This is my every day: breaking the bad news, reminding people of their mortality, and reassuring them I'd do my best to care for them. Dr. Bishal Gyawali's essay reminds us to connect with our patients' humanity. And nothing confronts a person with his humanity as when he is faced with the reality of death and dying. Dr. Gyawali offers a peculiar insight on the beautiful intricacies of cultural differences in how patients and physicians from Canada, Nepal, and Japan approach bad news. In my brief medical career, I have worked in quite a few different countries. I went to medical school in Nepal, where I was born and raised. I then went to Japan in 2012 to train in medical oncology. Five years later, in 2017, I returned to Nepal to work as a medical oncologist before moving to Boston, Massachusetts, for a research fellowship in cancer policy in 2018. I now live and work in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, having moved here from Boston in early 2019. He continues: Althou
When the going gets tough, I wear sneakers to work. I bought this pair almost at a whim after a long day of walking in Seoul. My feet hurt. I saw a nearby store that sold cheap shoes. They worked wonders.
From Paradox Uganda, one of my favorite blogs , a continual source of encouragement for me: In Bundibugyo, the Paeds ward is a centrifuge that applies a centripetal force upon all the misery of the world and distills it down into the bodies of dozens and dozens of small people. This beautiful place, like all others on our planet, has a hidden brokenness. As we round the mountain curves to return home, I see the smooth amazing pavement which has replaced one of the most difficult roads in the world. I see the outlines of palms and the vibrant green of banana trees, testaments to rainfall and abundance. I see songbirds and sunsets, hear laughter, creativity, resilience, commitment. But spin the globe a few times, and then enter the ward to see what settles out. Malaria, malaria, malaria, and the nurse tells me they lost one last night because the quick-acting and effective artesunate is out of stock. My first patient is a newly admitted 4-year-old, gathered on the floor on a mat
Reading fiction facilitates my technical writing—or so I like to delude myself. In this sense, I like to alternate between the two categories of material. I remember that the same method is employed by George Saunders, a fine short story writer who happens to be a geophysical engineer, too! After finishing more than half of the Elena Ferrante novel, I spend my Sunday evening writing the manuscript for a technical paper. It's not an easy process, but it's made easier by my remembrance of Elena and Lina. Marginalia using broad nib, Pilot Custom 74, Diamine Chrome ink.
The last time I stayed this long in bed—say, five to six hours, give or take—after waking up was, to be honest, a long time ago. So distant was the memory that I couldn't even remember. Yesterday, however, with the gloom and drizzle outside, and with the recent conclusion of the medical students' oncology module which I helped coordinate, I started my morning at 6 am with a fresh cup of brewed coffee, and, still in my pajamas, grabbed two books from my shameful but proud tsundoku pile. The first was The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume I (Avon Publishers, 1971), edited by Robert Silverberg, lent to me one of my mentors, Dr. Ding Fernando, a few months ago. The second was Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, book three of the Neapolitan novels, which I also bought many months ago. It was perhaps the closest I've ever gotten to an actual shopping spree—I bought all the Ferrantes at National Bookstore, fearing I may not see them in stock again. As wi
I'm presenting a paper at the ASCO Breakthrough in Bangkok next month. I was asked for my Twitter handle during registration—how cool was that? It will be printed on my badge. This goes to show that social media is here to stay, and it is best that clinicians and researchers make use of this platform. (In case you're interested in all things oncologic, you can follow me at @ lanceoncology .) I maintain two Twitter accounts—@ bottledbrain , which is more personal and private, and @ lanceoncology, which is technical, academic, and public. I use the first account to follow the news, engage with friends, and write miscellaneous realizations. In my younger days, I may have inserted a few rants. (Forgive the ignorance of my youth.) I use the latter to monitor the current developments in medical oncology, tweet key points of the the conferences I'm attending (it also helps keep sleepiness at bay), and follow researchers from all over the world whom I've met and admired.
via Instagram As I count the months towards the end of clinical fellowship, allow me to share a favorite group portrait during our foray in Seoul where we shared our research findings at the Korean Cancer Association meeting. I’ve been blessed beyond measure to have worked with these men. @k.momdragon, our leading lady, wellspring of compassion, mother of the sweetest girl in Manila, our source of estrogen and testosterone, deserves a separate citation.
While watching Weathering With You (天気の子) in cinema, yet another film by Makoto Shinkai—whose masterpiece, Your Name (君の名は), I had just watched this weekend—it was raining outside. I once wrote that I used to love the rain until I lived in Metro Manila, where it translates to massive traffic jams and deadly cases of leptospirosis, but, when I think about it now, I still love the rainy weather. It reminds me of childhood when, trapped inside the house, I would play with my brothers and read the story book, "Who Made the Angels Cry?"—which was about a rabbit who stole a cookie from a jar. Weathering With You is beautiful. I want to watch it again.