On April 15, 2016, I passed the gavel of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) to our new President, Dr. Sheldon Feldman. The weeks leading up to the meeting were filled with anticipation, anxiety, and a few nightmares. I had dreams that I slept through my Presidential Address, and that I forgot to prepare my slides. My nightmares stopped when 2 weeks before the meeting, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Chip Cody, my predecessor. He is a breast surgical oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in New York and a very experienced and polished speaker. He let me know that he also had nightmares before his Presidential Address – it wasn’t just me! The meeting itself brought many emotions, including a bit of last minute panic before the big talk, joy, and pride. Those words don’t do the emotions justice.
14 August 2015
It was hard not to get swept up in this one. Anyone who has frequented You Tube knows that certain posts go “viral”. Everyone gets caught up, there is a period of intense conversation and attention, and then it’s gone, replaced by the next trend. While I’ve been amused by some of these “current events”, I’ve never been an active participant. Until now.
A few months ago, This is What We Look Like launched. The purpose: “Promoting the presence, awareness, and progress of women in traditionally male dominated fields – Filling the web with images of women doing what is usually considered men’s work”. Images of women wearing t-shirts with slogans such as “This is What a [Drummer/CEO/Philosopher/Surgeon] Looks Like” began to fill the internet.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by a contact on Twitter who asked me to participate in an online “blog carnival.” The theme was motivation and how it plays into our roles as patients, providers and caregivers. The deadline for submission (which I just looked at) was September 17th.
This blog is unlike anything I’ve ever done. I’m a physician, and you can find all you want to know about my professional life here. My life has been defined by science, medicine, and cold hard facts. I always have struggled with creative and personal writing, and I was never one who made much time for self-awareness and introspection. But as a physician, I’m an educator as well as a life-long learner. And over the past few years, partly due to some personal changes, I’ve been drawn to writing, and to sharing my experiences and thoughts. It’s still quite foreign to me, but I’m giving it a try.
Here you will find those thoughts. Some of them are quite random. However you will notice some themes – healing, the search for balance and serenity, and community. And lots of gardening, which is where I find much of my balance and serenity these days.
I welcome your comments.