Barbara Creaturo was one of those bright young professionals on the Big Apple's fast track, a senior editor at a woman's magazine when, in 1986, she learned she had ovarian cancer. How she battled both the cancer - to which she eventually succumbed after a titanic struggle of 4 years - and the medical establishment that didn't always put her interest first is the story she tells in this extraordinary testament to a woman's indomitable strength and her fierce determination to survive.
Barbara was a woman with the kind of unbending courage that made her stand up to bullying, self-righteous doctors - surgeons who refused to answer her questions or deliberately tried to scare her into obedience. It also made her face down the vain young Turks among the cancer researchers more worried about their professional eminence than saving patients' lives.
The story about Barbara's battle with cancer and medical arrogance is also the story of how she made herself an expert on the state of the art of cancer research, despite baffling and often contradictory information. With her fierce, unbending determination, she insisted on her right to find the most promising, innovative therapy, to be told the whole truth about the hazards of experimental drugs, and to avoid being used as a guinea pig. She became her own most impassioned and informed advocate, eventually pushing her way to the very cutting edge of science to find the experimental treatments that gave her the best chance. To the end she refused to believe there was anything inevitable about her death.
This is a tale of hope, a tremendously affecting story of courage and resilience, in which Barbara's tenacious will not to let go of the precious gift of life ennobles every sentence. It is also a call to action on behalf of cancer patients who die each year because of inadequate care & bureaucratic roadblocks to the early release of promising drugs & life-saving information.