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March 16, 1984


Author Affiliations

Decatur, Ga

JAMA. 1984;251(11):1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340350021009

Mr Davis was a nice man. He had chronic lymphocytic leukemia and angina pectoris. Both diseases were well controlled. His angina occurred infrequently and responded promptly to sublingual nitroglycerin. His chronic leukemia required no treatment. I was satisfied with how Mr Davis was doing, but he wasn't. He was frightened of his diseases. Because of his anxiety he came to see me often. He came with his wife, who understood him. She knew he was scared. She loved him and was supportive, but not overly so. They lived in the country and had a good garden. Mr Davis was proud of his okra, corn, tomatoes, string beans, and black-eyed peas. In the summertime they enjoyed bringing me a "mess" of fresh vegetables. I would examine him, check his blood count, and try my best to reassure him. He would thank me, confirm his next appointment, and leave preoccupied with his