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The Inside Track

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August 12, 2003|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

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What: "Heaven Can Wait: Surviving Cancer."

Author: Charlie Jones and Kim Doren.

Publisher: Seven Locks Press, Santa Ana.

Price: $16.95.

Longtime network sportscaster Charlie Jones learned he had prostate cancer in December 2001. Jones, in writing about his ordeal, says, "I began to wonder if it was just me, if I was the exception, if I was the wimp who couldn't handle it."

Following the suggestion of co-author Kim Doren, who had teamed with Jones on six previous books, he began talking to friends who had undergone cancer treatment. He and Doren interviewed more than 100 cancer survivors, and this highly readable 194-page paperback is the result.

Jones has worked in sports all his adult life, so many of the survival stories come from sports figures.

Arnold Palmer is among them. Palmer says when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he immediately had surgery, then followed it up with radiation treatment. He says he played golf every day while taking radiation.

"When anyone asks me what I recommend, I always tell them to make a decision on how they want to be treated, and then get it done," he says. "Don't fool around."

Raymond Floyd, another prostate cancer victim, says, "When a man gets to be 50, he needs to have his PSA checked twice a year."

Dusty Baker says, "African Americans have the highest rates of prostate cancer and are 50% more likely to develop it than men of other racial and ethnic groups. As a prostate cancer survivor, I urge men to take action."

Joe Torre contributes, "I knew when I was ready to go back to work after my treatment for prostate cancer. That time came when I could stay awake after 9 o'clock at night. That's when I knew I wouldn't fall asleep in the dugout."

Essentially, "Heaven Can Wait" is about winning -- winning the game of life.

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-- Larry Stewart

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