Category Archives: Cancer

The Moth Radio Quarter-Hour

In this Moth piece, a therapist describes her journey with a patient whose cancer returns. After hours of sessions, what two word sentence is the most comforting? Take 15 minutes to listen to Segment 1 below (click >> arrow). Image … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Storytelling

Who am I?

That might be the question Jean Valjean is asking, but hopefully we’re all taking some time in the new year for self-reflection. Yet how do we define ourselves? Pause a moment before diving into 2013 to read Daniel Levitin’s probing piece … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Memory, Neuroscience

Playing Doctor

There’s a column over at McSweeney’s called “Playing Doctor” which breaks down the complex choreography of standardized patient encounters. In medical school, students learn history-taking and physical exam by practicing on actors who play patients. Robert Isenberg, an actor and … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Education

What might have been

Mona Simpson, sister of Steve Jobs and visionary in her own right, describes Jobs’ mind’s perpetual motion even at the end. Be sure to read the beautiful eulogy in its entirety. Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer

The Good Doctor – JAMA

Shekinah Elmore, medical student and rhabdosarcoma survivor, has a fantastic piece in JAMA about humanism in medicine. How can we educate medical students to preserve the caring instinct? From the first day of orientation, we’re taught that medicine is holistic … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Education, Hidden curriculum, Humanism

Cancer screening

Roger Ebert, a survivor of thyroid cancer, reflects on two new films and his own experiences with illness –  50/50 and Restless. We need films like this. They help us deal with life, not death. There is a film that … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Film

Comics & Medicine: Part 1

There’s been an avalanche of comics and medicine news recently, and like any true medical specialty, now there’s a conference! The second annual Comics and Medicine conference was held June 9-11, entitled The Sequential Art of Illness, at Northwestern University. … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Cancer, Chronic illness, Comics, Literature, Storytelling

Laughing at life

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as buddies in a new dramedy, 50/50, about a young man diagnosed with cancer. One of the writers, Will Reiser, is Rogen’s real-life friend who’s struggled with the disease. There’s a surprising amount of … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Film

The Emperor of All Maladies

Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist and author of The Emperor of All Maladies, recently received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of cancer. The book is both scientifically enlightening and humanistic in its approach to suffering patients, not to mention Mukherjee’s beautifully … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Humanism, Literature, Physician authors

All you need is love

Sadie Bond is just one year old, and both of her parents have cancer. Nathan and Elisa Bond, both 30-something parents in Brooklyn, were diagnosed this year within two weeks of each other. They’ve started a blog to chronicle their … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Love