Tag Archives: oncologist

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 […]

Tashima syndrome

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Let us now praise famous men.” — Ecclesiasticus 44:1   Research at the NIAMS Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, September 6, 2012. NIH Image Gallery on Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. It has been a tradition in medicine […]

Modern day obstinacy: the persistence of pangalintaw

Halima Abdulmaguid North Cotabato, Philippines   A Doctor’s Substitute by Mr. Jihad Pangandigan. In the first week of June, my mother was rushed to the hospital because her cough was getting worse and her shoulder pain no longer bearable. On her x-ray film we saw that half of her lungs were not visible; there was fluid […]

Parental grief

Ellen Zhang Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels We didn’t know the ending because this was us back then. Sometimes wanting is not enough. When the oncologist spoke. While you started to cry only because your mother did. As we cradled you gently. Beyond the singularity of such moments. There […]

No complaints, only symptoms

Peter Arnold  Sydney, Australia   Aerial view of Sydney Harbour. 2015. Photo by user Whiteghost.ink, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0 “No complaints, only symptoms,” I told my cardiologist this year. How dare I complain? I am eighty-four. Thirty-two years have passed since my quintuple coronary artery bypass; eighteen years since a diagnosis, in one of […]

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 […]

Poppy power

John Graham-Pole Gainesville, Florida, United States   Dr. Graham-Pole with cancer patient, Bridget. At the time of the photo, Bridget had life-threatening cancer requiring opioids, and is now a successful artist. Author photo. The poppy’s juice . . .brings the sleep to dear Mama — Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse for Good Children   In […]

On being a spousal caregiver

William Black Knoxville, Tennessee, United States   When I was 55 years old, and had been in the private practice of Internal Medicine and Nephrology for 22 years, my wife Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis she already had widespread bony metastases. Five weeks later, I came home one […]

The god that I know

Rae Brown Lexington, Kentucky, USA   When we start down the road toward medical school and residency, the idealists among us have a picture of the kind of physicians they will become. Our perception of the future rarely coincides with the reality that we often face. Ideally, principles that conflict with our own view of […]

Time

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Photography by Aldaron Selfishly, time is either too short or too long, the moment never appreciated. Mrs. Jones was a 69-year-old female with widely metastatic ovarian cancer, diagnosed during an emergency room visit for abdominal pain. After consultation with an oncologist, she elected to forgo chemotherapy and […]