Josephine is a 58 year-old lady diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. She underwent surgery followed by chemotherapy. Two years later, she developed a recurrence in the liver (Stage IV). She underwent chemotherapy again then surgery. She is now cancer free and has since then gone back to work.
Annie is a 72 year-old patient diagnosed with advanced cancer of the ovaries. Initially, she was very reluctant to undergo chemotherapy because of her old age and because she took care of her sister who also had ovarian cancer. She said that she did not want to go through what her sister went through. However, her nieces were able to convince her to undergo treatment promising to always be by her side. She eventually underwent 4 cycles of chemotherapy. She has now been able to go back to ballroom dancing and she has been dancing for 3 years now without any disease recurrence.
Anthony is a 65 year-old patient diagnosed with Stage II Lymphoma. He underwent 4 cycles of chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. His tumor was completely eradicated by treatment. Three months later, his tumor recurred and he is now back to treatment again.
Manuel is a 62 year-old patient diagnosed with Stage III Lymphoma twelve years ago. He underwent treatment is currently free of any form of disease.
Lea is a 28 year-old breast cancer patient. She was diagnosed when she was 21 years old and has since been free of disease.
Elena is a 23 year-old breast cancer patient who was immediately Stage IV when diagnosed. She was not a fortunate as Lea.
Fides is a 43 year-old patient with Stage II Breast cancer. She completed treatment but 2 years later developed recurrence in the lungs
Samuel is a 55 year-old smoker with lung cancer. He had an advanced form of cancer when he was diagnosed. It has been 3 years now and he is still able to play tennis.
And of course, who doesn’t know Lance Armstrong.
As much as I wish I could explain to you why they differ as much as they do, I’m afraid that I have to humbly admit that I cannot. And neither can science overall provide you with an explanation that you will deem worthy and enough to erase your pain.
We have made some strides but not as much of a leap as we would hope for. We have given the gift of life to some but to others we have given less, not because we want to but because that is all that we have.
There are some whom we have raised their hopes only to tell them later that we are sorry that it’s not working. There are some to whom we have given nothing but anguish.
I wish science could be fair to all patients and all surprise them with the magnificent gift of life. But all I can do is admit to you that we have a great deal of shortcomings and be honest to you, my patient.
Note: All names of patients have been changed except Lance Armstrong