A tale of two families dealing with cancer

There is more to a diagnosis of serious disease than medical treatment and clinical outcome.

A life-threatening illness such as cancer can have a catastrophic impact on family relationships. Conversely it can bring people together in life-affirming ways.

Two contrasting cases recently presented themselves to me in quick succession.

Michelle is a 41-year-old Indigenous friend and patient of mine. She has an invasive cervical sarcomatous malignancy which is resistant to further radiotherapy.

She is a