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Steve Jobs: A difficult patient
October 25th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Steve Jobs: A difficult patient

All those vague statements about his health that Steve Jobs put out in the last few years caused endless speculation, as the world tried to read into what could really be going on.

But now, with the biography "Steve Jobs" with Walter Isaacson, we know that behind many of those optimistic statements was a cancer that was spreading from pancreas to liver, and finally to bones and elsewhere in the body. One of the biggest surprises is that while he received state of the art medical care, he went against doctors' orders many times.

When his pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor was first discovered in October 2003, doctors said he was lucky that it had been detected so early, and it could be removed before definitely spreading. But, in Jobs' own words, "I really didn't want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if a few other things would work." Those "other things" included a strict vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other alternative techniques -  even consulting a psychic.

His family pleaded with him, but it wasn't until June 2004, when a CAT scan revealed that the tumor had grown and perhaps spread, that he had to realize he couldn't successfully will his own cancer treatment.

The surgery in July 2004 involved a modified Whipple procedure, removing part of the pancreas. But it wasn't a cure: Doctors found cancer spread to three spots on his liver during the operation. It's impossible to know whether having the surgery sooner would have removed the cancer before it had spread. Yet Jobs told everyone he had been "cured." In his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement speech, a rare moment of being forthcoming about his cancer to the public, he said "I had the surgery and I'm fine now."

Jobs also went against doctors' orders with his eating habits.

Since he was a teenager, Jobs had practiced strange routines involving fasting, and would go on obsessive diets.

That's a problem because, the stomach needs enzymes to digest food and absorb nutrients, making it harder for patients who've had pancreas surgery to get enough protein. The standard of care is to have frequent meals and a diet with a variety of proteins from meats, fish and milk. But, as Isaacson points out, "Jobs had never done this, and he never would."

Flash forward to 2008, when Jobs and his doctors knew the cancer was spreading. Besides being in pain, Jobs was losing a lot of weight. This was partly a result of the partial Whipple procedure, partly because his appetite was reduced because of cancer and morphine, and also because he insisted on the same restrictive diets and fasts he'd practiced since his teenage years. Sometimes he would spend weeks only eating something like apples, or a carrot salad with lemon, and then abruptly denounce that food.

Isaacson writes:

Beginning in early 2008 Jobs' eating disorders got worse. On some nights he would stare at the floor and ignore all of the dishes set out on the long kitchen table. When others were halfway through their meal, he would abruptly get up and leave, saying nothing. It was stressful for his family. They watched him lose forty pounds during the spring of 2008.

In a public statement he attributed his weight loss to "a hormone imbalance that has been robbing me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple."

We all had speculations, but what that actually meant was: Jobs had a hormone imbalance because his cancer had spread to his liver.

He underwent a liver transplant in 2009, when his health was declining rapidly. It was successful, but doctors found that there were tumors throughout the organ, meaning the cancer had probably spread elsewhere. They also found spots on the thin membrane surrounding internal organs.

Jobs again went against doctors when he insisted that they not pump out his stomach when they needed to perform a routine procedure. That led to pneumonia, and he might have died. But he survived, and didn't lose his stubbornness, even while deeply sedated. He thought the oxygen monitor on his finger was "ugly and too complex," and offered ideas for making the design simpler.

His health and spirits appeared to improve after the transplant, but in November 2010 he experienced another downturn. He was a mere 115 pounds at Christmas. Doctors saw evidence of new tumors. "Every inch of his body felt like it had been punched, he told friends," Isaacson writes.

And his dietary finickiness continued. The family had a part-time cook who made him a variety of healthy options, but he would refuse them after merely touching one or two to his tongue. Cancer curbs appetite, but Isaacson suggests Jobs had a deeper complication from his psychological attitude toward food. He took a third medical leave in January 2011.

Jobs was among the first 20 people in the world to have a complete sequencing of all of the genes of his cancer tumor, and of his normal DNA. In this way, his medical team could choose specific drugs targeted at the molecular pathways that were promoting the abnormal growth of cancer cells. "I'm either going to be one of the first to be able to outrun a cancer like this, or I'm going to be one of the last to die from it," Jobs told Isaacson.

In July 2011, however, doctors had trouble pushing back against the cancer even with targeted drugs. Jobs had stopped going to work; he was in pain, couldn't eat most solid food, and passed many days watching TV.

When Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO at the board meeting on August 24, the cancer had spread to his bones and other body parts.

"I've had a very lucky career, a very lucky life," he told Isaacson. "I've done all that I can do."


soundoff (766 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    All of the money in the world can't buy common sense and magically thinking your tumor will be cured by diet is ridiculous. Sad to see him go. Hopefully, he was at peace with the decisions he made early on in his disease.

    October 25, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Luposian

    Steve Jobs never realized, until too late, he was living under the influence of his OWN "Reality Distortion Field"! 😀

    The more I read about what a loon Steve Jobs was, the more I utterly despise the man that I respected so highly for saving Apple and bring us the G4 Digital Audio, and MacOS X 10.2 and 10.3. I left my loyality at the gate, shortly after Steve Jobs announced the switch to Intel. I've never looked back since.

    Sure, I own an iPhone 4S, but only because I would prefer to use something I am familiar with (having owned an iPod Touch 2nd Gen; my wife bought me) and like the interface of, for the duration of a two years cell phone contract with Verizon, then be stuck with something that is neither as simple as a Tracfone nor as competent as an iPhone. So, I went all out. Not regretting it yet...

    October 25, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Uhhh

      @Luposian: ROTFL, you're kidding me right? I thought your kind went extinct several years ago. I'm talking about the die-hard PowerPC/RISC fanatics. I was laughing so hard when Jobs announced the switch to Intel, remembering all those weird and silly unprovoked arguments I had with random strangers whose religion was the PowerPC platform. What is up with you people? Just accept the fact that Intel (i.e. the IBM PC clones) saved your dearly beloved company's life and that not even your god Jobs bought the BS arguments that PowerPC was and always will be superior to everything else. Let me guess, you no longer felt special and different when your Mac became what you hate the most - *gasp* a regular PC?

      October 25, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
    • Justin Rosales

      I totally agree. He was living in his own world. Stupidity. If life can be cured, do it on the spot. Don't think you're higher than a human being can really be. What an idiot!

      October 25, 2011 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
    • pockets

      Remember that Cancer is Big Business, they either cut you, chemo you, radiate you. Thats it, regardless of who you are, The Cancer business answers to NO ONE. They are a money machine. The FDA are in their pocket, check out Dr. Brzynski the moive and find out what they did to him. The so called cure for cancer will never happen , there are to many jobs at stake. Dr. Brznyski is the only one making progress in that area, and they tried to jail him.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
    • halhiker

      Still waiting for the Powerbook G5, huh?

      October 25, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
    • chris shade

      I am sorry that most of you are too stupid to know that steve was smarter than you. perhaps you have not found out that "the standard of care" for cancer just yields a mountain of dead (and miserable) people. very few treatment regimens give you any more time alive than no treatment, but most all of them make you more miserable while you die. would you go through the pain of chemo for 2 more months alive in your defeated brutalized chemotoxic body? fasts and diets do save some people so are worth looking into or obsessing on. please realize that pharma will only bring a drug to market that can be patented. thus all the existing knowledge is out of the question. do you get the problem yet? or are you too stupid? too afraid not to trust "the standard of care"?

      October 25, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano, TX

      If you scour eBay you'll find plenty of old Silicon Graphics and Sun SPARC workstations for under $500 that should suit you fine. If you really like living in the past that is.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano, TX

      @Uhhh: Well said.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      To all those who are GLAD to see Steve gone from this earth and to all those who have commented with such cruelty... to all of you with better and braver souls than Steve, I invite you step up and show yourselves by posting your name and home address here within this blog. If you cannot do this then sit down and shut up. The good people of this earth don't want to hear your hate! You hide in the shadows and wish ill will toward others, you personify the worst kind of cancer. You're a decease on this earth. I am not a religious man but when I read your evil tongue, I can't help believe in the devil. Step up and show yourselves!

      October 26, 2011 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  3. uddi smith

    The fact that many many people die daily of cancer while following doctors orders to the letter just proves how much those doctors can be wrong with all their advice. So not listening to those doctors is not necessarily the wrong choice

    October 25, 2011 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tessa

      That's like saying "trying" often leads to "failure" so you shouldn't try and just leave it to chance. Just because it's not foolproof isn't evidence that it's wrong. The doctor's advice gives you your best fighting chance, and there are a lot of factors that play into survival rates.

      If Steve Jobs wanted to try a few things on the side to help him feel better, fine. Acupuncture, psychics, whatever. Just don't say no to timely, life saving surgery and then become baffled when you can't vegan your way out of pancreatic cancer.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Cancer Survivor

      Its unfortunate reading this. He ultimately ended his life, you force yourself to eat even though every bit is in pain. You sure don't wait nine months after finding a tumor in your pancreas to do anything. A vegan diet while a good supplement, is not the answer to curing a disease of this magnitude and a psychic? What?

      October 25, 2011 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      That's like saying "trying" often leads to "failure" so you shouldn't try and just leave it to chance.Good analogy. All these people who disregard doctors' orders and instead do stupid things like herbs, acupuncture and meditating—unscientific nonsense—to attempt to reverse or cure something as serious as pancreatic cancer deserve exactly what they get when the cancer spreads to the liver. Had Jobs not acted like a moron and had accepted that immediate surgery was the best plan of attack, he might have survived so he could cheer-lead the next i-whatever.Unlike all the Apple fanboys and girls who drool when a new i-gadget is released, I'm not at all impressed with Jobs. The real wizardry in Apple's early days was due to Wozniak. Jobs was little more that a used car salesman hawking electronic gadgets. In fact, the best of the Macs (that is, the ones that used SCSI hardware and weren't Intel powered) were produced after he had been booted out of the company.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      My dad's doctor told my dad to go for operation.... my uncle contacted the same disease (hep B) like my dad, and my uncle's doctor also advised him to have the same operation.... my dad passed away, and doctor never once took responsibility... my uncle is still living today after going through a regime of Chinese medication... what I've learned: Doctors will never take responsibility for their wrong action.... your life is in your hand... do whatever you want with it... stop blaming those who prefer the alternative way of healing... finally... my dad behaved strangely too... it's just him.... Steve Jobs has not affected anyone, my suggestion... leave him alone..

      October 25, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      @oldgoat: You seem to scoff readily at anything other than scientifically-proven, ultra-mainstream philosophies. The facts are that the more progressive science becomes, the more we realize that the old "snake-oil medicine" is surprisingly effective. The human body was made to withstand viral and bacterial attacks, as well as cope with some cancers. In modern days, we load ourselves down with stress, which weakens our immune system. Through modern medicine, we have performed an act of selective breeding, where mutated bacteria and viruses are stronger than ever. The only assumption we can make is that Steve Jobs knew very well what he was getting into and the risks and benefits of each side. Perhaps he could have survived with early surgery, but if he hadn't, the amount of shock surgery puts a human body into may have accelerated the cancerous growth. Perhaps he prolonged his life, perhaps he shortened it, there is absolutely no way of being sure. Either way, you and I apparently disagree on the concept that it is the duty and the sole duty alone of the person living his or her life to decide how long to make their life. It was Steve Jobs who was in control. He made his choice, and we all know what you would have done in his position, thank-you for that.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  4. jjdoublej

    Sounds like Steve was a total fruitcake. He has a family and i think he was very selfish in choosing not to do what was best and have the surgery like the experts thought he should. I feel sorry for his family.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OldGoat

      He was a bit of a fruitcake in the 1980s, when he told a Playboy interviewer that people over thirty ever created anything great (I believe Jobs was 27 at that time). I guess he never listened to J.S. Bach's The Art of Fugue, composed when Bach was in his sixties. And, obviously, things such as the iPod, etc., were dismal trash, since Jobs was well over thirty when he returned to Apple.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      The above should have read ...never create...

      October 25, 2011 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
  5. luminousowl

    I admire Steve's courage in trying to heal himself. Millions of people who have followed doctors orders to the letter have died from cancer; I know a few myself. The AMA is the brutal union that imprisons those who might take business away from doctors by actually healing people. Eating less protein is important when a person has cancer. Steve needed to be taking the plant medicine that kills cancer as well. God bless him for thinking for himself to the end!

    October 25, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ohsnap

      Tell that to his family.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • spacethinkR

      ???? what r u talking about ?? Steve Jobs just flat out said he didnt want surgery becuase he was scared and then on top of that he thought he was invincible by not doing the surgery and only thinking of himself and not listening to his family which by all accounts deserved better.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Mat

      Are you serious? What have you been smoking?

      October 25, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Again, as per Tessa: That's like saying "trying" often leads to "failure" so you shouldn't try and just leave it to chance. Kind of stupid.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
  6. secondhalf

    Hmm...you would have had to use some kind of computer or phone to write in ..tell us how you managed that without supporting those evil corporations, or are you saying that the ones you use are okay.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. blueraphosody

    How did he qualify for a liver transplant? You have to be compliant to get on the list. I know people who are not on the list for a kidney transplant because they are no-compliant with their meds, diet, and stuff like not smoking. I guess because of who he was and all the money had had he got the liver, Maybe it was not even really a match or maybe it was a sick liver.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • incredulous

      How did he qualify for a liver transplant while being stubbornly non-compliant? He was a bazillionaire one-percenter. Never forget, if you have enough money you can buy your way into anyone's game and you don't have to play by the same rules the rest of us do.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Yes, incredulous, if you have super-powers like Steve Jobs and create jobs and wealth for many - then you qualify for extra life-saving measures because you are more valuable to the whole then a couch potato who surfs the internet on his iPad. Sorry to break the news to you.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  8. Uthor

    That Jobs took his own treatment route is a statement of his extremely powerful will. The choice was his, and was a manifestation of his character. While it perhaps affected the course of his disease, his actions reveal an element of strong character that probably set him apart from most of us. It was at the heart of who he was. And while on the surface his actions (or inactions) might even seem foolish–and might have cut his existence short, though there's no real proof of it–he accomplished much more than most of us ever will during his abbreviated lifetime. Ultimately, it was his choice alone, and he knew that perfectly well.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • STO43055

      Exactly.
      Nice post.
      He trusted in himself, thought things out, did things his way.
      The true American way.
      I go to a cancer hospital every day,and the standard operating
      procedures don't seem to be working so well.
      People suffer and die every day following the advice of others who "know".
      I admire Mr. Jobs.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      I'm sorry, how is going to a psychic and getting acupuncture and refusing to eat "thinking things out"? He didn't do his research and weigh his options, he rejected scientific advice and pursued unvalidated treatments that are proven to be as effective as doing absolutely nothing. Don't glorify ignorance and conceit.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • Uthor

      It was his choice, and he did what he wanted to do and did it the way he wanted. If you can't see the strength in that, there's nothing anyone could do to make it clear. Audacity and strength of will cannot be taught.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • Evan

      You hit the nail on the head. The man was anything but ignorant. In all other aspects of his life, he was able to will his dreams into reality with obviously staggering success. Had he not been possessed of this kind of drive, manifestation ability, and dedication, he may have died long ago. The point is he lived his life (and death) the way he wished, and any argument about what may or may have not happened had he undergone surgery is academic at this point. Thank you for everything you accomplished, Mr. Jobs, and may you finally be free of all your pain.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      Going to a psychic and getting acupuncture is snake-oil medicine. He could have saved everyone a lot of grief, as well as not waste a donor liver, by using Smith & Wesson surgery.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    Comment:

    October 25, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mary

    How did he qualify for a liver transplant. Only patients who are compliant qualifiy to go on the transplant list. I know people who are non-compliant for kidney transplants and are not allowed to be on the list. A compliant patient is one who takes their required meds and follows doctors orders, like not smoking, diet, etc. Maybe he got the liver because of who he was and being compliant did not apply to him. Maybe it was not a healthy liver. Its also amazing that a liver was miraciously available for him – some people wait years and many people die waiting.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sara

    Interesting that his bullying, browbeating, and emotionally abusive relationships included the one with himself.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ego Sum Lamia

    Let this man rest in peace. He was extremely business minded and above normal thinker.
    So he had some eccentricities, everyone does.

    As for the members of the spelling posse, bite me. Evidently you have some issues to too two also.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. John H.

    So the fool killed himself. Let this be a lesson to everyone, alternative medicine is a farce. Had he just gone with the surgery he might be alive today and cancer free.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zturner

      Agreed! Jobs was very smart in business but not too much when it came to common sense. If not elect to have the surgery and eat the right foods for himself then do it for you kids! Not a good choice for which he paid dearly for!

      October 25, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Alternative medicine is not a farce, you obviously have not done any research and know nothing about health and healing. Loads of people have cured themselves via alternative measures and loads of people have died while being absolutely compliant with the doctor's orders. When it's your time - it's your time . . . God decides, ultimately, not us. I have 3 relatives dead doing traditional medicine, and several friends alive - stage 4 - who did alternative treatments. It's really a matter of personal belief and Steve followed his own path, anything anyone says about his treatment is purely speculative because NO ONE KNOWS.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • John H.

      @sara, First off every voodoo therapy that has come under scientific scrutiny has shown they are as good as no therapy. Simple facts.

      Second god dose not choose as there is no god, unless you have evidence to the contrary. Also IF god chooses when you go why even try? I mean if god wants you to stay your staying no matter what you do right? That is what you said.... "When it's your time – it's your time . . . God decides, ultimately, not us". So I could slit my wrists and basically be immortal by your logic if god wanted me to live to 90. I could jump into an active volcano and survive, all because it was not my time. See how silly religion is.

      Third, just because someone is cured using alternative medicine is not proof it works. They may have gotten better with no treatment at all. Until you can give a large group a medication or treatment and it works for most of them and does so multiple times you do not have a cure.

      I just LOVE it when the religious try and use science as they ultimately fail as sara has. They try to use science to back up their belief and when that fails they resort to 'faith'. Simply laughable.

      October 26, 2011 at 02:51 | Report abuse |
  14. mdblanche

    How is this paying homage to Jobs? It sounds more like it's saying he was too arrogant to follow the advice of people trying to save his life.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. canuckMD

    It's odd how he got a liver transplant to replace a liver riddled with metastatic cancer. Given that his cancer had spread to even more distant sites, he should never have qualified for that organ: he was terminally ill by then. I can assure you none of those waiting for an organ (except for the billionaires) would never get it for the reason Jobs did. It's just not done for those reasons.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mrs. Columbo

      My thoughts exactly!

      October 25, 2011 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

      Greg House approved it...

      October 25, 2011 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
  16. Dr. F

    Why is this personal, medical information being released? Don't confidentiality laws apply here, e.g., HIPAA?

    October 25, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. C

      Confidentiality laws (i.e. HIPAA) only apply to doctors and corporations that hold private or confidential information. This information was provided by Steve Jobs for his biography. Therefore HIPAA does not apply.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
  17. buncakes

    you spelled spelt wrong idiot

    October 25, 2011 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johndanger

      Put a comma between "wrong" and "idiot", idiot. So how does that feel, idiot?

      October 25, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
  18. atroy

    Other tech companies, whose products I use, are more often than not the recipients of negative reporting from the media. CNN in particular never ceases to find any excuse to report something on Apple or Steve Jobs. Although this story is generally negative, it is beyond me why CNN can't just do one story on the biography rather than doing a story per day on some aspect of it. Include the fact that there are at least two other stories on today about Apple and you have to wonder where CNN's money comes from.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BillRubin

    Unlike many cancer patients, Steve had an early opportunity to remove the cancer, but chose not to. He wanted to try "natural" treatments, and unfortunately, doing so allowed the cancer to "naturally" spread. It seems so obvious to choose treatments that are proven to work, except people think that an unstandardized, uncontrolled herb is safer than a predictable, studied, and controlled medication. Hopefully his death can open people's eyes to the benefits of evidence-based medicine, and the dangers of pseudoscience.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sara

      Again - speculative. No one - including the doctors - know if it would have spread if he had the surgery earlier . . . or even if it had already spread. They can only guess, so stop judging the man and his decisions. He obviously made a lot of decisions that worked quite well.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Yea, sorry Sarah but anyone with a brain can tell you that under those conditions he had a much better chance of surviving with recommended medical treatment. The 'you can't be sure' line is a total cop out.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
  20. Naga

    With little more time and early detection would have helped him win over the cancer. I don't believe in just a few months it became incurable. Only Steve Jobs could achieve the success even while fighting a deadly cancer. any other person would have resigned from the job in 2003. He is an inspiration to all.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zturner

      Inspiration? Hardly! The man didnt have enough common sense to save his own life along with being a complete A Hole to his family. His kids didnt have to be without their father!

      October 25, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Agree Naga and zturner - why don't you tell everyone what you have done to connect people all over the world, to create jobs and wealth for so many families throughout the world, and to inspire us all as human beings? Tell us now, please, we'd love to know.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
    • zturner

      Actually Sara, I own my own Multimedia company and have employees. I also had skin cancer and didnt think twice about having surgery. If I would have waited another 6 months, it would have traveled thru my lymph nodes and would have had the same fate as your good friend Jobs had. The guy was great at what he did but was too arrogant and selfish to let the doctors do what they are great at. Very Sad for his family!!

      October 25, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
  21. Katie

    I would rather not hear about how his cancer was caught early and he blew off surgery. OMG. I will never forget the day they told my 44 yr. old husband his cancer was inoperable and "very bad". The doctor came into the room, to deliver us the news after reviewing the extensive tests. It was devastating. We couldn't leave the horrible little sterile room for at least an hour, unable to peel ourselves out of our chairs. To be told, your cancer has been caught early, let's go in and take it out, would have been music to my husband's ears. This is truly a sad, sad story.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • silverstream055

      Katie: I lost my oldest son, my father, and my mother to cancer. In each case, the cancer was caught too late, and the patient never had a chance. It is sad to hear that Steve Jobs had that chance denied to so many others - and chose not to take advantage of it.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:58 | Report abuse |
  22. uuummmm

    I found Steve Jobs very brave and even in the face of death he did not fear or want any attention. He want to make something grand and continue his work. He held up when so many ppl would have gave up on life. Some ppl have a hurt leg or feel sick don't go to work, this man had cancer through his whole body and yet still came to work. It was not about money ppl its about making something better. Only way is to make money in the process ppl have to want to buy ur products to spread it.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric

      Exactly my thoughts. Cancer is eating up the body and one suffers as one is literally decaying day by day. Despite of that, to live on with dignity and keep working shows incredible character, class and style.

      Of course we only see the outside and I salute his family for being there and taking care of him all this time. That is an incredible challenge.

      Dying from cancer is hard but also a gift. There is time to think about life, say goodbye and tell somebody you love them.

      Steve Jobs was not without faults and failure of judgement. Who is?

      It is however very obvious that we have lost one of the very greats and an absolute legend of our times.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Dying from cancer is a gift ... sorry dude but you need to have your head surgically removed from your rectum.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse |
  23. zaheer

    i just dont understand why would he go against doctors will when they simply tried to help him, world need more genius people like steave jobs after I read the the articals i feel like calling him a "jerk" who could easly change the way we live make our life so much better

    i just dont understand why he had to be so stubborn!!! I want to see more more like steve change the world. he has done so much all cross the globe. i did see the flick about silicon valley even in real life he has this temper with his co-worker guy like bill gate. I know its too late to change anything about so I will end with this thought....RIP steve jobs.

    October 25, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Dan

    Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent, obey and be saved!

    October 25, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

      The Lab called, Dan, your brain is ready...

      October 25, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent, obey and be saved!

      Sure, Dan. And when cancer gets you, tell us about how well all that praying to your imaginary friend is working for you.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • Luposian

      Amen, brother! And now, at the end of it all, Steve Jobs gets to look forward to nothing but an eternity of suffering worse than the cancer EVER made him feel! I don't pity the loss of the man... I pity the loss of a soul to an eternity in hell.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  25. Mostly Bemused

    Everyone above is right. Everyone below is wrong. Everyone with an opinion is a genius. Everyone else is an idiot. Everyone has a right to be heard. And to be wrong. Who among us isn't complex? Answers, like art, aren't easy. Be open to possibility of evolving viewpoints BEFORE you cast your opinion in stone, lest you end up with nothing but a whole lot of wrong and a handful for dust. My heart goes out to his family, I thank him for his genius, and... well, 'nuff said.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ohsnap

    His own arrogance killed him.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. PhilG.

    NOT ONE PERSON ALIVE TODAY can tell anyone if Steve Jobs hurt or helped his fight against cancer.

    This was Steve's life to live and he made the decisions with it he deemed right at the time.

    "In it's earliest stages" this cancer could have well already set up a permanent home in Steve Job's body outside of the small tumor found.

    Personally,I watched as a man I knew (not Steve Job's) as one of the most decent human beings on the planet,a Virginia farmer and veteran named Harry fought cancer with all the help the doctors could give him.

    In the end of Harry's life,it was solely the love he had for his wife of fourty nine years and his grown daughter that kept him alive.

    That ended one night when the nurses had to turn him on his side and the cancer that he weakened his entire insides,ruptured everything inside his belly at one time.

    NO ONE can say if Steve Jobs could have lived any longer with supposedly 'proper' medical treatment.

    NO ONE.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Actually, anyone with a brain in their head will realize that he had a spectacularly better chance of surviving had he followed his doctors orders. I don't know what some of you people are smoking, but it's really distorting your perception of reality.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  28. Portland tony

    I can relate somewhat to what Jobs must have felt knowing he needed surgery. He could not control the situation. He'd have to turn the project over to a stranger, a surgeon, and would have no say in the outcome. That's why he played around with homeopathic treatments and learned he knew nothing about and could not improve upon the practice of medicine.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jerry

    Steve Jobs proved that the line between genius and insanity is very thin. RIP Steve Jobs

    October 25, 2011 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Eric

    Hate to break this to you: the 99% represent 1% of the change to the world. The 1% make the other 99%.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ozzi

      I don't understand the context of your statement in regards to either the article or the forum.

      October 26, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
  31. doctors are evil

    I don't blame him. 95 percent of doctors are sadistic, money grubbing dolts who couldn't give a damn if you live or die.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jerry

      You sound a bit bitter. Sorry for your loss.

