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Where do cancer patients go after treatment?

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By Kay Kerbyson

This sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Standing on a golden beach, the sun beating down, crowds cheering, as you waddle your way under a flexing pole.

I bet you’re thinking that’s the celebration of finishing cancer treatment. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

Limbo is not so much what you do, as where you go.

For months you’ve been coddled and cooed over by doctors and nurses, attentively listening to your every ache and pain, on standby 24 hours a day in case of that dreaded 101.5-degree fever.

They’ve prodded you, pricked you, sent you for blood tests and CAT scans, shot you with radiation beams, or dripped in some mysterious fluid that goes around your body like Pac-Man seeking out and destroying cancer cells.

Then, if you’re lucky, comes: “You don’t need anymore treatment. You’re in remission!” Yes! I made it. I want to jump for joy. I want to climb every mountain and sing “Edelweiss.” I want to gyrate my body under a pole on a sunset beach! But I can’t.

Why? Because what I actually feel is a total anti-climax. I should feel really happy, but I don’t. What’s wrong with me?


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