Sunday, December 4, 2016

On Tolerating Uncertainty

I found this gem in my Tumblr archive. I posted it back in October 2011 and completely forgot about it.

Five years later it rings just as true as it did back then, and even more so since I attended the first Shared Decision Making Summit where I gave a presentation about my own decision making process around genetic testing. That presentation was based on this blog post in which I remarked on the value of tolerating uncertainty.

Here's the gem from my Tumblr archive:

This great quote addresses the difficult decisions one has to make when faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s from an excellent blog post by Lisa Bonchek Adams in response to a post by Dr Susan Love about wishful thinking and breast cancer:

“I personally believe that the ability to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty 
is a key part of the decision-making process.
I don’t say I’m cancer-free: I never say that.
I never say a double mastectomy means I won’t get cancer again.
I know what I had.
I know what I did.
It’s about well-informed choices.
I know what might happen…
In the end, it’s not just about the statistics: it’s about the person.”

—Lisa Boncheck Adams