Taking Time: Support for People with Cancer
The Years After
Cancer is not something anyone forgets. Anxieties remain as active treatment ceases and the waiting stage begins. A cold or a cramp may be cause for panic. As 6-month or annual checkups approach, you swing between hope and anxiety. As you wait for the mystical 5-year or 10-year point, you might feel more anxious rather than more secure.
These are feelings we all share. No one expects you to forget that you have had cancer or that it might recur. Each must seek individual ways of coping with the underlying insecurity of not knowing the true state of his or her health. The best prescription seems to lie in a combination of one part challenging responsibilities that command a full range of skills, a dose of activities that seek to fill the needs of others, and a generous dash of frivolity and laughter.
You still might have moments when you feel as if you live perched on the edge of a cliff. They will sneak up unbidden. But they will be fewer and farther between if you have filled your mind with thoughts other than cancer.
Cancer might rob you of that blissful ignorance that once led you to believe that tomorrow stretched forever. In exchange, you are granted the vision to see each today as precious, a gift to be used wisely and richly. No one can take that away.
Adapted from National Cancer Institute, 2/00
Last reviewed February 2000 by ]]>EBSCO Publishing Editorial Staff]]>
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