Tag Archives: tumor

Metastatic sarcoma

Tulsi Patel Chicago, Illinois, United States   His big regret was never building his son a trampoline, now locked away in the shed like some treasure chest he can’t open. Eyes welling up, he says to me proudly, resignedly “16 tumors” before he coughs up a river of rotten red roses. A Foot Bridge, North […]

Drama in brief

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Winter foliage. Photo by author. Four years earlier I had had the sad duty to announce her debut as a protagonist on the stage of cancer. Now I was witnessing the last act. She came to the first visit with her elder sister, an old acquaintance from our student days […]

Sacrifice

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Ruins of the basilica of St. Achillios, Lake Prespa, Greece. Photo by the author. The supine and inert feminine form has been reduced to a few square centimeters of uncovered skin between the jaw and the sternum. Strategically placed green surgical drapes shroud the rest of the body. A series […]

Life lessons from death

Pedro T. Lima Recife, Brazil   Death and Life, 1918. Gustav Klimt. Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria. Via Wikimedia “How would you like to die?” the professor asked without breaking eye contact. I averted my gaze to ponder the question, but no answers came to mind. “I’ve never thought about it. I guess that I would […]

St. Audrey Etheldrida

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Medicine is full of strange tales, some with unforeseen ramifications. I recently discovered that the origins of the useful word “tawdry” surprisingly lay in a tumor of the throat—nature unspecified—of a seventh-century saint. St. Audrey, Etheldrida, or Æþelðryþ, born c. 636 AD, was an English princess generally referred to […]

Terminal digit preference

Marshall Lichtman  Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. There are three types of sphygmomanometer; mercury, aneroid, and digital. This figure is of a manual aneroid sphygmomanometer. The rubber pump is used to raise the cuff pressure above the patient’s systolic pressure and then the pressure is released by unscrewing slowly the small valve […]

Canadian contributions to the study of pathology

Guillermo Quinonez Laurette Geldenhuys Nova Scotia, Canada   John George Adami, Head of the Department of Pathology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada, author of The Principles of Pathology. Wikipedia Canadian and American medicine in general, and pathology in particular, have developed in parallel and in synchrony since the nineteenth century. Despite Canada’s limited population, scientific cultural […]

A form of pain

Ifediba Nzube Port Harcourt, Nigeria   Èsù the trickster by Onyeji Prince. For Yewande, pain is Èsù slapping her head like a bata drum. But no one sees that; they see only a tumor pushing out her left eye, up her palate, and through her nostrils. Most days she smells like meat gone green. The […]

The smell of burning rubber: the fatal illness of George Gershwin

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, USA   George Gershwin, 28 March 1937. Photograph by Carl Van Vetchen. 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division. On the morning of Monday July 12, 1937, New Yorkers who had just suffered through five days of a heat wave that left thirty-eight people dead, awoke to read on […]

Unfinished business: end of life care and regrets in the films of Akira Kurosawa

X.M. Griffiths Tuckahoe, NY, USA   Director Akira Kurosawa (center) with actors Takashi and Miki Odagiri on the set of Ikiru (1952). Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. Death and mortality were recurrent themes in Akira Kurosawa’s works but the director examined the issues most acutely in the films Ikiru (1952) and […]