I must decrease...

...He must increase. No one can receive a single thing unless it's given to him from heaven." (John 3:27 & 30)

Statistics are something most cancer patients avoid like the plague. I remember back to last September, when I met with the oncologist at Mayo for the first time post-surgery. At that time, I was quoted a MACIS score of 3.97 and 5-year survival odds of 97%. In October, when I met with the local oncologist I am now seeing, with new pathology results in hand, my MACIS score was re-calculated to be 4.97, and my 5-year survival odds plummeted to 89%, with 10-year survival odds of 77%. No one likes to hear that, by age 39, there is a 33% chance that one might be dead from a supposedly "good" cancer. It's not something I've talked a whole lot about. Mostly because I lost all faith in statistics after observing how physicians sometimes twisted them to coerce patients into treatment plans that they otherwise might never have chosen.

The good news in all this talk of surviving or dying is that my survival "odds" have just taken a giant leap for the better. As humans, we constantly strive to force God's hand...or, at the very least, get Him to tip His cosmic knowledge our direction so we can get a sneak peek at what is to come for us and those we love. My odds have jumped from 89% at 5 years to 97%, and remain high through the 30 year mark. It is difficult for me to know how to react. My first reaction is praise and rejoicing, which God says should be my first response to everything (in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~ I Thessalonians 5:18). And then my mind says, well, there was a 3% chance that it would be cancer when they first found the lump. Then there was a 3% chance that it would be malignant. Then there was less than 1% chance that it would have exploded from it's capsule and invaded my blood stream. The only positive light: there was less than 3% chance that the I-131 would work so quickly and completely when my thyroglobulin levels came back positive last November. So now there's a 3% chance it will kill me. Yep, I still have no idea what to make of this statistic.

So I am just reporting it to you, dear reader. As it was reported to me. I don't know how to respond to it. I think I will just leave it be, a neutral fact without much meaning. But at least a more positive fact than the one I was given in November.