Biographer tells of Steve Jobs's regrets from delaying cancer treatment

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Walter Isaacson, the author of the forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs, will appear in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in a brief preview he discusses how Jobs regretted his decision to delay cancer treatment in 2004.



Isaacson reveals in his interview with CBS that Jobs refused to allow surgeons to perform surgery that could have saved his life from pancreatic cancer. Instead, Jobs decided to try alternative therapies and put off the operation because he felt it was too invasive -- something that he later regretted.



Isaacson, speaking with Steve Kroft, talks about the more than 40 interviews he conducted with Jobs. The special, set to air on Sunday, will include recorded words from Jobs himself.



Jobs reportedly said he didn't want his body to be "violated in that way," so he instead waited nine months while his wife and others urged him to go through with the surgery.



"I think he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want it to exist, you can have magical thinking... we talked about this a lot," Isaacson said. "He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it... I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."



The author also revealed that Jobs met his biological father before knowing who he was, gives his thoughts about death and the afterlife, and how he vowed to never let his wealth change him. The special airs this Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time.









Isaacson is a Pulitzer Prize nominee who has previously written biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. The book, entitled "Steve Jobs, will be available in a hardcover edition, as well as digitally through Amazon Kindle and Apple's iBooks.



Following the death of Jobs, publisher Simon & Schuster pushed up the debut of the book to next week, Oct. 24, ahead of its previously planned November publication. Jobs placed no restrictions on what Isaacson could write and waived the right to read it before it was published.







Details of the book have continued to trickle out ahead of its impending release. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Jobs agreed to do the biography so his children could know him better. The Apple co-founder admitted he "wasn't always there for them," but he "wanted them to know and understand" what he did.



Apple's main page of its website served as a tribute to Jobs for two weeks after his death. The tribute image was removed on Thursday, a day after the company held a celebration of its founder at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Still, he survived almost 7 years after the diagnosis.

    RIP
  • Reply 2 of 71
    Such a smart man with so much going for him and still he thought in a stupid (and selfish) manner. One might argue that it is not selfish thinking but it is. One needs to think about how their life touches everyone else in their life when making a decision about how to go about treating a terminal illness.



    Having said that, I know and understand his reasoning, and have felt the same way at one time, but never again. I was lucky.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    Regardless, he's no longer here so it is pointless to second guess. What is done is done.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Regardless, he's no longer here so it is pointless to second guess. What is done is done.



    It's not about second guessing by other people. The article states that Jobs himself regretted putting off the surgery.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    Such a smart man with so much going for him and still he thought in a stupid (and selfish) manner. One might argue that it is not selfish thinking but it is. One needs to think about how their life touches everyone else in their life when making a decision about how to go about treating a terminal illness.



    Having said that, I know and understand his reasoning, and have felt the same way at one time, but never again. I was lucky.



    Expecting someone to change his personal life for the desire of others, sounds selfish.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Walter Isaacson, the author of the forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs, will appear in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in a brief preview he discusses how Jobs regretted his decision to delay cancer treatment in 2004.




    In 2004, Steve was busy negotiating Pixar's film distribution deal with Michael Eisner. He sold the company to Disney shortly thereafter for $7,400,000,000.00.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Expecting someone to change his personal life for the desire of others, sounds selfish.



    he didn't say to change, he merely pointed out that a person who is so influential should at least give some thoughts to people around him.



    you may say giving some thoughts to others in and of itself is a change but if you really say that, I will just shut up.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    What got him killed was more or less the same thing that made him great. It's the way of the world.
  • Reply 9 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Expecting someone to change his personal life for the desire of others, sounds selfish.



    When one believes in unproven medicine or treatment, or worse yet, ignores or postpones treatment, a selfish choice has been made.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,406member
    I believe the body to be one's temple, but come on. There are times to seek alternate, spiritual treatment I suppose, but if the word "Cancer" enters your life, and it's caught early, and it's "curable", hey... open that temple and start doing some remodeling.



    For someone I've never met, the passing of Steve Jobs still has me feeling totally bummed-out. I know Steve is the kind of guy that marched by the beating of his own drums, but if he was good at surrounding himself with good people while running Apple, he should have considered the same when receiving advice from medical professionals.



    Just the thought that Steve could have still been with us, blessing all of us with his continued wisdom and insights if he had gotten the proper treatment to begin with just has me shaking my head in sadness.



    I hope SJ's biography really gets into his insights during his sickness. I still tend to think that we'll never really truly know what he was thinking during those years.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    He is an adult, mentally competent, and was entitled to make the decision, however foolish it may have been. He must have had access to the best oncologists and surgeons for advice. Having said that, I am well aware of croc pot medicine quacks going around and peddling their ideas. Like herbal medicine, teas, and even chelation therapy for unstable angina patients, etc. Give the patient a false sense of security, while avoiding standard of care treatment. These quacks need to be controlled. It is worse when such treatments are imposed on minors... sometimes due to religious beliefs.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    See, I would think when you're at the top, doing what you love, that if someone told you that you had cancer, ANY SANE PERSON would get the treatment their extensive cash can buy asap.



    That's really a shame.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Expecting someone to change his personal life for the desire of others, sounds selfish.



    Bull. Not when you have kids, loved ones, a corporation and millions of fans out there. It probably was his arrogant self serving self assurance - which was an instrumental part of his driving force and which made him great - that also prevented him from taking sensible advice and instead only listen to himself. Stupidly. Sadly. Not to pass judgement but to call his survival 'the desire of others' is ridiculous.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    "Magical thinking" seems to correlate to "mind over matter" - to which different people give different weight as a governing factor in their lives. People adopt certain beliefs, and sometimes superstitions, as one way to gain more certainty in their minds over events and influences that otherwise seem beyond their control. When that causes us to disregard hard physical realities of the situation, we can end up paying a price that otherwise may have been avoided. Nothing in life is completely certain. It is hubris on our part when we try to fabricate our own certainty when we don't like the facts that have been presented to us.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    As mythical as his accomplishments were, Steve Jobs was human. Humans make mistakes. He regretted his mistake too. It's sad that this mistake might have cost him his life. But he might not have survived even if he had surgery right away. Pancreatic cancer is dangerous in all forms.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    Alternative medicines can be beneficial in some cases. But when Cancer is involved, bring on the surgery, drugs, and radiation.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    When one believes in unproven medicine or treatment, or worse yet, ignores or postpones treatment, a selfish choice has made.



    So far, no medical treatment has proven to cure Cancer.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Truly sad of course, but hopefully some good will come of this. If it can steer people away from quackery and back into scientifically verified medicine, then that will be a great thing.



    Governments the world over need to do much, much more to clamp down on so called alternative medicine. It's at best a scam, but sadly often far, far worse.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    So far, no medical treatment has proven to cure Cancer.



    True, which makes me dang curious what happened to THIS.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms there is, with a five year survival rate of less than 10%. Its likely therefore that no matter what Jobs did he would not live for decades. Going seven years is pretty good going if you ask me - that's 2 years longer than 90% of people who suffer from Cancer of the Pancreas.



    Of course he regretted not doing all he could as early as possible, but that's only natural and probably wouldn't have made much difference to the outcome.
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