This article that was in the New York Times blows my mind as one of those “Agh! That could be me.” kind of things.
Read it: How Long Have I Got Left?
I like it for a few reasons.
To start, I like his honesty and the way he addresses the fear that comes from knowing too much and yet not knowing enough.
I also like how he addresses the challenge in presenting statistics and likelihoods to patients and families regarding survival and mortality and how really, it is just a guess. But at the same time how that is something we want to know so badly. I tend to address this similarly. I don’t like to give numbers. It isn’t fair because we suck at knowing. That being said, ball parks are nice while acknowledging that there are errors in this. I mean, any of us can walk out and get hit by a bus. But on the other hand, I admit that if it were me, I know I would want to know exact numbers even though I know that they are never really exact numbers.
I also like how he is doing well and is back to work and life. Because cancer drugs are much better these days. Particularly the kind that he is on. People do well for a long time.
It is the kind of article that reminds me life is awesome, statistics suck, prognosis is such an important grey area and that cancer treatments continue to blow my mind.
What are your thoughts on this article?