Saturday, June 27, 2009

Statistics vs Real Life

Tonight, The Wife discovered that a little guy on the Wilms Tumor Listserv lost his battle with cancer and passed away. He had bilateral Wilms, like The Boy, but - unlike The Boy - he had an unfavorable histology on one side and a favorable histology on the other. The Boy has two favorable histologies, thank G-d. It was, apparently, quick, as far as death from cancer complications goes.

It's a little scary. The survival rates for relapse Wilms Tumor with favorable histology is, I believe, somewhere around 90%. Not the 95% that pre-relapse (is that a word?) Wilms has, but still pretty darn good. Statistics go out the window when you're discussing real people, though. When it's your son, statistics can take a flying leap.

Sort of. I'm still somewhat comfortable with odds above 50-50, as that still feels like we've got a fighting chance. (The odds are well above 50-50, incidentally.) But, every time we hear about another little person that loses the battle against Wilms Tumor, it feels like the clock ticks a little closer to midnight. There's no realistic, logical background behind it: he had a different, more severe case of Wilms that kept relapsing and kept relapsing. Thus far, we'd been NED on all of The Boy's scans since the second surgery and the start of the relapse protocol.

It doesn't change the fact that it is a little freaky and scary right this second, since The Wife told me about this other child. In an awkward sense, I'm not looking forward to the post-treatment time with The Boy, because he won't be getting scans quite so frequently and won't be under quite as much attention as he's getting right now.

Rest in peace, Pablo. I hope the next world treats you easier than this one.

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