Archive for the ‘Life Death and Dying’ Category

The Beat Goes On

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Posted 18 Oct 2011 — by James Street
Category Age and osteosarcoma, Life Death and Dying, Osteosarcoma
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Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  2 responses

A Q&A with the filmmaker of a new documentary on the late, great Wayman Tisdale.

by Jonathan Santiago / @itsJONsantiago

Wayman Tisdale passed away in 2009 after a two-year battle with a rare form of bone cancer.  Now his life’s story is being told in a documentary that features interviews with some of Tisdale’s closet contemporaries in music and basketball.

The Wayman Tisdale Story was written, produced and directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Brian Schodorf.  He was inspired to make the film after hearing of Tisdale’s fight with osteosarcoma. Following  dozens of emails, letters and numerous phone calls to those in Tisdale’s circle, Schodorf finally broke through in 2009 when he connected with the former basketball star.  He went on to capture what would be some of Tisdale’s final days, including the self-taught musician’s last jazz tour.

“He would never let anyone know that (his illiness) was more serious than he led them to believe,” Schodorf said of Tisdale.  “Because he didn’t want anybody to feel sorry for him. “

Schodorf never expected the film’s production to take as long as it did.  But because of budget constraints, the documentary took two-and-a-half years to make.

“Every time we’d watch it, Wayman lit up the screen and we knew people had to see this (film),” Schodorf said, recalling the many days he worked on the film essentially for free in a cold Chicago apartment from 2009 to 2011.  “But there were a lot of days when I was like, ‘ This is never going to get done.’”

Fortunately Tisdale’s record label, Mack Avenue Records along with ESPN and NBA TV came along and injected life into the project, which is set to air next month.

SLAM: What compelled you to make a documentary about Wayman?

Brian Schodorf: I get that question a lot.  And it’s interesting because I really didn’t know that much about him.  I really wasn’t a jazz guy.  I didn’t follow his career.  I remember he had been in the NBA and he was a pretty good player.  But when I saw a little bit about what he was going through with his leg, I just felt like that’s a story I had to tell, and I just had to do it.

So, I got an investor and I ended up going down to Tulsa and I pitched Wayman on the idea.  And it’s hard when you are coming from the outside to try and come in and get in a public figure’s life to do a documentary.  But you know, Wayman was one of those guys who was so open.  He was so touchable.  People always say, “I met him he was so cool.  He didn’t seem like an NBA player” because he really wasn’t.  He was just a regular guy.  For me, if my leg had just been amputated and I was going through this struggle and this battle, I probably wouldn’t want to talk to anybody.  But that just kind of shows his character and what type of guy he was.

SLAM: Is this your first biographical documentary?

BS: It is.  It’s the first biography I’ve done and it was a challenge.  I think in the history of my life – I’m not going to say in the history of the world – but in the history my life, I’ve never came across a more flawless person with the coolest life.  I mean the guy lived 44 years.  He had nine records – many of them went number one.  He played 12 years in the NBA.   He was a three time All-American.  He was (an Olympic) gold medalist.  And there wasn’t any one person who had anything bad to say about him.  Going from Michael Jordan to Toby Keith – and that’s a pretty tough crowd to impress [laughs].  Those guys aren’t known for their complimentary attitudes toward other people and he just won everybody over.  Making a documentary about somebody like that was definitely challenging.

But at the end of the day, we didn’t have a lot of material to work with because he passed away less than a week after our last interview with him.  We had two or three interviews that we did.  And then we had to go around and look for archival footage and different materials to put it together.  Since he had just passed away, it made it a little bit more difficult.  But I think we got it done.  I think it definitely gives justice to his name.

SLAM: When you told him that you wanted to make a documentary about him, what were his initial thoughts on the project?

BS: He was very, very excited about it.  But (in the beginning) you’re really just kind of feeling the process out.  A guy like Wayman, being in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Phoenix, had a lot of people approaching (him) that wanted different things.  Initially, you have to work through some of those trust issues, especially being a stranger.

(But) he was excited about it.  He wanted to do it.  We had some good ideas about it.  But we were still in the initial phases of trying to feel it out, see what it could be and getting to know each other.  We never really ended up getting to the point where we were working on it together.  I mean, he passed away so quickly – it was literally a week after.  So we were going to hook back up, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time.

SLAM: How did his passing affect the production process of the film?

BS: As far as the production, it’s tough to say because had he still been alive, had he beat his battle, would we have gone out and interviewed Michael Jordan and all these other guys?  Maybe.  Maybe we might have just stayed with Wayman and had him tell the whole story.  I think it probably sped things up, because knew what we had to work with.

We started shooting in 2009 and a lot of stuff that you see in 2007, 2008 and early 2009 – a lot of that is stock footage and archived materials.  I think his death probably did speed things up.  We were hoping to get it out sooner.  But we were working with the NBA, the NCAA, ESPN  – all these different groups -  and we were working with the Tisdale family.   We wanted to make sure we got things right for them and gave them proper time to deal with everything.

SLAM: The film is primarily told in Wayman’s own words.  Talk about the style you chose to tell his story.

BS: We started off (telling the story) from birth until death, chronologically,  and we just said “this doesn’t have it.” It was missing that tension, that kind of push, pull (with the audience).  So that’s why we (told it) through some flashbacks.  We just wanted to keep audiences engaged through that process and we didn’t want it to all be about the cancer too.  That’s another reason why we did not get into the medical things about what was going on inside his leg, about the osteosacroma cancer.

Very rarely does a grown man, for that matter a 6’10 former professional athlete develop this disease.  It’s one-in-a-million for somebody like Wayman Tisdale to develop this disease.  But at the request of his family and kind of the way I saw this whole thing playing out, I didn’t want to make this a cancer movie.  I didn’t want to make this about cancer because that’s not what we wanted to remember Wayman by and that’s not how we wanted everybody to see him.

SLAM: Michael Jordan, country singer Toby Keith and a couple other others from the worlds of music and basketball are featured in the film.  Why did you reach out to those people in particular?

BS: I wish I could have gotten some more.  I had no budget for this thing literally, but I wanted to get Charles Barkley (and) I wanted to get Jamie Foxx – obviously because Charles Barkley played with him on the Suns.  Jamie Foxx was a good friend (of Wayman’s).  Larry Bird, I was trying to get him.  I was trying to get Magic Johnson.  Those are the four guys that I wanted and I wasn’t able to get.

For Michael Jordan, the PR person with the Bobcats told me he gets 300 interview requests a day.  Not a week.  Not a month.  A day. [laughs]  That just shows you how rarely he does interviews.  But once he saw Wayman Tisdale’s name, he said “I’ll do that one”.  Michael Jordan was an obvious choice because they played on the Olympic team together.  They were really good friends.  Michael Jordan was (also) a big fan of his music.

Sam Perkins (also in the film) was the best man at his wedding – they were best friends.  And AC Green played with him on the Suns and they were very close.  They were both Christians and had a lot of that in common.

SLAM: From the music world, fellow jazz musicians Dave Koz, Marcus Miller and Jonathan Butler were also interviewed.

BS: I was going back to how much (Wayman) fit into his life.  These guys are top notch musicians – top of the game, best in the world.  He transitioned from his basketball friends over here to these music guys and they all became very close.  You could’ve picked a hundred other people that were well-known with admiration and stories about what type of guy Wayman was.

SLAM: What do you want people who watch your film to take away from Wayman’s story?

BS: I think the point of the documentary is its message on how you live life.  And I think you can summarize it pretty easily from the life Wayman led.  You treat people kindly, you have faith in your life and in your spirituality and you have respect for your wife and your children.  You try to fit as much in as possible and utilize your talents to the fullest. And in the end you die with courage, knowing that you’re going to a better place because of the life you’ve lived here on earth.

When you see Wayman on his last leg there, he didn’t complain.  It kind of makes us look silly complaining about problems looking at how Wayman dealt with his.  So (in the end), it should uplift people and lead them to a better way of living.

NBA TV will air The Wayman Tisdale Story on November 10th, with an ESPN broadcast to follow on a still-to-be-determined date.  If you’re in the Sacramento area, the Kings will have a special screening of the film this Wednesday night, October 19th at Power Balance Pavilion.  For more information, visit Kings.com.

