Living In Between--Stuntz
Since my films are now clear, my oncologist tells me that I have a good shot at living for what seems like a long time: my five-year survival odds are in the 25-30% range, if I understand the data correctly. Those odds are much higher than anyone with metastatic colon cancer has any right to expect—for which I’m very grateful. It may sound strange, but I’m a very lucky guy, as my cancer patient friends know well.
The news isn’t all good. If I’m not in that happy 25-30%, my life expectancy is two years, maybe a little less. Apparently, the mortality curve for someone in my situation is not a bell curve with a long tail, as I had assumed. Instead, the curve has two humps: one that begins in about a year and a half (again, if I understand the relevant data), and another one several years later. Odds are, cancer will either get me soon, or not for a long time.
In the meantime, I seem to be nearing the end of the treatment road, at least until the cancer pops up again. Chemo begins in a little over two weeks, and will last for a few months. Then, I wait. If and when the cancer comes back—probably in my lungs, since it’s already been there—chances are, it won’t be treatable.