Here’s a story from the book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, written by Rachel Naomi Remen about a man in one of her cancer support groups. Dieter had escaped from Communist East Germany, and after many years as a refugee had made a new life for himself. Now he was living with cancer.
For some time now Dieter had suspected that the chemotherapy was no longer helping him. Convinced at last of this, he spoke to his doctor and suggested that the treatments be stopped. He asked if he could come every week just to talk. His doctor responded abruptly, ‘If you refuse chemotherapy, there’s nothing more I can do for you.’ … And so Dieter had continued to take the weekly injection in order to have those few moments of connection and understanding with his doctor. The group of people with cancer listened intently. There was another silence. Then Dieter said softly, ‘My doctor’s love is as important to me as his chemotherapy, but he doesn’t know.’
– Rachel Naomi Remen