THE POWER WITHIN: True Stories of Exceptional Patients Who Fought Back with Hope by Wendy Williams

THE POWER WITHIN: True Stories of Exceptional Patients Who Fought Back with Hope

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KIRKUS REVIEW

High-impact stories of ten people who didn't take cancer lying down. ""The people described here are all winners,"" says Bernie Siegel's blurb for this contribution to the growing literature on the importance of a fighting spirit in battling disease (e.g., Paul C. Roud's Making Miracles, p. 1658). The first-person narratives are brief, punchy, and intelligent, and each is followed by the mostly surprised and confounded reactions of their physicians. Nearly every one of the ten survivors demonstrates an unusually strong ego and a fierce determination to beat the statistical odds. There is the singer with throat cancer who, though he will never sing again, masters the difficult technique of esophageal speech so perfectly that he can lecture for 12 hours a day and be almost as well understood as he ever was. There is the high-powered, Type-A businessman who focuses all his problem-solving skills on his own treatment and recovery. There is the girl who cheerfully flaunts a green wig when she's lost all her hair to chemotherapy. And so on. Almost all of these people, at some point in their therapy, abandon their faith in the infallibility of the medical establishment and take their fates into their own hands. Most testify to the enormous strength and humor they've drawn from cancer support groups; some visit wellness clinics and holistic practitioners; all of them are take-charge types. And all but one have survived long beyond any expectations and are managing to lead fuller lives in many respects than before. Powerful, and exceptionally well done. And while Williams focuses only on cancer patients, the message here is for anyone felled by serious illness, alternative therapy fans and practitioners, medical students, and possibly even conservative physicians.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1990
Publisher: Harper & Row