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3 years ago, my brother-in-law died of cancer that he had battled for a few years. At first there were treatments – a surgery, then attempts with some experimental drugs. David lost his hair, and he had to be very careful about infections. Then at one point, it was clear that he wasn’t going to recover. In his last couple of years of life, Dave’s outlook was deepened. Being around him gave you a sense that he was making the most of every moment, because he knew that his days were limited. And we listened and watched. You just don’t have that kind of an experience and go on like nothing happened.

Let’s say you get a diagnosis like that. Then, after a week of letting that soak in, another test reveals that it’s suddenly vanished. There’s no trace of it. The cancer is gone, and your life is back. Would you go back to being the same old person you were ...

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