When a scientific truth becomes a personal fact – and it does so at most when we receive the diagnostic of a fatal disease - , it stirs the mind in a way which is totally contrary to the smooth learning of scientific information.
It cannot offer any peaceful state of mind, but rather a great turmoil. Surely, we become worried by the thought of our future sufferance and death, but that truth is its permanent source. It lies inside of our mind as a firm peg on which it is hung our entire existence.
We should admit that the scientific truths which are less personal – as the cosmic or biological processes – are in right to claim the same reaction, since they also tell about some things on which our existence depend.
Instead, we treat these truths as inspiring facts for the scientific progress. They can contribute to some progress, but it is not our own progress, since the revelation of our dependency on nature diminishes the human position into the world.
The delusion of progress is often shared by the unhappy people who get a personal scientific truth. They think that the fatal diagnostic is a challenge to an ongoing fight with their ill, even if the fight means a pathetic and short extension of their life.
It cannot be given a right advice to someone who faces such truth. However, it seems right to live without the false idea that we personally live in an epoch of scientific progress.