I saw this book on my patient’s bedside table yesterday. She was recently diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer. She is 41 years old.
When I pointed out the book, she said that it is helping her accept her circumstances and calm her anxiety. Two months ago, she was living life as usual, and the biggest threat to her life was COVID-19. Now, everything has changed. She has an amazingly positive and compassionate attitude. and all she wants is get out of the hospital and continue her outpatient chemotherapy to give her a few more months to enjoy life with her family.
She is brave and beautiful. And heartbreakingly young. Her presence was an important reminder of how everything can change in a split second. And hopefully gives us a chance to be thankful for our current state of good health and to not take it for granted. Today, you could be fine, tomorrow you could have metastatic cancer or a life-threatening viral illness. Let’s spend our time appreciating what we have in this moment and work towards maintaining it.
She would trade places with you or me in an instant. Let’s respect her and respect the grace with which she is both fighting and accepting her fate by being thankful for our good health and by maintaining it. Respect your body. Wash your hands Respect others. Wear a mask.
It’s the Thich Naht Hanh way of non-harming. Self-love. Compassion.
I’m rooting for her. I hope you are too.
Love, Dr. Yang