A couple of months before Elaine died from peritoneal cancer, we hired Anila, a cheerful, hearty Albanian housecleaner. On her first visit, Anila saw that Elaine was bedridden. “Kerosene can save her,” she said. “There is science. Look it up on the Internet.” Later, Elaine and I had a good laugh over it. She said, “Maybe that’s all they have available in Albania.” But in retrospect I’ve thought, “Could it be any worse than the treatment she got here?”
Elaine was a bright light to those who knew her, one of those rare people whose inherent grace put others at ease and made them feel special. A trained pianist, she was also a gifted and productive artist who in her last year painted and gave away more than a dozen original pieces to friends and family (Figure).
Klepper B. The Gold Standard for Current Cancer Treatment. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(8):1060-1061. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2932