March 10, 2010
to thine own self, be true
My phone chirps its Simpson's quote, "(ralph's high pitched tone) Hello, I'm doctor stupid. I'm going to take out your liver bone. (thwack) Oops, you're dead..... (mr. burns) I never liked that doctor stupid." I really need to change that. At home and amongst friends, it's hilarious. At MD Anderson - the #1 cancer center in the word - not so much. But I digress. By the tone of my brother's voice, I can tell it's good news. FINALLY. A bullet we can finally dodge. His head CT scan came back clean. And believe you me, I could use some good news because I f*$(#$d up big time. We were trying to get his 2nd biopsy sample sent down to MD Anderson for a second opinion. Through miscommunication that left me with a monstrous pit in my heart, they sent the WHOLE sample down to MD Anderson and kept nothing for themselves. What do you do with that? You really want to be responsible for delaying treatment, especially for your brother? As a physician, I think you've gotta have skin thick as steel. You can't let setbacks get to you. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Learn from your mistake and try to make it right. So before visiting MD Anderson to drop his imaging CDs off, I went deep inside my soul. Everyone in my family worries when I do that. Not even my wife is fully comfortable with it. I can still remember early in our marriage when my wife came home from work with all the lights off and me sitting in the dark listening to music. No one seems to trust that as an introvert, while it's immensely painful to visit the dark side, it's also a source of enormous creativity and strength. And so I asked myself - who are you??? And once again, the physician in me stood up and answered. If you are, then suck it up and get back on the horse. And so I did because in the final analysis, what else could I do? I've never wanted to be a doctor more than this moment in my life.