This is a beautiful and heartbreaking piece, but I think the oncologist was treated unfairly. The author states that she doesn't even know why her partner chose chemotherapy, yet frames the story as if the oncologists suggested it just for curiosity or to somehow financially benefit. I'm not saying that couldn't possibly be the case, but there really doesn't seem to be any evidence of that.
@branza I know I'm a little late on this but I read your comment and had to reply. I'm also a science PhD student (4th year) and I was in a very similar situation to you last year. My work was going terrible, couldn't make myself get out of bed, got into lab at 11 every day and stared at my computer too scared to start experiments b/c I was overwhelmed by the idea of continuing to run things that just didn't work..also had a science grad student boyfriend who I adored but he was obsessed with his work and constantly depressed/upset/withholding time spent with me and affection. He once told me we couldn't have sex anymore because it made him "too dependent" on me. I ultimately broke up with him and turned into a sad shell of a barely functioning human being for about 4 months because it hit me so hard.
Here is my words from the other side/advice: Break up with your boyfriend. I know what it feels like to be with somebody who makes you feel like a little less of a person every day. Grad school is already doing that to you, you don't need him. It is probably eating away at you and affecting your productivity more than you realize. Yes, it may knock you down for awhile but the feeling of sweet relief you will feel from no longer waiting for his love/affection will be worth it. If you're like me, you'll rebound with an annoying Sex Idiot then inadvertently find someone (another grad student...ugh) who you're crazy about but who also gives you all the affection and love you want.
As for our work, like EngNaturalBeauty said, you will have a breakthrough. But the only way to have that breakthrough will be to make yourself get up everyday and do something-it doesn't have to be the best experiment, or the right one, or the most magically designed to get results one. Just make yourself do something. Push through the paralysis. Just...keep going to work everyday. The only time I've really seen grad students fail is when they let themselves slowly quit going to work. Don't let that happen.
Keep seeing a therapist, get on some medication if you need that to help you through for awhile (I did). Exercising is one of the best things you can do, and if you don't have any grad student friends in your department/program, try to make some. Mine were invaluable in helping me through my break up and work paralysis. Good luck!