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Coping with Cancer, Part Three

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What can I do today that will help others even after I am gone? Any doctor will tell you that cancer patients are often the kindest, most considerate, and selfless patients we see. Part of the reason is their perspective. Facing cancer means facing our own mortality. This does not just happen at diagnosis. Even if the cancer seems to be gone, every doctor’s appointment, every x-ray, every blood test, and every unexplained symptom is a reminder that the cancer is lurking around the corner, ready to come back at anytime. When we constantly face our own mortality, we can easily distinguish between the things that are truly important and the things that do not really matter.

These lessons are not just important for cancer patients. They are important for all of us. If, as the friend of a cancer patient, I learn to see life more clearly through their eyes, they will have helped me more than I have helped them.

Let’s review the steps Judy has been through in these three posts.

Dealing with a Difficult Diagnosis:

Find a friend/be a friend.

Learn the facts.

Understand the feelings.

Face the future.


If you missed them, be sure to read the rest of Judy’s story in my last two posts. For more information, take a look at my book, Navigating the Medical Maze. You can also learn more on my website, www.drstevenbrown.org.

Let me know what you think about Judy’s story. I hope it has helped and encouraged many of you.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.