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Greg Davidson
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Had my visit today with an oncologist-cardiologist who specializes in long-term cancer survivors. Had a good visit, he says that everything looks good at the current time. We did discuss a New England Journal of Medicine article from about two years ago that identified the rate of secondary effects for people with my disease and treatment. Basically, I have had about a 2% chance per year of severe, disabling, or terminal secondary effects (and the most likely problems are cardio due to chest radiation and chemotherapy). Since it's been 34 years since treatment, I've dodged a 68% bullet to-date. Unfortunately, the cumulative incidence is remarkably linear (they have about 30-40 years of valid data, since that's how long they have been curing appreciable numbers of people). If that line continues to be linear, the odds approach 100% in the next 16 years. My doctor explained it slightly differently, he said that the cardio risk levels many people hit in their late 70's and early 80's I will hit in my 60's. And there's even hoping that the secondary effect will be merely "severe"; that's something that can be worked with.

Overall, not so bad. The 34 years to date are much longer than I imagined at the time. I was really unsure that I would live to 20; when I got married at 22 I let myself hope I would live at least to 30. In my early 30's I remember going through the family photo album, and since I took the pictures, there were almost no ones with me in them. It made me sad to think that if I died then, my children might have no real memories of me when the grew up. But just a month ago, my oldest son and daughter got together from their respective colleges over Thanksgiving break, and when they ran into a challenge (missing a train or something) they just looked at each other and said "What would Dad do?". So it's good, I really have been blessed by many years (I'm 48), and I probably have double-digit years to go, even if they are finite.

So here's my question - do any of you think about how many more years you have? What is your clock?

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Chael
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It's terribly morbid, but I do think about my clock on occasion. Mine is going to chime when I turn 54, if family history is any indication; my paternal grandfather had nearly fatal heart issues then, my father's uncle had fatal heart issues almost-then, and my father died then from--yep, you guessed it--heart issues.

But it's not so bad. Not everyone's died from it so far, and I should have a couple of decades left in that worst-case scenerio. [Wink]

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0Megabyte
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late 50's, early 60's for me, if I'm lucky. Not accounting for things such as accidents, it'll almost certainly be a heart attack somewhere around then.
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kenmeer livermaile
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have no clue. My HHT certainly takes its toll on my body in a # of ways, and years of alcoholism didn't help, but one never knows, do one?

I dearly love treading the surface of this planet. The sky is lightening from grey to blue outside my window, soon to turn white and overcast: tricks of pre-dawn light.

I grab a cup and watch...

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RickyB
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If all goes well I might reach 70. I don't smoke as much as either parent and don't have my father's cardio-vascular problems. But folks in my family don't live very long, except for maternal granny who made it to around 75, I think.
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hobsen
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The good news is that I remain in generally good health at 71. The bad news is that I shall probably die within 25 years. So yes, I think about that sometimes.

People thinking about such things often make the mistake of looking at figures for life expectancy at birth, which is less than 80. But on the average someone of 25 should reach 80, someone of 35 reach 81, someone of 45 reach 82, someone of 55 reach 83, someone of 65 reach 84, someone of 75 reach 87, someone of 85 reach 92, and someone of 95 reach 98. Even someone of 110 will probably live more than another year.

Avoiding alcohol and tobacco - and maintaining a reasonable weight and a moderate level of fitness - tend to make a huge difference. But in most cases, unless some doctor has given you specific reasons to believe your years are limited, you will probably live longer than you think. Congratulations on having far exceeded your expectations, Greg.

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LetterRip
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hobsen,

I must admit I put your age at drastically younger - say a mature and thoughtful mid thirties or so [Smile]

LetterRip

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PSRT
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Huh. Really? He's talked about his age or specified that he's quite a bit older than most of us a fair number of times, even if only implicitly such as "back when I was in university," followed by a 50's story.
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OceanRunner
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I always find this question sort of interesting, since I find my perspective in my mid-20s is so different from my perspective in my late teens. There's an interesting article I read a few months ago that talked about how common an inability to foresee themselves living to old age, or even their 30's, is for teenagers.

