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Radiation Oncology

April 16, 2014

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It’s Passover and after four glasses of wine I was determined to write an uplifting post, but I recently discovered something I had written many years ago during a dark period of my life. It’s not uplifting but I thought it worth sharing in the spirit of thankfulness. _________________ “Thank God I don’t have to […]

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Visiting The Gates Of Hell

March 15, 2014

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I am writing this post on my phone, in a waiting room, just outside the gates of hell, and I’m delighted not to have been invited in. This particular hell is an English intensive care unit (ICU) and all the patients inside are in constant pain or extreme discomfort, and have either been or are very close […]

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In Praise of Depression

April 25, 2013

83 Comments

I have never understood the American obsession with happiness. It is not happiness that etches us with character but sadness. John Keats (1795-1821), the English poet, understood this. In 1819, suffering from depression, he wrote a poem in praise of it, which he called an Ode on Melancholy. No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist […]

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Laughing at Cancer

March 9, 2013

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“Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” said the surgeon. Without waiting for a reply he blurted out “You do have cancer”, but he followed it up quickly with the ‘good’ news, that “if you are going to have cancer this is one of the best kinds to have, a rare […]

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