Friday, September 10, 2004

Welcome to The Cheerful Oncologist

If only for your reading pleasure, come and occasionally visit inside the cluttered but navigable, sardonic mind of a medical oncologist who simultaneously fights cancer and writes pithy pieces of prose about life in our self-conscious, post-modern world.

If cancer has ever touched close to you, or if you are interested in reading one doctor's ongoing story about treating cancer, this may be a site of interest. Too often in this country information about living with cancer and treating cancer is lacking, and I believe ignorance leads to prejudice against the cancer patient. Ignorance also foments unrealistic expectations, anger, crippling emotional distress. This is detrimental to good care.

Perhaps I could also compose a paragraph or two that illustrates the daily struggle to co-exist with hypocrites, phonies, egomaniacs, condescending liberals or just general idiocy. The amount of material I have to work with is staggering, is it not?

I was labeled "The Joking Oncologist" many years ago, due to my twin passions of killing cancer and making people laugh. Could a love of humor be a psychological defense against the sorrow of watching decent people die, day after day? Does this internal conflict represent the duality of the mind - the battle between the rational and the unfettered beast within us? Or am I just plugging one of my favorite novels - Steppenwolf?

If that's the case, then why not let Hesse speak for me:

Better learn to listen first! Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.

That's my weltanschauung - first published in 1927!