When the Doctor’s Wife has Cancer – Another Perspective

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Readers of this health blog will remember some of the posts I’ve made about my experiences as the husband of a cancer patient. See Hows Kay? and The Importance of Knowing Your Family History.

The experience is one I wish on nobody, but I do look forward to this series in the NY Times by Dr. Bach, a Sloan-Kettering physician whose wife has breast cancer. He plans to journal about this in the NY Times Health blog over the next few weeks.  Here is the first installment:

February 21, 2011, 3:39 PM

When the Doctor’s Wife Has Cancer


As a medical student 20 years ago, I learned all about anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. My professors also taught me, implicitly, how to put on the white doctor coat as a shield against human vulnerability. With the coat on, you could get right up close to frailty, even touch it, and it wouldn’t be able to reach out and pull you in.

Residency training, with its harsh hours and unrelenting pace, added several more layers of protective shellac. But in all those years I didn’t have one class on how to be a patient, never mind how to be the spouse of one.

It was 8 a.m. on a sunny and crisp Wednesday in October when I became one.  

Read more at the New York Times