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  • Self Image

    Posted 10/7/2015 by hhill

      The topic of self-image and cancer has been overthought and over-written and over-worked--but it persists. Part of the truth, I think, is that most of us would be glad to be apart from our physical selves through cancer treatment. Who wants to live intimately with pain and fatigue and nausea and hair loss? Who wants to look in the mirror and think: "WHO is that?" I always smile when I remember the woman who reported shrieking whenever she caught a glimpse of her bald head and eyebrow-less face: "I scare myself."

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  • Language as Advertising

    Posted 10/6/2015 by hhill

      It always pleases me when my entries seem to have a connection from one day to the next. Yesterday, I wrote about metaphors, and today's topic is the magic of language in advertising. I guess we all know that, and surely whole industries exist around marketing and PR and branding. It may not matter much if the subject is detergent or a jacket, but it does matter with drugs.

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  • How We Talk About Cancer

    Posted 10/5/2015 by hhill

      How we talk about cancer is quite different from the ways we talk about most other things. Appreciating that this is simplistic, I have a rotten cold today and am feeling pretty terrible. It always surprises me how badly a cold can make you/me feel, but we don't have a particular vocabulary for this very common illness. DId you ever hear anyone comment on the war with sneezes or my journey with a cold? Nope, neither did I.

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  • Relationships with your Doctors

    Posted 10/2/2015 by hhill

      Obviously there are no absolutes, and everyone is different, but many cancer patients have long and close and sustaining relationships with their caregivers. I started to write "with their doctors", but it is broader than that. The connections are also with nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, the people at the front desk who are the first to greet you when you arrive for an appointment or a treatment. One of the reasons that many of us have loved working in oncology is the longevity of many relationships. There are many women whom I have literally known for decades.

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  • Big Research Questions

    Posted 10/1/2015 by hhill

      I am back at the hospital today, feeling both exhausted and exhilarated by my days at Wonderwell. Given those feelings and how swamped I am today and that I think it is time for a change in the flavor of this blog, today's topic is big cancer research questions. What are the over-arching questions and themes and challenges?

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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