This is a question that unnerves most physicians- what if the disease that you specialize in treating is the one that ends up afflicting you? Here I have imagined an oncologist (cancer specialist) who gets diagnosed with the cancer that he has devoted his life to understanding and treating.


I knew unnerving it would be

With tables turned, undoubtedly

Little though I was prepared

For the diagnosis that now stared

Me in my face- I shook my head in disbelief

And then had a sense of deja vu brief

Of myself pronouncing the same words

In what seemed like another world

To patients of mine, a novice I was not

To life-changing words, I had taught

Myself to break such news gently-

Now the same tone for being used for me…


In the next moment I felt as if the ground

Beneath my feet had moved, no sound

Would escape my lips, though I was crying

I knew not what, but something within me was dying

Even then, in the midst of all that grief

I could not help shaking my head in disbelief

That the cancer in whose treatment I specialized

Had in a twist of fate within me materialized..


How do you give yourself a prognosis

Was the question tormenting me after my diagnosis

I threw myself into research with greater zeal

Even as the cancer eroding me I could feel

Today, lying on my death-bed, at least I know

The seeds of research I planted will continue to grow

To explore more of the disease that gave me

A purpose in life, as well as my mortality.

(Image source:








Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

4 thoughts on “Cancer

  1. I have thought of this so very often about both my oncologist and my oncology surgeon. What would they do but what would I do? I so rely on them for everything. Great thought, great post.


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