Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Tracing wisps of hair

Miriam Rosen Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States   Child’s Play by Miriam Rosen  My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was fourteen. For the next nine years, she lived her life with elegance and seemed to do it with ease. She continued her psychiatry practice, only gradually reducing the number of patients she saw. She […]

Cancer warrior

Thanuja Subramaniam Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Photo by cottonbro from Pexels  Eight months ago, my brother was diagnosed with stage 2 urothelial carcinoma. For months he had been telling me that his urine had “a tinge of red” to it. I dismissed it as dehydration, since he was young but did not take good care of himself. Some […]

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 […]

Drawing the chemotherapy chair

Juliet McMullin California, USA   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). Objects […]

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 […]

Avulsions

Torree McGowan Culver, Oregon, USA   The Chasm between the Then and The Now. Photo by the author, taken near Denali National Park. There are moments in life that serve as a dividing line. These instants sharply incise our worlds into before and after, the then and the now. Moments shimmer like a crystalline barrier, […]

That hospital smell

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, USA “Caricature of a Man with a Large Nose” by Claude Monet. 1855/56. Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison Collection. Public Domain. What smells good to you? Do you know why? To many people smell seems of little significance, yet it is a powerful sense, […]

Chemo Room

Sarah Smith Pike Road, Alabama, USA   Chemotherapy iv. National Cancer Institute. Photo Credit: Linda Bartlett Cancer makes me glad I am fat. Mr. Weiss, two chairs down from Jack and me today, does not agree. Two months ago, Mr. Weiss tried to convince me of the importance of keeping in shape and maintaining a healthy weight. […]

Shaking hands

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece     Alonissos Island, the Aegean, Greece There is a fine but clearly visible tremor in the pale, smooth, well-groomed hands of my visitor. He makes an effort to keep his face still and composed, lips forcedly stiff, eyes unsmiling, the whole look somber. “I have had a new scan,” he […]

Not by blood

Simon Edber Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States     Child Seated on a Sofa (1883) by Mary Cassatt National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection Raven knows exactly how she joined the family: “She didn’t want me so she took me to the hospital, and then you came and bought me from the hospital.” Well, almost […]