My doctor always walks into the exam room smiling. It’s not necessarily the countenance you’d expect from a man who spends much of his time working with people with Stage 3 and Stage 4 cancers — the kind that haven’t responded to other forms of treatment. Yet even when we speak on the phone, I sometimes swear I can hear him smiling. Granted, I’ve given my doctor something to smile about – I’ve been doing spectacularly well in my Phase I trial, delivering CT scan results that he appreciatively refers to as “neat.” Yet the extraordinary thing about my doctor is that he was smiling the day I met him, when I was facing a diagnosis that put my long-term odds of survival in the “probably not going to happen” range. And from that first grin, he deflated my terror and made me believe I was in the hands of someone not just invested in my wellness, but downright optimistic about it.