Denial for a short period can help caregivers and patients to cope. Yet when prolonged denial begins to stand in the way of the patient's treatment, comfort, or well-being, it's no longer helpful to anyone.
If it takes a village to raise a child, you might say it also takes one to care for the sick. Cancer is at once personal and communal. And yet, caring for the sick can feel like writing a travelogue about a country you've never visited. You can't know where you haven't been.