Dr. Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, cancer survivor, and award-winning and best-selling author of books about cancer: Healthy Survivorship, recovery and late effects, and raising children when a parent has cancer. She is also a public speaker, patient advocate, and mother of three.
Each Healthy Survivor forges and follows his or her unique path to getting good care and living as fully as possible. A war-like stance helps some survivors -- not all -- summon the courage needed to live with illness.
After my first course of chemotherapy in 1990-1991, I went for my first set of post-treatment scans. My greatest hope was for my oncologist to call me and tell me, "Wendy, your scans are all clean. Your cancer is in remission."
When I went for my most recent set of scans, I put my hopes in something other than "clean" scans and good news:
Healthy Survivorship revolves around living as well as possible for as long as possible. What about when patients are nearing the end? Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyondoutlines and discusses many ways patients and their caregivers can live as fully as possible as the end draws near. One suggestion is rarely mentioned in self-books for patients: