• How do you deal with the low chance of survival?

    Asked by bluefalcon on Saturday, September 22, 2012

    How do you deal with the low chance of survival?

    33 Answers from the Community

    33 answers
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      Hi bluefalcon,
      I was first diagnosed with tongue cancer last year, and after finding a nodule in my lung and a tumor around my spine, I also found out I have mets to the bone. My chemo doc says it's not curable but is treatable. I'm not giving-up yet. He hasn't said, "You have 6 months left," so I am hopeful for some quality of life ahead! I hope you can find some hope and continue the fight! Good luck on your journey! Keep us posted, okay? Don't give up!

      almost 5 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Live for today, and appreciate everything that you do have. Take down the high beams, turn on the low beams, and focus on right now. Right now is all every one of us has whether we have cancer or not. Celebrate every small step forward. I think looking forward in the too-distant future, and only worrying about the many possible things that can go wrong is a recipe for anxiety. Give yourself something on your calendar for which to be hopeful. You can still have many good days ahead.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      By recognizing that there is no such thing as a low chance of survival. Survival is binary, you either survive or you don't. You can't be slightly pregnant and you can't have a low chance of survival. If you don't die today, your survival was 100%. On the day you die, your survival is 0%. Survival rates are nothing but mathematical averages based on what happened to other people with similar diagnoses. The survival rate for each of them was also 100% or 0%. Life already provides plenty of things to deal with without dwelling on statistics than you have nothing to do with and can do nothing to change.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Thesurvival statistics you were cited are at least 5 years old. This is because the deffinition of survival is living 5 years,thus the statiatics availble today are for people originally in your current situation 5 years ago. Over the past 5 years research has come a long way. I personally have hit the 5% stastic 5 times in a row. This is such a statistical improbability that I now tell people that stastically i'm dead. As an engineer I realize that statement is not really correct but it sounds good. What this all means is do not dwell on the statistics at all. They can be used as a guidance for treatment but remember that someone has to be the outlier that beats the odds and survives and is cured for life and it might as well be you and I and all of the others on this web site. Hope this helps and keep fighting.

      almost 5 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      Life has a 100% mortality rate. Don't let the big picture overwhelm you - focus on the small pleasures and take it one day at a time. Make every day count. The one thing that cancer has taught me is to be grateful for the time I have left.

      almost 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Remembr that every patient is different. By looking at stats on the net, I have a 15% suvival chance for 5 yrs w/stage 4B uterine cancer, but that number doesn't take into acct a lot of factors. My oncologists are quite optimistic that I'll beat this. And even if it really is 15%, who is to say I'm not one of those 15 out of 100? On the other hand, who can say space debris won't fall on me tomorrow. We just need to make the best of the day before us. May you find peace regardless of where your journey takes you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • mccanbl's Avatar

      I deal with it by by not paying attention to it. Your survival is just that "Your Survival " as long as you fight you have a chance of affecting the outcome.Keep fighting

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I cant speak to this personally. but both my Mom and Dad were given a "date" or length of time. Both of them accepted it and just went on proudly and peacefully. It amazed me. I don't know how they did it. We done everything we could with mom and she never sat around worrying or complaining. It was something. Their cases were pretty bad, docs in both cases actually said nothing could be done.

      Hope you do well, don't accept defeat until you KNOW defeat is hear.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      That is a good one, my oncologist (after letting me find out via 6 months of intensive web learning that I was in deep do do) told me how and when I will die. Not a lot of wiggle room for hope. I am planning on seeing a psychologist/hypnotist to help me deal with the stress and anxiety of being dead woman walking without a partner or caregiver. My only friend died, she was someone who called me every day to say she loved me. What a gift. I do listen to meditation, self hypnosis CDs to keep myself calm. I think being in the "now" is important, not to try to guess the journey ahead of schedule. When I panic at the possibilities I tell my self I am not there yet. Wish we were neighbors, we could be the A Team for mortality reality check. When people tell me they are "sorry" I tell them they are mortal also, the ink on their toe tag is just not visible yet. Get some darn funny looks.

