Cancer is a crippling disease. It frustrates us. It spares no one when it presents itself to us. For those watching and those it involves. Minds struggle with it. Others find it fascinating. It can teach you everything from finding the will to fight, to understanding the human struggle with death, to elucidating all the facts about how our cells behave. I am wrestling with this frustration today, because I could not explain what was happening to my patient. It was like entering the twilight zone.

I sat opposite her staring in disbelief. A puzzle. Baffled. How could this be? I thought. It was not bad news. It was not good news. It was news that did not make logical sense. I took refuge in the words of those who taught me “treat the patient not the numbers”. There she was sitting looking absolutely great. The treatment she was getting was working for her. But her blood work spoke something different. Impossible; now I know what that word means. How could that be? I kept asking. I left the room walked to my computer, and started asking others what they thought. The more minds I could harness the better the decision I made felt. This is where the proverb of “too many cooks spoil the broth” failed. Here is where I needed as many cooks as I could find. This is how our collective, collaborative consciousness comes together to help me understand what I had not been taught yet.

Some have asked how we do it. “We” the ones who are watching this process. It’s 9:52 pm tonight and look at what has captured my mind. What has me thinking, contemplating and wondering. It’s this curiosity that cannot be destroyed. It makes me walk in places no one dares to. It gives me a depth of understanding that helps me see more about human beings and life than I could possibly explain. I try and I am stumped. So I sit and watch the sun set unable to explain how, knowing in time that someone someday will say “well the earth is just revolving around itself” and that is how the sun sets.



3 thoughts on “Befuddled

  1. Mo, I am befuddled by melanoma nature =:o)- could be my red hair too!! I am stage 4 and was dx’ed stage 4 in 2009…I have been NED since a Thoracotomy and doing 30 months of Nivolumab in March 2010. I am far from dead like Mayo said I would be…I do have a question…have they had any success with desmoplastic small round cell sarcoma since 1998? I lost my son to it when he was 16…he fought about 18 months :o(

  2. Mo,
    I read this one today and I also would be Befuddled… I am sure you have this come up more than we realize.. As patients we come in there and expect answers and problems solved. We shouldn’t expect so much..
    I am sure you will try to do everything in your power to try to give us all the answers you have… Cancer is such a mind blowing experience.. I know for me I think about it everyday and try to block it out and there it is again back in my head…
    I give you and your staff credit for all the daily questions and struggles you have.. I appreciate you Mo and your great staff for all the help you have given me and my husband with answers.. My hat will always go off to you Mo my amazing doctor of science… keep up the great work…

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