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Cancer Will Change Your Life


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

The booklet "Taking Time" 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.


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