Harvey Kelekian, M.D. Quotes in Wit
VIVIAN: (Hesitantly) I should have asked more questions, because I know there’s going to be a test.
I have cancer, insidious cancer, with pernicious side effects—no, the treatment has pernicious side effects.
I have stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. Oh, and I have to be very tough. It appears to be a matter, as the saying goes, of life and death.
I know all about life and death. I am, after all, a scholar of Donne’s Holy Sonnets, which explore mortality in greater depth than any other body of work in the English language.
And I know for a fact that I am tough. A demanding professor. Uncompromising. Never one to turn from a challenge. That is why I chose, while a student of the great E. M. Ashford, to study Donne.
In everything I have done, I have been steadfast, resolute—some would say in the extreme. Now, as you can see, I am distinguishing myself in illness.
I have survived eight treatments of Hexamethophosphacil and Vinplatin at the full dose, ladies and gentlemen. I have broken the record. I have become something of a celebrity. Kelekian and Jason are simply delighted. I think they foresee celebrity status for themselves upon the appearance of the journal article they will no doubt write about me.
But I flatter myself. The article will not be about me, it will be about my ovaries. It will be about my periotoneal cavity, which, despite their best intentions, is now crawling with cancer.
What we have come to think of as me is, in fact, just the specimen jar, just the dust jacket, just the white piece of paper that bears the little black marks.
SUSIE: (Pushing them away from the bed) Patient is no code. Get away from her!
(SUSIE lifts the blanket. VIVIAN steps out of the bed.
CODE TEAM HEAD: (Reading) Do Not Resuscitate. Kelekian. Shit.
She walks away from the scene, toward a little light.
(The CODE TEAM stops working.)
She is now attentive and eager, moving slowly toward the light.
JASON: (Whispering) Oh, God.
She takes off her cap and lets it drop.
CODE TEAM HEAD: Order was put in yesterday.
She slips off her bracelet.
CODE TEAM: —It’s a doctor fuck-up.
—What is he, a resident?
—Got us up here on a DNR.
—Called a code on a no-code.
She loosens the ties and the top gown slides to the floor. She lets the second gown fall.
The instant she is naked, and beautiful, reaching for the light—
JASON: Oh, God.
(The bedside scene fades.)