The Emperor of All Maladies

A British oncologist has just written a history of cancer, the search for a “unifying theory” of the disease. “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” will be published in Britain in January. In this country, it will be published any day now. This review in The Economist makes it sound like a fascinating read. Not only that, but the author, Siddhartha Mukherjee, looks handsome and erudite. Here’s the link to his website.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ordering from Amazon right now.


About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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2 Responses to The Emperor of All Maladies

  1. I am bereft of words. A stunning turn of events and the physical pain is so palpable and so difficult to read. The irony is that the images seem to float effortlessly from Millar’s keys. And then, of course there’s always the evanescent wit, not to mention the knowledge, rife with amazing details. The guilt is that we the reader get a free ticket to learn from all this. How can that be? Long before these recent events, she was an amazing writer. And she remains a terrific story teller. And she will be an even better story teller, too. Will be. Will. Be.

    • leftbreast says:

      Bingo, my standard line is that no one’s telling me I’m going to die of this, it’s just a question of how much ickiness between here and OK. Plus the blog is a catharis, both emotionally and creatively. Thanks for the kind words.

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