CMF on Facebook CMF on Twitter CMF on YouTube RSS Get in Touch with CMF
menu resources

Learning to be the patient

summer 2009

From triple helix - summer 2009 - Learning to be the patient [p20]

PDF version
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)

A Doctor's Cancer Journey
Hazel Butland
AuthorHouse 2008
$11 Pb 292pp
ISBN 978 1 43439 696 9

CMF member Hazel was a GP, police surgeon, and a doctor at a local hospice; someone full of energy and outside interests; a Christian, a wife, and a mother. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 50. This book stems from her journal, mixing narrative and reflection on issues like the diagnosis, telling the family, the treatment with its uncertainties and side effects, and her efforts to continue working and socialising.

It provokes all sorts of questions about getting the balance right. Somehow she manages to be both doctor and patient - even by attending the day hospice where she is known as the doctor, yet benefiting enormously from making a mosaic. Alongside her cancer journey she deals with past hurts from a previous position in general practice, old pain resurfacing when facing new trauma.

This book is well worth reading - but do bear with her and remember why the journal was written. In places it becomes a little tedious and it is tempting to skip the recurring thoughts and the detail on drug regimes and constipation! Initially I couldn't put the book down. It is perhaps overlong, but it is honest, insightful, and describes a journey of faith.

Article written by Jean Maxwell

More from triple helix: summer 2009

  • Assisted suicide: amendment defeated
  • Swine flu
  • Abortion advertising on TV?
  • Spirituality in the NHS
  • Organ Donor Campaign
  • CMF at 60 - back to the future?
  • Adoption - not just a calling for the childless
  • Making the most of our time
  • 'The great physician'
  • MDG 6 - HIV, TB and malaria
  • Exodus 21 and abortion
  • Taking time out
  • Eutychus
  • Crying for the light
  • Animal Rights, Human Responsibilities
  • Learning to be the patient
  • Self Harm
  • Caring for Hindu Patients
  • Pictures in AIDUcation
  • AIDS: I'm Not at Risk, Am I?
  • Planetwise
  • Friend of 'sinners'?
  • Why DID I join CMF?
  • Christian Medical Fellowship:
    uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
    Contact Phone020 7234 9660
    Contact Address6 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1HL
    © 2019 Christian Medical Fellowship. A company limited by guarantee.
    Registered in England no. 6949436. Registered Charity no. 1131658.
    Design: S2 Design & Advertising Ltd   
    Technical: ctrlcube