Friday, September 25, 2009


Initially I was planning to write a joyous and happy post but the hast 30 minutes my feeling has undergone a major turn.

Have you ever wondered how a doctor can appear so calm and to an extent cold when breaking bad news? Many of us have seen it in ER, Grey's Anatomy and many other western medical dramas and we assume that it is an inherent part of being a doctor. It comes with the job, many would say. Well, it is true in some sense but many never realise that is the hardest part of the job. Holding the person's hand, so calm and collected when you tell them they have only a few months to live; or when you tell the family to learn to let go. Many of us would feel so bad inside after that, some may even cry. But then, we know, these people look at us for hope, into our souls they search for solace and it is part of the Hipocratic oath we undertook - to always comfort out patients.

Even then, when this happens to someone close we do not know how to handle the situation. The ideal doctor may know but then he is a myth. Majority of us are mere mortals who do not. We are lost. There is no Hutchinson textbook on menaging your fears for a loved ones. We go through the grief process as any other person.

But it is worse for the medical personnel. We know. We know the eventual outcome, we know the pain that the person will go through and we can forsee the suffering. So how can you seek solace and find hope if you know all this?

Words are cheap. Be strong for them. That is what I used to tell the family members. But finding my own strength when I am faced with this has proven to be very difficult. How can I tell my friend that everything is going to be allright when in my heart I am praying that she does not suffer when her time comes?

It is wierd. I would take a deep breath each time before I see her. Suck in all my fears, all my sadness. And she knows the truth, she may have a glimmer of hope in her soul but deep inside she knows. She is a strong lady but she have seen a lot in her career. She also used to give hope to others when she was a nurse looking after some of the oncology patients, and she have seen what the disease do to people.

But as sad as I may feel I have to do it. Not coming in terms with this and running away makes me a coward and a disloyal friend. I am filled with dispair but I just have to do my part. Keep her company. Support her through the bad days. Laugh with her through the good and try to be a pillar of her strength.

And yes, today is a bad day!

Monday, September 07, 2009

I haven't been calling anyone lately but when I finally did I feel sad. My good friend who was diagnosed to have breast malignancy 2 years back and had a mastectomy done told me that she is now diagnosed with spinal metastases. That is Stage IV of the disease. She sounded so down and I do not know how to comfort.

I am guilt stricken. I should have called her earlier. And I am sad; I am so so sad.