To doctors, cancer means cells growing out of control; to patients, cancer means a life spinning out of control. Janet R. Gilsdorf, who writes with quiet but stunning honesty about her experiences, offers an eye-opening glimpse, through her unique dual perspective as physician and patient, of both sides of the medical divide. The medical system delivers cures, answers, and relief from pain to those who seek its help, but it can also offer misinformation, shattered expectations, horrible options, and inhumane consideration of the people it is supposed to serve. As Gilsdorf takes us on a journey across the terrifying landscape of cancer, she discovers that there are oases of unfathomable beauty to be found. ""Inside/Outside"" is compelling, sometimes scary, reading as it puts us inside Gilsdorf's skin. It ponders a vast array of human choices: thinking versus feeling, knowing versus not knowing, hanging on versus letting go, loving versus hating, and the immeasurable territories of life between the poles. Ultimately it is an honest story of intelligence and survival that transcends any doctor-patient barriers to offer profound insights into what it means to be human.
Breast-cancer survivor Janet R. Gilsdorf, M.D., is Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, at the University of Michigan. She is also Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Mott Children's Hospital, Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology in Pediatrics Training Program, and Director of the Haemophilus influenzae Research Laboratory.