I read this yesterday on Cure Today (www.curetoday.com)- “it takes real guts to get up in the morning when you know your statistical probability of surviving the next five years is a dismal one percent, the figure given for stage 4 lung cancer”- Linnea Olson. Someday I would like to meet Linnea- she seems amazing.
Linnea’s statement has been rolling and spinning around my head for the past 24 hours; to see this in print brings home the stark reality that if I lived my life according to statistics that I have used, best case scenario, 22% of my allotted time left. I must admit that my first reaction reading this was to feel nauseous…there are times the reality of it all can bring a tear and there are other times it is all too surreal. I try not to think about statistics and survival curves too much but they are a piece of my reality. So why keep going? Because there is no other choice; you either stop, stay still or you move forward. So why keep going? This past week when I was in the hospital I recounted a story to my wife- a juvenile prank that defined then, and now, my sense of humor and my desire to push boundaries (there is NO way I’m putting the story in print!). Here I am in a hospital bed post-op, a chest tube sticking out of my chest, supplemental oxygen in my nose, two IV’s infusing in my arm and despite the intense pain and my squeezing a pillow against my chest in an effort to mitigate the sharp stabbing pain…Lisa and I could NOT stop laughing!- we could not stop laughing for what seemed an eternity. I had to request pain medication. So why keep going? For everyone I guess the answer is different and complex but simply put for me it is to love and to laugh.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lung Cancer Alliance in my name!!! Peace.