CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE JOYS OF CAREGIVING?

September 7, 2016 by celia

 

For those of you who were not able to attend our most recent SpeakSooner community education program “Being A Caregiver & Caring for Oneself: A Delicate Balance” (August 16 at the Manchester Community Library), I’d like to share a moment from that evening. (more…)


Regret…

August 3, 2016 by celia

 

I received an e-mail from a friend. The subject: “Regret is an important teacher…” My eyes focus on the ellipsis, not the Huffington Post link. I think about the power of three small dots to punctuate what is left unsaid. In an instant my mother’s words, which in time had become her mantra, echoed in my mind’s ear: “You never regret what you don’t say.(more…)


THE HUMAN SIDE OF DOCTORING

June 13, 2016 by celia

“Not every patient can be saved, but his illness may be eased by the way the doctor responds.”
Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated By My Illness

I received an e-mail from a colleague. The subject line read: “Wow look what they’ve discovered!” Attached was a link to the New York Times WELL column “Letting Patients Tell Their Stories.” My eyes drop down to the image of a doctor with his stethoscope in hand (more…)


NURSES AT THE CROSSROADS…

May 13, 2016 by celia

 

During my tenure as a medical humanist at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (2002-2005) I was an eyewitness to the complexities of communication between doctors, nurses, patients, and family members.

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To Attend or Not to Attend, That is the Question

April 13, 2016 by celia

 

As we ready ourselves for the first in our 2016 SpeakSooner community education series I ask myself how does one decide whether or not to attend a play, movie, or, in this instance, a community program. Is it the subject matter, panel of experts, a friend’s invite, a colleague’s suggestion or the reviews?

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Small Town—Not So Small Talk

March 21, 2016 by celia

 

I recently ran into a friend at the Price Chopper, a local supermarket and frequent meeting place. “I love reading your blogs. Sorry I missed your community program last November on dealing with illness,” he said. “But you know me,” he continued, “I don’t want to talk about it.” (more…)


The End Is Where We Start…

February 15, 2016 by celia


And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from
T.S. Elliot • The Four Quartets

A friend, who has been living with multiple myeloma for the past seven years, forwarded me the link to “Not Just a Death, a System Failure” (link below) which appeared in the February 2 issue of the New York Times. After reading the article I found myself catapulted back in time. As a member of the cancer center staff, albeit a medical humanist and not a healthcare provider, I attended weekly staff meetings.  (more…)


What Is Unknown Need Not Separate Doctor and Patient…

December 30, 2015 by celia

 

It ‘Tis the Season’…One of the gifts I received from a friend was a copy of The Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed. I’ve been known to ignore the rules of punctuation. My friend had asked me about my “penchant for the ellipses.” The book defines the ellipsis’ function as “indicating omitted words.”

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Dealing with a serious illness. Over 120 attend discussion.

November 18, 2015 by celia

 

Reading the Bennington Banner story about our recent SpeakSooner community program “Building Your Team & Navigating The System” I was catapulted back in time. A few years ago we had been invited by a leading academic medical center to introduce what at that time was our new interactive communication tool—Difficult Conversations Toolkit (Video & Workbook)—to oncology faculty and fellows. (more…)


Rethinking Cancer

October 5, 2015 by celia

       

A WORD is dead / When it is said, / Some say. I say it just / Begins to live / That day. Emily Dickinson

How often does a word on the page stop you? And, if it does—do you find yourself leaving the page? (more…)