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Donald C. Bartnick, CMPE, CEO
Cancer. Brain Tumor.
Maryland Eye Associates
. http://marylandeyeassociates.com

Cancer. Brain Tumor.

Ophthalmologists can sometimes suspect a diagnosis of cancer or brain tumor just by examining your eyes. But further tests are necessary to confirm the suspicion. Thats not the only reason you should get an eye examination, but its a good one. Generally speaking, you should get a comprehensive, dilated eye examination
every two years or more often if recommended by your doctor. So, is that why Im writing this article? Well, not entirely.
Aristotle said, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Cancer. Brain Tumor. Those words elicit fear. Yes, extreme fear. A powerful motivator. Grave concern. Denial. Anger. Fear again. Resignation. Hope.
We have personally experienced those emotions. Yes, members of our extended family and their loved ones may have even received these same diagnoses this year.
Mortality. It brings reality into focus. It makes us all aware that we are not bullet-proof. Someone we care for, someone we have worked with for years, someone who has been a significant part of our lives has a diagnosis that reminds us all of our mortality. It reminds us that we are on this earth but for a brief moment. Our lives are fleeting. What will we leave behind?
Such a situation helps us gain
perspective. We see more clearly whats important, and whats not. Our family and friends draw closer. We reconcile ourselves with those we may have wronged and those who have wronged us. We set ourselves right with our Maker. We reflect on our lives.
How we behave when given a frightening, life-threatening diagnosis speaks volumes about who we are. I dont mean at that very moment, but rather what we do afterwards. The members of our extended family are teaching us how to live. They are suffering, and through that suffering are demonstrating grace, courage and fortitude. They are not rolling over and giving up, they are not seeking pity or special treatment. They quietly endure. They are fighting every day. They are reaching inside and tapping into a deep well of strength. Their example is a lesson for all of us. Their faith and their hope in turn strengthens us.
Our day-to-day lives have become so busy, fast-paced and jumbled. We dont exercise respect, caring, compassion and all of our human characteristics. We lose perspective. Road rage, violence, abuse, drugs and crime are all results of our loss of humanity. In smaller measure, but more insidious are rudeness, gossip, jealousy, lying and cheating.
A life-threatening diagnosis forces a change in perspective. Why do we need such a shock to force us to gain perspective? Why cant we choose to step back and consider our lives?
I suggest that this time of year is perfect for that reflection. Every faith recognizes this season with special significance. Now is the time to regain your perspective. Dont wait for the fear to force it. You see, I consider those who have been given time to get right with life the fortunate ones.
Its not what you do while youre here; its what you leave behind thats a measure of who you are.
Happy and reflective holidays to all of our patients, prospective patients, staff and families.

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