EppsNet Archive: Cancer

Monday Night at the Chevron

20 Mar 2017 /
Chevron

I like the sodas at Chevron . . . they’re not restaurant quality, but they’re better than the flat, tasteless sodas you get at most other gas stations.

On the downside, Chevron as often as not has some donate-a-buck-to-charity shakedown going on at the register. Today the place is plastered with photos of bald children with brave smiles on their faces . . .

“Would you like to donate to St. Jude pediatric cancer research?” the clerk asks.

“I already donated two dollars last week and they haven’t cured it yet?”

 

Meanwhile, I notice another employee plucking all the hot dogs off the rotisserie with a pair of tongs and dropping them in a trash can . . .

“You have to throw those out if they sit too long?” I ask the clerk.

“Yes.”

“Do you ever pluck a couple off and eat them if you’re hungry?”

“No,” he says, with the kind of look someone would give you if you asked them to eat something inedible . . .


It’s Not Your Head

13 Apr 2016 /
Head pain

I’m telling my doctor about these shooting pains that I get near the back of my head, behind my left ear. Sometimes they don’t happen for months and sometimes they happen several times a day.

She says it’s likely to be caused by stress and tension.

“You don’t think it’s a brain tumor?” I ask.

“No, because a brain tumor would hurt all the time and the pain would get worse over time.”

“OK . . . that’s good to know because I didn’t want to deal with a brain tumor right now.”

“I’m not worried about it. And if I’m not worried about it, you shouldn’t be worried about it.”

“That’s what my wife said this morning. She said she wasn’t worried about it. I said, ‘Of course you’re not worried about it. It’s not your head.’ She said she wouldn’t worry about it even if was her head.”

“Let me say it another way. If your doctor is not worried about it, then you don’t need to be worried about it.”


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Brain Cancer Patients

31 Oct 2014 /

Brain cancer patients are worse than vegetarians — meddling busybodies telling everyone else how to live their lives.

Ever since Brittany Maynard announced her intention to end her own life, brain cancer patients have been coming out of the woodwork to tell her that she has no right to do that (see here, here, here and here).

Some people don’t want to die the kind of lingering death that exhausts the emotional and financial resources of their loved ones. In fact, I think most people don’t, but I think most people with a terminal illness imagine themselves dying a kind of radiant death like people with terminal illnesses in movies. By the time reality sets in, the dying person is past knowing or caring.


More on Stuart Scott

18 Jul 2014 /

I am sick unto death of this guy. I just read a sentence from his speech:

You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.

Ugh. Sickening. Millions of people fighting cancer and he’s the one guy who’s figured out how to fight it the right way.

Like a lot of people, we have an immediate family member who had cancer, and like a lot of people, she battled it bravely, quietly, with humanity and dignity, and without any expectation of receiving an award, which she didn’t get. Unlike Stuart Scott, she never told anyone about all the unpleasant medical procedures she had to undergo and she never presented herself as a model for how life should be lived under difficult circumstances.

Fuck this guy.


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Stuart Scott

17 Jul 2014 /

I’m hearing on the radio this morning that Stuart Scott received something called the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs last night . . .

Who knew you could get an award for having cancer? I am exhausted by sports people, media people, entertainment people, sports media entertainment people sucking each other’s dicks.

Stuart Scott and people like Stuart Scott have killed my enjoyment of sports with their endless self-promotional bullshit while I’m trying to watch highlights. I hate sports and it’s all because of Stuart Scott. And now he gets an award for having cancer.

Everyone unfortunately has family members and/or friends who get cancer and battle it to the best of their abilities without receiving a goddamn award. It’s insulting to all of those people to give someone an award for having cancer and it’s doubly insulting to accept an award for having cancer.

I have come to bear witness! I have faced my own mortality. I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker.

Yes, you and 1.7 million other people diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S alone.

I am exhausted with people putting their lives on display based on a delusion about their own uniqueness and importance. Oh what a plague.

Fuck Stuart Scott.


It’s Not That Hard to Be a Saint in the City

25 Apr 2014 /
Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II is being canonized this weekend because of 667,302 prayers for divine intervention, he miraculously answered two, years after he was already dead.

What sort of evidence is required to certify that an earthly phenomenon was caused by a dead person?

William of Occam would have pointed out that there are simpler explanations for a sick person getting well, e.g.,

  • The disease responded to treatment.
  • The disease went into remission.
  • The patient was misdiagnosed and did not really have the disease in the first place.

I assure you that if 667,302 people with diagnosed medical ailments prayed to my dog, in at least two of those cases (and more likely, thousands), something unusual would happen.

Years ago, a lower GI series revealed that I had a golf ball-sized (4 cm) tumor in my colon. The doctor did a colonoscopy a few days later and the tumor was gone.

It’s a miracle! Unless something was wrong with the production or reading of the x-ray and the tumor was never there at all.

I didn’t say any prayers so no one will be getting a sainthood out of it. Or maybe I myself am a saint!

Update: This.


Thank You for Smoking

31 Oct 2013 /

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking kills about 1 in 5 people in the United States.

Is that bad? If so, why? You’ve got to die somehow. Would it be better if those people died from some other cause? How would you prefer to see them die?

James Bond

Also: Some percentage of Americans would rather be dead than alive anyway. I don’t know what that number is, but I’d bet it’s higher than 1 in 5.

(If you Google “percentage of people who would rather be dead,” the top results all point to a 2008 survey in which 52 percent of respondents said they would rather be dead than disabled.

If you change the search to “percentage of people who would rather be dead than alive,” you get a mishmash of links, including a few more links to the “dead vs. disabled” survey, but you still don’t get the number you’re looking for. Phoning up random Americans and asking if they’d rather be dead is evidently not considered an appropriate thing to do, although it seems like a highly relevant question to me.

Slight digression: I also found a survey in which people were given the option of saving either their pet dog or a foreign tourist from in front of an onrushing bus. Forty percent chose the dog, which seems low to me.)

Anyway, the American Cancer Society goes on to say:

About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Where does that number — 443,000 — come from? The problem with throwing out numbers on smoking deaths is that there’s no way to know that any given smoker died because of smoking.

If a smoker dies from lung cancer, is that automatically counted as a smoking-related death? There’s no way you can know that. Because non-smokers get lung cancer too. Not as often as smokers, but they get it.

You can look at a lot of cases collectively and say that smoking is associated with a higher risk of lung cancer. You could even say that smoking causes lung cancer. But for any given person, you can’t say that this person’s lung cancer was caused by smoking and if he didn’t smoke, he would not have died of lung cancer.

Same thing with other diseases — if a smoker dies of heart disease or a stroke, is that because of smoking? There’s no way you can know that.

The second problem with the numbers is that if smoking kills 1 person in 5 (20 percent), and half of all smokers die because of smoking, then you’d have about 40 percent of Americans as smokers. That’s too high. According to the CDC, 19 percent of U.S. adults are smokers (as of 2011).

Why not keep it real, skip the bogus numbers and say, “Smoking helps some people get through the day. It revs them up or it calms them down or I don’t know what it does, but it helps them get through the day. That being said, there are other ways to get through the day, and setting a vegetable product on fire and inhaling the smoke into your lungs is clearly not the most healthful thing you can do.”


Some Links

30 Oct 2013 /

HealthCare.gov’s Account Setup: 10 Broken Usability Guidelines

McKayla Maroney Was Doing The “Not Impressed” Face At Age 8

Most Popular Paintings & Photos From Getty’s Online Art Collection

The Tweeting Bra Versus Breast Cancer


Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

11 Jan 2013 /
Thomas Jefferson

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.”

But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost!

In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods.

Of course, that was before television.

Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government . . . as George Carlin says, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” George is here in heaven now. He breaks me up, he really does.

Your president and Congress have decreed that every American will have health insurance whether they want it or not. They have further decreed that a lot of Americans will not have to pay for their own health insurance, which means that the cost of their health insurance has to be paid by the rest of you. That’s one reason why your health insurance premium is going up.

Another reason your premium is going up is the “guaranteed issue” provision. “Guaranteed issue” means that no one can be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

Funny story: My friend Paul Epps, his wife has an insurance agency in Southern California. It’s an area that’s susceptible to wildfires in the summer months. When a fire breaks out, people who live near the fire actually call this woman wanting to buy a homeowners policy.

Of course, she doesn’t sell it to them. Insurance companies are a little bit smarter than that.

Buying a homeowners policy when your house is already on fire is analogous to “guaranteed issue” health insurance: Hello, I’d like to buy some health insurance. Oh by the way, I have cancer, but the doctors think that with lengthy and expensive treatment, I have a chance to pull through.

This is not even insurance anymore. Insurance is something you pay for now to protect against the risk of having to pay a lot more later. In these cases, there IS no risk. The bad news has already happened. It’s a dead loss for the insurance company and they have to spread the cost of that loss to other policyholders. That’s another reason your premium is going up.

This isn’t even economics, folks, it’s just common sense.

Thomas Jefferson


The Chevron Guy

15 Oct 2012 /
B for Beggar

My boy and I are buying sodas at the Chevron station . . .

I notice they’ve got the place plastered with breast cancer donation stickers . . . donate a buck to breast cancer research and you can put your name on a 3×5 sticker with a pink car and a Chevron logo and they’ll stick it up on the wall.

I object to that. Let Chevron donate their own damn money instead of shaking down the customers.

“Would you like to donate a dollar to breast cancer research?” the attendant asks.

“No,” I reply. “Shouldn’t Chevron make their own donations? They’ve got more money than I do.”

It takes the guy a few moments to pick up on my theme, but as we’re wrapping up the transaction, he grabs the ball and runs with it.

“Yeah,” he says, “and the price of gas keeps going up.”

“It does, although I have to admit it’s down a little bit in the past week.”

“They bounce it,” he says, “but in the long run, it always goes up. It’ll be five dollars, then seven dollars. And they control everything so there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“You’re exactly right,” I say to him.

When we get outside, I say to the boy, “Chevron should fire that guy. Not a good company man.”


Maurice Lucas, 1952-2010

1 Nov 2010 /

PORTLAND, Ore. — Maurice Lucas, the fierce power forward known as “The Enforcer” who helped lead the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title, has died after a long fight with bladder cancer. He was 58.

ESPN

I enjoyed watching this guy play.

Did you know that former Blazer teammate Bill Walton named his son Luke after Lucas?


Stephen J. Cannell, 1941-2010

1 Oct 2010 /
Stephen J. Cannell

“Rockford Files” and “A-Team” creator Stephen J. Cannell has died of complications from melanoma. He was 69.

I PITY THE FOOL WHO DON’T WEAR SUNSCREEN!

Loved Rockford Files. R.I.P.


Suck it Up, Liver Cancer Patients!

19 Nov 2009 /

When the government runs healthcare . . .

Liver cancer sufferers are being condemned to an early death by being denied a new drug on the Health Service, campaigners warn. They criticised draft guidance that will effectively ban the drug sorafenib — which is routinely used in every other country where it is licensed. Trials show the drug, which costs £36,000 [$60,000] a year, can increase survival by around six months for patients who have run out of options.

The Government’s rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said the overall cost was “simply too high” to justify the “benefit to patients.”


I Don’t Feel Good

11 Dec 2004 /
— CNN.com

Soccer Balls

17 Jun 2002 /

Testicle cancer rates for World Cup nations ranked
Like they say, here’s one that won’t show up in the box score . . .