“In the Fog of Loss” by Joyce Maynard
Stanford Medicine Magazine
Stanford University School of Medicine
“In the Fog of Loss” is a first-person, solicited article by novelist and journalist Joyce Maynard.
The author had written a soon-to-be-published memoir about life while her husband was being treated for cancer and how that changed her. We asked her to write an essay for us that expanded on aspects of the story that she’d like a medical audience to read.
What was the most successful part of your feature?
What mattered most to me was the opportunity to convey the experience of a cancer struggle to a readership that included many medical professionals. As much as the physicians know about pancreatic cancer, they might have learned something from the perspective of a patient and caregiver. This was my hope.
What is one thing you learned from this experience?
Frankly, I learned that if I am ever diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — unless someone can give me a compelling reason why the cancer differs from that of most others in this situation — I would not opt to undergo a Whipple procedure. Tough words, but there you have it. I would make the choice to live fewer months, with less agony, perhaps.
Susan Ipaktchian, email@example.com