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'Fatal Vision' author Joe McGinniss of Pelham diagnosed with prostate cancer

CAROL LOLLIS
Joe McGinniss outside Superior Court in Northampton Tuesday afternoon.

CAROL LOLLIS Joe McGinniss outside Superior Court in Northampton Tuesday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

McGinniss, 70, of Pelham, is the author of “Fatal Vision,” “Blind Faith” and other true crime books, as well as “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.”

His most recent projects are “Final Vision,” a follow-up to 1983’s “Fatal Vision,” about the murder trial of U.S. Army Capt. Jeffrey McDonald, and “15 Gothic St.,” a serialized story about a year in Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton. Two installments of “15 Gothic St.” have been published at byliner.com.

McGinniss was an almost daily presence at the courthouse beginning last January, but has been largely absent since the spring.

Attempts to reach McGinniss directly were unsuccessful Thursday.

McGinniss said in a Facebook post Wednesday that he was diagnosed with cancer in May.

“There is no cure, so sooner or later it’s terminal,” he said. “It can, however, be controlled, sometimes for years.”

McGinniss wrote that his doctors at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston are optimistic about his progress.

“I’ve never felt better in my life. I’m in great health otherwise, and now devoted to a diet and exercise program designed to combat the side effects of the drug I’m getting,” McGinniss wrote.

McGinniss said he’s being treated with a drug called Lupron. He said the drug can prevent the advance of cancer, sometimes for years.

“I get checked every three months. So far, there’s been no need for any treatment beyond the injections,” he wrote.

“As I say, I feel terrific. Eager to tackle another book and I’ve got a few ideas for magazine stories as well.”

McGinniss wrote that in addition to keeping the cancer at bay, the drug and its accompanying treatment program have improved his overall health.

“A diagnosis of cancer, even terminal cancer, does not have to interfere with daily life. I’m blessed to be entirely free of symptoms, and thanks to the exercise and diet in better shape otherwise than I’ve been in for at least 20 years,” he wrote.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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