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How Long Do I Have Left

In: Science

Submitted By eabramzo
Words 687
Pages 3
There is a time limit on life with cancer\ In Paul Kalanithi’s article, “How Long Have I Got Left?, Paul describes his life battling with lung cancer and not being able to ever know how long he has left to live. He had masses of tumors lining the lungs and creating a deformation of the spine. During the process of treatments and doctor appointments he would tell himself to be honest about the prognosis but always leave room for some hope. He was constantly asking doctors how much longer he was going to have left to live; was it a matter of days to weeks or weeks to a few months or months to a few years? As a doctor himself, Kalanithi understands that the most effective and accurate way to describe a patient’s prognosis is to be honest about it. He believes that the life of a cancer patient is highly unpredictable, so providing them with numbers and statistics can be very misleading. I think the thesis of this article is as he stated, “The certainty of death was easier than this uncertain life”(Kalanithi 3) . This article is written with various examples of cancer patients who are battling cancer and really do not know how much longer they have to survive. He used himself as an example to support his argument and stated that if he knew how much time he had left he would accomplish so many things in life. If he had a couple months left he would spend time with his family, if he had one more year left he would write his book, if he had 10 year’s he would go back to being a doctor and treat diseases. Paul even stated that he had a close friend who developed pancreatic cancer whom doctors told he had about five years to live. Paul felt very uneasy about this information because he strongly believed that numbers were too dry and that a physician’s daily experience with cancer was needed in order to even give the slightest approximation. He believed that a number means...

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