Posts on Health and Disability

This is a list of posts by both authors that address questions of health and disability. Thom's posts (listed first) address his personal health challenges, which he described as "extensive and life changing", as well as disability awareness in general, which was very important to him. (The latter group includes two poems by others.) Amy's posts (toward the end) address her experiences as a child and young adult with a seriously ill parent and as a medical student, pediatric resident and pediatric oncologist.

Thom was a long-term survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma, diagnosed when he was 20 years old. He was initially given a very poor prognosis of six months or less and was treated with a staging splenectomy and mantle irradiation at the University of Virginia, using one of the first linear accelerators. He relapsed twice and was treated with more radiation. He eventually lost all sensory and motor function in his left arm due to radiation-induced brachial plexus (nerve) injury. He also survived pneumococcal septic shock, related to the absence of his spleen, and an early heart attack, which was, by then, a well-known late complication in Hodgkin's survivors. Eventually, he developed heart and lung failure, also radiation-related, which was further complicated by recurrent infections of multiple pacemaker-defibrillator devices.

Although he needed supplemental oxygen for the last few years of his life, he continued to be very active, teaching full-time until his death. His heart stopped suddenly and peacefully on February 9, 2014, forty-five years after his cancer diagnosis. He was an extraordinary father, teacher and human being, and Amy continues to write this blog in honor of his life and legacy.

Thom's posts:

The Sally Effect

Too Bad, But I Got There First

Beatitudes For Those With Disability

Through The Looking-Glass

Blogging Against Disablism Day


Scar Wars

There Are More Hands Than Heads, Usually

Missing Extremities

Can I Get A Hug

The Keepers And I

18 Days Later ...

Amen And Resurrection

There Will Be Bread

The Aches Of Wrap Christmas

Desperately Seeking Parking

I Now Pronounce You Oneshoeshy


It's Never Too Late

The Dance

A Gentle And Tender Touch

Guitar, Interrupted

Poems With Disabilities


Minority Report

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Epic Fail

Musing About Disability I

Lean On Me

There's Something About Hands

My Wayward Shoelaces

Amy's posts:

"Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic"

Native Language

The Social Unacceptability of Being a Pediatrician-Mom

Gone Girls: A Discussion of Campus Safety and Sexual Assault

Confessions of the Hidden Curriculum

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Celebration of Life: Amy's Reflection on a Father's Love

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