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… I have my five year anniversary of diagnosis. This is quite a big deal for me and I set a timer on my page to count down to it. Having used a 2006 study to work out my prognosis, rather excitingly titled: Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma: a prognostic model for clinical use: my survival rate at five years was measured at 75% unless I slipped into high risk, in which case it was a 50/50.

Luckily I haven’t got high risk (as far as I am aware) so fingers crossed it doesn’t get worse (although my red blood cell count would count to a higher mortality in univariate anaylsis).

The ten year survival rate (just over five to go) was just above 50%, but with a median age of 64 years old in the trial, I had youth on my side.

It’s noted in both this study and the 2015 I refer to (outcomes in Splenic Marginal.zone lymphoma) that there is a 15% chance in the first 12 years that the cancer will become faster growing and this relates to a much higher mortality rate. The 2015 study also says;
With a median follow‐up of 8·3 years (range: 2·3–24·8 years) for living patients, the 5‐ and 10‐year OS for the entire cohort was 64% and 50%, respectively. The 5‐ and 10‐year FFS after first‐line treatment (for the 90 patients who received treatment) was 47% and 29%, respectively.

This is a much lower survival rate for five years, but about the same for ten

Anyway when the timer clocks down in under two months I will view it as beating a 1 in 3 or 4 chance of dying.

Either way, and having bored you with studies, it’s pretty good to beat 25 or 36% death rate after five years. It’s anniversaries and tests that really make you think about these things (as well as other people getting cancer). I hope the dropping red cells aren’t a reflection of a faster cancer developing, but even if it doesn’t I am very pleased that my initial concerns of not making a year (I even had conversations to this effect and how to tie everything up) were unfounded.

To celebrate this I want to do something for a cancer charity, but this is where I have gotten a little stymied. I can’t run now, and my fitness isn’t what it was. I haven’t written a book since i had the kids (lazy I know) and I’m lousy at baking. So I wondered if anyone had good ideas for something epic enough to raise money (like marathon running) but without the spleen breaking impact. I raised 2k when I did the Paris marathon, but a 5k doesn’t really have that much impact.

Anyway, let me know. I am very pleased I’ve nearly beaten the five year rap and would be keen to do something to celebrate. So ideas welcome, and thanks for putting up with me for those years, you’ve got at least another 66%* chance you’ll have to put up with me for another five…. ;).

*(Those of you who are pedantic will note that as the 25% in the first five years are the worst effected this may not be as simple as 75%/3*2 based around a 50% survival, leading to a 2 in 3 chance of survival. To you I say yahboosucks :))