Love is peculiar word.
We throw it around a lot.
I love ice cream
I love this dress
I love dogs! and cats! and caterpillars!
I don’t reserve my love for my significant other or our dogs, not just for my parents or sisters.
I love my patients.
In a full, whole hearted, listen with all my might, stay up late into the night worrying about you kind of way.
Yesterday, that love made my heart heavy. It tugged on my chordae tendineae a little more than usual.
Yesterday, I met my first cancer patient.
This isn’t a true love story, but none the less, it’s a story about love.
The kind of love a Doctor has for her patients. The kind of love that fuels compassion. The kind of love that makes you look a person square in the eyes and say “I don’t have all the answers, but I will do my best to find something to help us both understand this better.” Love that isn’t bound by differences. Love that isn’t founded on payment for services, but rather for a deep seeded desire to do whatever it takes to help the person before you. The person who has received a diagnoses. Who is now defined by the words “cancer.” The person who wants nothing more than to feel like a person again.
Love can make you feel like a person again.
Love can help you see that you will bloom again.
Love can make you see the silver lining of any cloud.
And sometimes, it’s a love that breaks your heart.
It’s a love that causes you grief.
It’s a love that makes you wonder why you loved so much to begin with.
Once, long ago, one of my professors said “You’ll always remember the first patient you lose.”
You remember because you loved them.
And you can’t go into this profession if you don’t love it. love them. love what you do.
Medicine is Love.