In 2000, my husband Brian was diagnosed with Stage III B Hodgkin lymphoma, which has since become a prominent part of our lives. My children and I belong to Gilda's Club, a cancer support community. And recently, we were asked to help record a promotional video to be featured at a fundraising gala for the local chapter and on the club's website. I'm not a "spotlight" kind of girl, and I ...

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In high school and college, I waitressed in a Dunkin’ Donuts shop that sat between Boston Common and the Combat Zone’s porn shops, strip clubs, and bars. The wages paid for school, clothes, rent, and food. At the time, I didn't realize this job would provide useful skills for my later medical career, an early pre-med training of sorts. Look the part. I donned the bubblegum pink polyester uniform that clearly identified ...

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I first met her in the urgent care at the cancer center when I was on call one night. She was beautiful: 53 years old, four adult sons, and in incredible pain. She had stage 4 breast cancer, and unbeknownst to her, she had a metastatic lesion in her femoral neck, which she had fractured about four weeks ago. But she'd just had a spine operation for mets in her ...

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“Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave, and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.” - Alice Childress, American playwright, actor, author (1912-1994) I am awakened in the wee hours by the sound of rain.  Ordinarily I would return to bed in hope of stealing more sleep from night, but this particular day I know I have to rise at 4:30 ...

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This post is based on a "friend of a friend" situation. Important details have been changed to protect anonymity, but not the basic realities I want to discuss. A 49-year old man was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer about a year and a half ago. This sad situation is compounded by the fact that he was in a stable marriage with a wife and two children, ages 10 ...

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My daughter's biggest fear before starting kindergarten was would she have enough time to finish her lunch in the time allotted. Luckily, she is not a busy medical oncologist in clinic. A medical clinic is not set up for those who take their time. Modern medicine is predicated that within a fifteen-minute visit, you are expected to see the patient, address their issues, place orders, and come up with a ...

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asco-logo “So, what's your story?” I knew right away what the medical oncologist was really asking. She and I were meeting for the first time while caring for a mutual patient. While getting to know each other, she asked me if I had children; when I answered in the affirmative, she asked me, “So, what's your story?” The question meant many things ...

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asco-logo Many of the couples that I see in my practice grow closer after the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. I describe it as being forged by the searing flames of this dreaded disease. First, comes the terror of the diagnosis and the fear of losing one’s love. I see it in the eyes of the women and men as they sit ...

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asco-logo I believe in miracles. That might sound odd coming from an oncologist --especially since our field is driven by the data. Our path forward continues to be built through trials and the collaboration between clinicians and patients, working together to forge a better way to treat cancer. I certainly believe in evidence, but still … I believe in ...

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the most beloved stories of all time. It is a classic story with a theme that resonates as we end the year and commence a new one. The story revolves around the main character examining his past, present, and future. He realized that key events have shaped his life and turned him into the man he is. Before the story ends, ...

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