Men's Health

A CONSPIRACY OF HOPE

Source: Most oncologists receive no formal training in delivering end-of-life news.

IN THE SPRING OF 1989, MY mom called the manager of the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda, on the dugout phone during an exhibition game in Florida.

For months, she had been trying to get her 18-year-old son (me) an autographed photograph of the reclusive pitcher Sandy Koufax with a personalized comment, as a surprise gift. Dozens of calls and letters went unanswered. So she got resourceful.

I’m looking at that photo now.

We all love our mothers.

Mine died on August 16, 2015.

I loved her.

In March 2015, she was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her brain. Though I never saw her shed a tear, the devastation that accompanies such news hit my siblings and me hard. Still, I figured we had a few advantages.

First, she would be treated at a world-class cancer center at an esteemed university hospital. She’d have the best care.

Second, she had good “base strength,” vital in fighting cancer. Yes, she was nearing 81, but she could do most things she’d done at 60. She still drove every day (often too fast) and had only

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