I think that most men marry above themselves. Some men marry much higher and have wives who are angels. I am certainly one of those fortunate ones. Today I looked at my clinic schedule and saw the name of one of my old patients; old in that I have taken care of him for years and, also, he is old. I previously treated his superficial bladder cancer which requires that every three months we look in the bladder to assure no recurrence. For the last year Dr Chiu, my partner, has been performing the follow up cystoscopies. I was pleased that I would see him today because he is such a pleasant man and his wife is an angel. The news was good as the bladder was clean; no cancer. They also, aware of the cause of my absence were quite content to see me as well. Sometimes the beauty in your day is reconnecting with an old friend and finding them well. (especially when you get to tell them that they are well).
I then walked over to the hospital to see a patient in whom I had removed her bladder a year and a half ago for cancer. Her disease is metastatic now and she has had a number of complications. She had to stop chemotherapy because she felt so poorly while on it. I asked about her, and her husband asked about me. We have had many shared experiences in the last year. I know how she feels. Yet, she remains hopeful, and so do I for her. I silently mused on why do these things happen to such nice people?
While conversing with her my phone rang; the area code was 408, Santa Clara. It was my biopsy result. I always know the news immediately by the tone of the greeting. This was good news. The heart biopsy showed 1R/1A, minimal rejection. I tried hard not to be emotional in front of my patient, but I was so relieved. She sensed my reaction and smiled at me in her show of understanding. The lines of doctor and patient became blurred for a moment. I reassured her that a time would come in the near future when her daily activities will not include conversations about her health. She laughed and said that she had one of those days a few weeks ago and how nice that was.
I am feeling quite well as the steroid crash on Monday is slowly resolving. I'll be back to the chain gang, breaking stones, tomorrow and Friday.