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How Do You Measure "Quality of Life?"

ShowMeFellow
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2010

Making monthly visits to one of several Professional Menders, I'm given a questionnaire. I'm asked to check off any complaints or problems I'm having (beyond that fact that nobody looks at the thing anyway).

The survey asks me to rate my "quality of life" on a number scale, zero ( = in the tank) to five ( = walking in tall cotton).

But I wonder what the benchmarks are? How do some of you measure "quality of life?" Enjoyable visits with friends? Regular trips to the public library? Mentoring a third-grader? NetFlix? Ribs on the grill? Morning coffee at a small town cafe, for those of us lucky enough to have that option?

Ted.
(Who has that option, and thinks he's lucky to have it).

dsharlee
Posts: 11
Joined: Dec 2009

Great question, Ted - I think about this alot in terms of weighing my treatment options for my GBM. And I realize the answer is likely different for each and every one of us.

For me, it's definitely about the activities you described. I would add the following: freedom from discomfort; ability to cook (I love cooking!); ability to read books and newspapers, either online or otherwise; ability to travel. I've completed treatment for GBM last month and if (or rather, when) I have a recurrence, I will be weighing any additional treatment against the activities I love.

Such a good question and something all cancer patients and their families should discuss.

Debbie

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

In trying to think of the things that symbolize quality of life for me I started with the easy stuff - being able to get up in the morning, hear the birds, smell the coffee, go to work (in a library, which I love), play my old videogames, enjoy food, browse the internet - all things that I take pretty much for granted right now.

I have sometimes thought that if my ability to work were taken away it would absolutely kill me, but that time may not be so far off, and I think I'll be able to handle it and will probably have a cleaner home in the bargain.

Then it struck me how much I value my autonomy. I'm not a good patient, I want to be up and around and going where I want to go, and the times I've been hospitalized were grueling for me. Being basically bed-ridden even for a few days was awful! Yet there are so many people who deal incredibly well with a loss of mobility...

Still, I think quality of life for me does ride on my ability to get around. I'll think more about this in the days to come, thanks for posing the question!

Another Deb

single3rd's picture
single3rd
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2010

Whenever I feel down about my condition, I look around the waiting room at the treatment clinic and am thankful that I was able to drive myself there AND walk across the parking lot.

I am now a 12-year survivor (1 astrocytoma, 1 oligo + 3 recurrences, 2 recisions) and am starting my 2nd round of chemo (the 3 years of Temodar didn't do the job, so now I'm on PCV). So - YES - I can relate!

If I have to measure my quality of life, I rate it on the fact that I'm still alive to answer the question.

Vulgarism's picture
Vulgarism
Posts: 47
Joined: Dec 2009

It's a pretty deep question that can't simply be answered for a form. I think it refers mostly to, in my own opinion of course, one's own able to fulfill and maintain a lifestyle that is comfortable and as "normal" as possible. Are they miserable, incapable and unwilling to do anything, or sort of just scraping by day to day. Or, hell, even mental well-being.

Really, interesting thing to think about.

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