Myelodysplastic Syndromes: The Cost of a Cancer Cure

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"Invariably they come to the realization that they wouldn't be having the conversation if they hadn't taken the original chemotherapy," he said. "They say, 'I'm lucky to be alive; now let's deal with whatever's next.'"

Langer agrees that when it comes to MDS, "attitude is everything."

"You can really scare yourself into thinking the worst and hearing scary narratives from other people. But when you go through it, and once you're on other side of it, it's not as bad as you thought it was going to be," she said.

After five MDS-free years, Langer will be considered cured -- a survivor, for the second time.

"I know this sounds cliché, but you learn some really valuable lessons that can't help but creep their way back into your life," she said of life after cancer and MDS. "We cancer survivors can do some great things."

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