Much of the distress caused by cancer originates in the images of death associated with this disease which make it an especially frightening experience. The anxiety and pain caused by the fear of losing their child causes parents to adopt attitudes that they have virtually no control over and that affect their child in spite of themselves. Even when the child recovers and has no visible traces of disease, can his or her family act normally towards someone who has escaped from a world of which they want to know nothing? The "recovery process" can take place only if the images of suffering and death associated with the period of disease cease to be active. It is important that the parents and child be given the opportunity to talk of this period of their lives, so that the formerly ill child can be once again "one among the others", although different from the others and from the person he or she would have been without such an extreme ordeal which reveals inner truths of which most never become aware. It seems reasonable to hope that therapeutic advances and improved information on the possibilities of recovery will separate the image of cancer from that of death, leading to an attenuation of the effects described herein.