In his last years,Steven P Jobs veered from exotic diets to cutting-edge treatments as he fought the cancer that ultimately took his life,according to a biography to be published on Monday.
His early decision to put off surgery and rely instead on fruit juices,acupuncture,herbal remedies and other treatments some of which he found on the Internet infuriated and distressed his family,friends and physicians,the book says. From the time of his first diagnosis in October 2003,until he received surgery in July 2004,he kept his condition largely private secret from Apple employees,executives and shareholders,who were misled.
Although the broad outlines of Jobss struggle with pancreatic cancer are known,the new biography,by Walter Isaacson,offers new insight and details. Friends,family members and physicians spoke to Isaacson openly about Jobss illness and his shifting strategy for managing it. According to Isaacson,Jobs was one of 20 people in the world to have all the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced. The price tag at the time: $100,000. But the 630-page biography spans Jobss entire life,and also includes previously unknown details about his romantic life,his marriage,his relationship with his sister and his business dealings. Isaacson conducted more than 40 interviews over two years with Jobs,who died on October 5.
A copy of the book was obtained by The New York Times before it officially went on sale.
In October 2003,Jobs got the news about his cancer,which was detected by a CT scan. One of his first calls,according to the book,was to Larry Brilliant,a physician and epidemiologist,who would later become the head of Googles philanthropic arm. The men went way back,having first met at an ashram in India.
Do you still believe in God? Jobs asked. Brilliant spoke for a while about religion and different paths to belief,and then asked Jobs what was wrong. I have cancer, Jobs replied.
Jobs put off surgery for nine months,a fact first reported in 2008 in Fortune magazine.
Friends and family,including his sister,Mona Simpson,urged Jobs to have surgery and chemotherapy,Isaacson writes. But Jobs delayed the medical treatment. His friend and mentor,Andrew Grove,the former head of Intel,who had overcome prostate cancer,told Jobs that diets and acupuncture were not a cure for his cancer. I told him he was crazy, he said.