my narrative essay publications

The Puzzle Table

Jennifer Lycette, MD

A perspective essay in the Art of Oncology section of The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The Art of Oncology features narratives, poetry, and photo essays that explore the experience of suffering from cancer or caring for people with cancer.  

Neglected — Cancer Care and Mental Health in Rural America

Jennifer Lycette, M.D.

N Engl J Med 2016; 375:2220-2221 December 8, 2016

A perspective essay on the challenges of providing cancer care in the setting of mental illness, when the resources to treat the mental illness are lacking.

Practicing Hope

Jennifer Lycette, MD
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(4):431-432. 
Cancer Care Chronicles
April 2016
A narrative essay exploring the different kinds of hope that can exist even in the setting of advanced cancer, and how oncologists try to negotiate this delicate balance.

The Mystery of Grace

Jennifer Lycette, MD
published in print and online,
The ASCO POST, April 10, 2017
A community oncologist reflects on the relationship between herself and one of her patients as the patient approached her death from cancer.  When the oncologist gave her patient very bad news, the patient responded by sending her a gift of flowers.  The oncologist author reflects on the ways the patient approached her disease and her death, and an unprecedented way in which she chose to say goodbye.  The author discusses the internal struggles and conflicts oncologists face when saying goodbye to patients who have foreknowledge of expected death from cancer, and the transitions in care from the oncologist to the palliative care or home hospice team.  Lastly the author reflects on the intangible gifts oncologists are given from their patients, as symbolized by the flowers, which she feels can be best described as moments of grace.

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