      My experience is just the opposite. I've lived through the loss a few friends and a parent to cancer. 5% were as you say; 95% were dedicated caring professionals.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
    • nathanHalsey

      You are one obtuse person. The doctors you denigrate are the very people who spend far too great a percentage of their own lives dedicated to mastering a craft, so that they can help people such as yourselves live long and happy lives. I welcome you to come and trade a days work with me, and we'll see how you feel then. You want to complain about people making too much money, go to a sports forum. Your physician has earned, and continues to do so, their income with the years of service required just to start practice, every sleepless night on call, every family conference spent doling out bad news, and the countless hours of study required to stay afloat in their field. Get a life, and more importantly, grow up.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • OldGoat

      Thanks to one of those "sadistic, money grubbing dolts," my sorry azz was saved from extinction several years ago when I developed a very aggressive form of immune thrombocytopenia. Had this "sadistic, money grubbing dolt" not correctly diagnosed the root cause of the problem and correctly prescribe a treatment regimen (which I followed to the letter), I would have ultimately experienced a massive and fatal bleeding episode. That I didn't says a lot about this "sadistic, money grubbing dolt" who studied my situation and came up with the correct answers

      However, I'm glad to hear that you have such a low opinion of our medical schools and the folks who, after years of exhausting study, graduate from them and often go on to develop life-saving procedures that permit people like you who evidently lack a substantial part of the brain—the part that produces coherent thought—to live out a normal lifespan—much to the consternation of those of us who have fully-functioning brains,

      October 25, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
  32. yehoshua

    Every that has written on here must not have a life...

    October 25, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      including yourself.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  33. Maria

    Who caressssssss........

    October 25, 2011 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. DAMN PEOPLE!!!!!

    Just Shut Up!!! You are not going to change the mind of what you perceive to be an idiot.....
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

    Steve RIP...

    Thank you for My Mac Plus and my Mac SE, and my Image Writer. They helped me get out school.

    Thank you for my phone that lets me cut Paypal out of my cc billing, and my Ipod that helps me keep up with all of my almost millions of tunes....

    You lived on your own terms and died on your own terms and we thank you for being you.

    Few will touch more lives in more positive ways.

    We are already missing you,

    jocksox@gmail.com

    October 25, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      really... you posted your email address... on a CNN public forum. I will pray for you.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
  35. Aaron

    How was he considered a viable transplant patient when the cancer has spread. Something fishy went down for that to have happened. There are not enough livers out there for the people who need them and him getting one traded off with a more viable patient losing an opportunity.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gort01

      Because he's rich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 26, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  36. redwoln

    Steve Jobs was one of those patients who make physicians sad. Could have been cured but elected to go with the nuts and the berries. I've had several of them myself.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. THEND

    "Men talk to kill Time, while Time slowly kills him"

    When it's time for you to die, then it's time for you to Die. Sometime you think the doctor saved him or her. And there are times when you think they saved themselves through natural healing or whatever. But in truthfulness when it's time for you to die.....you'll die.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sara

    Get a life!

    October 25, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tom

    He was obviously living in an iworld where if you will it to be, your body will become bionic and nonobots will be formed that will kill the cancer. Unfortunately, that is so not the real world. One wonders if he did not die from an overdose of arrogance!

    October 25, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. jesse

    Average 96% mortality at 5 years with pancreatic cancer. Steve survived 8 years.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mountaingirl

      No, Steve Jobs did not have pancreatic adeocarcinoma; he had a neuroendocrine tumor.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
  41. Mountaingirl

    Steve Jobs is not a "difficult patient"; he is the ultimate "empowered patient." He researched his diagnosis, arrived at a treatment plan he thought would work the best for his own body, and followed through with that plan.

    CNN runs plenty of articles about empowered patients that feature the skeptical patient who chooses to go against usual medical advice with miraculous results. This is the flip side of those kinds of decisions. Michael Jackson is what happens when patients eventually find doctors who will give them what they feel they need most.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nathanHalsey

      You couldn't be more incorrect. Had he done any true research, he would have been following the advice of the many physicians and nurses who had his best interests in mind. Instead, sadly, he probably went on alternative medicine forums and followed the advice of someone he never met, who knew nothing about his health history, and who knew nothing about his cancer. Anecdote is the fault of reason. Just sad really.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • Err

      All scientific research has shown that as treatments, acupuncture, psychics, etc. only improve mental state and lessen pain in those that experience chronic pain. A healthy diet that is well-balanced has been crucial in cancer treatment, but that is not what Jobs pursued. He did not carefully research his options or he would have known all of this. Either he did what he heard without knowledge, or he knew that they were not effective cancer treatments and pursued them anyway. That does not make him a hero. Jobs wasn't being given advice by a quack doctor, and he was not doctor shopping – he was given the advice that is always given to patients in his position, and he rejected it. Rejecting well researched treatments based on biology is not empowerment – it's ignorance and fear. Jobs was a smart man, but he wasn't a doctor.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse |
    • moxi

      Empowered means being informed of the procedures, risks and outcomes to be expected. It doesn't mean eating apples and talking to a psychic. This man had extremely poor insight about his condition. Perhaps he should have finished college after all.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi

      There's a difference between empowered and difficult. Steve Jobs would not allow himself to be cured and I don't think his ideology would allow it. The doctors could have saved his life and that would have made them better than him. Jobs probably couldn't stand that thought – that anyone could be smarter or better than him.

