02 August 2004

Courage Under Fire


"I have some personal news that I need to share with you, and I wanted you to hear it directly from me.

"This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas. I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

"The far more common form of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma, which is currently not curable and usually carries a life expectancy of around one year after diagnosis. I mention this because when one hears "pancreatic cancer" (or Googles it), one immediately encounters this far more common and deadly form, which, thank God, is not what I had.

"I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September. While I'm out, I've asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day-to-day operations, so we shouldn't miss a beat. I'm sure I'll be calling some of you way too much in August, and I look forward to seeing you in September.


"P.S.: I'm sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express"

[MercuryNews.com | 08/01/2004 | Steve Jobs' e-mail to Apple employees]
Whenever I see cancer patients facing their fates with grace and unique toughness, I am always impressed and in awe. Pancreatic cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in the United States and many doctors describe it as "extremely difficult to treat."

I admire at how Steve Jobs is taking this. He was even able to plug Apple's famous laptop in his email at a time when he should be extremely worried and scared.

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