0931: "Lanes"

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0931: "Lanes"

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:04 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: Lane groups from left to right correspond loosely to breast cancer stages one through four (at diagnosis).

Man. All I can say is: anybody who gets the urge to start whining about some comic or other not being funny or whatever... just shut up. Just give the man a break and stuff it, okay? Thanks, much obliged.
Last edited by jpk on Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby pbnjstowell » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:08 am UTC

I agree with jpk.

Also, there's a lot of people thinking of you guys, Randall. Hang in there.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:09 am UTC

All I can say is: I heartily agree with the sentiments expressed in the last panel (the entire comic really).
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby interthree » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Poignant.

Hoping for all those out there who are struggling with illness.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby CousinFabian » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:11 am UTC

I really appreciate how the behemoth freeway is representative of how largely terrifying cancer is. That is to say, I don't appreciate cancer so much as I appreciate how well the metaphor is conveyed.
Dealing with my dad's skin cancer has been strange and kind of cloudy. I don't know how things will turn out, but I hope for the best.
We're all hoping for you and your girlfriend, Randall. Godspeed.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:13 am UTC

Even if the treatment works and every cancer cell is destroyed, you aren't truly cured. Not when you are never sure and constantly have to worry. Now I feel sad.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby myrmaid » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:13 am UTC

When I scrolled down to the final panel I started to cry, reminded me of all the people I love whose lanes have ended. Such a tragically perfect visual representation.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby ritvax » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:15 am UTC

My heart goes out to Randall... First of all, I know that he enjoys his privacy (as do I), so sharing something like this is huge, and I hope that we as his community of fans did not somehow force him to reveal something about his life he'd rather keep quiet. I wish him and his fiancee all the best in beating this monster that has come into their lives.

Taking a step back, Randall does have an uncanny talent for quantifying and visualizing new ways to present data, and this comic is no different. I have friends who are cancer survivors, and I myself lost my father to leukemia years ago. All you can do is seek treatment and hope. Randall's comic explains it so simply and eloquently (and sad for those who's "lanes" end prematurely).

Well done.

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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby kaidenshi » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:16 am UTC

Having survived cancer myself, this comic really hits home. It also made me realize just how lucky I was. Mine had progressed to the point of spreading throughout several areas in my body, and they were still able to get it all between the surgery and chemotherapy. That was 16 years ago, and while I'm not as healthy as I would like to be now that I'm in my mid 30s, I'm certainly glad to be alive!
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby GuitarFreak » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:24 am UTC

:(

I hope everything turns out alright. Fuck cancer.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby gam0vr » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:26 am UTC

God bless Randall. Educational and meaningful per usual. As odd as it may sound, you and your lady are loved by this community.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby joee » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Firstly, *hugs* to Randall and his fiancee.

Secondly: the first panel doesn't make sense
"if your 10 year prognosis is 60% that means a 60% chance that some cancer will slip past the treatment and get out"
surely that should be "40% chance some cancer will slip out within 10 years"?

Is the 10 year prognosis surviving 10 years or getting to 10 years without getting more tumors?
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby KShrike » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Well, screw cancer...

http://xkcd.com/871/
Think all $20 can go to cancer prevention?
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:33 am UTC

This cheese is freezing me.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:35 am UTC

kaidenshi wrote:Having survived cancer myself, this comic really hits home. It also made me realize just how lucky I was. Mine had progressed to the point of spreading throughout several areas in my body, and they were still able to get it all between the surgery and chemotherapy. That was 16 years ago, and while I'm not as healthy as I would like to be now that I'm in my mid 30s, I'm certainly glad to be alive!


You know, I'm glad you're alive too. Fuck cancer.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby robo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:39 am UTC

This comic made me sad. :c

(Yes, I signed up just to say this.)
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby VertAsymptotes » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:42 am UTC

I actually just joined to post here; I lost my father to cancer (laryngeal, caused by smoking) 9 years ago... I just want to wish Randall and whoever is battling or knows someone who is fighting cancer to stay strong. I also would like to thank Randall for keeping with his comic posting schedule so strictly... It's truly amazing, especially with the circumstances. Randall, know that you have the entire XKCD community behind you in this troublesome time. Fuck cancer, truly. Thank you Randall, thank you.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby charolastra » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:46 am UTC

Once again, Randall hits the nail on the head.

I'm starting my 6th month of chemo and have 3 more to go. At 23, 10 months of my life (8 months of chemo, plus the 2 leading up to chemo filled with lots of tears, uncertainty, and appointments with crazy things like fertility specialists) are gone. The next 5 years, by necessity, I will have to be a hypochondriac. After 5 years without relapse, Hodgkin's Lymphoma is considered cured.

But after October 7th - my last day of treatment - there is no real relief. Just waiting and trying to live your life to the fullest. And trying not to swerve my car to hit people I see smoking or punching people who talk about going to the tanning bed. *ahem* I digress.

I dare someone to find fault with this. Go on. Try.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:59 am UTC

A big hug from me to Randall, his fiance, and to everyone else out there for whom this comic hit too close to home.

