Having a disease that will ultimately end my life highlights expiry dates.
There’s the old joke about not buying green bananas, in case we’re not around to eat them when they ripen yellow and sweet.
- I opened a can of chick peas with an expiry date in 2015. What is my expiry date?
- My driver’s licence is up for renewal this year. It will be good for 5 years. Will I?
- My passport expires next month. I plan to see my son receive his Master’s degree in England this summer so I will renew it but how many pages will I manage to use?
- Yesterday I booked my flight to visit my daughter in Toronto. I feel great to travel in a few weeks but what about this summer? I’m already booking weekends in my day-timer, determined to fill the summer with adventure: Whistler hiking, Howe Sound camping, Pender Harbour book club retreat, and Osoyoos wine.
When I was diagnosed in September 2010, the immensity of the disease, the prospect of surgery and horror of chemotherapy made me wonder if I would see Christmas that year. I did and danced with my niece in my sister’s living room. And I’ve seen two more since.
When you look up the statistics for advanced ovarian cancer, you’re a lonely gal if you manage to be among the 30% who are still alive 5 years from diagnosis.
A few months ago I made the mistake of asking one of my doctors for my prognosis. She hummed and hawed and said it all depends on the individual, that statistics don’t relate well to the individual patient, that there may in the future be a new drug that brings the magical cure. And then she gave me a number of years that was significantly less than I had expected.
A few weeks later there was another doctor–older, more experienced. This one, I thought, would give me a better answer. But she gave me the same number of years.
With my exercise, support group, therapy, relaxation class, supplements, naturopathic care, supportive family and friends, healthy eating and positive outlook, I am determined to beat the odds. But I’m also not buying canned goods in bulk.