SURVIVING STAGE 4 CANCER
What Are The Chances of Surviving Stage 4 Cancer?
A TOUGH QUESTION
The answer to any question regarding surviving cancer is layered … like an onion. Each layer lead to more questions and every answer will likely be more disturbing and may even make you cry. Why is that Queen? Because, regardless of where you are in your life, dealing with cancer interrupts everything. Dealing with cancer;
- Changes your outlook on life
- Forces you to take a tally of what really matters
- Threatens your most precious commodity – life itself!
Chances of surviving stage 4 cancer is a many layered and deep question. Let us peel away each layer and talk about them separately using the following 3 points:
- What does “surviving cancer” mean?
- What is stage 4 cancer?
- Is stage 4 cancer the same for all cancer types?
Over 20 years ago, while in medical school, we had a mandatory course called, “The Human Context”. In this class, we learned (or they tried to teach us) some aspects of the “art of medicine”, but even that concept is a tough one. Things that could not be learned from our medical books. One of the topic was “Dealing with the death of a patient” Whaaat? I don’t get to heal everyone? I will die. They will die. Young and old. Pause. Tough…
So, the first thing you will have to grapple with, like most patients newly diagnosed with cancer do, is face the fact that you will not live forever. Selah. No one lives forever. You knew this all along, but you never really thought to look in the mirror and say the words, “you will not live forever.” Who does that, right? Well, a cancer diagnosis causes you to do just that… realize that you will not live forever here on earth. Selah.
What does “surviving” cancer mean to you? If you could write the definition in the dictionary just for you, what would it say? Most importantly, what will you do if you “survive” cancer? Tough questions. See my previous blog about cancer survivorship HERE. You will quickly realize surviving cancer is no different then surviving a car accident, surviving a heart attack, surviving anything that threatens your life. During similar discussions over the years, the top responses I have heard in making such comparisons are the following:
- There is someone to blame for a car accident, and maybe it could have been avoided too. If I survive, in most cases, broken bones are healed and I will be just fine
- Heart attack is not a sudden thing … it is a long time coming and in most cases this can be avoided – exercise, lose weight, eat right, etc., However, with advance technology and surgical technique, many have vessels and valves replaced and are living well, though on borrowed time
- Cancer? What is that? That came out of no where! (or did it?)
Meaning Of Your Life
Do you really need to blame someone, or something for cancer? What does it matter if you are surviving a car accident, heart attack, or cancer? Smoking causes lung cancer. We still care for patients and treat them with compassion – the fight is against the disease, not the person. In the end, what it really boils down to is how “well” you live your life… before and after cancer diagnosis. So, if you have 6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years, or 60 years, do not wait to live. No one is promised tomorrow. You make what survivor cancer mean, what you want it to mean. What do you want your obituary to say about you? Think about it, (if you’re brave enough, write it down) then go and just LIVE it out!
In our next blog, we will continue to peel away at the many layered question and talk about # 2, what is stage 4 cancer?
Until next time know that,
Life is beautiful and God is awesome. And know, you are pure awesomeness!
Ipsa Scientia Potestas est ——— Knowledge itself is power!
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Queen, Your Family Friendly Cancer Doc!