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We are all terminal

Strangely this isn’t a comment people like to hear – I’ve found it goes down particularly badly with doctors. But it is true. None of us are getting out of here alive.

However for various reasons I don’t consider myself terminally ill. I’ve wondered whether I’m in a state of denial, but I think it might be more nuanced than that.

When you are diagnosed, your cancer is staged. Stages range from 1 to 4, and reflect things like whether the cancer has spread to other organs or to lymph nodes. I’m obviously stage 4. There is no stage 5.

The longer I live with this disease the more I think that the stage 4 designation is a bit narrow. There are very much stages within the stages. Being stage 4 with widespread disease that has stopped responding to all treatment and trial options is pretty different from stage 4 with mets in one or two places and where the disease is still responding to treatment.

In part this is why we have never said to Violet that I’m dying. Because at the moment I’m actually not. At some point, hopefully in the very distant future, we may have to have that conversation, but it’s not one we need to have right now.

I saw this photo in an article the other day and laughed and laughed. Sums it up really…

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