Thursday, October 11, 2007

I ran into my oncologist today

It's been nearly 2 years since I last saw him and 3 since he discharged me as a patient. I totally blanked on his name. I can't keep my kids straight, so that's nothing unusual. He, however, has a phenomenal memory - even asking if I still worked in the same place (not the hospital where I bumped into him). By name. Amazing.

I need to write a note thanking him for all that he did for me. I provided him with very little excitement in the way of complications of care, but - as with virtually all cancer patients -- more than a little complexity in my need for support.

He and his partners were always upbeat when it was appropriate. One of the partners would periodically pop into the waiting room with a brief comedy routine (always different). Another, who had never seen me, hunted down a test report that came in while he was on vacation.

What I remember above all else is that he wasn't afraid to use the "C" word.

No, not that one. At my first visit to his office, he told me that he thought it very likely that treatment would lead to a cure. Not a word I expected to hear from him for years, if at all.

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