“Your mother is going to die” 

How do you keep it together when you thought your mother was out of the woods? She just finished rounds of chemo and was looking well. Now you find yourself in the emergency department making the toughest decision you’ve ever had to make.


“It looks like you have pancreatic cancer” 

One minute you’re a happy old man who enjoys reading all the books he can get his hands on. The next you’re in a hospital bed wishing you could stop reading because now all you see is word cancer. 


“If you want to die there is a process you can follow. I cannot do that here for you today” 

What do you do when your will to live has completely vanished? Your wife of 50 plus years has recently passed and you cannot live in a world without her.



These are all words that I’ve heard in my short time as a medical student. I sit here days and weeks later, wondering – is there anything I can say to make it better? Maybe, but I know that there is nothing that will ever repair the first tortuous cut those words made. Brandishing the mind with haunting memories for years to come.

Words, they hurt.

Featured image via Unsplash

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