I have been in practice now for 10 years, not counting my training and medical schooling. My practice and approach to patient care has evolved over time. I started blogging 1 year ago, and this has uncovered emotions in me that I did not know existed, and has proved to be an amazing way to communicate with my patients. Comments from readers, friends and family have opened my eyes to a side of cancer care that I had not been before. Through this I have interacted with so many people at different levels in their own inner struggles.
I think of eyes as cameras capturing moments, faces, and emotions with ears recording snippets of conversations, laughs shaking voices and silence when words do not come out. My brain stores memorable events, in short spurts I connect the events, the decisions, the emotions that they stirred, the results they brought about and this hard drive contributes to my thought processes, my experience, my memories, my regrets and my pride. My life story and those of my patients constitute a switchboard of things that worked, things that were close calls, and things that caused harm. These are powerful, invaluable, and unforgettable events pushing me to share it as science, knowledge and a voice in a blog.
I am thinking about those interactions tonight with those who I have met. I am considering, what it would be like if I was granted 2 minutes to talk to each person again. My excitement builds up as I think who and where? In clinic? Or maybe over dinner, in a speed date format? Or better still in the park or at a party? 2 minutes with each: the dead, the living, the survivors, the fighters, the families and the learners. Would I pitch my thoughts or would I share the many things I have learned? Would I start with those I disappointed, or those I had the most success? What would I say?
Tick tock goes the clock and we all know it goes only one way. At the end of my clinic day, looking back at the many hours spent counseling my patients and making decisions, I believe if I did have the “2 minute” stage with each human I have interacted with I would want to say:
“My decisions were empowered by your choices in life and what were important to you given the knowledge I shared. Please know you have added to my experience that goes forward to help someone else and it is never idle. There is no event that you have faced that goes unnoticed and that I remain in your debt for the knowledge that you have kindly shared.”
2 words that capture much more than 2 minutes could ever have.