Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Good news!

We have just been told that, after his chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Margaret's brother has been declared cancer free.


On a related note, the standard procedure is to say that the patient is in 'remission'.

From the psychology point of view, I don't like the term

It implies that you are on borrowed time, that it (IT!) may return, like some marauding creature from the swamp. If you do get cancer again, the temptation to feel that you have 'lost' because it has returned will be very strong and very depressing. With 'remission' it is just one on-going fight and you are never declared the winner.

On the other hand if you say "OK, I beat it! Move on!", you will be in a much better position if you do get cancer again. The thought in your mind will be "I beat the last one, I will beat this one". A totally new fight with no baggage.



  1. Oh this is great! I prefer to think of it the second way..yeayy..he beat it!

  2. I couldn't agree more - so glad he beat it this time.

  3. Yes, good point.

    So glad you have received some good news.

  4. Always uplifting to hear of someone's success in beating the dreaded disease.

    Says a lot for his fighting spirit.

    Best wishes in the future for him.

  5. I agree too --' Remission ' sounds like a rest/ interval between rounds .
    Good Luck to him for having beaten it !

  6. the psychology of wellness seems to evade the "health care" industry. i agree with your views on the terminology. my mom in her 80's has been cancer-free for 2 years now after radical surgery and chemotherapy. I am keeping a good thought for Margaret's brother. big hugs, snowsparkle

  7. Great news.
    Thanks for drawing my attention to the different terms. Lately a friend asked after my sister-in-law, I said she was clear, and the friend said 'oh, she's in remission.' I said no, I understood she was clear, and friend said, well you never know with cancer... etc which seemed lugubrious and negative to me, but I was a bit confused about the difference. I think you're completely right, if for no other reason than the clear time must be qualitatively different with the different outlook.

  8. wonderful! Its such a catch 22 to be in remission. I wonder if you really ever can just 'forget it and move on'... I dont think I ever could!

    Thanks for sharing y our good news!

  9. What a good post. There IS a difference between 'remission' and 'free' and we ought to celebrate it. Of course the lawyers don't want that because the cancer might not be gone and it would be their 'fault' if it came back. What a world!

    Let's celebrate life! Check out for a cancer survivor who is trying to live every day.


  10. let me join the chorus and exclaim 'excellent point, and thank you for making it!' you're absolutely right in terms of both the qualitative difference and the impact on mood. to be 'in remission' is to live anxiously, with the executioners axe always poised over our heads. Since we are ALL on 'borrowed time' with the axe poised, it makes sense to celebrate fully, rather than with the tepid phrase, 'remission.'

    I LIKE this approach!

  11. I agree with you Lee, I do not like the term remission either. And for the same reasons......I much prefer to think that you have beaten the cancer you have now, and if you get it again, it is a new fight.

    Mom got non-Hodgkins lymphoma when Scott Graduated from High school, he is now it can be beat.....

  12. Wonderful news :) I couldn't agree more with your evaluation of the word. Its ( remission ) a word i put up there with "tolerate" that word annoys me :(


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