The prognosis for patients with CUP is poor. As a group, the median survival is approximately 3 to 4 months with less than 25% and 10% of patients alive at 1 and 5 years, respectively. CUP is represented by a heterogeneous group of diseases all of which have presented with metastasis as the primary manifestation. Although the majority of diseases are relatively refractory to systemic treatments, certain clinical presentations of CUP carry a much better prognosis. In each instance, distinct clinical and pathologic details require consideration for appropriate, potentially curative, management.It has been almost 4 years since my initial diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. I am alive. Why? I am really happy and really lucky to be alive. Wow, I have such a small chance of being here now and yet, here I am. I guess I am in that weird class of "certain clinical presentations" which "carry a much better prognosis" ...or???? Every moment is precious.
On another, but related note, this summer is different than any other summer I've shared with you so far because I am very busy...busy doing what, you ask...well, I guess, reluctantly, I will tell.
I am studying to take the Bar Exam. Yes, my second shot. Last time I did this was the summer of 2007. My son was a little baby and I was (unbeknowst to me at the time) full of cancer. Here I am now, with a 4 year old boy and in remission (till the next CT scan, anyway). A very different experience.
Studying for the bar is all-consuming. I dream about it every night. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night, thinking about The Exam or The Character Interview or Whatever. I am always studying or attending class or doing a practice test. I never feel like it is enough. Some days I am convinced I will pass and some days I know I will fail. StressFul.
I didn't want to tell you about it because I wanted to avoid potential shame resulting from not passing and having to tell you that I failed, again, only with no good excuse this time. However, the reason I am sharing now is because something really ironic happened on Thursday and I thought you blog readers would appreciate it in a way others who don't know my whole story would not.
I received two letters. One was from the State Board of Law Examiners--it was my seat assignment. A big, fat envelope full of official papers and instructions. The other was from JHH; it was a thin envelope, containing one sheet of paper, confirming my next CT scan appointment. It feels a little like the last time I studied for the exam--the fear of the exam, the fear of the doctor's appointment. Impending doom. Or does it? This summer I am so much better prepared for the exam and I feel so much more confident about my health.
But there are echos from that summer 4 years ago. I feel buoyant--bobbing up, dropping down, bobbing up...well you get the idea (always hopeful and always prepared to bob back up). :) Mostly I try to keep uppermost in my mind how beautiful the world is and how I love my captains, my family, and my friends. (Sometimes I sink down a bit, though, and then I just bob back up with the next wave.)
I sit for the Bar Exam on July 26 and 27. The CT scan is August 19. God help me with both!
OK, gotta go study. Bye for now.