Jordan Grumet, MD
| In My Humble Opinion
It was not so much the words as the overall tone of the interaction. The doctor-patient relationship had been generally affable. There was the usual exchange of pleasantries over the years. Questions about family, children and grandchildren. It was a good relationship. Until Harvey got sick, that is.
Originally there was weight loss and fatigue. The initial physical exam and slew of testing showed nothing but a frail, cachectic, middle aged man. A few cat scans later and he was in the oncologist's office discussing chemotherapy. A regimen was decided on, and therapy began the next day.
Therapy was hard. Nausea. Retching. More weight loss. Far from feeling better or cured, Harvey could feel the clothes slipping from his emaciated body. It was as if life itself was drip dripping away as the chemo bulldozed into his broken veins. And this pissed Harvey off.
He lashed his family. He cursed his friends. He spun into a whirlwind of the most resistant depression. A depression, his therapist would later tell me, whose only salve was anger. While the anger allowed him to carry on, often he left those around him scorched.