Why you might need chemotherapy after surgery: the basics of adjuvant chemotherapy

What is adjuvant therapy? One of the most common questions I hear at an initial visit, as a medical oncologist, is: “My surgeon told me she got all the cancer.  So why am I here?” One of the jobs of the medical oncologist is teaching our patients that cancer is a systemic disease. That means … Read moreWhy you might need chemotherapy after surgery: the basics of adjuvant chemotherapy

The Puzzle Table

I am pleased to share the link to my newest published narrative essay, entitled The Puzzle Table, published online 10/2/17 in the Art of Oncology section of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  

Guilt and the Physician Mom: Doing Enough; not Perfection

Recently I was enjoying a “mom day” running errands with the kids, you know, the usual essentials — groceries, school supplies, and espresso coffee drive-through. At this last stop, the barista made small talk and, seeing the kids in the back seat,  joked about school starting soon and how I must be looking forward to … Read moreGuilt and the Physician Mom: Doing Enough; not Perfection

The Prior Authorization Games: Where the Odds are Never in Your Favor

I am not the first physician blogger to write about the difficulties of prior authorizations, denials, and appeals, but recent occurrences in my own practice have been so convoluted that I feel they must be shared. The nonsensical denials would almost cause one to laugh, if not for the reality that each denial represents potential … Read moreThe Prior Authorization Games: Where the Odds are Never in Your Favor

Relay for Life 2017: Who is your superhero?

The following post is an edited transcript of my speech given on 7/8/17 at the Relay for Life 2017, Clatsop County, OR.  I am very excited by this year’s Relay for Life theme, “Who is your superhero?” I am excited because I get to work with real-life superheroes every day.  And this morning I get … Read moreRelay for Life 2017: Who is your superhero?

In cancer, there is no place for blame.

I recently read a post by oncologist Dr. Stephanie Graff on the experience of blame, from self and others, that people with cancer are subjected to. The talk about risk factors and early detection makes us think we can achieve perfection, and that cancer is somehow a personal fault…let us stop making accusations and blaming persons … Read moreIn cancer, there is no place for blame.

A sense of purpose in a broken world.

Recently I found myself sitting in my car in the parking lot of my clinic,  unable to will myself to open the door.  I didn’t want to head in to the clinic that morning.  Instead I was filled with despair; overwhelmed with the events of the world. How can I do it? I thought.  How … Read moreA sense of purpose in a broken world.

20 things I am thankful to nurses for as an oncologist

jason lycette photo blooms

In recognition of National Nurses Week: Thank you to nurses for: staying behind in the room with patients and families after we deliver difficult news, not letting us shirk the tough questions, professionalism in the most difficult of circumstances, being partners in care, remembering what size gloves we wear, the phrase, “Doctor, I think you … Read more20 things I am thankful to nurses for as an oncologist

Finding grace: an oncology patient’s impact on her doctor.

pelican majestic over shipwreck beach, OR

(published also online on 4/10/17 in The ASCO Post, under the title The Mystery of Grace.  re-published here with permission of the editor).   The day after I told Nell she had seven metastases to her brain, she sent me flowers. She was my patient; I was her oncologist. I had met her 1 year prior, … Read moreFinding grace: an oncology patient’s impact on her doctor.

The invisible burden of the oncologist

The return from a vacation weighed on me physically.  This had been a true vacation – an entire week away from clinic and spent with my family.  I even managed to unplug to the point of only checking email on my phone twice per day – really!

The tension that years ago took up permanent residence in my shoulders had faded away without my noticing, so that when I awoke to its sudden return, I realized that for one wonderful week I had almost become used to its absence.  Almost…

Read moreThe invisible burden of the oncologist

Get new posts like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to my mailing list and get interesting posts and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

%d bloggers like this: