There is strength in numbers, I feel it every day

Don D | Physician |

Strength sounds like a physical attribute, but for me, it is more synonymous with fortitude. With cancer, both patients and clinicians deal with situations that are at times unreal and unfathomable. Yet, we must move forward because there is no pause button in life. That takes strength, and I see it every day in the woman coming in to begin chemotherapy for her uterine cancer, the colleague who must tell a patient she has recurred, and the spouse or child of a patient who has just heard that their loved one is not going to be cured. I will often say, I know of no other person as strong as the one with cancer. The same applies to my colleagues and all who work at the MGH Cancer Center. There is strength in numbers, I feel it every day.


  1. Funny, I just said to a friend, if anyone tells me that I am strong or courageous, I will flatten them! Never thought of myself as being strong or brave as I am scared to death daily. Dancing for two years with ovarian cancer and can only say that my doctors at MGH make putting one foot in front of the other to carry on doable.

    angela dilger | | 4:39pm

  2. So very on point.. I have an 11 year old grandson Thomas, who is battling rhabdomyosarcoma for the 2nd time in close to 3 years.. He is one of the strongest people I know, let alone a being a child. He is truly a hero to all that know him. We are praying for a cure to end all these horrific cancers.

    Kathy Sylla | | 4:59pm

  3. I THANK God you are a caring and compassionate Doctor and your patients are heroes. Fighting for their lives and to give knowledge to others.

    Ginger Capaccioli | | 5:17pm

  4. There is no person stronger than the patient… Although they don’t know this at the time. I’ve seen and felt it first hand witnessing the unfair struggle my mother has endured for two years. At her weakest moments she doesn’t realize her own strength. I guess who can when one is in physical and emotional turmoil, (in my opinion, emotional begin the worse of the two). Strength is something she rarely recognizes In herself. She is an inspiration to so many. From those who have known her for years…and those who barely know her at all. This fact alone speaks to the courage and grace she carries herself with even through the darkest hours.

    Tara Signorelli | | 6:23pm

  5. Very well said! All who deal with the “c” word are strong. Let’s win the fight together! Thank you for your warm words and for letting us know that you recognize the strength it takes from these patients everyday!

    April Pansa | | 8:10pm

  6. Strength, fortitude words that my grandson Thomas knows all too well. Thomas is 11 years old & battling Rhabdomyosarcoma for the 2nd time in less than 3 years…He has gone through so much for a little boy, yet he moves forward with a smile. Fighting this dreaded disease in not easy for an adult, yet alone a child. Thomas is my hero and to all those who know him…We pray that one day a cure will be found for all those fighting the good fight… Stay Strong!!!

    KATHY SYLLA | | 8:14pm

  7. fortitude and courage

    Marilyn Mauriello | | 6:31am

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