The most powerful word in the English language | Dr. John NG | Weill Cornell Medicine


When patients get diagnosed with cancer
and that’s the most powerful word in the English language
they’re very confused probably don’t sleep that night and when they come to
see me I often think in my mind of a certain beginning of a poem states in
the middle of our life’s journey I find myself lost in a forest dark
where the straight road was lost so I often tell the patients sometimes even
quoting this quote to them directly that you’re a little bit in a area of
uncertainty perhaps like a forest and I’m your guide through this period and I
will get you back to green fields it’s look scary but it’s not so bad I am your
guide during a period of time where you’re very frightened and very
uncertain and we’ll see each other through and it’s going to be a lifelong
relationship got involved in terms of taking care of a young woman with breast
cancer the cancer had metastasized her brain so before you see this patient for
first time you review her scans and it was the most extensive amount of disease
in the brain that I’d ever seen well I saw her in the hospital and the first
thing I did was i sat down her family was with her and me said I’m going to be
with you for the long haul we’re going to be treating your brain with radiation
therapy and I know this is a scary image but you’re not going to turn into
vegetable the side effects are acceptable and we’ll be able to help I
remember being in a elevator with the medical oncologists and several years
ago and he and I were saying she’s going to break our hearts well that was
several years ago and this tells you how little we are familiar with our field
because she’s come back from numerous treatments but she’s still chugging
along right now all of us are just letting the ship sail and she is doing
fine and this has been many years now and that’s those are moments that are
very satisfying to me as a physician

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