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Ode to the Oncologist

The oncologist specializes in slow and tedious death. We may not know it but many of us, perhaps most of us will come to know an oncologist or two during maybe even near the end of our lifetimes. Who has more experience with every aspect of death than an oncologist? Death can be an instant, or it can be a grueling soul-sapping process. The oncologist has seen that one play out many times before. The oncologist is keenly aware that genetics has made this an unalterable destiny for untold millions, perhaps even for themselves.
Yet, the oncologist is still a professional. For better or worse these specialists and advisers are a profoundly impactful presence in the midst of these crises.  There is a certain symbiosis between death and the oncologist or maybe it’s more of a synergy. One patient to the next one this is always assured there will be more cancer. Day after day they see exhausted people gripping the boney hand of a loved one trapped in the hell of living decay. People attached by a needle and a tube to bags of poison.  The oncologist knows it is indiscriminate death, how often do you think they picture it being themselves?

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