Buying light bulbs when you have incurable cancer

Unmodified Photo by Mark Jurrens. License: CC BY-SA 4.0

This morning I opened up my email to find that someone else gets it.

If you’re living with metastatic cancer, even buying light bulbs can make you wonder whether you need ones that will last longer than you will.

There is an article summary on Medscape: Persons Living With Incurable Cancer a Growing, Neglected Group. It could be the preface for my book. (To read the Medscape article, you have to create a free Medscape login.)

The article summarizes an opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Time to Study Metastatic-Cancer Survivorship, which requires a free, limited subscription to access. Sorry about those hurdles. Let’s see if I can summarize.

With all the new treatments available, people with metastatic cancer are living longer. The medical research community hasn’t yet studied these people much, to understand their needs or help them figure out how to make some of the decisions they need to make.

The NEJM article is written by two doctors, both of whom have incurable metastatic cancer. Their article contains a useful table contrasting a raft of issues, depending on whether you are cured/in remission or have incurable cancer. The issues include physical, emotional, sexual, caregiver, financial and others. For example, under emotional, here is the contrast.

Cured/in remission: Difficulties during treatment, but opportunities for personal growth after side effects resolve and patient adapts to the “new normal”

Incurable: Potentially no time during the new normal without side effects

Much more could be said. Oh wait–I’ve already said much more in my manuscriptNow, if I can just get one of these wise doctors to write my preface.

One Reply to “Buying light bulbs when you have incurable cancer”

  1. We are best know for what we leave behind – children, grandchildren, books we have written, friends – light bulbs don’t matter.

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