      almost 5 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      When I first asked my doctor she said she couldn't answer that for 2 months to see how I did with treatment. After 2 months she said her opinion ( she said she didn't have a crystal ball and was not God") was at least 1 year, probably 5 years or better.
      My friend was told he had 6 months or less. He wasn't done. He still had things to do. 1 & 1/2 years later, after his great grandaughter, who he wanted to see was born, he said I guess I can go now, and he did a few days later.
      I am getting my things in order, Just in case I die earlier or just don't feel like it later, but I plan on lasting at least 5 years. If the treatment side effects get bad enough I will stop the treatment and let go. My problem is how my kids and grandkids would deal with it. I do have a great support team with my family and friends.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar

      I have turned my life completely over to God. I pray for healing daily and know that through my faith in God it will happen. Check out this website. http://www.savedhealed.com/ It changed my life. ( I am stage IV breast cancer, first being diagnosed 7 years ago.) If you get God in your heart, you will have nothing to fear.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      When I was 62 in January of 06, The surgeon removed a 39 pound ovarian tumor... Stage IV.... After surgery, He told me he had removed all the cancer he could see from my abdomin.... Off my intestine,,, off my euretha... and my left healthy overay. I'd had a hysterectomy 25 years earlier... (and they had said when I asked them to take my ovaries, that I was too young back then to remove the ovaries... ) I then asked him about how much time I would have left.... He responded "six months"... punched the wall and walked out. Since I was still groggy I went right back to sleep.... and believe it or not... I forgot that I'd asked and I forgot his answer.

      I had told him at diagnosis that I wanted to fight with all that was in me. I have three sons and five step children... 17 grandchildren and their wonderful grandfather. We fought hard. The startling part was that I had while waiting to hear the diagnosis a month before left all fear behind. Lying there I knew they were looking for and probably found Ovarian Cancer. I knew I had the symptoms, but had lived with them for years and years due to a traffic accident... the weight gain... well heck I was 62..... I immediately reached out my hand to God. I told Him what I knew... I told Him I was terrified (scared was too minimal a word). Trust me at the instant those silent words with Him were shared I was NOT afraid. Then thinking clearly I asked Him to take my hand and lead me to where He wanted me to be. I told Him I would follow him wherever He led me. I have been blessed with a strong faith, however it was still hard to get the words out... but as soon as I did, my faith in He who wants good for me, even more than I do, made me completely happy with this. I was following the Lord...

      This was the end of February... I developed MRSA at the hospital... faught that and won... I came home... They did a PET CT Scan prior to my starting a rugged chemo therapy planned.... When I got to the oncologist office, He opened and read the report for the first time, with me. It was amazing... He started bouncing up and down, (lightly) punching my shoulder and all but yelling... OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.... I GOT IT ALL!!!!! over and over again.

      Due to Ovarian Cancer being infamous for returning he had done a complete body scan.. It showed I was completely free of cancer. Head to knees. We talked and decided to go ahead with the planned chemo therapy in total. I WANTED TO LIVE!!!!! Each night I thanked God for being given this blessing - I named every doctor involved in finding this menace.... I had had complete physicals for the previous 30 years... how was this missed... It was. We did six cycles of three infusions each, both I/P and I/V (I/P = interperetineal) (I/V Interveneous) infusions. Day one I/V; Day two and eight I/P. Supposed to be very painful... it was not. This took almost the rest of the year... Then after the holidays I went back for a check up.. My hair was growing in (about an inch long).. All tests still showed I was cancer free.

      He then told me that he wanted me to go to chemo for another complete year... Once a month for twelve months... I asked if I was his mother if he'd want me to do this. He replied, if I was his mother, he'd make me do it. I did it. It is now Sept. of 2012... almost 7 years from handing my life over to God. I am here.. I am fairly healthy.. (Still have a bad back..) I go in for blood tests every three months... I still thank God, and He hasn't let go of my hand. I don't know about others, but I will take one day at a time that He gives me, I will see the flowers and smell the roses, etc. I have in these years danced at my grandson's wedding. I have held two little great grandchildren and consider myself blessed. Oh and I make plans... you know the kind... Next summer we're going to go here... do that... Well next year my middle son is getting married... I'll dance. Nothing is guaranteed... but I'll plan, I'll praise God, and I'll tell all who will listen to me.

      WITH GOD... ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!!!! Believe!!!! God Bless You!

      almost 5 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      I agree with the others, you have to live for today. I wish I had done before I got cancer. I always worried so much about everything little thing. I sweated all the small stuff. Now I am happy just to be here. When I do get a little apprehensive, I say to myself, I am here now, nothing is going to happen to me today or tomorrow or even next month. I feel good right now and don't want to waste time not enjoying my life. I get down sometimes, especially if I wake up in the night and my thoughts get away from me. I think it boils down to acceptance. We have to accept the facts but not dwell on them because that will not change anything.

