April 18, 2011


I once had a lecture from an ENT (ear, nose, throat doc) who told the story of a patient with esophageal cancer.  The cancer got into the vocal cords and they had to be removed.  The doc told the patient, "I didn't take your voice, the cancer did.  I removed the cancer."  The doc was in essence telling the patient, "if you're looking for something to blame, don't blame me for loss of your voice.  Blame the cancer."  It seems an important distinction.  I thought it a relevant and interesting way to look at things so I filed it away in the back of my mind.

It seems relevant now.  I get the sense that both my dad and brother think of themselves as a burden.  We were all raised to be independent and self-sufficient, so for them to have to rely constantly on other people must be a hard pill to swallow.  So I now say to them, "You are not the burden.  The cancer is the burden."

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