Tag Archives: Cancer

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

Diamond-Blackfan anemia and tap shoes

Jill Purtee Surprise, Arizona, United States   Tap Shoes. Siaron James. 2003. CC BY 2.0 Forty years ago I worked in a four-bed pediatric intensive care unit nestled in the pediatric ward. Every few weeks amongst the beeps and alarms, I heard the clicking of tap shoes coming down the pediatric ward hallway. My morning […]

Hidden Heroes

Candace Thomas Salt Lake City, Utah, United States   Designed by ArthurHidden / Freepik Being a blood banker is an interesting job and one not many understand. “So you draw people’s blood?” No, that’s a phlebotomist. “Oh, but you work in a hospital. Are you a nurse?” No. “If I donate blood, can I request […]

The oncologist’s mask

Prasad Iyer Timah Road, Singapore   H.J. Pollitt: Hypnotized. Frederick H. Evans. Early 20th century. Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a pediatric oncologist I have learned to put on an invisible mask before seeing my patients and their parents. I try to bring them some cheer and keep the enveloping darkness at bay, if only […]

Origins of the Pap smear

When Dr. Georgios Papanikolaou brought his wife to America in 1913 he had $250 in his pocket. Both had to take menial jobs, she as a seamstress, he as a rug salesman, violin player in a restaurant, and clerk at a Greek newspaper. A year later, he obtained a position as laboratory technician at Cornell […]

Réquiem

Prasad Iyer Singapore   Poet’s statement: This poem expresses the feelings of parents who have recently lost a child to cancer. The first stanza deals with sadness, the second with guilt, and the last one with acceptance.   Death with a Child, from the series The Five Deaths. Stefano della Bella. 1648. Fine Arts Museum […]

Some subjects are given

Michael Salcman Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Self-portrait with fiddling Death. Arnold Böcklin. 1872. Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin   Some subjects are given to the authors of poems and songs, of mechanical puzzles and lives, given over and over like a spiking fever in an old TB ward or the low level irritation of a cancer […]

Drawing the chemotherapy chair

Juliet McMullin California, United States   Brewing Chemo. By Matt Freedman, Relatively Indolent but Relentless: A Cancer Treatment Journal. Copyright© 2014 by Matt Freedman. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Seven Stories Press, www.sevenstories.com. “Arrangement in Grey and Black” is a panel from Brian Fies’ comic Mom’s Cancer (2006). […]

The other kingdom

Jamie Samson Dublin, Ireland   Death and life by Gustav Klimt. The radical “otherness” of death is a fixture of art history, as illustrated here in Klimt’s ‘Death and Life’. 1915. Leopold Museum, Vienna “Everyone who is born,” Susan Sontag wrote in Illness as Metaphor, “holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and […]