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The Weight of Numbers

One thing that people with cancer understand is numbers. They know dates, statistics, stages, genes... these numbers can be a life raft during stormy times, or they can weigh us down. "So, these are people who are through their treatment and living past their cancer, right?" Irene (not her real name), a new student, asked me. She deduced this by looking around the room and seeing people with full heads of hair, unlike her. "Not exactly," I told her. "Some of these people are many years out from their cancer diagnosis, but some are facing recurrence, and some have been told that there's nothing more the medical community can do for them." And then more numbers spout from my lips: "34 years ol

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