Vital Signs: Final Battles

Mrs. Chang's life had not been easy. Now she was afraid her death wouldn't be, either.

By Stewart Massad|Sunday, March 01, 1998
Mrs. CHANG LAY IN THE EMERGENCY WARD, fighting. She was fighting terminal cancer, pain, and despair, and as her oncologist, I was called to see her. Just back from a farewell visit to her parents in Taiwan, she lay on her gurney behind a green curtain, her son beside her. Her knees were drawn up, her arms crossed, her eyes closed. When I said hello and touched her frail shoulder through the worn hospital gown, she turned, her body stiff beyond her years. She fought to sit up, to smile, to regain...

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in.

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar

Log in to your account

Email address:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »