Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0005 - Prognosis & Performance

Parking my brain was actually quite enjoyable…for as long as I could maintain the discipline, that is – I made it through all yesterday evening, thanks to my son watching a Raptors game with me on TV. But when I awoke early, I began reading the chapter on prognosis in The Intelligent Patient Guide to Colorectal Cancer. Surprisingly enough, even though the statistics were not encouraging, the impact remained minimal for the day; perhaps that was because my brain had been in neutral for a few hours.

Here are the statistics, for what they’re worth:

  • Stage 0: 97% of patients with this stage are expected to live five years and likely be cured

  • Stage 1: 96%

  • Stage 2: 87%

  • Stage 3: 55% - 60% if one to three lymph nodes are cancerous; 33% if four or more lymph nodes are cancerous

  • Stage 4: 2% - 5%

It’s difficult concentrating at work. But when I did focus, I got quite a bit done. It was also the day in which I had my annual performance review. That went extremely well. Evidently, by concentrating on preventive measures and automated monitoring tools, by catching potential security threats quickly, by regularly installing patches to the operating system, and by upgrading the backup systems, I have had significant success in creating a powerful and stable IT environment. It was also assuring to receive very positive comments about my people and organizational skills.

I also enjoyed conversations with the parish priest, an intake worker at a local counselling agency, a neighbour who is a specialist in applied health research, a peer support person at a cancer survivor’s group, a minister friend whose wife died of cancer about seven years ago, as well as email from good friends. I really am blessed!

And now that it is evening again, I am trying once more to put my brain into neutral by watching another basketball game. Allen Iverson is truly a marvel.

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