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A Piece of My Mind
September 10, 2003

For What?

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(10):1287. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1287

So all this has been for nothing," she said, and her eyes dared me to contradict her. I blinked.

We had been together, doctor and patient, for 13 months, since she'd come with her bleeding cervical cancer to Chicago's Cook County Hospital, where I was the only full-time gynecologic oncologist. Although her tumor had been large, chemoradiation had put her cancer into remission. Achieving that had required combination antiemetics, daily bus rides from the city's South Side, hours spent in pharmacy lines and clinic waiting rooms, and four days bed-bound for brachytherapy. But she had done well.