[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.167.149.128. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 175
Citations 0
A Piece of My Mind
March 7, 2012

The Before

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Theda Care, Neenah, Wisconsin (drjenfrank@gmail.com).

JAMA. 2012;307(9):921. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.200

This is the before. A moment suspended like a bubble floating on a warm summer breeze gently but inevitably toward the ground. I feel the pop coming, an implosion of the very center of your life. Anticipating what this moment would hold, I nevertheless hoped for something different. To be able to eagerly dial your number and shout out the good news to you in a breathless rush. It's not what we thought. It's not cancer.

Instead I take a deep breath, pressing each number slowly, cautiously, drawing out the moment before the burst. The burst of your plans and your dreams and your future. I stall for time, asking if this is a good time, are you alone, do you have a pen and paper? You set the phone down and I hear you call to your partner, herd the kids downstairs, step quickly back to the phone, and pick it up. “I’m ready.”

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×