Stopping treatment after having breast cancer can be both liberating and terrifying. While it may be nice to end the treatments and medications and the side effects and complications that can go with them, it can also be scary to leave the almost constant care of doctors and the treatments that got you to the point where you are now. However, there is an increasing demand for continued care for survivors, not just patients, and oncologists are stepping up to take on this responsibility.
In December 1997, I visited with my aunt, a seven-year breast cancer survivor. In March of 1998, she died from breast cancer that had spread throughout her body. I traveled to her funeral, delaying my own appointment with a breast surgeon who was treating me for an apparent infection. Returning from the funeral, I saw the surgeon…