The Leaky Roof

In this dry Southwestern part of the United States, there are only two seasons:  fire season and rainy season.  Fire season will end in another month, hopefully without further casualties or homes lost. The rainy season will start, such as it is.  Here we average 9 inches of rain a year, and we are perpetually… Continue reading The Leaky Roof

My Father’s Hands

I never gave my hands much thought until a few years ago.  They were never pretty, but they were functional serviceable hands that did what they were asked—I could examine a patient, type fast and accurately enough, and everyone always told me that my handwriting was outstanding.  That has always been a point of pride… Continue reading My Father’s Hands


At one of the boarding and training stables where I took riding lessons, there was a custom passed down through generations of instructors and eager children.  If a horse managed to unseat a young rider, the slightly bruised and dirty little victim was allowed to pull a few strands of said horse’s tail.  The instructor… Continue reading Atonement

Cancer is a Word, Not a Sentence

I am the one who doesn’t like to fast forward during the commercials.  While others get up from the couch for a bathroom break, to grab a beer, take a phone call, or interrupt our programming to discuss the new season of whichever show we happen to be watching, I sit riveted to the screen.… Continue reading Cancer is a Word, Not a Sentence

I’ll Take the Sexy Name

When it comes to radiation therapy products, the high tech companies really outdo themselves with names.  It seems to me that the higher the price tag on the item, the more thought goes into the label.  Varian, the largest manufacturer of linear accelerators, trumped its competition with the moniker on its latest linac, the “TrueBeam”. … Continue reading I’ll Take the Sexy Name


For Donna,  Linda and Kelly When I was an Internal Medicine intern, my very first rotation was in the Coronary Care Unit, aka “the CCU.”  Nothing could be more frightening to both the intern and the patient than an acute myocardial infarction the first week in July.  It is a well-known fact that hospital mortality… Continue reading NURSE!!

What Does Your Mommy Do For a Living?

The year was 1997, and my youngest was having his sixth birthday.  What he wanted for his party was for me to take him and his friends to the local amusement park.  They would have free access to the rides, swarm the arcade, play on the ersatz beach with its immense man made waves, and… Continue reading What Does Your Mommy Do For a Living?

If Wishes Were Horses

For Missy Is there any woman alive who can’t recite the old nursery rhyme “If wishes were horses,then beggars would ride”?  The line is etched into the memory of every little girl who ever wanted a pony, but its true lineage dates back to James Carmichael’s Proverbs of Scots circa 1628 when the original read … Continue reading If Wishes Were Horses

Who Wants to be First?

After much preparation, we opened our new radiation therapy department in September 2008.  Many many elements and “players” had to come together to produce a new state of the art community cancer center.  No detail was overlooked– the existing space had to be renovated  to create a more “zen-like” work flow and feel; the front… Continue reading Who Wants to be First?