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The view from the top

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7000.336a (Published 29 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:336
  1. Sandra McGregor

    It took me two years to come to terms with my cancer and another to lay it aside. My cancer had changed me, it frightened me, and it made me angry, but after three years I had laid it to rest. Then once more my life fell apart. I was having an ultrasound when it became obvious that all was not well. The radiologist told me that he saw what he was sure was a recurrence.

    He touched my hand and said that he was sorry. I wanted to jump up and run away, but instead I talked about how strong I was. I could readily cope with chemotherapy. I had to get back to the department where I worked, I desperately wanted treatment as soon as possible. I telephoned my colleagues. I had to find a consultant. I needed help now. How could I be dying? I did not feel ill. I tried to listen to my body, but all I heard was my fear. I had my scan and was given a copy of the films to take to my own department for rapid reporting.

    I returned to work that afternoon and somehow I put one foot in front of the other, treated my patients, and pretended that all was well. A telephone call later that afternoon brought me back to …

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