FIGHTING BACK: One Woman's Struggle Against Cancer by Joie Harrison McGrail

FIGHTING BACK: One Woman's Struggle Against Cancer

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When Joie McGrail's lung cancer was diagnosed as inoperable, she terminated her business obligations, reluctantly agreed to undergo chemotherapy, and resolved to find out more about the disease--she wanted a cure. With lots of time, a devoted husband, and apparently unlimited finances, this fifty-ish woman survived the debilitating treatment in better health and higher spirits than most and stretched her six-month life expectancy to a vital three years. She found Irish oatmeal and fresh natural foods restorative and experimented with a variety of unconventional treatments (not Laetrile), flying to Florida for a consultation and injections, to Germany for a six-week drug series not approved here. She remained hopeful even as she experienced callous handling and her condition deteriorated--blindness in one eye, lower body paralysis. One thinks of words like ""inspiring"" or ""indomitable"" for stories like hers, and yet this one also has some sticky spots. Although meticulous about food and medicine interactions, she nevertheless tried two treatments simultaneously. She continued to believe in the efficacy of the Gerson diet but gave it up as too time-consuming. And spending freely for fresh flowers and kitchen privileges in the German clinic, she and husband Bill never hired a linguist to translate the fuzzy answers about her therapy there. Such reservations may seem like caviling in the face of such resilience but the inconsistencies are conspicuous.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row