Thursday, April 20, 2006

Colleagues,
I regret to inform you that ABC received bad news from his CT scan today, indicating progression of his malignancy. He will be stepping down from the practice effective immediately and for the indefinite future. He wanted me to pass along this news to those of you who have been so supportive of him over the last few weeks because he knew you were concerned and would want to know what is happening.

Sometimes these things just hits a bit too close for comfort. A consultant in my division, someone I've worked with extensively in the last few months, just found out his cancer had progressed to the next stage. It was no secret that he had just completed chemo, and went for a head CT. The primary, rumour has it, was malignant melanoma. With this piece of the puzzle, malignant melanoma with brain metastatasis, has poor prognosis.
And while our patients face this every day, often physicians feel like they're above that, forgetting their bodies are mortal too.
Presumably, that memo that came from our section chair meant that Dr. ABC is stepping down, essentially, to live the remaining days of his life at home. Days, to be measured in short months.
Just 2 weeks ago when I gave an afternoon conference on growth hormone use in short pediatric patients, he was just jokingly giving me a hard time about my height. And, he co-authored that book with the rest of us, and I was thrilled to have him authograph his section.
The mood in our section has been gloomy the last week because Dr. ABC, while a controversial character with his blunt ways and crazy sense of humour, was well-liked. And one of the top physicians in his sub-subspecialty.
However things go, I hope he finds strength and peace to faces his days.

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