Friday, December 4, 2009

word problems

the night before chemo i couldn't sleep. at all. not one little bit. turns out that the steroids i have to take the night before and and the next day basically work like speed. ooops, no one mentioned that.

so i had lots of time to try to get myself to sleep. one project i worked on at around 2:00am was trying to quantify this whole predicament into mathematical word problems. here's what i came up with:

1. "kathy" has a certain type of breast cancer tumor that has a survival rate of 80%. What is the mortality rate?

A. she is doomed
B. she is being a baby about this, she'll be fine and should stop whining
C. hey, the glass is 80% full--what do you want?
D. 20%

2. rounding to the nearest person, what are her chances of having a "recurrance" (which is bad)?

A. i don't know, i've always hated math
B. one out of five
C. what do they know?
D. worse than russian roulette

3. if "kathy" has chemo, the survival rate goes up to 86% and the recurrance rate goes down to 14%. rounding to the nearest person, what are her chances then of having a "recurrance"?

A. she's cured? 
B. this is too hard
C. one out of seven
D. better than russian roulette

4. let's say "kathy" attends a luncheon for one hundred women who all have the same size genetically idenfied type of tumor diagnosed at the same time. "kathy" sits at a table of seven. they all have a lovely time. they decide that they should come to the five year reunion and sit at the same table and catch up. At the five year reunion, how many ladies are seated at the table?

A. seven. everyone is cured
B. eight. one lady who sat at the table next to them, still experiencing chemo brain, insists she had sat with them five years earlier, so they let her
C. six. one person had passed away
D. six, but no one died. "kathy" was unable to attend because she was in jail for a minor assault charge that arose in a grocery store incident when someone cut in front of her in line. she apparently has not moved beyond the anger stage, but she sends her best.

1 comment:

  1. Katherine,
    I know that getting cancer is a really crummy reason to have to start a blog, but you are a funny writer. Dark and funny.

    I like it.