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I read this story sometime between 1989 and 1991 in a SF&F magazine (Asimov's Science Fiction? The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction? Amazing Stories?) and I've looked for it for years, in archives, online, etc. with no success. Can anyone help, please?

It takes place in the future. A neurosurgeon uses MRI scans to map out a person's neural map. Upon finding cancer or clots, he programs nanobots to enter the body and clean up the disease.

His ex-wife, whom he still loves, comes for treatment. When she leaves, he experiments with showing his photograph to the simulated retina and finds where it lights up in the simulation. Seeing a blocked neuron, he programs the nanobots to destroy her cancer and to re-establish contact to this cluster by reconnecting the block.

After her surgery, she falls back in love with him, but after a while, discovers the manipulation and leaves him. To forget about her, he scans his own neurons, finds her cluster, and programs nanobots to clip the connections, with the unfortunate consequence of also cutting off the neural pathways to breathing, heart regulation, etc.

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Sounds like a good story. Somewhat similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. –  Beska Nov 15 '11 at 22:01
Concept could be related to G.I.Joe: Rise of the Black Cobra. –  Alexander Mar 16 '12 at 4:14
I think this is not an Asimov story. –  b_jonas Jun 9 '12 at 14:58
@b_jonas : Apologies, I meant "Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine" not that Asimov was the author. I have updated the original question with example SF&F magazines at the time. –  David Hall Jun 15 '12 at 17:15
I remember reading this and since the only magazine I take is F&SF, it was probably in there, if that helps you locate it at all. –  Organic Marble Aug 5 at 1:23

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