Physicians and Weathermen

Posted on Wednesday 18 August 2010

I hadn’t ever considered (prior to today) that doctors have an important commonality with weathermen:  neither can give an accurate forecast.

Consider:  weathermen are very often wrong with their predictions.  Likewise, my mother’s doctor was unwilling to answer the question, “How long do I have to live?” with any specificity.  It seems that often, their predictions are also incorrect… and he’s the first one to admit it.

About the best he could give was survival percentages for certain time ranges, i.e.:  less than 10% survive for five years… or even for one year.   Conversely, mom could also be here with us for another 2 or 3 years.

To me, it sounds just like a 30% chance of rain, and a 30% chance of sun, forecast for the same day.

2 Comments for 'Physicians and Weathermen'

    August 18, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    I had the same experience with my mom. There are just so many variables, depending on what’s wrong. With my mom (kidney cancer) she ended up not being able to tolerate the treatment at all and was gone within a year. Your mom seems to be pretty tough though. Keep us posted. She’s in my prayers.

    August 18, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    I think my mom’s doc wished he had been a little more weatherman-like. He was quite positive they had gotten her cancer, but didn’t realize that it might also spread via another path – so that 10 months later, all of a sudden it was back – and to the point they told her they couldn’t “make it go away”.

    Enjoy the time you have left with her, and we will also keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.


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