Apparently, you can track your blog statistics via blogger to see how many people view your blog, when they view it, and from where. I was checking this out yesterday (yeah, I'm a little behind the times) and noticed that I have quite a significant international following. Interesting. So, welcome to my blog international readers! And for my "local" folks, a welcome to you as well.
A couple of weeks ago, Newsweek ran an article about cancer. The article was titled, "Curing Cancer" and written by Sharon Begley. A graphic in the article gave me pause and I have been thinking about this graphic for quite some time now. The graphic showed the percent of people who live 10 years after diagnosis. For the gentlemen with prostate and testicular cancer, a 10 year survival rate looks pretty spectacular, with 95% of patients surviving 10 years after diagnosis. Melanoma, Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Breast Cancer patients all have a nice survival rate as well (between, 82-90%). But then the bar graph takes a sudden drop to brain cancer patients with only 31% surviving 10 years after diagnosis. All I could think was that I have only a 31% chance of making it to Isaac's 10th birthday. Yikes. I knew it was bad, but to see it on paper like that made it so.....real.
There is a light at the end of this grim looking tunnel. After feeling quite upset about this for several days, I did a little research. I looked up where this statistic came from (the Seer database from the National Cancer Institute) and checked it out online. You can sort the statistics by other factors (is the patient female? young? caucasian? etc.) and I checked out the stats for folks in my age group. Fortunately, the younger you are at onset, the better your chances are of survival. In my age group, survival to 5 years past diagnosis is 68%, which was a little more reassuring, particularly given that what they post online to the public is not as updated as what Newsweek gets for their articles. Besides, who are these 31% and 68% survival people? Are they the ones who are working hard to kick their tumor's tush? Or are they just lucky?
Either way, I feel an even stronger urge to raise money for research, raise awareness, and more importantly live my life the healthiest I can live it. Hopefully, with good choices and a little luck, Isaac will be celebrating his 10th birthday with me there with him.