Harvard Cancer Expert: Steve Jobs Probably Doomed Himself With Alternative Medicine

Steve Jobs had a mild form of cancer that is not usually fatal, but seems to have ushered along his own death by delaying conventional treatment in favor of alternative remedies, a Harvard Medical School researcher and faculty member says. Jobs’s intractability, so often his greatest asset, may have been his undoing.

“Let me cut to the chase: Mr. Jobs allegedly chose to undergo all sorts of alternative treatment options before opting for conventional medicine,” Ramzi Amri wrote in an extraordinarily detailed post to Quora, an online Q&A forum popular among Silicon Valley executives. “Given the circumstances, it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs’ choice for alternative medicine has eventually led to an unnecessarily early death.”

Amri went on to say that, even after entering conventional medical care, the Apple CEO seemed to eschew the most practical forms of treatment. Addressing the period when Jobs began to visibly shed weight, Amri wrote, “it seems that even during this recurrent phase, Mr. Jobs opted to dedicate his time to Apple as the disease progressed, instead of opting for chemotherapy or any other conventional treatment.”

When we contacted Amri at his Harvard Medical School email address to verify the post was his—he’s a researcher in the department of surgery at the medical school and research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital—Amri emphasized, “I wrote that on a PERSONAL title and it’s my PERSONAL opinion.” On Quora, Amri expressed his “profoundest respect” for Jobs and that “I do not pretend to know anything about the case on a personal level and I never participated in the care of Mr. Jobs. I base all my cancer figures on my own research or sources from biomedical research known to me… I have done 1.5 years of research on the type of tumor that affected Steve Jobs and have some strong opinions on his case.”

According to a 2008 Fortune article, Jobs for nine months pursued “alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid [an] operation through a special diet.” The Buddhist vegetarian took this approach from the time he was diagnosed in October 2003 until at least the end of July 2004, when he underwent surgery at Stanford University Medical Center.

Harvard Cancer Expert: Steve Jobs Probably Doomed Himself With Alternative MedicineBy then the cancer was so far along Jobs had to lose his pancreas and duodenum in a “Whipple procedure.” The cancer also spread to all the major parts of his liver. “The only reason he’d have a transplant,” wrote Amri, “would be that the tumor invaded all major parts of the liver, which takes a considerable amount of time.” Amri said the Whipple procedure and liver transplant were clear signs the cancer was out of control and should have been stopped earlier.

The condition might have been nipped in the bud if Jobs had acted right away. Jobs’s cancer manifest in neuroendocrine tumors, which are typically far less lethal than the “pancreatic adenocarcinoma” that make up 95 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. Amrit said neuroendocrine tumors are so “mild” that…

“In my series of patients, for many subtypes, the survival rate was as high as 100% over a decade… As many as 10% of autopsied persons in the general population have been reported to have one of these without ever having had any symptoms during their life. Up to 30% of detected GEP-NETs are so well differentiated they’re strictly not cancers.”

But even “the most innocent cancer” needs to be removed quickly, which is why older men are always being lectured about colon cancer screenings; colon cancer tumors are thought to begin as removable polyps. In Jobs’s case, surgical removal may well have saved him if performed early enough, Amrit implies. He wrote:

“In many cases, a simple enucleation (just cutting out the tumor with a safe margin around it) is enough and leaves no residual side-effects.”

The cancer researcher made his comments about Jobs because he was looking for a lesson in his case. Doctors routinely face the ethical conundrum of being unable to treat patients because they’ve exercised their freedom to reject sound medical science.

But there is also, thankfully, a much clearer and easier lesson for patients in Jobs’s experience: Do not waste time. Don’t waste time by ignoring advice to get screened; don’t waste time by drowning yourself in research about your condition; and don’t waste time by delaying medically recommended treatment in the hops that something else will work.

Harvard Cancer Expert: Steve Jobs Probably Doomed Himself With Alternative Medicine“We saw the tumor slowly draining the life out him,” Amrit wrote of Jobs. “It was a horrible thing to see him lose weight and slowly turn into a skin and bones form of himself.”

