Dec 01

When scoring 80% is a bad thing

I just read this excerpt from Amy Robach’s book: http://news.health.com/2015/11/27/amy-robach-on-what-life-after-breast-cancer-is-really-like/

Her ‘onco score’ is 13%, and she’s scared and terrified. here is something I have NEVER shared with anyone before, ever. No one.

My onco score is 79. Let’s call it 80 because it’s a round number.


Let that sink in for a minute and then tell me again why I should be so happy that I ‘beat’ this. That I should be more happy and positive. Tell me how I should get up every morning and live for today. Try doing it knowing that there is an 80-fucking-percent that this asshole cancer is going to come back in my lifetime. OK, not tomorrow. Could be years and years down the road. I should be happy and enjoy each cancer-free day.

But it’s like living with a bomb strapped to my chest, not knowing when it’s going to go off.

I’m not a quitter. If and when some rogue cell in my body starts attacking again, I will fight back with guns blazing.

But 80 is a high number. If she’s at 13 and it stops her from moving forward, try for a moment what it must be like to be an 80.

And then have to balls to walk up to me and say ‘but you are ok, stop worrying’. I dare you to try.


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  1. Wendy

    Who says that to a person??? Who is he/she? Show me and I’ll open up a can of whoop ass.

  2. Liz

    I hate it when you just get no fucking choice. How do you do it? Well, I fucking woke up today and I have no fucking choice. That is how.
    I’m sorry. I’m just fucking sorry.

  3. Anna in Turin

    What Liz and Wendy said..

  4. Sandra

    Brave of you to share that! 3 of my 6 sisters are breast cancer survivors. The 32 year old daughter of one of them was just diagnosed too. I don’t know their onco numbers but I can tell you each of them worries like you that it will come back one day. Unless the number is zero it gets in your head and messes with you so that each ache and pain is a whole new terrifying experience. Balance your 79 onco score against your 200% warrior score and I’m liking your odds lady!

  5. Elise

    Her line about the real number being either 0 or 100 for each of us rings so true. None of us know, but for those who have already been struck by lightening, knowing that there’s an increased chance of it happening again, that’s a lot to live with.

    My situation is different, my challenges so much smaller, but I get those “OMG, I can’t imagine how you do/feel XYZ” all the time. I’ve been debating about not being so dismissive when it happens. Because we can all imagine it, humans have great imaginations. But those not in the situation get to turn off the bad dream before it gets too scary. What they are really saying is “that scares me and I don’t want to think about how it makes you feel.” Usually I just smile and say something like “just living my life” or another throw-away comment, but I’ve been seriously thinking about calling people on it a bit. There are so many better things to say that acknowledge the difficulty and fear while still being kind and positive, which I know is what people think they are doing.

  6. mijk

    Today i celebrated last chemo with a friend. The words this time somehow hung in the air even though the odds are in her favour. Really writing to thank you for your tips. Iwent with her every round I wouldn’t have known to offer if you hadn’t written about it. It helped, I helped and I thank you so much!

  7. Amyv

    Hey there…I’m another reader from way back, before you had the girls. I just stumbled upon your blog again last month and caught up on things. All I can say is you are the strongest person I have ever ‘met’. I am so, so sorry for the hand you’ve been dealt recently…heck, for the last few years! I know if I were in your shoes I’d have crumbled long ago and would be hiding under my bed. But despite it all you are hanging in there, taking care of your girls, your husband and YOU which I think is amazing. Your last post about having a routine, and sticking to it, I totally understand. It is difficult to find the right balance, and if you’ve got it, don’t rock the boat!

    I really hope that you can find some peace of mind in the midst of the chaos; easier said than done, I know! Hang in there. Sending the best thoughts I can to you and your family.

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