Now, though, I expect to reasonably live into my 80's or even beyond, assuming no serious issues with future pregnancies or any terminal illness. And, what I think matters as well, now I want to -- I look forward to still bickering with my husband in 50 years!

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Clark
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I've got two grandmothers still going at 89 and 85 years of age. One grandfather died in his mid 70s, the other in his early 80s. So, judging by their longevity and adding for some medical advances, I should have 50 to 60 years to go. (Provided this cold I have doesn't do me in first.)

On the other hand, my mother passed away 24 1/2 years ago at the age of 35. My oldest sister will turn 35 next spring. It must be an odd thing to look in the mirror and say to yourself, "my parent was dead before they ever reached my age."

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0Megabyte
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Well, who knows, I might live longer.

However, in my family my grandpa had several heart attacks, my other grandpa died of a heart attack, my uncle died of a heart attack, some cousins have died of heart attacks...

Yeah. Chances are, it's gonna be a heart attack, and I won't live past my 60's.

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Athelstan
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According to my Doctor due to my high level of bad cholesterol and my high blood pressure I have a 25% chance of some sort of heart disease. Sounded good odds to me. That must mean I have a 75% chance of not getting any heart problems. Trouble is because of my old occupation I have a 25% chance of getting an Asbestos related disease like mesothelioma. So cremation might not be an option for me.

Chris Rock

When you die at 72, no matter what you die of, it's natural causes. Even if you get hit by a truck, it's natural causes. 'Cause if you was younger, you'd have got out the way!

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KE
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I think about it. How can you not? Probably, being an agnostic, I think about it more. This is it for me. This or hell? [Smile]

OR,

As a teen and in the circumstances I lived in I didn't think I'd live past 30.

But now at 42 given my health and family history I think I have a shot at 80 and really considering three of my grandparents lived into their 80's or 90's, (my grandfather died at 28 but he'd been smoking since he was six or seven and died of lung cancer. My dad, his son, has been smoking since he was eleven, no joke, and he is healthy as a horse at 62) and none of them were health nuts or athletes, the only athlete was the one that died of lung cancer (Pro-baseball St. Louis Cardinals, John L. Myers Jr. if anybody doubts my veracity [Wink] ), maybe more. I don't smoke, have been a professional athlete and so have exercised religiously and am still in 'a' shape. The only thing I have is slightly high bp and I take meds for that. Though I'm concerned about quality of life and don't want to live in pain, without dignity, or as a burden to my boys.

I thought Hobsen was at least a hundred and five. [Smile]

KE

[ December 06, 2009, 05:45 AM: Message edited by: KE ]

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scouser1
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Well, in my close family we have or have had:
Schizophrenia
Breast cancer
Bowel cancer
Cervical cancer
Leukemia
Overactive thyroid
Osteo-arthritis
Rhumatoid arthritis
DVT

I myself have kidney reflux which caused me to have fits when I was younger and was in and out of hospital for the first 5 and a half years of my life. Although its calmed down a lot now it still causes my kidneys to pain if I dont have enough fluids throughout the day. Very painful.

So lookin at that little lot being in my family I really dont hold out much hope for a long life. But hey! At least I dont smoke! Only passive [Big Grin]

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rightleft22
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I think about my clock and looking forward I dont' see much so to be candid, I'm ready any time now.
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scifibum
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I was worried what news I'd get out of my physical this year. Liver damage was on my mind.

No really bad news, though. Need more vitamin D. My stomach issues are probably just irritation and replacing a few cups of coffee with chamomile tea seems to help.

But it was probably good to force myself to peek behind that particular (very accessible) curtain. Not so easy to confront my alcohol habit, although I've been trying to scope out its borders.

So I have no clock, really, but I have a compass, and some difficulty grappling with the probabilities associated with various headings.