That, in the end, may prove the most compelling reason to forgive the brilliant CEO his many faults: Of all the people who suffered on the dark side of his headstrong, iconoclastic decisionmaking, it was Jobs himself who appears to have paid the biggest price.

Media Advisory: Valerie’s Flutter Foundation’s Inaugural Gala

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Posted 13 Oct 2011 — by James Street
Category Foundations, Life Death and Dying, Osteosarcoma, Support Groups

Valerie’s Flutter Foundation

Valerie

October 12, 2011 09:05 ET

 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 12, 2011) - Valérie’s Flutter Foundation will officially be launched with its first annual gala on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Valérie Goneau, the honorary president of the foundation, passed away this June at the age of 20 after a courageous battle with Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma. Valérie wasn’t able to see her hard work come to fruition but her memory and dream is very much alive. The evening will raise much needed funds for Cancer Research and will continue Valérie’s dream to one day finding a cure for all cancers. On the evening of the gala, the foundation will make its first grant contribution towards a research group.

The purpose of Valérie’s Flutter Foundation is to educate and empower the community about all cancers, be they common or rare. The scientific community will receive research grants with the goal of finding a cure. For the scholastic community, Valérie’s Flutter Foundation will act as an educational tool to help inform and inspire students to better understand the disease and to get involved to help make a difference.

Valérie’s Flutter Foundation will offer hope, inspiration and monetary contributions to cancer research. By reuniting all types of cancers and making each known, Valérie’s Flutter Foundation will succeed in its goal of helping advance cancer research and shed light on a very possible cure for cancer.

Event: Valérie’s Flutter Foundation’s Inaugural Gala

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time: Doors will open at 5:30pm

Location: Hampton Inn & Conference Centre, 200 Coventry Road, Rooms 106 A-G, Ottawa, Ontario K1K 4S3

Special Guests:

Lucy van Oldenbarneveld from CBC will be the Master of Ceremony for the evening

Dr. John Bell, Senior Scientist, OHRI – Guest Speaker

Dr. Joel Werier, Program Director, Ottawa Hospital – Guest Speaker

The evening will include: Silent Auction – Dinner – Door Prizes – Special Guests – Special Presentations – Live Auction – Dance

Ticket Prices: Adults $70.00 – Students $60.00 – Table of 10 $650.00

Contact Information

 

Tickets and Inquiries:
Christopher (Chris) Goneau
(613)282-3044 or (613) 424-6232
cjgoneau@hotmail.com

Inquiries:
Anne Coulombe
(613) 957-2476 or (613) 841-6513
jacques.anne.coulombe@hotmail.com
www.valeriesflutter.com (Under Construction)

Houston Hawk takes flight

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Posted 12 Oct 2011 — by James Street
Category Life Death and Dying, Osteosarcoma, Osteosarcoma Outcomes

By HEATHER A. RESZ
Frontiersman
Published on Monday, October 10, 2011 10:30 PM AKDT

HOUSTON — Cody Dennis, 14, died in Washington at around midnight, Monday after a 10-month fight against a form of bone cancer.

His parents Misty and Brian Dennis said their family is planning a memorial service in Washington where they’ve been receiving medical care since December 2010 when Cody was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. No information about local services is available at this time.

“We’re planning a memorial here in Washington and then we’ll do a celebration of life for him when we get back to Alaska,” Misty said.


Jeff, 20, Brian, Misty and Cody Dennis, 14. Cody died of bone cancer Oct. 10.
The initial onset came after Cody attended a friend’s birthday party and came home complaining of pain in his leg.
Misty said when she asked him how he hurt his leg, he said all he was doing was stomping in puddles, so she thought it was the kind of mild injury that would mend itself. But during basketball practice, later she said she could see her Cody was in a lot of pain and was limping down the court.

At the doctor’s office Misty and Brian Dennis were shocked when the doctor looked at the X-ray and asked how Cody had broken his tibia. The doctor said the tibia, the bone below the knee, and the femur, the thigh bone, are the largest bones in the human body and aren’t the sort of breaks that go unnoticed.

At first, the doctor and the Dennis family thought a growth spurt had caused his bones to thin and break, Misty said.

“We thought he was getting better,” she said in a July interview. “What we didn’t know is all along this was the tumor.”

Doctors discovered the tumor Dec. 10, 2010, when they did another X-ray. They confirmed the diagnosis during a follow up MRI that night at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

Before heading to the hospital, doctors had told the family they should pack and be ready to fly to Seattle Children’s Hospital for treatment if the diagnosis was cancer. The diagnosis was confirmed as cancer the following Monday, and the family flew to Seattle that same day, Dec. 13, 2010.

At first the plan was to remove the tumor below the knee, knock down the cancer with chemo and then do a second surgery to remove two nodules from Cody’s lungs.

But Cody’s cancer didn’t respond to any of the variety of chemo and natural treatments the family tried, Misty said.

“Nothing’s worked the whole time we’ve been here,” Misty said Monday by phone from Washington.

Shortly before he died Oct. 10, she posted this note to her Facebook page, “It’s been a long painful day. We’ve had Cody’s home care nurse here almost all day and Cody is now on IV morphine and Ativan to keep him at a constant comfort level,” Misty wrote. “We are continuing to pray for Cody to go peacefully and not fight to stay. His will is strong and we want him so badly to be at peace and with God. Please continue to pray for Cody.”

Ever a Hawk, Misty said her son fought hard to the very end.

“His body was working really hard to keep breathing,” she said. “It was hard to watch. It just seemed like he wouldn’t let go. That he wanted to stay.”

People may leave messages for the Dennis family online at caringbridge.org/visit/codydennis.

Contact Heather A. Resz at heather.resz@frontiersman.com or 352-2268.

Did Cancer Pain Killers Cause Steve Jobs’ Respiratory Arrest?

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Posted 12 Oct 2011 — by James Street
Category Life Death and Dying, Pancreatic

By Amrutha Gayathri | October 11, 2011 3:19 AM EDT

Steve Jobs died of respiratory arrest caused by pancreatic tumor at about 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 at his home in Palo Alto, Calif., his death certificate revealed. His occupation was filed as “entrepreneur” in “high tech” business.

In the document issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in San Jose and obtained by Bloomberg, “respiratory arrest” was listed as the immediate cause of death, with “metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor” as the underlying cause. No autopsy was performed.

Respiratory arrest in cancer patients isn’t uncommon, even though in many cases it is not the cancer, but the medication used in relieving the cancer pain that results in the cessation of breathing.

Palliative care or pain management involving potentially harmful drugs such as opioids often exhibit side effects of hastening death by causing respiratory depression, according to a paper published by the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care.

“Respiratory depression is potentially life threatening, and it is considered the most serious opioid side effect and is of great concern to physicians and nurses. Opioids can depress both the rate and depth of respiration,” says the paper.

However, opioids, including morphine, are used extensively in managing the unbearable pain that is common in cancer patients even when studies have shown that these pain relievers hasten death.

“The principle of double effect is used to justify the administration of medication to relieve pain even though it may lead to the unintended, although foreseen, consequence of hastening death by causing respiratory depression,” the paper explains the ethical and moral feasibility of pain medication.

Conversely, a considerable number of cancer patients are undertreated for pain, due to the ethically questionable status of the standard pain-killing procedure using opiates.

Walter Issacson, author of Jobs’ authorized biography, had said that Jobs was in severe pain weeks prior to his death and was unable to climb the stairs of his house.

Palliative care medication is a comfort mechanism and enables terminally ill patients to spend their last hours with their family and loved ones and ensures a painless death.

None of Jobs’ family members or Apple representatives have issued a statement regarding the cause of Jobs’ death.

Steve Jobs dead at 56, his life ended prematurely by chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer

Note: This article expresses the opinion of Natural News Editor Mike Adams and not necessarily the opinion of this website.

Thursday, October 06, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) It is extremely saddening to see the cost in human lives that modern society pays for its false belief in conventional medicine and the cancer industry in particular. Visionary Steve Jobs died today, just months after being treated for cancer with chemotherapy at the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California. In recent months, he appeared in public photos as a frail shadow of his former self. The thin legs, sunken cheek bones and loss of body weight are all classic signs of total body toxicity observed in chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients.

Steve Jobs reportedly underwent both. His chemotherapy treatments at the Standard Cancer Center are now well known (http://www.marksmarketanalysis.com/…), and his secret radiotherapy treatments in Switzerland have now been made public by former Apple executive Jerry York.

Jerry York confided in Fortune Magazine about Steve Jobs’ secret flight to Switzerland to receive radiotherapy treatment for his cancer (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01…). Fortune Magazine kept this secret until Jerry York died in March of 2010 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_…)), after which Fortune Magazine decided its confidentiality agreement with York no longer applied, and it published details about Jobs’ secret visits to Switzerland (http://gawker.com/5737092/steve-job…).

Fortune Magazine also repeats another fact about Steve Jobs that rarely appears in the press: Namely, that Steve Jobs underwent a secret liver transplant which raised eyebrows among many who wondered why a member of the wealthy business elite could receive a liver transplant essentially on demand while everybody else had to wait on a long transplant list (http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-24/…).

In January of this year, Roc4Life.com reported:

“Jobs’ medical leave is due to cancer, but no one knows whether it stems from his 2004 battle with pancreatic cancer or complications from a secret liver transplant in 2009. According to recently deceased off-the-record source from Apple’s Jerry York, Jobs took an unpublicized flight to Switzerland in 2009 to undergo unusual treatment at the University of Basel. Switzerland’s University of Basel known for their radiotherapy treatments for neuroendocrine cancer and it’s unavailability in the U.S. Experts say Jobs’ pancreatic cancer has a history of reappearing and spreading to vital organs at a slow-growing pace, which probably explains the medical leave.”

In other words, there is no question that Steve Jobs underwent multiple conventional cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In the end, however, even Steve Jobs could not overturn the laws of biochemistry. When you poison the human body, the result is the deterioration and eventual shut down of the body. Chemotherapy does not work! This fact should now be obvious, and yet every year, more and more people choose chemotherapy to their own demise — people like Farrah Fawcett, Peter Jennings, Patrick Swayze, Michael Douglas and many others (http://www.naturalnews.com/027047_c…).

Don’t they see that conventional cancer treatments do not work?

Losing Steve Jobs is a loss of a great visionary

It is striking that people who are geniuses in their own fields can understand so little about the fundamentals of human health. Steve Jobs was arguably one of the most influential visionaries of our time, and his development of human-technology interfaces revolutionized modern computing. Had he achieved another twenty years of life — and lived to 75 — he would have no doubt contributed to our world in even more profound and positive ways.

Yet his remaining life was stolen from him by the cancer industry and its poisons. This is yet another frustrating example of how the modern medical system harms our society. It steals from us the longevity of visionary individuals who have so much more to offer our world in terms of creativity and innovation.

Of course, you can’t blame the cancer industry for causing Jobs’ cancer in the first place. Some other cause had to have been present to get the cancer growing — probably a combination of nutritional deficiencies and exposure to environmental toxins. And yet the cancer establishment says nothing to people about correcting obvious nutritional deficiencies that lead to cancer, even when most cancers can be prevented for mere pennies a day.

The simple combination of vitamin D and selenium, if taken in combination, could probably prevent more than 80% of all cancers in America (http://www.naturalnews.com/021892.html). Yet the American Cancer Society and all the mainstream cancer non-profits don’t dare advocate vitamin D or selenium. If solutions were readily available to everyone, how would the cancer industry maintain its profitability?

The dark side of Apple

This gets us to the dark side of Apple, because just as the cancer industry is a greed-driven monstrosity that incessantly seeks profits at the expense of others, Apple has increasingly become a corporation that has routinely chosen for-profit domination over public service. This is not so much about Steve Jobs himself as it is about those who surrounded him and ultimately exploited his talents for their own selfish agendas.

Apple iPhones, for example, were recently exposed as secret tracking devices that record your location and upload that data back to Apple headquarters (http://www.naturalnews.com/032239_i…).

By any honest account, Apple operates today with a mindset of total monopolistic domination, requiring apps to be sold through its iTunes, where Apple takes an unfair cut of every sale. In fact, Apple has come to very much resemble the Orwellian Big Brother image that once made it famous in its January 22, 1984 Superbowl ad, which positioned Apple’s Macintosh computer as freeing people from tyranny. Watch that ad at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhsW…

What’s so striking about this commercial is that, in many ways, Apple has become the very thing it once claimed to oppose — domineering control, automaton conformity, and centralized command over the expression of musicians and programmers alike. The text of the ad says, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984.”

Thanks to companies like Apple, 2011 sure is a lot like 1984. A clever response to all this appears in a parody video that pits Steve Jobs in that “1984″ video as a way to show that Apple acts more like Big Brother with each passing day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zhH…

Anyone who has ever owned an iPhone knows all about being locked into a technology from which there is no free choice to do what you want with it. Why aren’t iPhones sold as “unlocked” from the get-go? Why do you have to hack your own phone just to free it from Apple’s domineering control? And why does your phone track your every move even without your permission or knowledge?

In fairness, this is almost certainly due to the greedy business types who surrounded Steve Jobs, and not Jobs himself. Jobs always seemed to be more of a humanitarian, but his concepts for innovation inevitably got swept up into the circus of profit.

Live by principle, because that’s the only thing you take with you

The more you look into the story of Steve Jobs and Apple, the deeper it all gets. And that brings us back to Steve Jobs and the topic of principles and ethics. All the wealth in the world couldn’t save Steve Jobs from cancer, of course.

Here’s a question for you: In his final days of life, would Steve Jobs have traded every bit of wealth he owned for a healthy new liver and pancreas? You bet he would! And yet he couldn’t. Because it doesn’t work that way. When it comes to organ health, there are no second chances. You’re given one set of organs to live with, and if you can’t figure out how to take care of those with nutrition, healthy foods and avoidance of environmental toxins, all the money in the world can’t save you.

Importantly, you don’t take money with you when you die, so collecting dollars or cars or even gold is little more than a short-term distraction set in the physical world. What you do take is a karmic record of your actions; a “universal log file” of your principles and ethics, if you will. And that’s what matters in whatever experience or reality awaits us beyond this one, whether you believe in Heaven, or reincarnation, or ascension to higher plane of existence.

Was Steve Jobs a positive influence on our world? Yes, I think so

I don’t pretend to be qualified to judge Steve Jobs on all his actions here on our planet, but the only honest question in helping to answer that is this: “Is our world better off because of Steve Jobs’ influence? Or is it worse off?”

On the whole, I believe Steve Jobs himself was a creative visionary whose talents eventually became co-opted by less-than-ethical corporate interests which operated outside his core intentions. This is precisely the reason why brilliant people should always be wary of “investors” or men wearing suits, because the whole purpose of venture capital is to grant people who don’t know how to really create wealth a way to sink their claws into those who do.

This is why I have consistently and successfully resisted all venture capital and buyout attempts targeting NaturalNews. To bring in big money people would destroy the heart and soul of what NaturalNews is all about, in the same way that all the big money people who eventually surrounded Steve Jobs ultimately compromised what was originally an uplifting vision for human freedom and expression.

(Even in the health industry, I can’t even tell you all the stories of brilliant, visionary people who have been betrayed by investors and corporate interests. It happens almost 100% of the time.)

The real lesson in Steve Jobs’ passing, then, is not “oh wow look at all these cool gadgets he left us” — because that’s the juvenile view — but rather “what can we learn from Steve Jobs about staying authentic in our own lives and our own decisions?”

What I’ve learned from Steve Jobs is that staying true to your vision is far more important than being commercially successful or collecting material wealth. Walking a path that gets your face on the cover of business magazines requires too much compromise of ethics and principles. The business community, after all, doesn’t usually celebrate real geniuses who share things with the world and make nothing from it. It only celebrates those who find clever ways to extract billions of dollars from the hands of consumers.

