Lifted in my hands, his tone is great, his gaze intensely locks on mine. Put back down, his arms and legs flail enthusiastically. Cheeks are chubby, soft skin is pink. He passes the gestalt test – no worrisome sense that something
The day began like every other summer day. My eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter ate their cereal, watched Sesame Street, and played—him with his Star Wars figures and her with her Barbies. After lunch, they gathered a few favorite books and toys to entertain them while they waited in the pediatrician’s office for their annual physicals.
Normalcy ended when the physician announced: “Your daughter has a severe curvature of the spine. She needs to see
It was another day at a renovation project on the fourth floor of an office building. Glancing at my iPhone, I noticed that my buddy Dave had called a couple of times. Now, coming down a stepladder for what seemed like the hundredth time, I saw his name pop up again. This time I set down my hammer and found a quiet place.
“Hey Scott, ol’ buddy, I got a request,”
However, underneath many of the t-shirts are chemotherapy ports and surgical scars, below the hats are bald heads and behind the smiles are fears, memories and young lives impacted by cancer. Yet walking through
Gingerly, I slide my hands under his sausage-like arms, my fingers cradling the doughy curves of his tiny neck, caressing the orange-yellow cornsilk on his occiput.
Three years ago I spent the entire month of September by my daughter’s side in her hospital room. From Ana’s window, we watched summer fade into fall as we waited, day after day, for her to be discharged, which finally happened in early October.
During her forty days in the hospital, Ana was diagnosed with an obscure, slow-growing cancer called inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor. The tumor, roughly the size of a cantaloupe,
About the artist:
Trisha Paul is a second-year medical student at the University of Michigan. She recently published a book based on her undergraduate thesis called Chronicling Childhood Cancer: A Collection of Personal Storiees by Children and Teens with Cancer. Trisha blogs about her experiences
I first met Marie five years ago. A petite, soft-spoken woman in her thirties, she was the patient of one of the residents whom I supervise at our community hospital. Marie worked in housekeeping for a large corporation; she and her husband, a bus driver, had a six-year-old son. Now she was twenty-six weeks (six months) pregnant with their second child.
Marie’s blood pressure was markedly elevated (168/120), she had fairly
It was a Wednesday in late spring, 1972. I was a nursing student in my final months of training, eagerly awaiting graduation.
When I arrived on the maternity ward that morning, my nursing instructor told me that I’d be caring for a baby, only hours old, with special needs.
I thought she’d send me to the neonatal ICU. Instead, to my surprise, she motioned toward the linen closet, its doors
Many healers, teachers and parents have them.
At one point, I did, too. I had delusions. I thought I was a hero, a rescuer clad in a shiny white coat and wielding the sword of clinical wisdom.
I look back on those days with nostalgia and regret. I wish they’d lasted a little longer–my belief