Posted by: 2in10 | 06/04/2010

powerful words (3)

After my first chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer I had an episode of low blood counts and had to go to the Emergency Room of the hospital where I was being treated. I was very worried about my immune system, and I was upset that some of my free days between treatments were going to be spent in the hospital. (I also was going to miss my son’s Confirmation at church, something he and I still regret.)

The attending physician, young and earnest, pulled the privacy curtain aside and entered my cubicle. “Ovarian cancer you have, right?” he said. “That’s very curable.” My heart skipped a beat. Very curable, what welcome words!

Part of me wondered if he were too new a doctor to know how serious was the disease I was dealing with, and another part of me thought, “Take the gift for what it is. He’s wearing a white coat and he just told you he thinks ovarian cancer is highly curable. Go with it, and let these powerful words provide some balance to everything else going on right now.”

I am sure he can’t recall that encounter, but I have thought about it many times — seeing his face, his white coat, and sensing his concern for my welfare. He admitted me to the hospital where I spent several days on intravenous antibiotics. When my blood counts returned near to normal they let me go home. His words were a powerful gift, inadvertent or intentional.

Carolyn

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