Excerpts from the fascinating New York Times article below come in book review form. You wouldn’t think that doctors would be so shocked to become sick themselves.
But apparently, dealing with their own or a loved one’s cancer hits them as hard–or harder–than the rest of us…
Assumptions and Attitudes Don’t Survive Cancer
By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D. – Published: April 30, 2012
Health care is supposed to move in only one direction, from horizontal to vertical, bed to door. The staunchly upright caretakers who wave the traffic along are not supposed to crumple backward into bed themselves, and when they do, no one is more surprised than they are.
Doctors who become ill have written about the emotional whiplash of the experience so often that the “had I but known” theme has grown a little old. Two new books bring some welcome variation: Many other professionals spend their workdays focused on the body, and even those who don’t actually perform hands-on care may find precious assumptions demolished by serious illness.
Ethicists are medicine’s theoreticians; some are primarily scholars, while others head right onto hospital wards as a combination of critic, coach and umpire. They come to know the terminology of illness and the perils of treatment very well, and because insoluble clinical problems are their daily fodder, they have rehearsed the standard “if this ever happens to me” scenario as often as anyone.
Still, nothing prepares anyone for the horizontal experience, as seven medical ethicists discovered when they or a spouse received a diagnosis of cancer. They were so collectively shaken that they formed a discussion group, and then, like good academics, turned the proceedings into a book…
I have got to read these books! Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer is the first. Memoir of a Debulked Woman is the second book reviewed. I will look into carrying them in our My Cancer Store soon.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of Dr. Zuger’s article.
I will be doing more book reviews about some of the great books that we recommend and carry in our store soon. Remember that information is power–especially when you or a loved one has cancer.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat