Good Cooking Stories … for Now


David Baer, MD1

Accompanying artwork: Caroline Shooner

Perm J 2019;23:15.087 [Full Citation]
E-pub: 11/01/2019

This is a story and illustration from the upcoming book 100 Little Stories of Big Moments published by The Permanente Press.

Most of the stories and poems were written by clinicians in 15 minutes in writing workshops about meaningful moments in their work and life of practicing medicine. Professional artists were asked to create a visual representation of the story.

I look forward to Lucy’s appointments.

Lucy is friendly, full of life and energy, and endlessly enthusiastic. She used to be a chef but now teaches cooking at a community college. I ask her about her class: How she goes about her work, and why she loves it so much. Her stories are endless. The only other thing she likes to talk about as much are her young children and her annual summer gig as a chef at the Canyon resort—a get-away spa for the rich and famous near Phoenix.

It happens that another patient once told me he had been a student at the community college where he learned how to run a restaurant. He now owns a successful food truck. As I asked more and more about his background it, became clear that he had been one of Lucy’s students. He clearly adored Lucy as much as I.

Lucy has cancer. A slow-growing cancer. One that we have never had to treat but one that one day will get worse.

I always look forward to seeing Lucy though I dread the day I have to tell her that things have changed.


How to Cite this Article

Baer D. Good cooking stories … for now. Perm J 2019;23:15.087. DOI:

Author Affiliation

1 Oncology Department, Oakland Medical Center, CA

Corresponding Author

David Baer, MD (

Artist Information

Caroline Shooner is a Clinical Associate in Family Medicine at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Canada.

The story “Good Cooking Stories … for Now” was originally published in leaflet, 2017;5(2). Available from:

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