Start with one excellent childhood experience—a loved one who is cured. Add a generous helping of baseline optimism, a cup at least. More is better. Mix in well a half cup of ability to suspend disbelief. And then, maybe a pinch more. Add a teaspoon or two or even three of denial. Pollyanna had it… Continue reading How To Become A Cancer Doctor
A couple of weeks ago my nurse came to me with a request for a consultation. Since our schedule has been packed full lately, she’s been asking me where I can squeeze patients in. She said, “I’m not sure about this one—he says you treated him twenty years ago and he wants to see you. … Continue reading The Glass Is Half Full
When I was about ten years old, swimming on a Texas swim team, I remember hearing that the child of one of the local coaches had been diagnosed with leukemia. The idea of a kid dying of an untreatable disease was so foreign to me that I am sure that I have blocked out most… Continue reading When Life Gives You Lemons
In the spring of our freshman year at Yale, my roommates and I were shocked to open the Sunday New York Times, so fashionable at brunch in the dining halls, and see an article written by one of our very own classmates in the Times Magazine. Called “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life,”(http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/13/specials/maynard-mag.html)… Continue reading The Wisdom of Youth
Occasionally, something I write gets picked up on another of the “social media” outlets, and as with this blog, the responses I get are truly appreciated and provide me with insight into others’ points of view. After my essay about the tragedy of Newtown, CT last Friday night, one reader responded: “ I wonder why… Continue reading Where Has All The Good News Gone?
When I was 30 years old, I learned the true meaning of optimism. During my residency, I was fortunate enough to have as a mentor one of the world’s greatest radiation oncologists for head and neck cancer. This man was born in China to two Chinese Christian missionary parents. He and his twin brother were… Continue reading FIFTY/FIFTY