Melbourne, July 4 : Aussie cricketer Glenn McGrath's wife Jane was so distraught at the prospect of losing her left breast after being diagnosed with cancer in 1997, that she initially preferred death to mastectomy, according to the sportsman's new biography.
'Glenn McGrath: Line and Strength. The Complete Story' reveals how the former Test cricketer helped his wife conquer her fear of disfigurement and concern that chemotherapy would make her infertile.
"It seemed to me that this cancer was going to rob Jane of more than just her left breast," The Age.com.au quoted McGrath, as saying.
"What I found cruel was hearing the drugs she needs to take would mean that she - we - might not have children ... She was worried that if she lost a breast she'd become unattractive but I swear ... that was not a problem ... I just wanted her to be alive and with me," he added.
The biography talks about much of the couple's 11-year battle with cancer, from diagnosis to surgery, remission and the disease's return, and the terrible physical effects of the disease.
"She's battled fatigue, a loss of appetite, bleeding and sore gums, bloating, bone marrow suppression and a terrible itch that left her clawing at her skin - it was red like the most severe sunburn. But she'd confront all her fears and pain and go through it," McGrath said.
The book also reveals that McGrath's famous attempt in the second Test against South Africa in 1998, where he played the full five days in spite of a seven-centimetre tear in his abdomen, was motivated partly by Jane's presence in the crowd.
"It hurt like hell, but he vowed that if he started the match he would finish it. He wanted her to know that he too could dig deep," the author of the biography, Daniel Lane, writes.
Jane died on June 22 after a decade-long battle with breast cancer.