I think oncology is not for me — I simply can't imagine telling someone he has a few months left to live, tell him I'm sorry... watch him walk out the clinic and know I will never see him again.
I see people grasp at insignificant things (tiny cysts) and worry over small details. I see others refuse tests because "they're old, and if doctors go poking around inside they'll only find more things gone wrong".
I understand that while I judge based on my values and opinions — some of which have changed drastically over the years — there really is no right or wrong choice. People choose, and live with the consequences of their choices (well informed, of course).
I began with the firm intention of "easing pain and suffering". I've been scoffed at (and sworn at!) a few times already. A lot has changed, but that hasn't. In the future, in the midst of overwork, politics, numbed feelings and angry patients, I hope that I will still believe in native goodness, and in the value of every human life.
Sometimes it's hard. My prejudices are strong. I'm not perfect. I started with the intention of doing some good in the world, but some days just don't go right, some days a headache never seems to quit, or the lump leave my throat.
But some days are good, I have fun, I learn things, I meet the rare kinds of people — the ones who make the world seem a bigger place, the heart a wider moat. Some days have chocolate and hugs, cute kids and fluffy things and great company.
Most of us assume we live forever. Some people, especially after a health scare, do a 180 and become obsessed with squeezing the juice out of every day, because tomorrow they might lose something they took for granted.
Like I said, we can't judge. For myself, though, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I shouldn't take a more ...lighthearted and I-may-not-live-forever view towards life?
My dream life still involves a house filled with books, but this time it's a cozier house (with a loft!!) and has a huge fluffy-ish dog and fluffy carpets, and no gym or swimming pool because I don't want a socializing/party space like that :P There is mountain air somewhere, and I'm a darned good doctor. There is chocolate somewhere, and hopefully there is love.
I might be asking for a lot...I'll settle for the chocolate LOL.