Amazing patients in my brief encounters taught me their view and philosophy in life.
One such patient lost almost half of her face due to head and neck cancer. She came to the FNA clinic because of a tumor regrowth in her scar site. She was severely disfigured and shocking to see. She wore a hat and wrapped half her face with a scarf. She lived in fear that people would look at her with disbelief and disgust. She was in pain and shame. The extent people prefer to stay living by paying such a costly price is astonishing. Life is indeed priceless. She hesitated to show the lump or allow me to procure samples. As she began unwrapping her face and revealing her scar, she was crying. It was difficult to disguise the horror in my body language. I held her hand. She knew that I had my own sets of physical limitations and knew I had gone through emotional and mental pain not too dissimilar to hers. (I have polio on my right leg). There was unspoken language of understanding and compassion with each other. We had a special bond at that moment and there was a mutual understanding of enormous burdens we each carried in our daily lives. This kind of human understanding needs no words and felt between people who go through certain amounts of pain. After the procedure, I hugged her without a word. This patient helped me realize why I must suffer from my own physical limitations. From my new book, “Who says you have cancer?” available on Amazon.