I wish there was more we could all do. :(
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:02 am UTC

charolastra wrote:Once again, Randall hits the nail on the head.

I'm starting my 6th month of chemo and have 3 more to go. At 23, 10 months of my life (8 months of chemo, plus the 2 leading up to chemo filled with lots of tears, uncertainty, and appointments with crazy things like fertility specialists) are gone. The next 5 years, by necessity, I will have to be a hypochondriac. After 5 years without relapse, Hodgkin's Lymphoma is considered cured.

But after October 7th - my last day of treatment - there is no real relief. Just waiting and trying to live your life to the fullest. And trying not to swerve my car to hit people I see smoking or punching people who talk about going to the tanning bed. *ahem* I digress.

I dare someone to find fault with this. Go on. Try.


Not to find fault or anything, but... if you see someone risking their health, you'll try to run them over? When you're the one driving a vehicle that's putting out more carcinogenic gack in one afternoon than they'll manage all month? And if someone's willing to take a slightly different risk to their health, for what seems a stupid reason to you (and to me, frankly) you'll sock them?

I'm confused...
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby ammy55 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:08 am UTC

you forgot the 0 in the subject
good comic though and i agree seriously.. fuck cancer
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby WizenedEE » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:10 am UTC

jpk wrote:Not to find fault or anything, but... if you see someone risking their health, you'll try to run them over? When you're the one driving a vehicle that's putting out more carcinogenic gack in one afternoon than they'll manage all month? And if someone's willing to take a slightly different risk to their health, for what seems a stupid reason to you (and to me, frankly) you'll sock them?

I'm confused...


Secondhand smoke?
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby wygit » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:10 am UTC

Very large hugs to all concerned.
After my 6th round of chemo for Leukemia was looking like it had done the job, the Doc gave me the little speech about how
"You're not really cured, you're in remission."
I asked "But If I die from something else, without having relapsed, I guess you could say I was cured, eh?"
He kind of chuckled and said "Yes, I guess you could put it that way."
I said "Tomorrow, I'm going out and buying a motorcycle."
And I did. (I had had one ten years before, and had always kept the license current.)
That was January, 2005. I get my quarterly blood draws to make sure the marrow is still preforming up to spec, but I've also gone from Kawasaki Ninja 250 to a Honda Spirit 750, and now on to a Harley Sportster 1200.

As said in Monty Python, "I'm not dead yet."

Good luck to you, Randall. and remember You're not dead yet.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby Tyrannosaur » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:15 am UTC

:(

nobody's highway goes forever.
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:15 am UTC

WizenedEE wrote:
jpk wrote:
charolastra wrote:Not to find fault or anything, but... if you see someone risking their health, you'll try to run them over? When you're the one driving a vehicle that's putting out more carcinogenic gack in one afternoon than they'll manage all month? And if someone's willing to take a slightly different risk to their health, for what seems a stupid reason to you (and to me, frankly) you'll sock them?

I'm confused...


Secondhand smoke?


From the exhaust pipe? Yeah, lots and lots of it, but I don't commit violence against people who drive. (although if they're talking on their phone while they drive, I might flip my cigarette into their back seat... if I'm wearing my black hat that day)
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Re: 931: Lanes

Postby Tyrannosaur » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:18 am UTC

jpk wrote:From the exhaust pipe? Yeah, lots and lots of it, but I don't commit violence against people who drive. (although if they're talking on their phone while they drive, I might flip my cigarette into their back seat... if I'm wearing my black hat that day)


Now now we aren't going to argue about this, or I might just have to ride my bike out there and start smashing everything with my sledgehammer. :|
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby Richard. » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:19 am UTC

Ban all carcinogens. Now.
we live in a beautiful world.

Spoiler:
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby twilliams1755 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:19 am UTC

I do not imagine Randall reads these messages often, but if you're out there Randall, know my prayers are with you and your fiancee. May you both have many miles before your exit. And don't mind the zero-choice interchanges.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:22 am UTC

Richard. wrote:Ban all carcinogens. Now.



Okay, we'll start with the coal that's probably fuelling your computer right now - or the nuclear plant, maybe. And, let's see, the crap your computer is made of. And, um, the sun. Get to work on those, and I'll see if I can come up with a few more for you.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby Tyrannosaur » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:25 am UTC

Richard. wrote:Ban all carcinogens. Now.


Except- as my dad put it- life causes cancer. Tis true. Without life, there wouldn't be cancer. Some cancer is definitely avoidable, as reminded by the radio ads I hear all the time telling to get rid of lead paint, but a lot of life involves taking the bad with the good. :|
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby fahrbot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:54 am UTC

My heart goes out to you and your fiancée and I hope for a positive outcome. My wife of 20 years died in January 2006 of a brain tumor (GBM), just 7 weeks after her diagnosis. Every day with the one you love is a gift - no matter the circumstances or length of time.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby FormicaArchonis » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:58 am UTC

Wow. This comic reminds me a lot of the last 10 years. I had cancer myself, and my mom's breast cancer came back in her bones and finally her liver. Learned a lot in that decade. Still wish I never needed to know as much about cytotoxins as I know now, though.

