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393 Afterword It’s been a long time now since I was diagnosed with cancer, and I am considered cured of lymphoma. I am no longer a young woman, and the changes that cancer wrought in my life are now part of who I am: from my chronic cough, new hair texture, and abysmal handwriting to my existence as someone who will never have children and is no longer an academic scientist. For the most part, my experience with cancer was one of loss. But many of the losses have been partially offset by gains, and, overall, my life has been so fortunate that I can’t really complain about the cards I’ve been dealt. I have met people who told me that they considered a diagnosis of cancer a gift because it made them so much more aware of how precious their life was to them. I admire such people, but I am not one of them. If my cancer was a gift, it’s one that I’d have preferred to send back in exchange for something I chose myself. Nor do I view cancer as some sort of rite of passage. I view it as a difficult , frightening, dangerous—and sometimes fatal—experience. But, increasingly , lymphoma need no longer be viewed as a death sentence. With appropriate medical care—and a certain amount of luck—more and more of us are surviving lymphoma, and the advances in lymphoma therapy that have made this possible continue to accumulate. I hope that by sharing what I have learned and what I have experienced with others I will make their own journey with lymphoma a little easier. Writing a book can feel a little like throwing bottles into the ocean, and I have been delighted to hear back from some of the people who found those bottles. If you would like to write, please send your letter to me in care of U 394 Afterword Johns Hopkins University Press 2715 N. Charles Street Baltimore MD 21218-4363 Or, by email: emadler23@hotmail.com ...


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