Saturday, April 24, 2010

Notes from the Edge

From The Oncologist: At age 29, Peter Morgan, an internist-in-training who intended to pursue a career in hematology and oncology, noted a mass on his leg. Tragically, metastasis to the lungs had already taken place at the time of diagnosis of a synovial sarcoma. There followed the all-too-familiar story of chemotherapy and experimental treatments, pain, debilitation, and ultimately demise, and in itself this experience would move us with the sorrow of a precious life lost. What makes this particular story so remarkable are the insights of this young physician and the struggle for survival of a spirit that would not succumb to the "chaos" of cancer.

The filmmaker, Ruth Yorkin Drazen, and the narrator, Matthew Broderick, have created a masterpiece. I can remember only one other movie, "Shadowland," the story of C.S. Lewis’s marriage and the loss of his wife due to cancer, that speaks as eloquently to the confrontation with cancer. In that film, one is left with the overwhelming sorrow of the husband. The present film goes far beyond many of the personal narratives about cancer experiences that one finds so often in the media, simply because it allows a remarkable individual to speak to us about what was most precious in his life. For those of us in the medical profession, his message is particularly meaningful: his work as a physician was at the top of his list.

DJE:  This is an extraordinary documentary.  It is very hard to find and hopefully, Mrs. Drazen will make it available through some organizations.  Dr. David Biro introduced me to this.