Tag Archives: Cancer

Soul power

Shannon Adams-Hartung Chicago, Illinois, United States   Cooking fried supper for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas’ Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030967-M4. Soul food has deep historical, cultural, and economic […]

Romantique

Jonathan B. Ferrini La Jolla, California, United States   “Forest Stream.” Photo by John D. on Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. “I live in a world of spring showers of acrylic and watercolor droplets painting the score on the pavement of a Chopin nocturne.” These were the last words my brother Marshal spoke to me ten […]

A celebrated occasion

Eli Ehrenpreis Chicago, Illinois, United States   Artwork by Annie Trincot.       She arrives at the office early, looking as if she stepped from a portrait. Her blue eyes glimmer with tears. “My gynecologist has been treating me for hemorrhoids, but the bleeding has been getting worse. It started when I had my […]

Book review: The Imaginary Patient: How Diagnosis Gets Us Wrong

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of The Imaginary Patient: How Diagnosis Gets Us Wrong. Making the right diagnosis is central to the medical encounter. A doctor always started off by taking a history, examining the patient, and sometimes performing additional tests. But when a creditable diagnosis could not be made, the medical profession […]

Denis Parsons Burkitt

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. 7-year-old boy with Burkitt’s lymphoma involving his right mandible (A) before treatment and (B) after treatment by Burkitt.3   Aphorisms from wise medical men and women have fallen out of fashion. Because each line is to a degree debatable, one of my favorites is: Attitudes are more important […]

Bone headdress

Susan Sample Salt Lake City, Utah, United States After artwork created by a person with cancer   Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses. Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1931. Art Institute of Chicago. No known restrictions on publication. Why tens of bones linked with silver chain into an earthly veil? I gaze at other entries: hand-stitched quilts […]

Dream on

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Footsteps in the forest. Photo by Nicholas D. on Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. Chart This is a 32-year-old female with widely metastatic breast cancer admitted to the hospital for control of shortness of breath and pain. ____ Melissa sits slumped, mouth open, snoring. I pull a chair […]

“Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Hair loss in child with tinea capitis infection. CDC, 1970. Public domain. Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, […]

Revising my bargain with the deity

Barry Perlman New York, New York, United States   Photo by S. Tsuchiya on Unsplash. My parents lived into their nineties. Before they died, they endured years of dementia. Aware of my potential genetic inheritance, I have long harbored a deep dread of what my future might hold. If my curved pinky fingers were inherited […]

Piano lessons

James Stemmle West Virginia, United States   Watercolor by author. The piano teacher was angry, irritable, incontinent, and in pain. Dying of cancer, she eventually went home with hospice care. The hospice lady asked, “What would a good day look like?” They rigged things in her home to live at least one good day: a […]