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 1, 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...

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