June 17th was quite eventful this year. It was Father’s day, we moved to be close to our daughter’s new school (holy crap she’s going to high school!) and…it was my 5 year anniversary since dx (diagnosis). And naturally, I forgot!!!!! I remembered it up until the day of, but once I got into “move mode,” everything else disappeared out of my brain.
I was reminded of this milestone when I saw the incredibly sweet FaceBook posts from my husband and daughter and it really struck me. During the initial meetings with my medical team to determine course of treatment, I was only given a 1 in 3 chance of a 5+ year survival. As a data consultant, I look at stats and percentages day in and day out. Initially, these were tough odds to digest, but as we got further into details I felt like my chances were better than the “official” prognosis. I am young, eat well, don’t smoke, and aside from the cancer I was in good health. And so we embarked on our journey.
More numbers to live with: My liver surgeon advised that there was an 2% mortality rate for my first liver surgery. Sounds like really good odds, right? Granted, this was more of a concern for his older patients, but as my husband put it – let’s say that you have to put your spouse on a plane of 100 people and you knew that 2 people were going to die. Would you do it? I never asked, but I can only assume that the risks were greater for the second liver surgery since they were taking the large lobe.
There has been news coverage about the 99% vs. the 1% over the last year. I say forget about the 1%. I want to be a part of the 8%. Those are my chances of survival for 2+ years after the second liver surgery. With the grace of God, the strength and love of my family, and the care of my doctors, I am well on my way. I have a couple of more months to go but I fully expect to have a post for you marking that milestone when it’s time. In the meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy life. Cancer takes so much out of your control. I refuse to let it take away the things in my life that I can dictate, so I see living life to the fullest as the ultimate way to give it the ol’ one fingered salute.