[ December 06, 2009, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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The Drake
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So I'm the only one planning to build a robot body into which I will transfer my knowledge, if not my consciousness itself?
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TommySama
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Planning? Mine is already done. I just need to figure out how to make my brain function when its connected by a shoestring to a wire likeness of Zeus.
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cherrypoptart
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I'm getting frozen in one of them there new fangled cryogenic tanks.

Hopefully, they'll be able to thaw me out when they have the robot bodies ready, or the stem cell immortality, and hopefully not when the rich people of that time need new organs harvested or the cannibals after the nuclear holocaust get hungry for meat.

And hopefully I don't end up like Ted Williams' head.

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/mlb/news/story?id=4524957

With my luck though I'll be incinerated in a fire after a car crash and not have to even worry about it.

Looking at my clock, I don't think it's even noon yet. I hope if I get sleeply I'm just in for a siesta and not a dirt nap.

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G2
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G2 will ride the technology wave of transhumanism. He is immortal.
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Colin JM0397
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Glad to hear you're still ticking.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero."
Narrator, Fight Club

Enjoy it while you can [Wink] The Hives

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hobsen
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Sometimes the clock ticks louder. Yesterday my wife was rushed to Kaiser Walnut Creek Emergency for shortness of breath. They kept her overnight for various tests of heart function, and hoped to release her this morning - but today she seemed worse. So she has been admitted to the main hospital, where I am sure they will do everything for her that can be done. She has no firm diagnosis yet, but I am heading down to the hospital now to see what they found out, and take her a few comforts.
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Pyrtolin
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Best wishes to the both of you.
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Kuato
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Hobsen, I hope you get your honey back in swift order so that you can enjoy the season in the real comforts of home.

Mine is the second generation, on both sides, not to have a marked enslavement to alcohol. Only my parents and their immediate siblings escaped. This means that we don't have much data on people who don't die of schlerosis of the liver. My dad isn't a good measure because he had a serious injury in his late 30s that scarred his life. My mom, though, is a pretty good measure and she looks hot near age 70. One of her brothers died of a heart attack, but he was kicking in tae kwan do the day before. On the other hand, stress seems to cause enough problems- we can fruit out (literal psychotic breaks) but I think it is because we also tend to want to conquer the world. We've got a bunch of smart-asses over here.

I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't all live into our 80s or beyond. Those of our ancestors who weren't killed by drinking lived very long.

But whatever God has in mind, is OK with me.

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hobsen
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As it now seems, my wife could have driven herself home and had me drive her to the hospital for tests. But she could have been suffering a heart attack, or had a blood clot in her lung, so her doctor at Shadelands had a right to worry about her getting worse on the way. Not to mention the threat she could have posed to other drivers.

Otherwise she now seems better. But it looks like heart failure - primarily pulmonary hypertension, but her symptoms suggest both sides of her heart are giving out. So the doctors can perform short term miracles - prescribing insulin to cut her blood sugar in half, and a heart stimulant to make the heart work harder, and a diuretic to get rid of excess fluid - but none of that really improves her prognosis. But likely she will be home in a few days, and her doctors are now actively treating her symptoms, so she may remain in fair condition for some time. As I said initially, sometimes the clock ticks louder as we age.

Thanks for the good wishes. This incident was of course frightening, and I appreciate them. Enjoy the holidays.

[ December 10, 2009, 03:45 AM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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We cherish your cherishing and wish we were nearby to assist your giving of care. Why, just two days ago I made the Perfect Chicken Pot Pie(s), each in its individual terra cotta baking dish. With surprisingly little fat. I would have brung ye one(s).

Care makes the world go around.

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hobsen
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Thanks, KL. My wife would have much appreciated that. Enjoy!
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scifibum
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Sorry to hear that about your wife, hobsen. You're in my thoughts.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Yo hobbes: want the recipe? I've been working on it for years, and achieved rather a plateau with this batch. Sensing history in the making, I made detailed notes.
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Dave at Work
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You and your wife are in my thoughts and prayers as well Hobsen.

Here's to as many ticks of the clock as we each can get, but also to being able to ignore the ticking and enjoy life to the fullest extent that we can.

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