Holiday.


What does that word mean to me? My patients battle daily with cancer and the therapies I impose on them. Coming in for their chemotherapy; tolerating the side-effects. They grow weaker and more tired as the cycles trudge on. It’s like doing 100 miles on a bicycle ride. The first 25 miles has me saying “I can do this”, the last 25 miles I am screaming “when will this end?” That is the closest I can come to imagining what they are possibly going through.

I watched today as I told my patient “let’s take a break, a holiday; a chemotherapy holiday”.

He looked at me and said “really?”

It is always fun for me to break this type of news. It’s when I get to really say “yes, you’re done with the therapy and your tumors are stable and not growing, I do not see a reason to push this treatment any further. Take a break”. I smile ecstatic, “stay away from Mo” (that brings a laugh). “Let me see you back in 8-12 weeks”.

“Wow that long huh?” This is usually followed by a sigh of relief, and I sometimes see a small “Mo are you sure?” or the even better look  “3 months away from you, I think I will miss you.”

It tickles me to send them off. They need this break. It’s what they fought for. They go back to life; to their days, it’s a road to recovery. Like the changing seasons. On therapy, it’s like autumn becomes winter, and off therapy it’s like winter wakes up to spring. I bet you cannot guess what I look forward to the most. Go on… guess?

There is a joyous moment in my heart in meeting my patients 3 months after they are done with their chemo, and it truly is that I forgot what they looked like with hair.

Mo


4 responses to “Holiday.

  • Lori james

    Dr. Mo, you are amazing!! You can not even imagine how much I look forward to reading your post each week!! I struggle daily, missing my cousin so much!! Trying to understand why….I know everything happens for a reason, I just don’t get it….you have touched my heart in so many ways….I wish she were here to read your post…I have never been blessed to run across a Dr. As wonderful as you, until now….I get why she always talked so highly of you…you are one of a kind…what a wonderful world this would be if only there were more like you!! Thank you for sharing, caring, and fighting along with each person you meet!! I wish many blessings for you, yours , and the wonderful team that stand beside you!! God Bless you all!! Lori James

    • Claire Barnhouse

      Mo,
      You know I love to read your blog every week, I just cannot wait.

      This weeks blog seems so appropriate for me right now, I feel I am on holiday, discontinuing the ipi and just coming to see you every 2 weeks or so is fine and all but when we had are last appt. you wanted to wait 4 weeks to see me. I just looked at you and thought I have to come sooner than that. You know this cancer is so scary and as you have been treating me since march and I have seen you a lot since then it will be hard to start spreading out my appts over time. Yes you love to see this, it means things are good but I need baby steps and I am sure I am not alone with this. I feel very blessed to be your patient and having your wonderful staff helping me along the way there are no words that can say enough. Your comment about seeing patients with hair made me chuckle. I was very lucky I didn’t lose my hair and I cannot imagine if I did being a hairdresser it would of been so hard to deal with that but I know that is a minor thing.
      So my hat will always go off to you Mo for all the things you are doing for this horrible melanoma, I see great things to come for you and your staff at the university.. I do not know what I would of done without you as my amazing doctor of science and the staff that you have is amazing and very dedicated..
      Thank you Mo,
      Claire (#1 fan)

  • RoxAnne

    Yes, holidays from treatment are awesome but we always enjoy seeing Mo, you are the absolute best! I have never had a doctor so truly caring, thank you for who you are! We truly appreciate you! Are you sure you’re from Earth?

  • Facing Cancer (@cancer2gether)

    That is so touching. I am glad you get pleasure from giving a break. For sure the fellow sitting across from you hearing the news must have been so glad. Hmm, I kinda with my oncologist kept a blog, reading over yours!
    ~Catherine

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