Posted by: donrhymer | July 19, 2010

My Oncologist Hates Me

She does. I somehow got on her bad side two minutes into our first meeting. The very concept of me annoys her.  Me annoying? Go figure, huh?

My favorite moment was a particularly testy phone conversation in which she yelled, not once but twice.

“Look, I have no intention of murdering you.”

I went in for chemotherapy round two, but apparently my white blood cell count was far too low so she pushed me back a week. Whenever, I’m in her office she spends the whole time hunched over a counter with her back to while she scribbles in my file.

The other day she took a phone call and I in was able to sneak a peek at her personal notes.

June 15th

New Patient today, Rimer? Rimyer? Not sure, I was distracted by that scar on his neck. Surgeons… what did he use a scythe?

Oh great, he’s a needy one. “What am I? Stage 2? Stage four? Will I live? Will I die?” Me-me-me. Would it have killed him to ask about my day?

Weasel. Sure, I’ll cure him. But if he throws up on his shoes a few times it’s no skin off my nose.

June 22th.

“Zipper neck” came in again. Patient complained of…

–       Milk

–       Bread

–       Cat food

–       Ore-Ida Frozen…

Wait, I got distracted, where was I? Oh yeah, he complained.

July 14th

Rimyer back. He’s lost weight. Man boobs no longer prominent, thank God.

I did that thing where I say, “Let me examine you.” And he sat up all straight like a Boy Scout and I poked his shoulders with my fingers and went…  “Hmm.” It’s completely for show, I mean, first of all, what does he think he has – shoulder cancer.? And second of all, what the hell am I supposed to figure out about a sub-molecular disease by poking around with these meaty hooks.

Ha, I love my job.  Actually, I don’t. All I ever really wanted to do was dance. But without training, co-ordination or the proper footwear, what chance did I ever really have? Damn my highly evolved intellect and debilitating social awkwardness that led me to medicine!

Oh shit, he’s still sitting there, waiting for me to say something comforting. I never know what to say. I should write some things down.

Or I could just pretend to get beeped and run out of the room. Shit, I don’t have a beeper. I should get one. Wait, do they even make them anymore? Forget it, I don’t need a beeper. Barbara, you can do this. Just turn around and say something comforting…

“So, Mister Ri…. Fella… so I ah… I wanted to… I just wanted to say that… Hey, do you know if they still make beepers?”



  1. Don,
    The blog is fantastic (just like pretty much anything you’ve ever written). Brutally honest. Keep it coming. By the way, hope all the mean doctors of the world find it, read it, and get much nicer or change careers. We are rooting for you!

  2. I thought Kate fixed this problem??

  3. At least it should be some small comfort that she’s mildly witty. 🙂

    I’ve only ever had one doctor that I actually enjoyed talking to, and I’ve had some real bastards (my OBGYN when I had my son was a serious prick). I think that, unless a person is House brilliant, if they aren’t personable, they should just stay out of medicine. Or maybe they should stick to research.

  4. LO F’N L

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