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Showing posts from June, 2018

A Day in the Life

My first patient of the day has metastatic pancreatic cancer. She's had it, in fact, for two years. Getting chemo for two years. Her hair has fallen out, her pain is becoming uncontrollable and she's been in and out of the hospital.

Her daughters came to the clinic with her. She is tearful. Her daughters pull me aside. "Tell her to focus on the positive," they request. I wonder if there is ever a positive twist on having metastatic pancreatic cancer, but I keep my thoughts to myself. This is not about me. It's about this patient who is living with it.

Every question I ask her gets answered by one of her daughters. I point the daughters to the door. They leave, and my patient opens up. She is severely depressed and "wouldn't mind if she doesn't wake up tomorrow." She is depressed about her illness and she is depressed about the treatment. I ask her if she wants to continue. "I don't know." We make a plan and follow-up for her depres…