The Median is not the Message

I have spent copious amounts of time over the last couple weeks online scouring information about urothelial (transitional) cell carcinoma. I am grateful that at least I know where to look and can quickly sift the bullshit (flaxseed oil + cottage cheese as a treatment for malignant bladder cancer!) from the science. I search every word I don’t understand on the pathology report (which is about every other word).

But the statistics. Ugh, the statistics. They can be devastating. Frightening. Disheartening. On one of the cancer survivor message boards someone suggested reading this article by Stephen Jay Gould, about discerning statistics.

I’ve read it a couple times and keep it bookmarked.

I also have to remind myself, regarding those studies: these guys have not met my mom.

2 thoughts on “The Median is not the Message”

  1. Oh, crap, Em! I am so sorry to hear this devastating news. Cancer sucks for everyone -both for the person fighting it and the people supporting that person. I’m glad your mom has you, her amazing daughter, at her side. I know you will be a very strong, very capable advocate and caregiver. But remember to care for yourself, too. Your mom will need you at full strength! Please, please, please let me know if there’s anything at all I can do to support you. Maybe just out for a therapeutic glass (or two) of wine. Big {{{hugs}}}


  2. Thanks Monique. I know you speak from personal experience, and I appreciate your insights. I think of you often in those appointments, when you told me about going through similar things with your own mom. And I take your advice from back then — taking notes, asking questions, not taking people’s words as gospel.

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