Cancer is a major illness,
but not everyone who gets cancer will die from it. Close to 9 million
Americans alive today have a history of cancer. For them, cancer has become a
chronic (on-going) health problem, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Just like anyone with a
chronic health problem, people who have cancer must get regular checkups for
the rest of their lives, even after cancer treatment ends. But unlike other
chronic health problems, if you have cancer you probably will not need to take
medicine or eat special foods once you have finished treatment.
If you have cancer, you may
notice every ache, pain, or sign of illness. Even little aches may make you
worry. While it is normal to think about dying and healthy to explore your
feelings about death, it is also important to focus on living. Keep in mind
that cancer is not a death sentence. Many people with cancer are treated
successfully. Others will live a long time before dying from cancer. So, make
the most of each day while living with cancer and its treatment.
|No one knows the story of tomorrow's dawn.|
--Ashanti (African) Proverb
People Respond to Cancer
in Many Ways
This book was written to help
you learn from other people with cancer. Finding out how others respond to
cancer might help you understand your own feelings. Learning how others manage
the special problems that cancer brings might help you find your own ways of
coping with the problems that come along for you.
Sharing Ideas about Ways
to Live with Cancer
Many people helped to write
this book--people who have had cancer and their family members, friends, and
caregivers. We thank each of them for sharing their ideas and suggestions
about ways to live with cancer. You will find their comments in italic
type throughout this book.
We also thank the many health
care providers who reviewed Taking Time. Their comments and practical
suggestions are based on years of experience helping people with cancer.