It should be easy, right? I mean, I am a professional with what feels like eons of training. So how can an oncologist with years of experience fail at perhaps the most important question a patient can ask, ”How long do I have, Doc?” It’s not that I want to avoid the question. Well, okay, sometimes I do. It’s not the most pleasant of conversations to have. But really, I don’t ...

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I believe the role that God plays in our lives is often magnified during times of great suffering. How we perceive that role is a question of faith, often strong and steadfast in some, especially my patients, but sometimes unreliable and inconvenient to others, like myself, on a journey of understanding and acceptance. During the terminal stages of my grandmother’s colon cancer, I recall her saying, “Je pense que le Bon ...

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Leukemia crept into my home and attacked my wifes body “Look at all those beautiful little white flowers,” I said to my wife. “I don’t remember seeing them there before.” In the neglected ten-by-thirty foot corner of our garden, a crop of white flowers began to emerge toward the end of the summer. “You never saw them because they are weeds,” my wife said. “What do you mean … weeds?” I asked. “They are beautiful!” “Weeds ...

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I mustered up the courage to visit Mary today. Pulling into her driveway, I was greeted with the majesty of autumnal brilliance—golds, rusts, and crimsons set against a brilliant azure sky. A bold display of nature’s defiance against the upcoming long winter’s sleep. Not to be ignored, those leaves that had flamed out early chattered against my every step as I slowly ambled toward the doorway. I took a deep breath and ...

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