We all go through difficult times; I certainly have. When patients express discouragement about the track of their lives, I tell them about my friend John.

John was a wonderful surgeon who operated on two of my kids. He was a gentleman and a gentle man, and he developed leukemia at age fifty-two. I visited him in the ICU, and we talked about good times we had shared. I returned to my office and two hours later I received a call that he had died.

The next morning, just after dawn, I was walking to my car to go to work. It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning with a cloudless sky and perfect sunrise. I looked at the sky and inhaled the fresh morning air and thought to myself, “John will never experience another sunrise like this, and I can. I am so damned lucky.”