If given only a year to live I would take on the challenge of beating it. Putting aside the fact that my days are numbered I would learn all I could from research. Meeting with other doctors and specialists would be first on my agenda. After finding a specialist in my area or beyond I would ask their opinion on my condition and what my treatment options were. Methods to deal with cancer have come very far in the last 20 years; however they may not be the best for each patient in different situations and different doctors have different ideas. My sister had Leukemia when she was only two and I watched her go through chemo at a very young age which was painful to see. I saw first hand how much it can destroy a life and a family. The chemo was successful and she has been in remission for over 15 years. Even though my sister is considered “cured” they had to tear her down to nothing before she was able to recover. The whole process took over 3 years to complete, taking away much of her childhood. Faced with this challenge I would seek alternate types of treatment that have been developed. Learning all I could about my diagnosis, I could then question other sources and what doctors told me. I would pull together all the resources I had within my reach such as libraries, the internet, doctors and college research centers. Here in Seattle, WA we have the University of Washington which has one of the leading cancer research programs in the US, I feel very lucky to be so close to such a great resource. I think finding a doctor in the country that is a specialist in my type of cancer would be an important thing to explore. I would want to find how long people live with this type of cancer, how many people are affected, methods used to cure it and their success rates, and who it affects. Armed with this information I could question different methods and their effectiveness.
Internet sites such as cancermonthly.com would be a great resource with which I could use to gain as much knowledge about my different options as I could. I would want to be able to understand their pros and cons as well as survival rates. Knowing I had a life to live and people to love will always help me keep going. Questioning doctors and treatment methods is the only way anyone is going to find a better solution and better ways to treat this awful disease.
If this happened to me I would feel that I had nothing to lose but my life. What better to do with the time I had left than help myself make it through longer and help others to do the same. Also I feel that in that time I would truly be living. I think most people have a large fear of dying on their mind, with that gone I might have more fun. I would try things that I have always been too scared to try like skydiving, whitewater rafting, and hang gliding. Those days would be lived to their fullest extent; I would savor every moment with my friends and family.
Thank you for causing me to think about this, it is always positive to be reminded that our days our numbered and we should live each one to the fullest. This is a very easy thing to forget so thank you.