Tag Archives: breast cancer

Texas Legislature Will Kill Women

mammograms

I know that many folks will wrinkle up their noses when they read the title of this post. The texas legislature will kill texas women. That must be a misprint. Nope. It is fact. Kill – to deprive of live. This is exactly what Governor Rick “Oops” Perry and the legislature have done with their anti-abortion legislation.

My good friend Kurt Eichenwald has more:

My wife has breast cancer.

I write this, with her permission, while sitting in the hospital waiting room as she undergoes surgery. Afterward, there will be another surgery, radiation, and probably chemo, but what else might be in the offing is guesswork at this point. I’ll know more this afternoon, when the operation is over.

Theresa discovered the lump four weeks ago while we were watching television. Fortunately, as a doctor with excellent health insurance, she was able to take quick action. The next day, she had a mammogram and sonogram. Soon after, a radiologist biopsied the growth; we were notified that it was malignant in a call from her doctor seconds before a flight attendant told us to shut off our phones in preparation for takeoff. We quickly met with the surgeon and scheduled today’s operation. Before Theresa left the office, she had a blood test for genetic markers. The next day, an M.R.I.

The whirlwind of activity sometimes allowed us to sidestep our feelings; at the beginning, the diagnosis seemed more like a list of things to do rather than a potentially life-threatening condition. There was, of course, denial. When we informed our sons of what was happening, Theresa wasn’t able to use the words “breast cancer.” I did, and she later told me that, when I said the term, she felt like I was talking about someone else.

Of course, there was fear: she worried about the possibility of a mastectomy, I only worried that she would die. And finally, in that very short time frame of a few weeks, we reached some level of acceptance. Continue reading Texas Legislature Will Kill Women

Susan G Komen stirs up a hornets nest (Updated, again)

Pecos wilderness

Many, many years ago, I was out in the Pecos wilderness with several of my classmates. We found out, first-hand, what happens when you stir up a hornet’s nest. We were walking down this trail single-file. All of us were city slickers and most of us did not really appreciate being out in the woods. Therefore, we really were paying attention to our surroundings. Suddenly, one guy grabbed his leg and ran off the trail screaming in pain. A few seconds later, the guy behind him did exactly the same thing. It turned out there was some sort of hornet’s nest in the middle of the trail. The first two or three guys walked down the trail that the hornets stirred up. The middle of the group got stung. Those of us who were lagging behind saw the commotion and took a different path. In the end, everybody was fine, with the exception of a few stings. In this highly charged political atmosphere, one would figure that a major fund raising foundation would steer clear of hornet’s nests. Not the Susan G Komen Foundation for the Cure. On Tuesday, they decided, for purely political reasons, to stop funding Planned Parenthood. There was significant blowback. Today, they are in 100% damage control mode and almost  reversed their decision. This was a major announcement that did very little to guarantee future funds for Planned Parenthood.

We needed a pink gun, did we??

We live in an era in which nothing is exactly as it seems. Just a couple of years ago, the average American thought that British Petroleum really cared about the environment. They had a charm offensive which included more than five years of commercials filled with environmentally friendly talk. It only took one oil well and a completely tone deaf CEO to show America that British Petroleum was no different than any other major oil corporation. The Susan G Komen foundation had completely infiltrated the American psyche. They equaled breast cancer awareness and treatment. Even the NFL had one game where players would support the Foundation by wearing pink shoes or pink gloves or even have pink towels hanging from their waist. Personally, I have purchased golf balls, baseball caps and other merchandise which sported the Susan G Komen logo and supported breast cancer awareness and treatment. I have personally given money to people who have run in their multiple, well-publicized, “race for the cure” over the years. Now, that’s not happening. Millions of Americans have the same feeling. It will take Susan G Komen foundation years to recover from this strategic blunder.

In my opinion, the Board of Directors needs to clean house. The power structure of the Susan G Komen foundation needs to be fired. New management needs to be brought in if they are to convince the American public that they truly understand what the problem is. In my opinion, today’s announcement tells me that they know what the problem is, but that they don’t really want to fix it. Personally, it’s going be hard for me to pony up money to the Susan G Komen foundation ever again. I’ve already donated to Planned Parenthood, which I’ve never done in my life. I plan on making it a habit.

The Daily Kos has done an excellent job covering the to and fro of this debacle. Please check out their many posts here, here and here. Marcy Wheeler, fabulous blogger and personal friend, has an excellent post here. You can give to Planned Parenthood here.

Update: This is what anyone would describe as a bizarre episode in PR. This case just gets stranger. Ari Fleischer, Bush’s former press secretary, raises his ugly head. This just gets crazier and crazier. Komen has not been officially labelled a partisan, dead organization. I don’t see how the Susan G Komen foundation will be surviving this.

Here’s what I think is very sad about this whole ordeal. Women need an organizational advocate to raise huge sums of money to combat breast cancer. The advocate must be non-partisan and focus like a laser on breast cancer research and on helping women.

Update II:

I thought that this graphic would be helpful.

Saturday Morning News Roundup (Updated)

Solyndra executives were summoned to Capitol Hill yesterday. They took the fifth. This is curious.

There’s more going on in Wisconsin with regards to Governor Scott Walker and some secret investigation. Scott Walker’s spokesman has received immunity. This can’t be good.

Sometimes, government is hard. Other times, it’s just politics. It appears that a government shutdown is on the horizon, again. The Republicans have not given up on insisting on funding cuts before funding FEMA disaster relief.

I find it kind of amusing that we are instructing Europe to be more aggressive on their debt crisis. This is in spite of the fact that we really haven’t solve our own debt crisis.

Scientists at Penn State College of Medicine announced that they have found a virus capable of killing breast cancer within seven days. If this is true and if there are no untoward side effects, like getting some other type of cancer, this would be a huge breakthrough.

Michele Bachmann during last week’s debates basically proposed no taxes. I’m not talking about a system with fewer taxes. I’m talking about a system without any taxes. I guess that government would run on a voluntary basis. There would be no military. There would be no Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. There would be nothing. No disaster relief. The crazy, irrational philosopher, Ayn Rand, would be proud.

For quite some time now, some money gurus have been touting the safe haven of gold. After yesterday’s losses, I’m guessing that gold and silver aren’t that safe anymore.

One of the darlings of Wall Street has been this company called GroupOn. Just like every other phrase on Wall Street, Groupon was initially overvalued at $20 billion. Its revenues were nowhere near this lofty number. There seems to be some accounting irregularities which reduce the revenue from over $700 million to $312.9 million. That’s a huge accounting discrepancy.

I’ve been extremely critical of Hewlett-Packard. I think that they’ve lost their way. They have fired their old CEO and have hired eBay’s old CEO Meg Whitman. She’s got a lot of work to do.

Nice article on making your smart phone – smarter.

The NRA is confused and delusional. They seem to be upset that Obama has done what he said he was going to do. Nothing. He wasn’t going to touch gun control. That simple task of Obama’s sticking to his promise has gotten the NRA in a twist. Read this craziness.

Is Putin back in as the Russian president? Nice gig if you can get it.

UBS CEO has stepped down over the $2 billion losses. Remember, I mentioned several days ago that a “rogue” trader lost $2 billion at UBS. I think that it is important to point out the wink, wink, nod, nod that is going on here. This trader wasn’t a rogue. He was just the same as those other knuckleheads. Matt Taibbi put it this way

They’re not “rogue” for the simple reason that making insanely irresponsible decisions with other peoples’ money is exactly the job description of a lot of people on Wall Street. Hell, they don’t call these guys “rogue traders” when they make a billion dollars gambling.

The only thing that differentiates a “rogue” trader like Barings villain Nick Leeson from a Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, John Thain, or someone like AIG’s Joe Cassano, is that those other guys are more senior and their lunatic, catastrophic decisions were authorized (and yes, I know that Cassano wasn’t an investment banker, technically – but he was in financial services).

In the financial press you’re called a “rogue trader” if you’re some overperspired 28 year-old newbie who bypasses internal audits and quality control to make a disastrous trade that could sink the company. But if you’re a well-groomed 60 year-old CEO who uses his authority to ignore quality control and internal audits in order to make disastrous trades that could sink the company, you get a bailout, a bonus, and heroic treatment in an Andrew Ross Sorkin book.

Right on cue, Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler magazine, has offered $1 million for anyone who has proof of a sexual affair with Rick Perry.

Cain wins Florida straw poll. Interestingly, Michele Bachmann finished last. She finished behind – Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich (who has gotten no traction at all) and Jon Huntsman.

What’s on your mind? What stories are you following?