I think my last post was misinterpreted. I wasn’t upset or the least bit put off by my psychologist stating my life expectancy was 2 years – instead of 2-4 years or nothing at all. All of the doctors on my medical team are very reluctant to provide any life expectancy data at all. I use various published papers to produce my own survivability estimates. I then run the numbers past my docs for a reasonableness check. Even then they balk, but I persist.
When I was first diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer, The estimate I worked up was 1 to 7 years. As time has passed, more papers were written, and it became clear my cancer wasn’t as aggressive as initially feared. So now, two and a half years after the diagnosis, my crystal ball says I likely have 2 – 4 more years to go.
I use this range as a planning number. I am hesitant to plan anything longer than 2 years out and extremely reluctant to do so for anything 4 years or more out.
This range doesn’t mean I think I will necessarily die within the next 2-4 years. The statistics of a group of people are not directly applicable to any single individual. All the stats say is, very roughly, I will more likely die within 2-4 years than not.
I’ve already shown a better than average response to Lupron. For the majority of men with Stage IV prostate cancer, Lupron fails after 2 years (that failure is a major milestone in the progression of the disease). I’m at 2.5 years now. I find out later this week if the Lupron is continuing to work for me.
What threw me about the doctor mentioning 2 years as my expected lifetime was that it made the 2 years, as a point in time, much more real. I thought when I told people I have 2-4 years left, I was copacetic with the full range of 2 to 4 years. When it was presented as 2 years period, I was blown back and realized I needed to rethink my mortality.
None of this means I think I will die in 2 years, but I feel I need to be ready to die in 2 years. More ready than I thought I was just a few days ago.