Love Is The Strongest Medicine: Notes from a Cancer Doctor on Connection, Creativity, and Compassion

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Exact Words

Exact Words

You would never think she was the sick one as she would always greet me with exuberant, “Good morning, Dr. E!"

I went into my robot zombie routine, “So how are you today, Flav?”

“Dying! I’m going to live a few more months. I'm only doing the chemo because my children want me to do it.”

And then she threw me a zinger, “But how are YOU? Because I gotta be honest, you look like crap today. Talk to me, kiddo."


I said what I used to say to all of my patients back then. I lied. I lied right to Flavie. I said, "Fine. I'm fine Flavie."

What I wanted to say, was -- “I’m so sick I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’m depressed. And I’m lost.”

But I just said, “I’m fine.”

She looked at me and she said, "Bullshit. If you can't take care of yourself, Dr. E., How are you going to take care of all of us?"

Her exact words.