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Showing posts from June, 2015

Double Duty~

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There are countless stories sitting in the upholstered chairs in Dana Farber Cancer Center's waiting rooms, feet resting on worn spots in the carpet, where so many other feet have rested in the past. Most stories will go untold.

But sometimes a person opens up and shares a little.
Bruce and I were seated diagonally behind a man who was waiting to be called for his blood draw. I noticed a little Chihuahua peering at me from beneath the man’s legs; he was drinkingfrom a PETCO watering dish. When the man scooped him up, I realized there was a larger dog lying on the floor. 


So I sauntered by to get a cup of coffee. Actually, I didn't care about the coffee; it was the dogs I wanted to see.The man gave me a smile so I asked about the dogs, which, he said, are trained companion dogs.
He told me he was at one time a nurse, but he almost died on the job when he unexpectedly passed out and had to be intubated. What a way to find out you're allergic to latex! He’s also al…

Dana Farber, Here We come!

Cancer is a stealthy opponent, wreaking damage before you suspect its presence.

The first inkling that Bruce might be facing “something” was last summer. I was headed to the beach with a friend, while he was headed to the doctors for his annual CT scan by his cardiologist, who regularly checks the size of his aortic aneurism.
We’d thought the aneurysm was a big deal when it was first discovered several years ago! It was! But in effect, it was, if not life saving, the issue that got B into cancer treatment sooner than otherwise. For that, we thank the dreaded aneurysm.
When I got to the beach I decided to call B and see how his appointment went.
“The good news,” he tells me, “is that the aneurysm is stable; it hasn’t grown in size. But,” he tells me in what sounds like a nonchalant voice, “the scan shows a spot on my tenth rib.
So I matched his nonchalant tone, “Lots of times the spots turn out to be nothing—just shadows," I tell him.
I stayed at the beach, went swimming, jumped waves…

Doctor Perfect~

Bruce has treatments at Dana Farber every Thursday. Between his blood draw and infusion, we take the elevator to the third floor cafeteria for a late lunch.

The fact that I spotted a doctor eating lunch was no big deal … except for one thing: he was striking! He was the absolute epitome of a “doctor,” the kind you see in TV ads—white coat, white hair, open, friendly expression, grandfatherly, a concerned expression while he reads information (about some patient awaiting a diagnosis, I imagined). And … he was reading on his lunch break, no less. Perfect doctor!

I nudged my husband. “Doesn’t that doctor look almost like a FAKE doctor?” I asked.

“What do you mean? He looks pretty real to me.” Bruce is very literal.

“He’s real, obviously, but he looks exactly like the stereotypical person an advertising agency would cast as a doctor. Don’t you think?”

Bruce agreed.

When we got up to toss our trash, I followed Bruce right past Doctor Perfect.



I was almost by him when I impulsively stop…