[Commentary by Dheeraj Raina: This post is published under Uzma’s byline because it’s a previously unpublished post of hers. To read my approach to her unpublished work, read this. I know Uzma wanted to write a longer post about this. She was unable to complete putting many thoughts on paper because of the unpredictable ways in which cancer and its treatment interrupted life repeatedly. She started writing for herself. Over time, she heard how much her writing helped others. After learning that she never could ignore the obligation to write for the sake of others. That’s why she felt a great emotional need to complete her book before death came.]

From my inbox :

“Hi Uzma–

I want to introduce myself as a fellow warrior. I’m a physician and saw your blog thanks to a Facebook group yesterday. I read your Carpe Diem/Crappy Diem post and I have had the exact same musings. I am (age) yrs old and was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last May. Initially, I was quite ill (liver mets). I have been back to work since September (was still in my initial chemo at the time) and am back in treatment (now near weekly chemo because things got worse in January). I’m feeling pretty great, all things considered. I have a husband and a young child.

Anyway, I wanted to say hello, and to let you know that I’m here working, alongside you and fighting. And actually, I’m fighting back tears after reading your blog posts, which contain many things I have thought about for the past year. Thanks for writing and making me feel not so alone as a doc and mom.”

We became friends. She is currently in hospice and the inevitable is looming and as I grieve I hold on to her words.

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