In April of 2010 — on my birthday — the doctor called to tell me that I had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. Within days I was hospitalized, and within months I underwent a stem cell transplant.

And I’m lucky, because here I am, alive and well.

In the spring of 2016, prompted by the death of a friend and fellow traveler who was not so fortunate, I wrote a series of blog posts called We Meet Again to offer a patient’s perspective on our miraculous but flawed medical system, to thank those who had saved my life, and to share what wisdom I could with others afflicted by cancer.

Here is a sampling of my posts.

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^ Among the many gifts Greg Grappone left behind was a poem he wrote for his wife, Amy. She read it at his funeral service last May while holding their squirming daughter, Briar, who was not yet 3. Its concluding lines inspired this blog …
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^ It’s a shock at first, the hospital — you lie on a bed that has a mind of its own, undulating beneath you to prevent bedsores, you are tethered to a pole on wheels that follows you to the bathroom, bags of fluid and toxins dangling over your head, you are denied comfort by pumps whose alarms sound for no good reason, tubes buried in your arm, needles taped too tightly to your skin …
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^ Mistakes happen in hospitals, as I learned during the first procedure on my first morning at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center …
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^ Imagine Beethoven writing symphonies for brilliant musicians in gowns and tuxedos who perform by banging sticks and stones on hollow logs, and you pretty much have my view of modern medicine: the sophisticated application of crude tools …
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^ When I asked for suggestions a while back, two readers asked me to write about facing death …