On How, When You Have Cancer, Foot Problems Don’t Really Seem Like a Thing… Until They Are the Only Thing

I’m at the doctor’s office – my primary care practice, for once, and not the Cancer Center. Actually, she’s a nurse practitioner at Mt. Ascutney Hospital. I don’t say that to minimize a valued member of my care team; I just mean to point out how minor my immediate health concern is relative to what has been my main focus for the last 18 months of my life -- not dying.

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There are no cancer specialists in sight. No world-renowned (and funny and handsome, but I digress..) colon surgeon. No doctors so important that they don’t even have the time to look you in the eye before they inject radioactive beads into your liver. Just “Judi,” a health care professional so relatable that she doesn’t even use a title.

And I’m so grateful for her at this moment. Because when I walked into the clinic, my foot didn’t give a fig about the letters after her name, the number of years spent in school, or her elite journal publications. 

“Cancer-schmancer. Fix my ingrown toenail, PLEASE.”


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