Sunday, January 23, 2011

OS = Overall Survival

On 1/11 I had actually started to write a post, "It's really amazing at how I can feel..." The rest of that sentence was supposed to read: "so good after feeling so bad for a week." I was referring to the malaise from another round of chemo and then how 5-7 days later it's completely gone, back to normal. I never did finish that post because truthfully I was never really feeling "so good."

For the past three weeks I've been struggling with a soreness (like a knot) in my right shoulder blade and an aching pain down my right leg (non-sarcoma leg). I powered through the three weeks and managed to fit in a nice adventure to Akron to visit my company's corporate headquarters. The trip was a great distraction from the pain and really made last week bearable.

As always when I haven't seen people in a while I was asked the question, "What's the prognosis?" The question sent me off researching again, though I should have known better. Here's what I found:

"the overall survival (OS) results are... supportive of clinically relevant activity with trabectedin (Yondelis): the median OS of 13.9 months [] very favorable in the context of an expected 6-month survival range for a patient population of advanced/metastatic STS having progressed after anthracyclines and ifosfamide (Demetri 2009)."

To translate it says that had there not been Yondelis my median overall survival rate would have been 6 months; however, on Yondelis my median overall survival rate is 14 months.

This obviously made me sad for a couple days, after all it was just a week ago that I passed my 6-month anniversary from being diagnosed. And then to think I have less than a year left to live obviously scared the sh*t out of me. It took awhile to snap out of these thoughts but burying myself in work and spending good times with Autumn made them pass. I know numbers are just numbers and I know that this particular excerpt which I pasted above was not specifically on myxoid liposarcoma and trabectadin, which has a slightly better outcome, but I still got sad.

Michelle Beck and Blake Eltis came to visit at just the right time and we had a great weekend together. I still have the same persistent pains but I think we've figured out the right cocktail for comfort and tomorrow starts another round!

"Breathe in Hope, Breathe out Love"


  1. Jeff, in reference to "I should have known better" and "..these are just numbers"....EXACTLY! The words on your bracelet are the words to focus on..."Breathe in HOPE...". Never forget the promises of God, which will be in your spiritual readings. I pray for this round of treatment to be successful and your pain to be controlled. Kay

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I hope you feel better with the treatment this week than you did last time. From engineer to another - Numbers really do mean sh*t...some of them aren't even real, like an imaginary numbers. Whoever thought of those? The Blumbergs are always thinking of you, and can't wait to see you soon.

    Jennifer, Carlos and Athena

  3. Buddy, stay strong!! Everyone out West is pulling for you.

    -Jason & Yaara