      The day I got my diagnosis my house was soon filled with people. Everyone was so scared including myself. We didn't know anything at that point and I was very sick. I was in my bedroom and I asked how my mom was doing (she was 85). I got up and walked to the living room. My mom sat there looking small and defeated. I looked at her and said, it is what it is and we'll deal with it. She said, I know. That is pretty much how we have all handled it. Do what needs to be done and keep moving forward. I soon learned that it is easier to accomplish this when I feel well; easier to be optimistic.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar

      Forget the statistics - they're meaningless. Live for the moment, enjoy today, and don't forget to tell your family how much you love them each day. None of us are guaranteed we will make it until tomorrow. I had the same cancer you do, and I have been cancer free for eleven years. Research has made giant strides since I was cured. Your chances are better than mine were, but I never once gave up, not even for one minute. I knew I was going to beat cancer. Keep a positive attitude and do whatever it takes to win.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lynn1947's Avatar

      I don't think there is a time span.I was Stage 0 Breast Cancer but it doesn't make me feel any better.It''s Life threatening .I'm grateful for the early dx but every scare puts me over the edge.Every mammo I need to have another and a ultra sound.Like someone said Every Patient is different.Also what my doctor tells me.Right now I 've been fighting Brochitis.Never had it before.Been to the doctor 3 times.Told it could last 5 weeks.Just gettiing over it at 3 weeks.This to me is a scare because it's breaking me down as far as my health.I worry about the rest of my body.Lungs,hearrt, etc.My mom was dx in the 1940's,She lived 60 years.Not sure her prognosis at the time but I'm sure it wasn't good.But she lived a long good life. .I usually dont' hear about doctors saying "You don't have much time in the beginning" but I've heard throughout my life of people dx with different cancers and only lived a few days.I see you're a lung cancer survivor.I've known peiple with lung cancer who've lived a long time.My saying is BELIEVE in MIRACLES. Before my cancer dx I was seriously ill with other diseases.Once being in the hospital for 2 months.Then surgery.At that time and still today I PRAY.
      I had then 3 young sons I couldn't leave.God knew they needed me.

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      You find a better doctor who has higher hope and more knowledge.

      You look over your life and determine how you fare with odds.

      You find healers and herbalists and you incorporate their ancient learning into your protocol.

      Get as detailed a diagnosis as you can and find an independent (not one recommended by the doc you see now) and qualified medical second opinion.

      You take up meditation and yoga and other dietary and lifestyle changes.

      You look at your bucket list and decide what you wish to do with the rest of your life; especially next.

      These things come in varieties of order.

      It is also your decision as to whether to accept these odds you've been given.

      Very best of luck for a happy future.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Laurasalzy's Avatar

      Faith and prayer! I was diagnosed with stage IV T cell lymphoma and given 6-8 months in August 2010. I had 6 months of different chemos and was told they all failed. There is no cure for my Lymphoma and MDAnderson cancer hospital in Houston had only seen 15 cases with no known survivors. I had more people praying for me. I stopped chemo and decided to enjoy what time I had left without throwing up and being sick. My only shot was a stem cell transplant but they had to get the cancer down as close to 2% as possible but they couldn't. My blood has gone back to normal levels and the cancer has decided to share my body and let me live --for how long, I don't know but I'll take whatever i can have. Keep the faith and don't ever give up.

      almost 5 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      You can only take it one day at a time and make the most of what days you have. I am living with the very poor prognosis of inflammatory breast cancer. I am lucky to have survived 5 yrs thus far. Most never make it to 2 yrs.Really the only way to deal with this is to make your arrangements, then make time for family and friends and take each day as it comes. No one not even the oncs really know how much time one has. Its all guestimates. SO live your life and enjoy what time you have.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Fusionera's Avatar

