I bought ‘The Tumor’, a non-legal thriller by John Grisham on an impulse and hoped that it was science fiction. But I was a little disappointed, though the book is a manifestation of hope and an encouragement to the idea of bringing something as useful as focused ultrasound therapy- something that has the potential to make tumor treatment painless and decrease the cost of care – more tangibly into existence.
‘The Tumor’ is more like a medical paper than anything else. Grisham says that it is the most important book he has ever written. And without having read any of his books before this, I’ll say I agree. So says my gut. Health and cure are always most important. Always.
Grisham gives a disclaimer in the very beginning, that he has a “limited knowledge of medicine and medical research.” Does that explain the 67 pages of the book? I have no clue about medical stuff either, but with every word, hope burgeons, and along with it, a feeling that my review somehow seems longer than the book, though in reality, it seems stupid to make such comparisons.
The book very quickly goes through the life of a patient, albeit step by step, and stresses on how even the healthiest of people can be whacked in the face with something as startling and life-altering as a tumor (glioblastoma, in this case). Like millions across the world, I have no clue about what a tumor looks like, so I assume that what Grisham says is correct. And I must admit, it has the effect he desires.
I found myself swinging between a number of emotions in these 67 pages. I said ‘Oh crap!’ my eyes shut tight and praying for things to get better. I found myself reflecting sadly on the fact that the world is not Utopia; I wished it was, with the existence of prayers and optimism, but it just isn’t. Alternatives like ‘Had it been’ seem hopeful, but unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.
The book gives hope to those at risk of glioblastoma – a hope that maybe sometime in the near future, we may be safe.
Though focused ultrasound therapy sounds awesome, how long before we actually get there? With India’s low costs of treatments, why is it not being implemented or researched here? And how feasible is it actually? What are the details? But then again, would I understand if there was more medical jargon? Maybe not. With so many influential people, including the former top brass of the FDA being a part of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Board of Directors, I’m surprised focused ultrasound therapy is not getting the traction it deserves.
And when he gives examples of people being treated this way, it made me wonder why the world works the way it does. Why does something good have to be hampered by so many obstacles?
All in all, a fairly enlightening book. But I do wish it was longer, despite my disinclination towards medical books.