Zachary Gene Jacobs ~
Lynn Lazos ~
Chemotherapy and radiation are not pleasant experiences, but knowing how to handle them can make your life a whole lot easier.
I had my first mammogram at age thirty-five, and for the next thirty-five years I had mammograms regularly. On my way, I'd pass the entrance to the Thomas Johns Cancer Hospital, outside of Richmond, VA, never thinking that I'd one day cross that threshold myself.
When I heard the "C" word, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run far, far away. After much grief, however, I realized that this was just another challenge in life. I'm a retired small-business specialist/contracting officer who wrote contracts for the Army. My thought was, If I can brief four-star generals, I can get through this.
Frozan Walyzada ~
It's late on a Friday afternoon in the outpatient clinic where I'm a third-year psychiatry resident. I'm wrapping up my appointment with Jane, a thirty-five-year-old woman with a mild intellectual disability who comes every month to refill her antidepressant prescription.
"Have you been watching the court case on TV?" she whispers.
I stop what I'm doing and look at her.
"The case with the judge and the doctor," she says.
I sit back in my chair and give her my full attention.
"I've been reading about it," I say. "Why do you ask?"
Pam Kress-Dunn ~
She was always my favorite nurse, her smile
genuine as I took my place at the table, my role
to supply the research and stats they might need
on the floor, or in preop. The chronic migraine
I brought along was my little secret, my inside joke
every time the talk turned to pain scales
and nerve blocks, the bright lights and overheads
nothing I couldn’t live through.
Her quiet story began and I sat up straight, stricken
with a thunderclap only I could hear.
Sometimes, she told us, people wake up before the anesthetic
wears off. They can’t move, can’t talk, can’t even
open their eyes to show me their fear.
Somehow, she knows.