J Neurol Surg B Skull Base
DOI: 10.1055/a-2127-0593
Letter to the Editor

Neurosurgeon's Ode to Meningiomas

Michael W. McDermott
1   Miami Neuroscience Institute, Baptist Health South Florida Inc, Miami, Florida, United States
2   Division of Neuroscience, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Miami, Florida, United States
,
3   Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
4   Miami Cancer Institute, Baptist Health South Florida Inc, Miami, Florida, United States
› Author Affiliations

A neurosurgeon's ode to meningiomas, written in the style of Shakespeare's Hamlet, is presented below.

To operate, or not to operate, that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to observe

The slings and arrows of the tumor's natural history,

Or to take up a scalpel against a sea of troubles

And by operating, end them. To observe—to radiate,

No more; and by surgery to say we end

The heartache and the repeated scans

That observation is heir to: ‘tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To observe, to radiate;

To perform radiosurgery, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub

For in that action without surgery what problems may come

When we have shuffled off this decision to action

Must give us pause—there's the chance of freedom from recurrence

That makes the journey of life so long

For who would bear the scans and other treatments of time

Th’oppressors wrong, the proud surgeon's treatment

The prangs of unknown, unappreciated risks taken, the law's delay

The insolence of some journal's critic, and the spurns

That patient merit of unworthy thanks,

When the surgeon might his quietus make

With a 10 blade. Who else would be willing

To grunt and sweat under a stressful life

But that the dread of some complication after surgery

The undiscovered event, from who was bourn

No patient returns, puzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Then to fly to others' lives that we know not of.

Thus, conscience doth make cowards of us all,

And thus, the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied over with the pale cast of fear

Rather than enterprises of great courage in the moment

With this regard, nonsurgeons turn awry

And lose the name of action. Soft you now, nonsurgeon

Nymph, in thy prison,

Be all our sins be remembered.



Publication History

Accepted Manuscript online:
11 July 2023

Article published online:
08 August 2023

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