      Hi bluefalcon,

      Prognosis is not a word in my vocabulary anymore, as I was diagnosed in 1995 with a grade III malignant brain tumor (oligoastrocytoma), and despite 3 recurrences, including a 3rd surgery in 2011, I am still here. My parents were told by my doctors when I was diagnosed that they would "do everything we can to make her comfortable". I have beaten every statistical odd for my tumor type. I used to feel as though I should spend my life preparing to die of my disease at any time. 17 years later and after 4 battles, I have finally learned to be kinder to myself, especially having to deal with the aftereffects of this last go-round, which was extremely difficult. Be nice to yourself and do what you need to have fun and take care of yourself. If you don't, there will be nothing left to give to those you love. I am not speaking of material goods here, rather your time, energy and presence in their lives. Don't give up because some statistician says you're doomed. Had I listened to them I never would have seen 30, let alone 43!!


      almost 5 years ago
    • sassynancy's Avatar

      Hi bluefalcon, my answer is YOU DON'T. You never say die and you never give up hope. Get this book from your library, if they don't have it, they can order it "Outsmart your cancer" by Tanya Harter Pierce. Go alkaline, become a vegetarian, do mostly organics, get the dirty list of veggies for pesticides, drink green tea and do what ever it takes to get well. I beat non small lung cancer, they gave me a year to live. then 11 years later I am now in remission with small cell lung cancer and I'm very optimistic. Just have to do what I can to keep it from comming back. Good thing about alternatives is you can do several together even along with conventional medicine. I say research, research, research. Alternatives are not toxic!!!!! also check out "theherbdoc" on line. I am starting his incurables program today, even tho I am in remission I'm doing it to detox my body. I love Dr. Schultz. In otherwords FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, i'm in my second remission and still fighting. Keep your chin up and your hopes high and best of the best to you. I beat it twice, so can you. I care Nancy

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think ruthieq has provided an excellent example of how irrelevant and inappropriate survival rates are. She stated that most people with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) don't make it to 2 years. What does that mean exactly? It means that in some study done about 15 years ago, when much less was known about how to treat or even diagnose IBC, about 60% of those in the study who were diagnosed with IBC were dead 2 years later. That includes those who had no treatment, those who died of other causes, and those who were stage 4 with metastasis to other areas at the time of diagnosis..

      I have stage 3 IBC. I was 63 years old at time of diagnosis. I had a course of active treatment that didn't even exist 15 years ago. I will continue to be on preventative treatment for the rest of my life. So how does that grim 2 years survival rate apply to me? It doesn't. It is useful information only for those in medical research as a basis for comparison on the efficacy of newer methods, protocols, and drugs as compared to the past.

      I used myself and IBC just as an example here, but the same idea applies to any other individual and type of cancer. It just infuriates me when people toss around survival rates with no clue what they actually are and then let them rule their lives.

      almost 5 years ago
    • ErinJ's Avatar

      Ignore statistics and realize you are not a number- you are a person. Check out Kris Carrs' Sexy Wellness Newsletter (also blog and book The Crazy Sexy Diet.) She lives with an uncurable cancer and has lots of great information. I know of other men and women who have followed her and had astonishing, statistic defying results!

      almost 5 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      There are some really good answers on here. I don't know that I could add anything additonal. I'd just say this, live one day at a time. Everyday is a blessing.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      I mostly agree with those who say, "ignore the statistics." Those statistics were compiled years ago and the patients who made up those statistics were treated differently than you will be treated. And, even if the statistics were about current treatments, they aren't you. Statistics are about populations. You are an individual. Your life expectancy will most likely be more or less than any single number.

      So, what do you do with the statistic? I think you take it as an approximation. Then carefully think how you want to spend your time. Are there trips you want to take? Maybe it's a good time to take them. Are there old friends and family you want to see again? See them. Is there someone you want to be reconciled with? Forgive them. If religion is appropriate for you, pray. Don't do anything you might regret should you survive 10 or 20+ years, but do those things you really know you should have been doing all along.

      And fight, and live. Get the best care you can. Troll the clinical trials sites for promising treatments and see if you meet the qualifications. Do what it takes.

      almost 5 years ago
    • doctorsol's Avatar

      Whatever the percentage of survival, if you are in that group, it is 100% for you. I act and think as if I have 50 more years to go, even though I wasn't even expected to live as long as I have so far. I believe in staying alive until a cure is found. Put out only positive thoughts to the universe and it will be so.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Quita's Avatar

      I have lung cancer and was told I have 3 months. I manage fine during the day, but the sleeping and thinking at night is not good. I can accept the dying, but it is a waiting game for the slow dying that has me frantic. I have had no treatment. I am much older than you and lived a full life but the quality of life is not good at this time. I have found great pleasure in giving away a lot of my treasures to friends and family.

      almost 5 years ago
    • NeeNee's Avatar

      No one, other than God, knows when we will be called home.Live each day to it's fullest and enjoy all that's precious to you.When I first learned that I had stage 1V lung cancer, I was devastated.. couldn't eat or sleep.I started going to church again and would sit there and cry through most of the service and pray for strenghth.Then one day, I found a kind of peace, that come what may I was in God's hands. Don't get me wrong, I intend to fight with all my will and I know I'll beat the statisitcs. I'm not ready to go, my family needs me too much!

      almost 5 years ago
    • scintilate's Avatar

      Hello! Although I am new to this site, I would like to share my thoughts on this question since I think I am coming through to the other side of experiencing the heavy grief that "terminal" causes. First, I do believe it is necessary to go through the grieving stages of which are denial, anger, depression and acceptance - in order to be able to experience whatever positive aspect you can get from this situation. My denial phase consisted of telling no one as if that would keep this from being real. That became unbearable, as you can imagine. Anger was scary for my hubby since I have a very loud voice. I did try to get him to understand that I needed to scream and yell so don't take it personal. Depression was an awful lot of crying. I am hoping that I am at the acceptance stage as I am trying to find something positive ....

      almost 5 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar

      You have all written such wonderful responses, and mine is not that different from most of you. My oncologist says that the type of cancer I had was very rare and extremely aggressive, but did not give me a time frame and I did not ask. In the beginning, I did some research and found the unfavorable statistics. I then made a decision to stop looking on the internet and focus on living and beating this thing. I believe in prayer and I believe in miracles. I decided to dwell on things that are lovely, true, pure, and of good report. The bible says that if I do this, then the peace of God which surpasses our understanding will be with me. In the middle of my treatment, my husband of 35 years had a major heart attack. When the doctors gave him the blood thinners during the attack in the ER, his brain hemorrhaged in over 12 areas. The doctors did not offer hope and all we could do was wait and pray. Again, I could not allow myself to think negative thoughts but focus on prayer and healing. After rehabilitation, my hubby is well and whole ... and it has been a little over a year since my initial diagnosis - almost 7 months out of treatment, and I am cancer-free. This had been a difficult time for us as a family, but we have learned to live one day at a time, to stop & smell the roses, and to do our best to live each day with no regrets. Oh, we are making plans, but we are definitely grateful to God for carrying us through this past year. We cherish our family, church family, and friends who have supported us in every possible way. We are looking forward to giving back in any way we can - be a blessing to others as they have been to us. We are enjoying our journey - and so appreciative of Life.

      over 4 years ago
    • stayfrosty's Avatar

      the oncologist generally gives a median survival rate, also what stage of cancer you have affects your survival rate, and if you have lung cancer try to stay active, this will also help you live longer

      about 4 years ago
    • BrownCounty's Avatar

      Don't let what might happen ruin today for you. As long as you have energy and can enjoy life then do. You will never get this day back. Are you really going to let something that "might" happen take it from you? I don't think you will ever regret visiting friends and family. Taking a walk and pray (or meditate). Live until you die.

      about 4 years ago
    • maryjimhath's Avatar

      No one but God knows when and how we will end this life. I was given 6 mos. without treatment and maybe 1 year with treatment. That was over 3 years ago and I just started going to exercise 3 times a week. Yes, I'm still tired and weak, but I'm still going and fighting everyday. I try to go and enjoy every thing I can. Try and keep a positive mind and be around people that help keep you up. God does answer prayers and has a plan for all of us. God bless you and I will keep you in my prayers.

      almost 4 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I'm a stage IV cancer survivor who is cancer-free. I knew I would have to fight but I told my doctor and surgeon that we were a team and that TOGETHER we would beat this thing. And my odds were far worse than yours. Not that it's a competition....

      The best way to get into fight node that I know of is to find something you love, something to motivate you and make a vision board - a physical reminder of why you're battling.

      I also wear a bracelet my daughter made me that says "Lace Up, XXX!" because early on in my journey, this was a sentiment that put me in the mood to fight.

      I even named my tumor and told him all the things I wanted to do to him.

      Anyway, clearly there area lot of things you can do that can put in you in the right frame of mind.

      about 3 years ago

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