I also developed my mom's hatred for the phrase "survivor". Met too many people who treated it like a badge of honor, as if they somehow did something better than the people who died, and never had to worry again. The arrogance and the absolute ignorance of how their disease worked just galled me. You want to be called a survivor? Die of something else. Then I'll say you survived cancer.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby Brambo412 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:01 am UTC

Hi. Love the comic. Long time reader and forum lurker, first time registrant and poster.

Lot of lanes that go all the way north, there. Furthermore I've got to believe "belief" plays something of a role. So you can steer to at least some extent. There are probably a lot of variables that go in to steering, but I'm posting to recommend genuine emotive positivity as homing device. Call it the Obi-Wan effect.

Sorry if this was/is insensitive in some way, and full disclosure: dammit Jim I'm not a doctor. I'm a retired certified massage therapist, actually, but that's not the point. May your weather be fair, your vehicle remain sound, your asphalt be smooth and your tunes be awesome.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby najodleglejszy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:04 am UTC

well maybe there isn't possibility to find individual cancer cell, but from what I heard FDG-PET scanning is really accurate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_e ... y#Oncology
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby ijuin » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:21 am UTC

jpk wrote:
Richard. wrote:Ban all carcinogens. Now.

Okay, we'll start with the coal that's probably fuelling your computer right now - or the nuclear plant, maybe. And, let's see, the crap your computer is made of. And, um, the sun. Get to work on those, and I'll see if I can come up with a few more for you.

Ever heard of California Proposition 65? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_65

Basically, it is a law requiring warnings on each and every consumer product that contains any detectable amount of any substance known to be a carcinogen, even if the concentration in the product is thousands of times more diluted than the lowest levels that have been proven to increase cancer risk--thus, something that contains a couple of parts per billion of a chemical that you would have to eat dozens of grams of for a noticeable effect still gets labeled as if it were the 100% pure form of the carcinogen. The result? There are virtually no products marketed in California that do NOT have a warning on them saying that they contain carcinogens. This "one-size-fits-all" labeling results in a "boy who cried wolf" situation.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby TarouSatomi » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:28 am UTC

well maybe there isn't possibility to find individual cancer cell, but from what I heard FDG-PET scanning is really accurate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_e ... y#Oncology


It's good but unfortunately you still have to play the odds with chemo and overdo it a good bit, just make sure you hit the cancer cells that the PET missed.
I'm currently getting an extra four months (2 treatments/mo) of chemo even though it's probably been all gone since treatment #1-4.

The inability to scan for a single cell is one of the big issues in the field. Get that and cure rates will go way up, since the cancer drugs / radiation treatment have the side effect of occasionally causing other cancers...

Editorial:
Also, stop smoking... by law, by culture, by personal decisions, by deus ex machina, whatever, and the entire cancer landscape gets less ugly. Lung cancer is one of the toughest/deadliest in every aspect except prevention.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby Chrisfs » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:32 am UTC

Good luck to you and your family, Randall. You are doing a good job of educating other people about it.

Maybe a hundred years from now they will have a cell scanner.
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby squareroot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:45 am UTC

HUGS
HUGS
and probably some donations tomorrow...
I'm glad to say I haven't had any cancer impact me or my parents, and it has been but mild and non-dangerous for my grandparents. But I have a neighbor; he has far far outlived his dark prognosis, and he's still constantly battling it. He's a small man, but it's heartbreaking to see how he's literally just shrinking over the years. The saddest part is when I hear how he's making plans with his wife and kids for what happens after he passes, because they all know that he won't survive. Of course everyone is glad he's made it this far.

Any disease is terrible; what we mostly deal with is nothing more than nuisance keeping us from work or school for a few days. But then there are so many others that are cruel...

If I had one criticism of this comic, it's that 'Fuck' isn't a strong enough swear. v.v
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Re: 0931: Lanes

Postby scottgoblue314 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:51 am UTC

Stand Up to Cancer is a nice sentiment, but people with more time, money, and organizational skills than myself need to launch a mega research fundraiser called "Cancer: Fuck that Shit."

That said, I also know too many people who's lives have been flipped upside-down by their kids' cancer. One little girl was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblasoma and given two, maybe three years. That was four years ago. She was in remission for a few months, but it's back and they keep fighting. The truly amazing thing, though, is how close it has brought their family, and everyone around them. Some days are a living hell, but they make every day count.

Lastly, Randall, if you're reading this, rest assured that somewhere is at least one fan is working day and night to make cell-scanning a reality, Innerspace-style if necessary.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Auliya » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:22 am UTC

Well, I guess we were "lucky" that we caught my mother's breast cancer at stage 1. Still, the doctors gave us the "some cells could have escaped" speech.
The problem now is the damage that chemiotherapy did to her kidneys. So, fuck chemiotherapy, too.

BTW is "out of the woods" a Firefly reference?
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