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Need a fatal disease

  1. Feb 23, 2014 #1
    Ideally with:
    1. no neuromotor or cognitive losses
    2. diagnosable at least two years before death with a (literal) deadline
    3. may or may not cause hallucinations
    4. may or may not cause intense pain (periodic or chronic)
      -to get him hooked to methadone (optional)​
    5. a very high risk last moment cure/treatment (optional...keeping my options open)
    6. preferably caused by an environmental toxin
    7. definitely not genetic
    8. character would be 25 year old or less

    I am thinking leukaemia but have very less idea about how much it fits the above...
    Any comments or ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2014 #2


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    Leukaemia doesn't seem to fit. I personally know (or knew) three people who contracted it. Age range 30 to 50. Two died within a few weeks of being diagnosed, the other is still alive and in remission 20 years later - but he is the sort of guy who takes the view that he can cause more aggravation to the rest of the world by staying alive, and that's sufficient motivation for not dying!

    In other words, it seems as unpredictable as any other form of cancer.
  4. Feb 24, 2014 #3

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    Why not the rare Bernhardt's Disease?
  5. Feb 24, 2014 #4
    I read up on leukaemia, there are two types acute and chronic. Acute acts faster chronic's generally slower. [strike]AML[/strike] ALL seems to fit better (in terms of incurability and [STRIKE]non-longevity[/STRIKE]) I will have to see the sub-types to decide what I kill him with. I feel evil.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  6. Feb 24, 2014 #5
    Greg's sick?
    The only definition I found had listed wearing skinny pants/belts as a cause:
    http://medical.dictionary.net/bernhardt's disease
    I need the guy to move around* (a lot) and die (once...maybe twice).
    (I am kind of fixated on leukaemia because I want him to joke about being 'white blooded'.)
    *I am considering chronic leukaemia for this reason, I definitely don't want him chained to a bed.
  7. Feb 24, 2014 #6

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    The point is that you can make something up that has exactly the right properties.
  8. Feb 24, 2014 #7
    What about a lung disease caused by something like asbestos.
  9. Feb 24, 2014 #8
    I don't mind stretching the science to fit the story but I would rather not tear it apart altogether. It should be plausible enough that if I post it in the med. sci. forum I wouldn't get banned.
    (The story is set in this decade or perhaps the last.)
    I am afraid not, respiratory diseases seem to be all caused either by infections (treatable and if not too quick to kill) or toxins which won't fit the story too well; non-smoker and not an outdoor guy.

    I have ruled out infectious diseases with exception to AIDS, most toxins and auto-immune diseases; AIDS, worms near the brain stem and aneurisms will be my fall back in case nothing else works.
    I am back fixating on AML, diagnosed before the start of the story and in partial remission. I will go read up some oncology texts and see what I can do to keep it incurable and yet moderate enough to justify him being an outpatient.
  10. Feb 24, 2014 #9
    How about something like a hepatitis? Doesn't necessarily fit with a literal deadline but it could be like a chronic hepatitis case which can start getting worse and have some MD tell him he has XX years to live. Prognoses are pretty much educated guesses anyway, no one can really give a literal deadline for death from disease. There is encephalopathy towards the end of the disease if memory serves. You'd need to do some more research but it may fit the bill.
  11. Feb 24, 2014 #10
    Thanks, will look into it.
  12. Feb 24, 2014 #11
    Just to elaborate why I chose that route. Last minute cure might be a liver transplant, its pretty risky etc. Its not genetic but can be passed from mother to fetus and can be aggravated by boozing and/or stuff like tylenol and maybe others.
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