Gifts of the Magi

In my mind’s eye, I see them coming—a long processional stretching back years, each with a different cloak of disease, each with a small receptacle.  They come bearing gifts  for me, their doctor—a small box,  a carefully folded tissue, a child’s sippy cup (the top tightly closed), and occasionally, yes, toilet paper. What are these… Continue reading Gifts of the Magi

Fire and Ice

“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice…..”     Robert Frost Sometimes there is a very fine line between doing too much, and not doing enough.   I have been thinking about this lately as I watch patients go through radiation therapy.  It’s not  just the acute side effects that worry me with… Continue reading Fire and Ice

You Took Your Dog’s Medicine, REALLY?

I was lecturing to a group of medical students on Tuesday –it was their first introduction to breast cancer and I was determined to make those two hours as exciting as possible.   They had just started their second year, and after the first, spent entirely learning about the “science” of medicine, they were eager to… Continue reading You Took Your Dog’s Medicine, REALLY?


When I was ten years old, there were only two things in life that I loved beyond question:  horses and my Nana.  Nana, whose real name was Jenny Silver, was my maternal grandmother.  She and my grandfather, known of course as Papa, lived in Augusta, Georgia on a tree shaded street in the true heart… Continue reading Nana

TANSTAAFL, or There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch!

Robert Heinlein got it right.  In “The Moon is A Harsh Mistress”, sometime in the future, we colonize the moon.   But we don’t send our best and brightest, we send our criminals, our misfits, our dregs of society.  They eke out a hard living in this future penal colony:  their language becomes muted, shortened;  their… Continue reading TANSTAAFL, or There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch!