Wednesday, February 8, 2012

40 percent

40 percent is a number that came up twice in the year 2011.  It's funny how the context of a number can change your perception of it.  40 percent came up for the first time when I was studying for level I of the CFA exam.  40% of those who take the test pass.  My initial thought was - yikes, that is low.  I mean, 40 percent is a small number!  Cue panic.  Cue intense, rigorous study schedule.  That statistic scared me into studying my butt off.  And I passed.

Fast forward to December 2011.  40 percent comes up again.  This time, it's in a text message from my mom.  My dad had some routine blood work done as part of a physical, and something came back indicating that he may have prostate cancer - a 40 percent chance according to the doctor. 

In the span of 6 months, 40 percent went from sounding minuscule to sounding huge.  Granted, any number attached to your dad's chances of having cancer is too big.  I'd like that chance to be below 1 percent, but that is not how life works.

Weeks later, we got the results of my dad's biopsy and found out that he did, in fact, have prostate cancer.  I have kept quiet about this as I didn't want to be a Chicken Little, and sometimes writing about it makes you fixate on it, so I just told my closest friends and have tried to put it out of my mind.

The fact of the matter is that the sky is not falling.  Luckily, they caught it very early, so my dad will just need surgery and he should be able to put this firmly in his past.  His surgery is today and I know my whole family is looking forward to having this behind us - especially my dad.  

If anything, this whole experience has been a wake up call.  It's a reminder that parents and other loved ones are not immortal, so I better enjoy every moment I have with them and make sure they know how much I love and appreciate themAnd it's a reminder to take care of your health.  Luckily, both my parents are diligent about getting their annual physicals and procedures like colonoscopies.  Health insurance covers this sort of preventative care/screening, so it's foolish (IMO) to not take advantage of your access to preventative care. 

I am traveling for work, so won't be home for the surgery, but my thoughts and prayers are most definitely with my dad and mom today.  Luckily, my dad has the best nurse a guy could ask for (my mom) to take care of him as he recovers!

26 comments:

Paul said...

Your family will be in our prayers today!

BetsE said...

Thinking about you and your family today, Lisa! So glad that it has been caught early and that surgery is all that is needed. God Bless you all!

Leigh said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear about your dad Lisa! Hoping that the surgery goes well today!

qwerkyqook said...

Praying for a speedy recovery!

Amy said...

My dad went through something similar a few years ago, so I understand (to some extent!) how you feel. I will be thinking of you and praying for your family. I have seen firsthand how positive results can be if the cancer is caught early and treated. I have faith the same will happen for your dad.

Lisa-Marie said...

My thoughts are with him, and you.

And you are right, 40% is too bloody much.

imlivinginadream said...

Thinking about you and your family today, Lisa! Any kind of family illness in the family can be terrifying, but I have no doubt everything will go great. :)

missris said...

I will be thinking about your dad today! Please let us know how he's doing from time to time!

AshleyD said...

Sending so many good thoughts and prayers your way today.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

OK, I clearly should've come here to find out whether your dad's surgery was today or not. =) I hope everything is going smoothly - you are most definitely in my thoughts today.

Raquelita said...

Oh, Lisa, I'm sorry to hear this. I am thinking of you and your family and wish your father a successful surgery and complete recovery!

Jess said...

Oh, Lisa! I am thinking about your dad today! He's lucky to have your mom as such a great nurse!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good luck and well wishes for your Dad! I will be sending happy thoughts his way today! I am sure all will go well!

Erin said...

Oh, sweetie! I was in your boat earlier this year - and everything turned out GREAT in the end. There are so many new medical advances now, I'm sure his surgery & recovery will go swimmingly :) Stay positive!

San said...

Oh man, how different the same number can sound sometimes, right?
I hope your dad's surgery goes smoothly and his recovery is quick.
I'll keep your family in my thoughts today. It really sucks being so far away from your loved ones when surgery is happening :(

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I've been thinking about you and your dad all day! I'm glad that your family will have this behind you now. Percentages when related to health can be so scary!

I've started to realize as I get older that not only are none of us immortal there are only so much we can do preventative wise sometimes. After a girl I went to high school with died of cancer at 22 I started to think that maybe the best we can do is take care of ourselves the very best we can BUT also treasure every moment and be in the present as much as possible. Really been working on that the last year, especially when it comes to my family who live so far away from me.

Love you friend! XO

J said...

Thinking of you and your family. You are so right - its important not to take family for granted!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I've been thinking about you today- I hope all went well :) Let us know when you have a report.

I think one of the most important lessons I have learned in my 20s is the importance of treasuring time with people who are important to you. I used to think it was so important to experience everything and see the world. Don't get me wrong, I still love to travel- but I really treasure even my quiet moments at home with those I love. After I lost a cousin (my age) 3 years ago, and a former student- I just realized how invincible EVERYONE is. I feel even more strongly about it when it comes to people older than me such as parents and grandparents.

I'm glad your dad caught this early! And that he has a fantastic nurse!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I am so happy to hear that everything went well for your dad. May he have a swift recovery and that he stays healthy!

Nora said...

Keeping the good prayers up for you and the entire family as he heals and moves forward, hopefully cancer free. Love you all!

Caroline said...

Saw you tweeted that the surgery went well! Such great news! Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Ah, I hope your dad's surgery goes well. I'm sorry to hear that. My grandfather got prostate cancer about 15 yrs ago? and has been fine ever since his surgery. He and my grandma have just been even more diligent about healthy eating and exercise since his cancer. He also goes to a support group for newly diagnosed and old, recovered guys. It seems like a really good community for him and others to have a place where they can share and feel comfortable. Best wishes to your dad and family.

Jeanie said...

I am sending you the best of good vibrations and prayers for a speedy recovery for your dad. It's amazing what they can do these days. I'm glad it has been caught, that help is on the way. I know how hard it is to see your parents physically challenged and you are absolutely right to share the word to cherish every single moment.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Wow, it really is all about context, isn't it. Sorry to hear about your dad's prostate cancer, but I am glad to hear that they caught it early and I hope the surgery went really well. Thinking of you and your family Lisa!

Abby said...

I have been praying hard for him. It is so hard for me to be in the medical field and know all the horrific things that can go wrong, I know about bad nurses...and it makes me lose sleep like none other. I was so relieved to find out today that he is doing well this afternoon. So glad they caught this early!! We have such great parents.

Becky said...

I'm sorry I'm so behind on commenting on these posts - I know the surgery went well but just because it's done doesn't mean I'm going to stop praying for you and your fam! :)