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Profiles In Well-Being

The graph below attempts to capture BD00’s understanding of the time-varying nature of a person’s level of well being after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Pre-diagnosis, life is good. Mental and physical states are at a person-specific, baseline level of health. Then comes the big chill: “You have inoperable stage 4 cancer“. D’oh!

Sometime after the cheerful diagnosis, one’s physical health starts deteriorating and then one’s mental health hitches a ride on the luge of death careening down the mountain.

Of course, this is not “an everyone” curve. It’s a coarse model of what I think has been happening to me. I’ve been riding the luge for 3 years because either the mountain I’m on is pretty flat, or the brake is halfway stuck on, or both.

Our next profile is a very sad one, “The Breakdown Profile“. As soon as the terminal diagnosis is absorbed, the anxiety, fear, and depression quickly sets in, precluding the decline in physical health. This one hits home for me because I’ve experienced several cavernous depressions over the years way before the cancer diagnosis.

And then we have Nirvana, “The Buddha Profile“…..

Categories: Cancer
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