Living Proof: A Medical Mutiny

Available

Description

I was told I had cancer and that I must expect to die soon. Almost eight years later I still do my job and enjoy life. I have not had conventional treatment. Did my cancer simply disappear? Did I do nothing? Far from it. A number of things happened, some by accident, most by design.

Michael Gearin-Tosh is diagnosed with cancer at the age of fifty-four. The doctors urge immediate treatment. He refuses. Intuitively, not on the basis of reason. But as the days pass, Gearin-Tosh falls back on his habits as a scholar of literature. He begins to probe the experts' words and the meaning behind medical phrases. He tries to relate what each doctor says -- and does not say -- to the doctor's own temperament. And the more questions he asks, the more adamant his refusal to be hurried to treatment.

The delay is a high-risk gamble. He listens to much advice, especially that of three women friends, each with a different point of view, one a doctor. They challenge him. They challenge medical advice. They challenge one another. On no occasion do they speak with one voice. He also turns to unexpected guides within his own memory and in the authors he loves, from Shakespeare and Chekhov to Jean Renoir, Arthur Miller, and Václav Havel.

In the end, he chooses not to have chemotherapy but to combat his cancer largely through nutrition, vitamin supplements, an ancient Chinese breathing exercise with imaginative visualizations, and acupuncture.

No how-to book or prescriptive health guide, Living Proof is a celebration of human existence and friendship, a story of how a man steers through conflicting advice, between depression and seemingly inescapable rationalism, between the medicine he rejects and the doctors he honors.

Clear-eyed and unflinching, Gearin-Tosh even includes his own medical history, The Case of the .005% Survivor; explores general questions about cancer; and examines the role of individual temperament on medical attitudes, the choice of treatments, and, of course, survival.

Product Details

Price
$22.95
Publisher
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
September 01, 2007
Pages
336
Dimensions
5.5 X 0.76 X 8.5 inches | 0.95 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781416577515
BISAC Categories:

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Reviews

Diana Rigg
John Bayley

author of "Elegy For Iris"

A really extraordinary book. The medical details are spellbinding. The whole thing shines with courage and amusement.
Sir David Weatheral, F.R.S.

University of Oxford

"Living Proof" does underline the extraordinary chasm between the world of complementary medicine and conventional western practice. The message of the book is far-reaching and teaches us an enormous amount about the stresses and strains of living under the cloud of serious disease. It does a great service to us all.
Robert A. Kyle, M.D.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Michael Gearin-Tosh is a wonderful writer. He deals with the most important concepts. And he is indeed "Living Proof." All physicians should read this book. Many of us are looking for more effective chemotherapeutic agents, biological intervention, etc., but the role of the "unorthodox" therapies in his own experience and Carmen Wheatley's case report on him -- which is particularly well done -- deserve scientific scrutiny and study.
Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.

Georgetown University School of Medicine, and author of "Molecules of Emotion"

The world has been waiting for this book and I hope, at long last, it opens the debate into the true nature of cancer. What happens when a smart university professor, his life at stake, studies his options and decides his cancer should be treated, not with chemotherapy but with the "crazy" approach of good nutrition, acupuncture, visualization, and vitamins? Well, for one thing, he writes a thrilling, important, informative book. For another, he's still living productively eight years later rather than dying within months like he was supposed to. "Living Proof" is a must-read for every person -- and their loved ones -- who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Robert A. Kyle, M.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota Michael Gearin-Tosh is a wonderful writer. He deals with the most important concepts. And he is indeed "Living Proof." All physicians should read this book. Many of us are looking for more effective chemotherapeutic agents, biological intervention, etc., but the role of the "unorthodox" therapies in his own experience and Carmen Wheatley's case report on him -- which is particularly well done -- deserve scientific scrutiny and study.
Sir David Weatheral, F.R.S. University of Oxford "Living Proof" does underline the extraordinary chasm between the world of complementary medicine and conventional western practice. The message of the book is far-reaching and teaches us an enormous amount about the stresses and strains of living under the cloud of serious disease. It does a great service to us all.
Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. Georgetown University School of Medicine, and author of "Molecules of Emotion" The world has been waiting for this book and I hope, at long last, it opens the debate into the true nature of cancer. What happens when a smart university professor, his life at stake, studies his options and decides his cancer should be treated, not with chemotherapy but with the "crazy" approach of good nutrition, acupuncture, visualization, and vitamins? Well, for one thing, he writes a thrilling, important, informative book. For another, he's still living productively eight years later rather than dying within months like he was supposed to. "Living Proof" is a must-read for every person -- and their loved ones -- who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Diana Rigg I could not put this book down. The story of a man, told in his own voice, who has the courage to take his life in his own hands, the wit to laugh at his condition, and the detachment to choose his own course.
John Bayley author of "Elegy For Iris" A really extraordinary book. The medical details are spellbinding. The whole thing shines with courage and amusement.