Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Survival" rates

I was reading a story on MSNBC today that talked to a CF patient, woman, in her 30s, who was trying "unconventional" treatments for her disease--she doesn't take antibiotics, doesn't do normal aerosols (she does some sort of non-drug thing, I don't know). Anyway, her brother had CF and he had a transplant, and is now doing really well.
But anyway, the article mentioned that it was easy to see why the woman didn't want a transplant since the "survival rate is only 50% after 5 years."
OK, let's get real for a minute. First off, most people, w/o the transplant, aren't looking at years. They are looking at months, weeks, days. Years are an ephemeral concept. The transplant will give you a year, at least, hopefully. The transplant survival curve is a lot like the CF survival curve--it keeps growing. Five years is alot better than you would've had pre-transplant. I hate it when people put things like this in terms of calendar time. You don't gauge life like that. Look at what can happen in a year, two, five...and 50% is just the average. You can live longer. People are so afraid of statistics. They see five years or 10 years and they think, whoa, I'll only be like 33, or 28, or whatever. I mean what about all the stuff I want to do?
Hard truth--you might not be around for them w/o the transplant. And really, do any of us know what we'll be around for? None of us know that.
"Life is not made up of days, but of moments."
Get out there and get some. And stop worrying about stupid statistics and averages.

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