Friday, April 25, 2008

'Is me monster?'

Despite the headline, this is not going to be an outpouring of my long-brewing thoughts about my efforts to not feel ashamed about my illness -- a tougher fight than it sounds, particularly when someone is shooting radiation into your crotch. 

Instead, I want to quickly make two links that emerged from a pleasant recent lunch conversation. (Thanks again, Elise and Lee!)

The first link is the New York Times on crying doctors. I was jokingly holding forth about how difficult a physician's emotion can be for a patient, particularly if they're leading the way. Then this article came out and I thought I'd throw it up here.

I'm not coming out against emotive compassion here. I want to be special. I want my doctors to respond to me on a personal level (as I respond to my best physicians), and it's a sharp rejection when they don't. That said, it's scary when a doctor seems more visibly upset about something than we are. I generally prefer to stay composed in the clinic room -- but, on the other hand, I've been led to my truest emotional understanding of my situation by a particular physician's openness with his personal feelings and willingness to ask questions about mine. Dr. S, my oncologist, would rather skate by these issues; Dr. Bow Tie, my other oncologist, is a cyborg with some bugs in his human emotion simulation software.

Second lunch link is on the Cookie Monster's painful attempts at introspection. Cookie Monster Searches Deep Within Himself and Asks: 'Is me really monster?'

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