David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I am lying on a small table in a tiny room, dizzy with nausea and apprehension. A young woman busies herself with the preparations of a plaster mold that will be used to position my arm and chest for the twenty five ‘shots’ of radiotherapy that I will undergo during the ensuing five weeks. I had called the hospital that morning to say that I was too sick to come for this appointment. I had better come, said a young man from the department, because if I missed this appointment I would I might not get a new appointment in time start the treatments within the recommended time frame. So I am here, on the table. I mention the nausea to the technician. My apprehension at this moment is that I might become so dizzy as to somehow swirl out of control. The young woman gives me a mask to blunt the smell of the plaster. The procedure will take twenty-five minutes. I keep my mind focused on each breath and get through the ordeal breath by breath. She seems, in contrast to me, gloriously free of distress and worry, listening to the radio while she works. I envy her good fortune. As we finish up the procedure I take a chance and share my experience: I say that being a cancer patient can be tricky because you are sometimes utterly in the grip of the idea that the cancer will spread and you’ll die soon and in a very unpleasant way. After each round of chemo I was admitted to hospital for extreme nausea and dehydration. During those days in the cancer ward some of those who were dying called out and moaned distressingly, sometimes for hours, during the night. I was, at those moments, unable to shake off the belief that I too would be in that state within a few months. The signs of cancer had been missed on the mammogram two years earlier and, when the lump made itself evident, I was in Stage III. When I mentioned this experience of being gripped by the idea of death she said “Oh I know exactly what you mean, my mother has breast cancer, and every time she has an examination I go searching the internet to find out what I can.” This young woman was twenty four, and I fifty six at the time, and she had given me an unexpected small precious gift that I took with me out of that little cupboard of a room..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Megan Eide & Ann Milliken Pederson (2009). God, Disease, and Spiritual Dilemmas: Reading the Lives of Women with Breast Cancer. Zygon 44 (1):85-96.
Leslie E. Blumenson (1987). How Would a Latent Period for Early Breast Cancer Affect the Benefit of Screening? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (2):169-182.
Susan Gilbert (2010). Personalized Cancer Care in an Age of Anxiety. Hastings Center Report 40 (5):18-21.
Stewart Justman (2012). Uninformed Consent: Mass Screening for Prostate Cancer. Bioethics 26 (3):143-148.
Lydia Dugdale (2010). The Art of Dying Well. Hastings Center Report 40 (6):22-24.
Roy Gilbar & Ora Gilbar (2009). The Medical Decision-Making Process and the Family: The Case of Breast Cancer Patients and Their Husbands. Bioethics 23 (3):183-192.
Howard Minkoff & Anne Drapkin Lyerly (2010). Samantha Burton and the Rights of Pregnant Women Twenty Years After In Re A.C. Hastings Center Report 40 (6):13-15.
Rebecca Dresser (2011). Bioethics and Cancer: When the Professional Becomes Personal. Hastings Center Report 41 (6):14-18.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #347,503 of 1,781,367 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #295,020 of 1,781,367 )
How can I increase my downloads?