Firecrackers. I am talking about the small ones, that make the loudest noise. You know the ones, you light the fuse and then “BAM”. They are loud. Startling in fact. Pleasing. Frightening. As a child I use to love to startle people. I do the same now but I call it illumination. It is possibly how I teach those all around me. So as your read this make sure you imagine little sparkles of exploding energy with shrieks and cries of those who are startled.

Raw is the emotion of a patient with cancer. Most dive into sadness. But some into rage. Exploding with questions and a need for answers. A demand for the whys? You can almost hear them. Listen……..

When I counsel a patient I draw from my own experience. If a fiery 19 year old comes in to talk to me, I engage in the most rigorous discussions. I can feel the 19 year old in me raging against the diagnosis, battling to be free and I feed into that. I look at the person in front of me and I say in my heart- don’t change. You are so beautiful, and thank you for sharing it as it is. I think they just do not want to accept the reality around them. They want to fight.  And they want me to erupt against this beast that is attacking them.

Do we not all do this in seeking our independence and freedom from many things around us? Is the usual passage of human beings to be accepting and tolerant of their surroundings? I envy those who stand and say “no, this is not happening to me”. I look back at my life and say, I’m glad I said no to this or that. When I walk I snap my fingers pretty loudly because it helps me think. I find comfort in this sound because it reminds me to forgive anything my patients says to me when they are angry. Perhaps in some way I am forgiving my rebellious self.

So when you hear me in the halls snapping away, know that I carry in me all the firecrackers that said no to cancer. Like pins and needles they illuminate the way. Poke away my friends.


Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership
Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership

Thanks to all of the firecrackers that exist. This group (above) came together in March of 2013 and became the Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership (MSTP).


8 thoughts on “Firecrackers.

  1. Thank you Mo! I look at the group picture and it feels good that there are at least 2 in the group that I know. Working together we can gain the knowledge and tools to conquer this Dragon known as Leiomyosarcoma. I know a lot of people think cancer is just one disease that just attacks different parts of the body. Also a whole lot of people assume that if one is a woman and that woman has cancer it MUST be either breast or ovarian. Thank you again for all of you being….you!

  2. Thank you, Mo, for teaching me how to help others in their fight. Thank you for making me a more thoughtful physician as well. I do understand the fight now, at least I think I do, but what eludes me is to when to not fight — when did my patient’s body and/or mind have enough of the fight? When do I let them go gently and compassionately into the next phase of life?

  3. Mo,

    I cannot say enough about your blogs. I truly love reading them. They really lift me up every week. I am greatful that I have you for my doctor.. You are truly a brilliant, caring human being. I see it in the office with John and I an also with your staff. Your very honest and humble with me when I come see you. I see the firecrackers in your eyes when you talk to us about melanoma and how much passion you have in trying to cure this beast. So I know and feel in my heart that you are trying to do the best you can to help people with these terrible cancers.
    I am trying so hard to fight Mo and I know that with you and your great staff that it makes it alot easier with all of you in my corner. I am really the lucky one here because I am in the best place I need to be..
    Once again thank you to my amazing doctor of science….

  4. Dear Dr. Mo….as you know I have never had the honor meeting you….although the last 5 years I heard nothing but what a great Dr. You are….my cousin spoke only of good things about you Mo….it has been only since her passing and her family meeting with you to find closure in their ( our) loss…..I have been blessed to read your blogs over the last few weeks… are truely amazing Mo!!! I know now why she trusted everything in you….she fought hard and you fought with her for her….you are one of a kind…..if only there were more Drs. Like you….thank you for the phone call after you read my email…..thank you for taking time out of your day to go by my aunts room….my cousin had already left but was so happy to hear you came by!!! You are such a blessings to everyone comes across your path…..if only there were more like you….the world would be a better place!!! Thank you for everything Mo!! You are awesome!!! Never forget it!! BAM

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