Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Every couple of months my husband and I head from our home in New Hampshire to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where Joe gets a series of scans and we meet with his oncologist to hear whether his cancer has progressed. And for each of these trips, we pack an overnight bag, just in case the doctors find something that would necessitate immediate medical treatment.

Packing a suitcase in anticipation of bad news is part of what we have come to call our “plan for the worst, hope f

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