She groaned involuntarily as she leaned across the desk to grab a charge sheet.

“Are you OK?”

Frightened eyes looked up at me. She had been working my front desk for two months. She was still in the “trial” period and she was worried…

“I don’t think I am.”

All of the patients were gone. 

“Come with me.”

I pressed on her abdomen. There was a huge mass.

“How long have you been hurting?”

“About six weeks. It has been getting worse. Tell you the truth, Doc, I don’t think I can keep working like this.” She started crying. “I am so sorry.”

“I agree.”

I ordered some bloodwork and a CT scan the next day and told her not to come to work. 


It was throughout her abdomen, caking everything. I knew she was not coming back. Ever.

She had been so wonderful. Patients loved her. She was bright and cheerful, efficient.

“She has not met the 90 days so her disability benefits have not kicked in. She won’t have coverage and is going to lose her health insurance.” 

I remembered the job interview, asking her why, after retiring from her first career and not working for a few years, did she want to start at the bottom of the totum pole working in my office?

Maybe this was why. 

She needed the health insurance. 

“Doc, you can authorize her going onto disability even though she has not met the 90 day employment requirement which will save her insurance but you will be paying 75% of her salary and paying for her benefits and you cannot hire someone else for her position for the next six months once she is no longer on the short term disability…”

I had to admire her. I would have done the same thing. I knew the right thing to do here. It was going to hurt the clinic something awful but we had to do it.

“Fine. Consider it authorized.”


160 thoughts on “Cancer

  1. Great story, I wish everyone would be as you. No one is compassionate. They usually think the cancer patient is a burden. I can tell you horror stories about emoloyers.
    I nominated you for The Sisterhood of The World Blog Award.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank god for people like you. You have done a wonderful thing for this woman. I shudder to think what kind of treatments she would have been able to get with no medical insurance. And I like to think that your practice will flourish more every day because of your ethics.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Sharing is Caring | Don't Curse the Nurse!

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