Tears are pooling off of my patient’s face
As his dad wipes them gently.
“You’re here for the family meeting?”
The perky, overzealous medical student asks,
As I watch this encounter from the door.
Back to reality,
“Yes. Would you like to join?”
Today is another day of “school” for her
As my patient’s life is unraveling.
“The glioblastoma took away my life.
I want my job back.
I want to live alone in my apartment.
I want my fiancé to become my wife,”
Trying to be strong
For his father.
The WHO classification of brain tumors
Does not account for the destruction of one’s soul.
Next generation sequencing cannot identify
A mutation to target to restore one’s old life.
“Does he qualify for a clinical trial?”
The medical student asks
Attempting to be helpful,
But his KPS is too low.
I have exhausted all of the treatments
Have I failed you?
I was the physician who recommended
You enroll in this clinical trial.
I was the one who thought it would be best.
Your recent MRI suggests
That the drug accelerated the growth.
“It’s not fair.”
My pleasantries sound hollow
As silence reigns supreme.
Tears continue to pool
As the intern changes the orders
To reflect comfort care.
No targeted funding reported.
The authors report no relevant disclosures. Go to Neurology.org/N for full disclosures.
Go to Neurology.org/N for full disclosures. Funding information and disclosures deemed relevant by the authors, if any, are provided at the end of the article.
Submitted and externally peer reviewed. The handling editor was Resident & Fellow Section Deputy Editor Ariel Lyons-Warren, MD, PhD.
- Received March 1, 2023.
- Accepted in final form June 12, 2023.
- Copyright © 2023 American Academy of Neurology.