Mirth is God's Medicine: Coping with Cancer as a Physician (Paperback)
As a primary care physician in her mid-forties, Dr. Heather Thompson Buum is diagnosed with breast cancer; she is now facing multiple medical decisions, this time about her own health. Experiencing the system firsthand informs her future approach in unanticipated ways; what initially seems like a negative event becomes a process of growth and transformation. The story illustrates how a doctor, as both informed medical professional and human being, copes with a new diagnosis and disease. She falls back on what sustained her previously: music, faith, exercise. Along the way, she discovers new coping mechanisms: writing and sharing her story. Opening up to others, finding common ground, allowing authenticity and vulnerability to permeate teaching, mentoring, even patient relationships--this is almost an opposing view to how doctors are trained, to value privacy above all else. The book is filled with stories and scenarios from academic medicine, both humorous and poignant, that illustrate the humanity of us all. Cancer survivors will resonate with many themes, including the emotional roller coaster that accompanies the entire ordeal. Readers will appreciate how she finds humor even in tough situations, sharing amusing anecdotes not only from her cancer journey but also her training and career as a physician.