This introductory chapter, Begley’s Bombshell, really captured my attention and really raised my excitement to read this book. I had honestly never thought of the biomedical industry as an entity of actual people who may not have a perfect work ethic. The media representation of the medical field had shown me that everyone was in it for the betterment of the human race. I had never realized that it may also include people just doing the research for the money and “fame”. “There’s a constant scramble for research dollars. Promotions and tenure depend on their making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time.” pg.12. I don’t know why this was such a surprise to me since most industries are like that. Now, that’s a pretty pessimistic outlook on things, and I understand that not everyone in the trade is in it for the money, but this chapter of the book highlights those who are.
Another thing that interested me in this chapter, was glioblastoma multiforme. Rigor Mortis mentioned the type of brain cancer late into the first chapter but did not really explain what it is. I had originally just googled the name of the cancer to see what it was, but then I was drawn into more research. The book did say “Half of patients with this diagnosis live less than fifteen months, and 95 percent are dead within five years.” pg. 19. This certainly shocked me. I had heard of deadly cancers, sure, but never anything this devastating. Learning this fact definitely prompted my interest in the disease as well as my further research. During this research, I discovered some very grisly facts about glioblastoma. Most often, it starts in the cerebrum, the part of the brain responsible for voluntary actions and senses. Thus, having a glioblastoma tumor causes trouble speaking, seizures, persistent headaches, and many other symptoms. Reading about the story of Lester Curtin and his battle with glioblastoma was, honestly, heartbreaking. Hearing about how he essentially lost his sanity. The fact that, towards the end of his life, he was literally begging for death really shows how devastating that cancer can be to a person.
Overall, this chapter was quite interesting to read. It makes me very excited to read the rest of the chapters. This particular chapter really paved the way for an insightful journey into the inaccuracy of research.