Dr. Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, cancer survivor, and award-winning and best-selling author of books about cancer: Healthy Survivorship, recovery and late effects, and raising children when a parent has cancer. She is also a public speaker, patient advocate, and mother of three.
When I was in practice I had little free time. During those precious minutes when I was not responsible for the care of my patients or my children, I was highly selective with what I was willing to read or do. But I paid a price.
Yesterday's postintroduced the topic of mammology, a field of medicine that would specialize in diseases of the breast. I say "would" because no such specialty exists today. What's a person with breast problems to do until then?
We have doctors of the heart (cardiologists), lungs (pulmonologists), nervous system (neurologists), and even the rectum (proctologists). But we don't have doctors of the breast (i.e., mammologists). Is this a problem?
A friend of mine sat with her extended family outside the ICU where her loved one was fighting for her life. Over the next few days, one particular doctor said and did things that were distinctly "un-healing" for the family.
The patient died. After the funeral, my friend was torn: She didn't want to cause any problems, but she felt an obligation to do something.
In the prelude to Why Faith Matters, Rabbi David Wolpe describes his visit to the bedside of a friend, Isaac, who was dying of cancer. Knowing the Rabbi had been through chemo, too, Isaac asks, "why did it happen to you?"