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Lee Lipsenthal, M.D.
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Entries by Lee Lipsenthal, M.D.

Dying Awake

(21) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 8:22 AM

"The cancer is back."

On the other end of the line, there was a moment of silence and a deep sigh as my wife registered my news.

"Are you sure?" she asked, then quickly shifted into physician mode. "What's the cell type? Is it herceptin sensitive?"

"I don't know yet....

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Does Chronic Pain Turn You Into A Narcissist?

(57) Comments | Posted February 11, 2010 | 1:51 PM

I have just finished six weeks of radiation therapy for my esophageal cancer. This treatment caused severe burning of my esophagus and stomach, leading to pain 24-7. My escapes from the pain have been narcotics and dissociation, (picturing my body as a separate entity, so that I can distance myself...

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Acceptance: Letting Go Of Control

(16) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 12:34 PM

In my last piece, I had written about how making today a good day to die also makes today a great day to live while decreasing fear of death. I also mentioned that the two main "ingredients" of this state are gratitude and acceptance: gratitude for the people, things, memories,...

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The Meaning Of Gratitude

(9) Comments | Posted November 25, 2009 | 2:53 PM

The final line in my book about life balance for physicians is "Balance is knowing that today is a good day to die; that you have lived fully, lovingly, and without remorse." Since I wrote this many years ago, I have taught this notion that today should be a good...

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The Paradoxical Emotions Of A Fatal Diagnosis

(23) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 9:57 AM

As mentioned in a previous post, I was diagnosed, this summer, with a metastatic cancer. My chances of survival, statistically, are about 10%. I suspect this could be looked at as a 'death sentence', yet my emotions tell me otherwise.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross, M.D. in her now classic 1969...

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Difficult Conversations In Medicine

(12) Comments | Posted October 14, 2009 | 9:46 AM

I am an internist who's primary work has been in preventive cardiology and physician health. I have spent the past 15 years of my life traveling teaching and researching, but things change. On July 24th of this year, I was diagnosed with a cancer of my lower esophagus. At the...

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