Just quickly, and to practice saying it:
So about four weeks ago, they removed chunks of my stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and gall bladder in an operation called the Whipple procedure. Examination of the removed tissue showed cancer in the common bile duct. Today I went to see another oncologist--not the surgeon--to see what was next.
Well, what's next might or might not be chemo. Yes, the surgeon thinks he got it all, and the single clinical study shows that for people with my indicators chemo might not affect the five year survival rate. Except it wasn't described to me that clearly, so I need to see how they did the math, and what the sample size was (because I'm annoyingly fact-based). I was told simply that the lifespan of chemo patients was longer, but applying chemo to my particular situation had no statistical significance. So I want to compare the average lifespans of chemo patients with my indicators to the average lifespans of non-chemo patients with my indicators. That seems straightforward enough and will guide my decision.
So that's why I've been absent or flakey this last little while.