Entries in narrative medicine (8)


Vital Signs: Engaging Medicine and the Arts

Thursday, Feb. 8th I gave my (WVU) Honors Faculty Fellows lecture, "Vital Signs: Engaging Medicine and the Arts." 

From the lecture:

"One of the things we collect data about in the infusion center from the patients has to do with Quality of Life. Before this project, I would have never really thought about Quality of Life, but now I think about it all the time. In the infusion center, we use an instrument called the McGill Quality of Life questionnaire. Developed in 1996, this instrument is widely used with people with life threatening illnesses, and specifically palliative patients. While Quality of Life can be tricky to assess, the creators of the McGill instrument came up with a compelling definition of quality of life, published by the American Cancer Society: 'Quality of Life studies and measurements serve to prevent a devastating separation of a patient’s body from a patient’s biography during the delivery of care'."

And about working the infusion center:

"The first time I walked in to get a patient story, my stomach clenched with worry. Although I’d worked with Jamie Shumway intensively, and even though I’d prepared, written and received grants with Dr. Grey, I wondered if the project would really work. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to do it, not be good enough. Maybe all the patients would say no. I went in anyway, introduced myself that very first day to my first patient story. In one of the other cubicles, a patient got married before receiving the first treatment of chemo." 

Thanks to all who attended.


Off Belay: One Last Great Adventure

In 2015, I helped Jamie Shumway, a patient with ALS, write his memoir. It's now available at Amazon for purchase.

To learn more about the work I did with Jamie, check out the Narrative Medicine tab on this website. 


Off Belay--Coming Soon!

Watch for updates for Off Belay: One Last Great Adventure by Jamie Shumway. Over the last ten months of Jamie's life, I helped him craft his memoir. Jamie approached his ALS with courage and made writing this book his work during his illness. While I miss him dearly, I am so glad that his stories will soon be available to us all.

To preview, go to www.jamieshumway.com

To find out more about my work in narrative medicine, you can click the link on the homepage. 


Guest Blog: Superstition Review

One of the places where I published a story, Superstition Review, asked me to write a guest blog entry. I wrote about the project I'm doing in the infusion center at WVU's Cancer Insitute. I hope you enjoy learning more about the stories I work on with patients with cancer.


Story, Health, and Healing at Wake Forest

This past weekend (Oct. 1) Dominique Bruno, Whit Arnold and I made a trip south to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to attend the "Story, Health, and Healing" event at Wake Forest University. A wonderful event with gracious hosts and thoughtful, well-executed sessions. 

 A big hello to our new friends in NC from your new friends in WV!