What do people with cancer actually die from? It think it is carelessness. I remember reading a book about leprosy. The main problem is that it causes a peripheral neuropathy which means that the leper has to carefully inspect his skin for cuts that might be come infected.
The complications of my cancer and its treatment that I am suffering from are decreased gut motility, a serious pulmonary embolus, proximal myopathy and a peripheral neuropathy. Yesterday afternoon I was trying to strengthen my legs by taking a walk in the garden. I spotted a large weed and stepped onto the flower bed to uproot it. On stepping back to the path, I overestimated my power to take a long stride and the amount of proprioception I had left in my feet. I tripped over the rockery and belly-flopped onto the shingle bath. My goodness, that hurt. I suppose my distended tummy acted like an air-bag, but I was left with superficial bruising on my abdominal wall and a large bruise/hematoma over my tibia (I am fully anticoagulated). After about 10 minutes screaming my wife picked mt up and put me in a chair.
This morning I am uncomfortable but conscious. I have not ruptured my spleen or sustained a cerebral bleed. No lasting damage seems to have been done. That's twice I could have died of carelessness. Perhaps men show too much bravado and this is the reason that women live longer? Perhaps this is why people who choose palliative care live longer than those who choose chemotherapy in some series?