cyst when thegynecologist who wasoperating on her
discoveredthat shehad metastaticcoloncancer. Iwas
summoned,asageneral surgeon,tosee whatcouldbe
cancerous mass, but the cancer had already spread
found and part of her colon had been excised.
involvement.” I explained how much bowel was
removed,what therecoverywouldbe like—everything
except how much cancer there was. But then I
cancer, I explained that ithad spread not only to her
been possible to remove all the disease. But I found
myself almost immediately minimizing what I’d said.
“We’ll bring in an oncologist,” I hastened to add.
“Chemotherapy can be very effective in these situations.”
Sheabsorbed thenewsin silence,lookingdownatthe
up at me. “Am I going to die?”
I flinched. “No, no,” I said. “Of course not.”
much as possible.