So, it's been a while...
Life is hectic. The patients don't have broken legs and coughs now; they are all dying of cancer. It wears on me.
I notice the defense mechanisms of the oncologists. Everyone must somehow build up a persona at work, so they themselves don't become overwhelmed. My persona is dysfunctional and may have faulty chromosomes. He doesn't protect me; he just sits there and watches me flounder.
It's always the last patient before lunch, and I've always run hard the day before, so my blood sugar is 2. Pick your units, it's 2. The last patient before lunch is never easy, and I often feel like postponing to postprandial times.
The pre-lunch patient comes in to hear the results of his latest scan and to discuss the next step.
But the scan is often bad. I look at the scan before calling the patient in. I open the report on the screen and scroll to the conclusion. New lesions in the liver and bones, say. The primary grew, as well. Despite 4 rounds of chemo. Blood sugar hovers at 2 as I call the patient in. If just the patient gets up, it's hard. If the patient brings 3 family members, it's harder. Husband and wife is doable.
If they are nervous, I can't look at their faces. If they are young and know exactly what is going on, all they care about is what the scan shows. They have waited 2 days at home to hear the results. So I tell them. I hate seeing their faces, when even the most poised patients reveal a moment of panic.
I try to comfort them and tell them about the next line of chemo. If all lines are spent, I tell them they are done with our poisons, which didn't work anyway.
"Who would want a job like this?", I often think. Who would you have to become to like a job like this?
Enough whining. Life is good in other ways. Colleagues are good; there is no call. Natali plays soccer and runs. Christian is riding his bike; I run behind him. Mattias is close to walking. The Girl is a little manic right now. She is fast; for the first time, she is definitely faster for a woman than I am for a man. Her eye study is rolling along. Lots of minor injuries, but nothing that seems dangerous.
I run fartleks 3 or 4 times a week. It's all I do. It's fun and life is too hectic for anything else. It keeps me at 90%. 100% can wait until better times.
Hey! Hey, did you notice that Jake Hegge won Voyageur? Jake Hegge is 20 (maybe 21 now) and he won Voyageur in 7:35 (on the hard, revised course, that is). Scott Jurek was, like, 24 when he won Voyageur in his 3rd attempt. I have written about him before, and I will repeat that he could be big, if he keeps it up. I trained with him this summer in La Crosse and basically tapered before each session to be able to keep up. He has a blog at http://jakeheggerun.blogspot.com/ although it looks less than oft-updated.