July 10, 2015


"Nay, I will not walk backward in life," said Turin.
- Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien.

     We step out of the elevator on the 29th floor looking for the correct office suite.  But it is not hard to find as it takes up the entire 29th floor.  On the wall is an unmistakable sign but I only see one word.  Oncology.  A lump in my throat takes hold, I take a deep breath and then walk in followed by my wife and parents.  We are at an oncologist's office.  A cancer doctor. Again.  Is it cancer?  Is it something less ominous?  We don't know yet.  But it is beyond the realm of a family doctor.
     This role is foreign to me.  Fate has placed me squarely time and time again in the role of doctor/caregiver of family members.  But what do I do when I am now the patient?  It was the doctor side of me that got me quickly in to see an oncologist.  It was the doctor side of me that reached out to colleagues and had three separate opinions before I even met the oncologist.  In the room, I can't help but ask about certain tests.  But the patient finally had his say.  I tell the doctor my family history and can see the grimace on his face when with my eyes turning red but my voice firm, I then say, "so when I had an abnormal and bizarre result.........it scared the shit out of me."

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