• An interesting situation to consider, what do you do?

    Asked by CancerNews on Sunday, August 25, 2019

    An interesting situation to consider, what do you do?

    For everyone who's prognosis is in the 40% - 60% 5 year survival rate, what do you do?

    Do you go about life with doubt in the back of your mind? Do you hold off on buying the new house ir car? Do you live in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop?

    Or do you lean towards the optimistic side and be happy that your treatments are over and that you've been given the OK to go back to life, even though your "numbers" may not be that good?

    Where are you on this sticky ground?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar

      I began with a 1-1.5 year prognostic. It quickly dropped to a 6 months-1 year prognostic. I lived life, choosing to focus on the goal. My probability of survival dropped several times after that, as along the way, I picked up two additional cancers. All three at the same time in '14 and '15. This lead one university doctor to opine that I had a 0.5% chance of being alive today. That would have been devastating to hear ELEVEN YEARS AGO, no?

      I chose not to listen to various prognoses - none of which was ever good.

      6 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      My last diagnosis had a 40 to 50% survival rate at 5 years. At first, I thought that's it, I'm done, but then I decided somebody has to be in the 40 to 50% that survive, so I was going to be one of them. Of course, in reality, I had nothing to do with it, it was all the doctors, decades of research that produced the current day treatments and protocols, and the brilliant young doctors who are on the cutting edge of everything. I guess I did help by actually showing up for treatments, so I'll take 10% credit!

      6 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Diagnosed with a later stage of ovarian cancer in 2013, my five year survival rate was about 39%. Accepting everything from diagnosis through surgery and chemo treatments to where I am today was a process. At first, I was scared even though I was determined to fight through the treatments. Once I made it to remission, I did wait for the other shoe to drop. .Exam times were a time of anxiety for me. Even so, I always looked forward . I planned and saved for activities and trips well onto the future, so I guess I was being cautiously optimistic. Time has passed and with no recurrence the optimism grows but still , even today, that little cloud pops up from time to time. The reality of cancer is that it can and does recur even seven or more years post treatment. So there will always be a smudge of the “ what if”, as a survivor, it comes with the territory , but not enough to keep me from living my life nor stop me from looking forward.

      6 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      When you see the statistics it can be frustrating. But you have to live your life. You can't just shut yourself in a box and let things happen around you. So buy that house. Go on vacation. Hug your grandchildren. Be a warrior. Live a good healthy life! And get going with living.
      I have stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. I will be a seven year survivor in October.

      6 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      My prognosis was so dismal that I wasn't expected to make it to a year, but I never thought about stopping living. My husband and I bought an expensive car (to us) during that first year and not too long later, we purchased an RV for our son ...

      My first (and only) question to my oncologist when I was first diagnosed with lung cancer and given a 4-month prognosis was whether I could continue living. And, that's what I've done. I appreciate every breath I take ... and keep on keeping on.

      Like cllinda, I will be a 7-year survivor in October. I'm very grateful that I didn't just stop living and wait to die when I was first diagnosed.

      6 months ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      When I was diagnosed, the stats said I had a 15% chance of being around in 5 yrs. At first, I panicked. I drove around the campus of the nearest hospice. I wondered if I should bother to renew my TV Guide subscription. That was 7 yrs ago this past Friday. I'm NED... So, I guess some of us have to be in the % that hangs around. I think I was just too sarcastic to go anywhere... : ) But there were moments of sheer panic.

      6 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Stage IV rectal cancer - dismal 5-year statistics. The first year after treatment, I didn't commit to anything long-term. But I'm 5 years out from my diagnosis, and now I'm thinking, "Heck, I might live a long time, and I had better be more careful financially." I'm like Buckeye Shelby too - I didn't renew any magazine subscriptions, and truth is, I haven't missed them.

      6 months ago
    • KB2013's Avatar

      I was told I had a 2% chance to survive 18 months. I am still alive though weak, tired at 6 years and 8 months. I wish someone could explain the ‘why’ of it to me.

      6 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      I wish @ KB2013 science could figure out why some survivors surprise and keep on surprising it would be such a wonderful and beneficial discovery.

      6 months ago
    • still_fighting's Avatar

      I was told that I had approximately 5 yrs that I would probably pass due to infection because of my leukemia than the leukemia itself...that was 13 yrs ago. Like so many here I decided to live my life the best way I could regardless of what I was told. Being positive and with new treatments I have and will continue to fight. Live your life, buy that whatever. Life is way too short to worry about every little thing.

      5 months ago

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