beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

To find a doctor, call 800-667-5356 or click below:

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

left banner
right banner
Smaller Larger

Of Course You Do Not Have to Dance

Posted 11/13/2013

Posted in

  By now, you have all seen and heard about Dr. Deborah Cohan who, with the entire surgical team, danced in the OR before her double mastectomy. The video, posted on Youtube, immediately went viral (I even posted it last week), and there has been almost as much reaction subsequently. To sum up the responses: Most people who have not had cancer thought it was just marvelous and brave and inspiring. And some people who have had cancer felt the same way while others had more negative reactions.

  All of us, I hope, whatever our personal health histories, strongly believe that we are each entitled to deal with cancer in whatever way feels best. Whatever gets us through is what we must do. This becomes problematic when one person's reaction is held as the standard, and others are made to feel badly if they chose to manage in a different way. This is a very thoughtful essay by Mary Elizabeth Williams on Per usual, I give you the start and then a link to read more. And I would be most interested in your thoughts both about the dancing and the push back.

You don’t have to dance at your mastectomy
A flash mob goes viral -- but it's OK for breast cancer patients to not be "brave"

Before Deborah Cohan went in for a double
mastectomy earlier this week, the San Francisco
doctor and mother of two made a request. On her
CaringBridge page, she asked for a virtual “Get Me
Bodied Flash Mob” and explained, “My fantasy is for
you to play the song and dance wherever you
happen to be (in the kitchen, the carwash, subway
platform [Dan!], classroom, Labor and Delivery
unit, wherever!) — ideally at 7:30am but really
anytime … I have visions of a healing video
montage. Nothing brings me greater joy than
catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies.
Are you with me people?” And with her they were.
On Tuesday, a six-minute video of her and her
surgical team grooving ecstatically in the operating
room posted on YouTube, and became an instant


Add your comment