Thursday, May 28, 2009

Would you want to know?

Yesterday, I posted about an article about this new test that can tell you survival odds after a breast cancer diagnosis based on a blood inflammation. Then I started thinking (which my husband tells me not to do) and realized I am not sure I would want to know. If you are diagnosed with cancer, and they treat you, etc, then over 2 years out they run a test which tells you if you are more or less likely to die within the next few years. But they don't have any new miracle treatments so how helpful is it to be told you are more likely to die and there is nothing new we can do about it.

There are other tests around - the BRCA gene test which tells you if you have the hereditary gene for breast and ovarian cancer or the oncotypeDX test which helps make your decision on chemotherapy easier if you had no positive nodes. Many women who have the BRCA gene have a bilateral mastectomy and oopharectomy so they cant get ovarian or breast cancer as a preventative measure. But this new test just tells you that you are more likely to die. Well that's a great piece of advice. Should you cash in your retirement and move to live on the beach? And then what happens if you don't die - you are broke but have a great tan? Would this just add to the general off the wall stress level of a cancer diagnosis?

I think if it was me, I am not sure I would want to know unless they had a proactive regimen for fixing the odds more in my favor. I wouldn't want bad news and just have to sit around and cross my fingers for years that it would happen to me. Just my thoughts.

I made it back to day two at work. I left some work for my boss to review so we'll see if he likes it. I ran out of time and felt I was just throwing stuff together at the end so I'll have to see what he thinks.

On the kitty front, we have bad news which will probably be followed by more bad news today. I finally called the vet yesterday. They convinced me if he has problems walking I should bring him in ASAP. I wanted to wait for the weekend because of my back I can't carry him in his carrier and they didn't have any appointments on Saturday. So I brought him in and the vet checked him out. He has a rapid heart rate which may be a thyroid condition. She did a quick urinalysis and at the very least he has diabetes. We will get the results of the full test this morning.

The vet says for diabetes they recommend a three day hospitalization to get him stabilized on insulin and then shots once or twice a day for the rest of his life along with monitoring his food and water and regular vet checkups to monitor his blood sugar. And if we opt not to treat him, she recommends euthanizing him. (I can't euthanize a cat who begs for his kitty treats!) So today we'll get the rest of his news and then decide what to do. He is not in pain, he is losing weight and doesn't get around well. Right now he wants more treats.

We did find out he is microchipped and I am going to call this morning and see what I can find out. Maybe we can find out where he is from and what age he really is. We are guessing at 16.

In the meantime, I am going for a walk and then off to work this afternoon.

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