, my daughter will be 22 and I will NOT be fucking dead. I will be there when she gets married, and I will be there when she has babies, so that cancer chart of doom can just fuck off. Now excuse me while I go find some matches.

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