SURVIVING by Jean Pond


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Dedicated to the doctor ""without whom there would be no author,"" this brain surgery survival account easily merges personal experience with medical history and current events--no surprising achievement from a former network news reporter. After months of misdiagnosed headaches, Pond was hospitalized for tests which confirmed a tumor; what should have been scheduled for surgery immediately was delayed--even after five massive seizures--because a New York doctors' strike was just beginning and her life-saving surgery was classified as elective. Eventually, after Pond's husband threatened TV cameras, the neurosurgeon capitulated and removed a golf ball hemangioblastoma in the middle of the night; ironically he didn't charge for the long procedure lest he be called strikebreaker. She was lucky in other ways: her devoted family hovered protectively and the surgeon was expert--she suffers no neurological deficits. Pond reconstructs the events with a good eye for detail, frequent reference to appropriate medical literature, and, for four post-surgery days of steroid-induced hallucinations, with all stops out. Without the flamboyance of Charles Mee's Seizure (p. 91), a carefully ordered, happily-ended case history.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1978
Publisher: Hill & Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux