Her recent history was marked by a rather rapid decline over the past 2 months. Long dormant melanoma now spread widely. Her family filled the room. She sat there, still, eyes closed, the pale yellow of advanced liver failure painted on every inch of her body.
In the field of oncology, we are fortunate to possess a vast and ever-expanding trove of knowledge, and we now have a sufficient foundation of knowledge in many cancers to afford ourselves the luxury of striving to seek wisdom as well.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a magical time that brings out the child in each of us. You can keep your Santa Claus and your Tooth Fairy, I believe in the warm and fuzzy feeling of breast cancer awareness.
Through its direct mail pieces, print ads, and commercials, my treatment center positions itself as a Shangri-La where all patients bask in the sensitive and professional care of their multidisciplinary team. How very different this picture is from my regular sojourns to the nuclear medicine department in the bowels of the hospital.
When someone states they are “tired,” it prompts follow-up questions regarding activity, sleep, diet, and stress, among other things—just as a complaint of pain leads to where, what kind, and how long.