Dual Perspective

October 11, 2017 by celia

 

Each month I receive an online newsletter from “Cancer.Net”.  The newsletter provides approved information to help patients and families make informed healthcare decisions. A recent issue titled “What is Tumor Board?” catapulted me back in time. (more…)


RECORDING VISITS REVISITED

August 28, 2017 by celia

 

A colleague recently forwarded a New York Times article, “The Appointment Ends. Now The Patient is Listening.” The author Paula Span notes new efforts to help patients understand their health status by recording appointments.  (more…)


A ROLE REVERSAL: DOCTOR BECOMES A PATIENT

July 26, 2017 by celia

 

The title of one of my previous blogs in and of itself posed an important question: “What Is A Good Patient?” How one defines a “good patient” varies, as does their reason for wanting to be one. During my tenure as a Medical Humanist at Southwestern Vermont’s Regional Cancer Center I witnessed the difficult task doctors faced in reconciling those who became patients—to their illness.  (more…)


Invisibility Is Not A Natural State

June 28, 2017 by celia

“We need to raise our voices a little more, even as they say to us,
‘This is so uncharacteristic of you.’ Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone.”
MitsuyYamada

After each of our SpeakSooner community education programs I would ask myself, “How did this program differ from the one before? And, what was the take away?” I often wonder if others ask themselves the same questions.

What brought this to mind was an e-mail I received from a hospice social worker who often attends our community programs.

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IS WRITING GOOD MEDICINE?

June 7, 2017 by celia

I don’t know who it was that said poetry is defined as a language writing itself out of a difficult situation. What I know is illness is one of those situations.  (more…)


ASKING FOR WHAT YOU NEED…   

May 17, 2017 by celia

When I was first diagnosed,” she said, “I didn’t feel I needed your help. I know how to get what I need—I’m a nurse, we speak the same language.” (more…)


Stories Are The Antibodies Against Illness

April 10, 2017 by celia

 

I often think about what the writer and patient Anatole Broyard said, “Stories are the antibodies against illness.”

It’s hard enough that a diagnosis comes along to threaten our lives—does it also have to threaten our life stories?   (more…)


The Waiting Room Syndrome

February 22, 2017 by celia

 

“When I think of people in waiting rooms, including myself, I picture us rifling restlessly through battered magazines,” writes Rachel Hadas, Guest Editor of  “The Waiting Room Reader II:  Words to Keep You Company”.

(more…)


Prescribe The Pen

January 25, 2017 by celia

To be a person is to have a story to tell.  —Isak Dinesen

It’s hard enough that a diagnosis comes along to threaten our lives—does it also have to threaten our life stories? (more…)


We Do Not Remember Days—We Remember Moments

December 23, 2016 by celia

And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been…
-Rainer Maria Rilke

With the coming of each New Year I think about what has passed, passing and to come. But today I find myself not reflecting on 2016. Instead, (more…)