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'In Sickness' details how a prominent cancer doc concealed her own illness — even from her husband

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Jane Weeks and Barrett Rollins. (Courtesy)
Jane Weeks and Barrett Rollins. (Courtesy)

Editor's note: If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

How well do you know your spouse? And how far would you go to keep their secrets — or tolerate the secrets they kept from you? Would you lie to your family? Friends? Would you let your partner endanger their life?

Barrett Rollins did all of that. The successful cancer doctor, a professor at Harvard Medical School, only discovered his wife's football-sized breast tumor when she collapsed walking to lunch at the Dana Farber Cancer Center where they both worked. Despite the fear, anger and shame he felt when faced with the secret his wife, renowned physician and cancer researcher Jane Weeks, had kept from him, he concealed the details of her disease until her death a year later.

His page-turning memoir "In Sickness" is Rollins' attempt to figure out how his relationship with his often charismatic, sometimes obsessive, sometimes abusive wife impacted her life and his.

Jane Weeks. (Courtesy)
Jane Weeks. (Courtesy)

Book excerpt: 'In Sickness'

By Barrett Rollins

Dr. Barrett Rollins is the author of "In Sickness: A Memoir" forthcoming on Nov. 15, 2022, from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. He is Linde Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief scientific officer emeritus at Dana FarberCancer Institute.

This segment aired on November 10, 2022.

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