Tom Brokaw’s cancer story, is the book about life, diagnosis, and treatment of the 1990s popular anchor. Tom Brokaw was the tone of the most popular anchor of NBC Nightly News. During that period, he enjoyed respect and popularity. He was among those who were, at that time, larger-than-life figure at the top of the game.
Tom was America’s favorite newsreader. Tom Brokaw, as he said himself, that he’s lived pretty charmed life. He is accomplished at making the passing reference to the chartered jets he has traveled in and the mountains he has scaled.Tom Brokaw was known to have a very fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career.
He enjoyed twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as a bestselling author. It was summer 2013 when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news that he had multiple myelomas, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.”
It was Brokaw’s fame actually that kept him lucky, in many ways. He was immediately swept into the most high-end precincts of Cancer World, such as Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and to Sloan Kettering in New York. He was Born in 1940 and grew up with a father. He writes about his father that “for whom pain was a personal burden,”. So he has learned it from his father that how to keep discomfort to himself.
Tom Brokaw Cancer Story: Diagnosis, Treatment and Book
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Tom Brokaw Cancer Diagnosis
In 2013, he got cancer and it was proved to be the interruption that gave this book its title. He was diagnosed with multiple myelomas, cancer that eats and weakens cells and bones. It was a rude disruption that he kept mostly to himself first.
He writes two reasons behind keeping it to himself, that he was in denial and he was one of the most famous men in the world. He did not want to become a photo on the Internet. He kept his secret well, determined to come out on the other side before most realized how sick he was.
When Tom Brokaw received a diagnosis of multiple myelomas in 2013, he felt his luck had run out. Suddenly, he was experiencing severe back pain and taking serious medication to combat cancer that was attacking his plasma cells, while still working on documentaries and reports for NBC News.
According to him, diagnosis, treatment had tremendous effects on his life like the places he couldn’t go, the noticeable weight loss, the times when he was unable to walk unaided. At one point, he writes, 60 percent of his blood was polluted by the myeloma.
Cancer is running my life and although I am central to the efforts to first slow it and then drive it away, I feel more like a test tube than the man in the cockpit, hands on the controls.
Tom Brokaw Cancer Treatment
As he was so popular and beloved, that’s why he had access to excellent care and a generous insurance plan to manage costs that might have crippled other patients. He also had a physician daughter, Jennifer, to manage his case.
Additionally, he had a tough and loving wife, Meredith, to manage him. And for a man who spent much of his free time in search of new adventure, cancer clearly made him face up to the reality that this would not go on forever.
He watched his competitor Peter Jennings at ABC News succumb swiftly, and his former colleague Garrick Utley slipped away as well. “We had the glory years and then we were ambushed by the cancer years,” Brokaw writes.
His 16 months of treatment worked, he says. In his book, there are again and again the stories of loss but also of grace, luck and the beauty of having another swing at bat. Brokaw continued to do battle, undergoing chemotherapy and other treatment to manage incurable cancer. In illness, Brokaw relied on his wife Meredith and their three daughters (especially Jennifer, a physician) for emotional support.
Emotional Moments during cancer journey
A full of life men, suddenly diagnose with cancer, obviously get shocked but as he writes, there were many emotional moments, other than shock, in that journey, from diagnosis to treatment stages including:
- Brokaw was taken aback when he found out he had myeloma at age 73, “just short of the life expectancy of an American white male,” as he put it.
- Brokaw waited to tell Meredith until they were in person together. He writes “but we were both in a wilderness of uncertainty, We’ve been together a half century and the relationship is deeply emotional, with a hardwired circuitry of Midwestern steadiness to maintain the balance.
- “I will die someday but it is not likely to be the result of multiple myelomas,” he writes at the end of the book, after a series of positive results from his doctors. “I remain a lucky guy.”