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Reflections
April 2003

Dick Chaney

Author Affiliations
 

WILLIAM J.RICHTSMEIERMD, PhD

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(4):401. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.4.401

EVERY SURGEON who cares for patients with cancer should have a Dick Chaney to befriend him. I met Dick when he had an advanced pyriform sinus carcinoma. After extirpation, reconstruction, and radiation therapy Dick never looked back. Dick was incredibly generous to my laboratory, but his personal support of me and my research effort was infinitely more valuable. Through his interest in my work, we became friends.

On one early visit Dick, dressed in his usual jeans, open collar sport shirt, and cowboy boots, complained that the downtown parking ramp was not where he felt comfortable leaving his Rolls Royce—a perspective that instantly set him apart from the usual head and neck cancer patient. He was aphonic for 6 weeks until I put in his Blom-Singer prosthesis, a tough sentence for such a gregarious man. Despite his fortune, he knew what was truly valuable in life.

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