Do You Really Want To Know?

Do you research the stats OR are you comfortable not knowing what you don’t know?

I’m right in the middle when it comes to cancer statistics. Recently as I read a monthly newsletter from a local agency I flipped the page, and looking me square in the eye was a highlighted life expectancy statistic about Metastatic Breast Cancer.

As newly diagnosed Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, I hadn’t looked into these numbers or decided if I wanted to. I remind myself on a daily basis that no amount of worrying ever changes the outcome. Does knowing the percentage of life beyond 5 years change my outlook for the better?

To be clear I am not a head in the sand gal but choose when to read or research based on where I am in my journey. Being self-aware there are better times than others that I am at handling and processing statistics. However, one never ever will know what side of the statistic we are on.

22% or 78%, the reality is I don’t know and making conscious decisions of when and how I process statistics is unique to me and each and every cancer patient, survivor, or previvor.

My feelings immediately were sadness, it was unexpected to catch a glimpse of the statistics as I read this short newsletter. In addition to a recent tough few months, I purposely had not sought after this information.

What now? I have this information floating around in file 13, not sure where to put it. It’s a reality that this could be me on either side of the number. That my friends could be on either side of the number. However, what do I do with that information?

I give that $%^&* away! That’s what I do! I am an advocate for doing what is best for ME! In my mind, as we grow and have these experiences, we cannot hold on to all the $%%&’s we once did.

Give it away, drop it, kick it, push it, stomp on it, say goodbye to it. Focus on you, focus on your “why”. Only yours… this journey is your own, and even though it’s uncontrollable to some extent we need to take control of what we can. Maybe that is reading the stats or skipping that page altogether. Whichever you choose, make it right for you, at this moment.

I will process this when I can, I am 2 weeks out of 30 radiation treatments, and healing, both physically and mentally from that. Stage 4 comes with a lot of unknowns, for now, I choose to not know the stats. I choose to place those numbers somewhere that I will look at when I am ready.

Be kind, remember others are on their own journey, and that the reality of these stats is not the same for everyone. Let’s be hopeful in a realistic way, meaning when we are able to seek out the numbers and digest them in a way that makes sense for us. Until then, I will be over here living my life, day to day, moment to moment because that is what’s right for me, right now.


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