I like cards. I’m good at cards. My favorite opponent is my father. He’s good (very good) and he never lets me win. He taught me by not teaching me. Never a lesson on strategy. He liked winning. He just kept beating me for years until I could figure out how to win on my own. This was a gift. I know how to learn and due to this particular lesson understand how to hedge bets.
Cards are also so clear.
You can count them.
You can count on them.
That’s why science has always been my favorite subject. Its like cards.
I believe in science. I support science. I think of myself as a scientist in education. I have a degree in the science of education. I have always made “research-informed” decisions When deciding what would be the best word study program for Avenues, I didn’t go to their websites and look at the studies the manufacturers produce, we did our own study. We did science. We made choices from data.
Data provides statistics and statistics hold meaning. They hold patterns.
I have always believed life is made of patterns.
Everything has a rhythm and it oscillates between the poles. It may swing, but it always swings back. It never stops swinging and that can feel scary/ chaotic in the moment, but if you keep looking at it, you can see patterns. You may need to step back (WAY back), but there is a pattern there.
Right now I see one. Passing right by me. Girls wearing high waisted jean shorts and short belly showing T’s. People back in “mom jeans.” It all comes back. Even the 90’s fashion…sadly, it has returned and it will again. We may not be here for it, but it will return. It may look a bit different, maybe it’s some new tech material, but the idea, the concept, will be the same.
It’s everywhere. Patterns.
Music. It has this never-ending pattern between commercial and anti-commercial. In the 80’s it went from big hair and guitar solos, to the 90’s Kirk Cobain (the anti) hair. The I’m never going to brush my hair and wear very large orthopedic looking shoes masked as “battle shoes” (Doc Martins). And then it swung again. We had the big pop sensations, Back Street Boys, Britney. It just keeps swinging.
And yes my friends (deep breath) it will swing again politically. Look over the years (not just the last 10 years), look over 500 years. It swings. Nothing is permanent.
Life has patterns. It has predictability. Look at nature. Everything came from there right?
And if you plot it out. It will look like a beautiful wave. A wave of patterns. Some call this a bell curve.
So I believe in science. I believe in data collection.
But I’m not so sure now.
I have data that can’t be plotted.
There are 800 cases a year of neuroblastoma diagnosed a year in the USA. Thre are 23.7 million children 5 years or younger in the USA. That means. .00003376 children will get what Jacob has. But wait, there is another stat. 90% of children that get blastoma are younger than 5. Jacob is older than 5 and a half. He will be 6 in December. So the odds of Jacob getting this is .000003376.
Some more numbers.
There are 228,000 people who will be diagnosed with lung cancer in a year. There are 327.2 million people in the USA. The odds of getting lung cancer are .000069682. Now Steve’s type of lung cancer is 1% of all lung cancers. Making the odds of getting Steve’s cancer .000000697.
And in one family we have had both.
It is statistically impossible.
It can’t be plotted.
It doesn’t make a wave.
There nothing to be learned and nothing to gain.
This is where my journey of the why began. I went to science. I went to find the pattern.
It ended in the end of science. The end of finding meaning in numbers. The end of ANSWERS that were googleable.
I will try and communicate all the thoughts on this journey and some have been beyond beautiful, like take your breath away beautiful. Some have been so low so so low.
But first I need to tell you that I had to walk away from science.
I had to walk into the unknown.
cancer will make you look for signs and statistics everywhere and you may find, as I did, that the only statistics that matter are your own. peace and healing and serenity to you.
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