50/50 Chance

Tracy York, General Manager - 8th October 2012

Two years ago I was the primary caregiver for a family member that was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.  She endured a lot over the course of a year, including five surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy.  The day of her first surgery, when her cancer was formally diagnosed, the surgeon came to her room to check on her after surgery and informed us that the cancer had spread. He felt that 10 or 12 lymph nodes were involved and he pompously pronounced that she had a 50/50 chance of surviving five years.  Needless to say, that was devastating news.  Today, thankfully, I can tell you that physician was completely wrong.  When the pathology report came back only two lymph nodes were involved, and today she is healthy and cancer free.  Yet hearing those words – you have a 50/50 chance of surviving five years – changed her life and how she lives each day – forever.

Last month, tragedy befell our family when a dear cousin lost his life suddenly at the age of 55 to a blood clot.  Another co-worker lost his sister-in-law to an aortic aneurism.  I don’t bring up these tragedies to bring down your day, but instead to honor their lives and remind us that we must live each day.  An article in the paper yesterday had a similar storyline and a mother who had lost two sons tragically wrote advice we should all live by.  She wrote – “whatever you want to do in this life, if you can do it, do it NOW. “

I remain quite furious at the surgeon who so confidently, yet inaccurately, proclaimed that because my family member was healthy and fit, he would give her a 50/50 chance of surviving five years.  Like those years were his to give.  But now, after this past month of tragic loss, perhaps all any of us has is a 50/50 chance of surviving the next five years, or for that matter, the next five minutes.  If we truly look at life through that prism, wouldn’t we all spend each day a bit more wisely?  We know nothing is guaranteed, so shouldn’t we all find love and joy in each and every day?  I know I will and I hope you will too!

Live Well,