      It's the same twisted thinking that drives vegans-the need to be better and more perfect than anyone else.

      October 26, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
  42. kavya

    Bottomline is.. you cannot "buy" health. I wish Steve Jobs' autobiography did not come out. Had he stayed private after death also, we would not have lost all the respect for the man.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      That statement would have been relevant had he actually made any sane attempts at getting healthy. Instead he chose to ignore the advice of his doctors. Sorry guys, but (I'll say it again) anyone with a brain can see that he stood a better chance of surviving had he gone through with the initial surgery.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  43. Fred931

    Indy cars are a difficult drive and can get you killed, like Dan Wheldon. I sure do wish the media would either talk more about Dan or shut the hell UP about the freaking spokesperson of the greatest corporate prank the American consumer base has fallen for.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. noemi

    What a selfish man he WAS 2 only think of himself never once wondering what would become of his kids.But does this way of thinking surprize anyone?It shouldn't he chose not to be helped why because these things (sickness)don't happen to ppl like his self.(WRONG) now his kids well grow up without his geneious but,hopfuly with much more sence than he had.selfishness and arrogance makes his real stupid.

    October 25, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Arcadian

    nothing New, Steve was a thief to the end, stole a liver, from other patient. Just because he had more money on that liver transplant list. Oh well the person that died waiting for it, got his karma back.
    oh well for those worshipping a false god like steve, deserved their fate.
    once a thief always a Thief. Well steve was the KING!!

    October 25, 2011 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. joyce

    Geesh!! A lot of angry people out there. The man had a very successful life and he "did it his way". Who can say if he was right or wrong – certainly not an angry mob of people who should look at their own lives first. He lived longer than the norm for this disease anyway, in spite of perceived bizarre behavior.

    October 25, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. hmmm

    This just goes to show you a "strict vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other alternative techniques" can't really cure cancer, just another myth from green moron wackos. He should have had the tumor removed immediately, no other alternative.

    October 25, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Don

    We are all talking about Steve Jobs because we all knew of Steve Jobs. To all you critics I say: what selfless acts have you done for the world in such magnitude? One day you too will die, however only a few will notice. Say what you want about Steve and his choices but take a look in the mirror before judging him. He chose the natural path and debatibly shortened his own life... we are all going to die sooner or later regardless but at least Steve had the courage to "think different"in so many ways and not follow like sheep... like I said, we all die sooner or later. Shame on you cowards, if Steve were alive today and standing in front of you, my guess is that you wouldn't be saying what you're saying here. Think before you throw insignificant stones from the safety of your insignificant lives. He donated so much of himself and his money to worthy causes like education, aids reasearch etc etc... and all you can do is kick him when he's dead. Society only barely tolerates people like you because you're cynical and suck the life from this planet. Your time will come and what will be said of you. Pathetic.

    October 25, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • moxi

      What selfless acts are you talking about? Building up a billion dollar company doesn't count.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Moxi...
      You don't even need to much DD on the man to know his priority wasn't $$$... he gave to Haiti relief and so many other causes... the negative choices he made affected his own life and the positive choices he made affected everyone else... he was an average human with an above averge drive... for that, he's ridiculed by sidelines. It's easy to criticize from the bleachers... but that man was in the game!... and so many benefited. How many have been negatively affected by your own actions in life... does that forever stain your legacy... grow up critics and be a part of the solution.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
    • Luposian

      Yes, I too shall one day die and few may notice... but the One I care about noticing WILL... Ever heard "Well done, true and faithful servant?" I hope to heard than when I am welcomed into heaven... sadly, Steve Jobs will only hear, "Depart from Me..."
      Sad end to a crazy life... of which we got to appreciate some interesting "devices" that were made during that time.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
  49. Jimi

    What a jerk he was – wouldn't admit he was the father of his daughter for years, ridiculous beliefs about his illness and then wouldn't see his natural father at the end of his life. He won't be missed by anyone who isnt obsessed with iCandy (TM :))

    October 25, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Rusty Kuntz

    the average person with cancer of the pancreas lives 2 years after chemo a radiation. its one of the most difficult and deadly cancers of them all. JOBS SURVIVED 8 YEARS DEFYING DOCTORS ORDERS BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT THE CANCER TREATMENT FIELD IS A JOKE!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Err

      Wrong kind of pancreatic cancer. He had the treatable kind, but neglected his health for so long that it made it untreatable.

      October 25, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.