* * Anonymous Doc

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Does my mother really need the bone marrow transplant?"


"We can't just wait and see if she gets better?"


"But we can wait a little while?"


"What if she gets better tomorrow and doesn't need the transplant?"

"That's not how it works."

"I told her to eat better."

"That's not what caused the leukemia."

"But we should tell her it did so she eats better?"


"But I want her to eat better so she stays healthy."

"Unfortunately she's not healthy right now. She has leukemia, and she needs a bone marrow transplant. Everyone should eat healthy, of course. But that's not the issue that's most important for your mother right now."

"I've heard people eat bone marrow. Should she be doing that? Will that help?"

"No. It's not about eating bone marrow. We need to replace the bone marrow she has."

"Can we do that with the bone marrow in restaurants?"

"That's not human bone marrow."

"So it wouldn't work?"

"That's correct."

"What if we found human bone marrow."

"Well, that's what we're looking for. We're going to try and find a match for your mother so she can get the transplant."

"And what will you do with her existing bone marrow?"

"We get rid of the old marrow with radiation and chemotherapy and then introduce the new marrow. But that's a very simplified way of describing it, and it's not my specialty."

"Can we keep the old marrow?"

"There's not going to be a physical object to keep."

"So it's not like a liver? We wanted to keep my uncle's liver, but the hospital wouldn't let us."

"It's not like a liver."

"People eat liver too."

"Not human liver."

"Oh, yeah. You're right, I forgot."


  1. How you don't reach over and slap your patients is beyond me. Pathology here I come!

  2. 'Oh yeah, I forgot' is code for 'crap, can't let him know I like to eat human liver'.

    Has to be.

    I think you must work in the Twilight Zone. You could change your blog name to Twilight Zone Doc.

    The way you handle dialogue in your writing is very good by the way.


  3. Grief makes people crazy. Dealing with the low cognitive function of people who are in the process of watching their parents suffer and possibly die can be really frustrating for the doctors and other healthcare providers.