The cover of Rochester Medicine has a photo of the handsome CEO of my alma mater. Dr. Bradford Berk was a successful cardiologist and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. An avid athlete, on May 30, 2009 he was thrown from his bicycle after the driver of a car unintentionally pushed him off the road.
That sentence reminded me of how I, too, knew right away what it meant when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1990. But I did not experience anything like the sense of peace Berk then describes.
"...at that moment I made this peace with myself. If I got through this and afterwards if I did not need a ventilator but I was able to move in a wheelchair on my own, that would be OK,' he said."
OK? To lose the ability to feed himself, walk, have sex, dress himself, ? OK...Really?
Apparently so. Instead of feeling devastated, he was grateful that his brain was not injured. He believed he could and would accept a dramatically changed life, as long as he could still be "Dr. Berk." All he asked was to be able to continue contributing his ideas to better the medical center. And to continue to love and cherish his wife and children.
Tomorrow I'll address whether this was a meaningless outburst in the setting of shock and acute trauma, or something more.