"Lenox Hill" From a Survivor's Perspective

September 19, 2020

Written by Head for the Cure Ambassador and survivor, Lisa Joerling

“Lenox Hill” is a documentary series on Netflix that debuted in June of this year. If you have not watched it yet it needs to be your next binge. The show follows 4 doctors; an ER doctor, an OBGYN doctor, and 2 neurosurgeons. It does a great job of bringing awareness to brain cancer and the stories of patients and the doctors who treat them.The surgeons on this series show what I already knew from my own experience, that doctors are true heroes. 

As a brain tumor survivor this series brought up a lot of emotions. It featured patients undergoing awake brain surgery just like I did. Some of the scenes were a bit triggering for me, but fascinating at the same time seeing the behind the scenes of what I did not get to see during my surgery. The most emotional story for me was the 21-year-old patient who was close to my age at the time of my surgery. Her whole family was with her when she was anxious and scared as she was in the pre-op room just like I was. 

What I loved specifically was seeing the behind the scenes of the doctors. You get to see their talent, empathy, emotions, and how much they care about each person they take care of. As a patient, you do not get to see the work doctors put in before and after the surgeries they do. The series also shows parts of their lives outside the hospital and how they balance their work and home life just like many other people struggle with. 

This series shows the raw emotion and reality patients face with brain cancer and how research and funding are so desperately needed to improve the very low survival rate of malignant brain cancer. It shows how patients and families have to have those hard conversations on treatment choices and what they would want for end of life wishes. For those of us who have been diagnosed or know someone who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor these scenes are very familiar, but for people who are unfamiliar with this it shows how it takes an entire team and support system for people who are going through this terrible disease. Netflix did an amazing job on this show and I highly encourage you to watch it, you will laugh, and cry, as you watch amazing people and doctors share their stories.