One of our wedding dishes cracked a few days ago. It happened surreptitiously and irreparably, as the dish was being used for normal baking. Recently, I, too, cracked. One minute I was rounding on patients in the coronary care unit, and the next I was answering a phone call from an orthopedic surgery resident who told me an x-ray of my knee was concerning for osteosarcoma. Immediately, the illusion of my perfectly planned life shattered.
Now, I am 6 months into treatment, 24 weeks from pulling the emergency brake on my intern year in internal medicine. I’ve received 5 rounds of methotrexate, 3 rounds of cisplatin and doxorubicin, 3 rounds of ifosfamide and etoposide, and 5 fractions of radiation. I’ve been admitted 15 times and had 15 centimeters of my right femur removed, all at the hospital where I should be working as a resident. I’m living the cycles of anxiety, suffering, and hope between treatments and scans that I had just begun to witness as a physician.
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Gabster BP. Resident Report. JAMA. 2019;322(17):1653–1654. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16490
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