I rarely recommend medical journal entries to civilians, but Dr. Carlson’s story of dealing with leukemia, the rigors of the medical interventions, including a stem-cell transplant, she endured, and her efforts to continue her life as a doctor and mother in the face of treatment that has been only partially successful is so poignant, moving, and insightful that it deserves the widest possible distribution. The invocation of Leonard Cohen’s lines from Anthem is extraordinarily pertinent:
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything;
That is how the light gets in.
The entire piece can be found at You Did Not Teach Me What You Thought You Did by Marie Archambault Carlson, MD, MPH (Journal of of the American Medical Association: October 22/29, 2019),
Thanks to Russ Hall, MD, a Duke University colleague of Dr. Carlson, who alerted me to this essay.