In fact, you might even say that the business world actually punishes those who bring real innovation to the world — people such as free energy inventors, most of which you have never heard about because they ended up mysteriously dead before they could bring their inventions to market. Steve Jobs was celebrated because his innovations were consistent with the culture of mass consumerism and unbridled corporate greed — buy more computing stuff, and buy it often! That makes investors rich, and that’s the name of the game in the business world.

Steve Jobs was celebrated, in other words, not for who he was on the inside, but for all the other people who got rich off him along the way. And that’s a shame, because even after his passing, I feel like we never knew the real Steve Jobs at all — the Steve Jobs who probably wanted to make the world a better place yet repeatedly found his talents being distorted and leveraged for bottom-line profits in a culture of greed that only cares about finding new ways to convince consumers to part with their money.

Steve Jobs may be dead, but the domineering greed of those who extorted his talent lives on. The iPhone 5 will probably be out in a year or so, so we can all throw away our old electronics which end up in a toxic landfill somewhere, and then replace it with new electronics made in a slave labor factory in China. Isn’t technology great?

Either way, may Steve Jobs rest in peace. May his name never be used for commercial exploitation again.

9/11 ten years later: For many, the battle still continues

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Posted 21 Aug 2011 — by James Street
Category Carcinogens, Finance and Politics of cancer research and treatment, Legal, Life Death and Dying

BY Rocco Parascandola

DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU CHIEF

Sunday, August 21st 2011, 4:00 AM

The official tally is that 23 NYPD officers lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terror attacks — but 45 cops have died of cancer since then, and hundreds more are battling the disease.

Because doctors have not linked their cases to their time spent at Ground Zero, they are not eligible for federal compensation under the Zadroga Law.

“We know with absolute certainty that our members were exposed to unprecedented levels of cancer-causing materials when they responded to the call without concern for their own well-being,” said Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

“Logic and common sense dictates that cancer should be included under the Zadroga Law. These men and women are sick and dying today. They cannot wait for science to catch up with common sense.”

These are the stories of four of them.

DAVID HOWLEY

Retired cop David Howley can’t laugh without coughing,  and he carries a water bottle everywhere he goes because radiation treatments destroyed his salivary glands.

He was enjoying a bacon-and-eggs breakfast with a friend when terrorists struck the World Trade Center. He rushed to Police Headquarters, where he worked in the Operations Unit, and helped coordinate the response to Ground Zero.

Howley, 51, blew out his sinuses the first day and soon had breathing problems. In 2007, he was diagnosed with neck and throat cancer and later suffered two strokes.

Now he’s cancer-free, and strong enough to advocate for cancer-stricken Ground Zero responders cut out of the Zadroga
9/11 Health and Compensation fund.

“It’s disturbing that 10 years later we’re still going around in circles about this,” said Howley, who lives in Edison, N.J., with his wife and daughter.

“Whatever monies I may get, it’s not going to change our lives, but for others it’s going to make a big difference and I’ll do whatever I can to help make that happen.”

Although he’s in remission, Howley said his long-term prognosis is unclear.

“My doctor and I seldom have that conversation,” he said. “At this point I can’t have any more radiation. There’s only so much you can do to your body.”

ROBERT NICOSIA

Officer Robert Nicosia arrived at his Wantagh, L.I., home in the wee hours of Sept. 12, covered in ash.

“I think he had no idea this could make him sick,” said his widow, Louise, 65, a retired nurse. “He just wanted to get the guys out.”

A year later, Nicosia, who was assigned to the technical assistance and response unit, retired from the force. Soon after, a tumor was found on his pancreas, and the cancer spread to his liver.

Thick and broad-shouldered, Nicosia put up a fight, riding a bike to a part-time job at a gun shop and continuing to volunteer with the Wantagh Fire Department.

The cancer eventually destroyed his body, though. In his last days, he was thin, frail and unable to walk without assistance.

Nicosia died in 2008. His son, Joseph, a three-year veteran of the NYPD, wears his dad’s shield number.

His widow says the refusal to link cancer and Ground Zero is a slap at her husband’s efforts.

“I just don’t want them to say all these guys got cancer and it has nothing to do with the World Trade Center,” she says.

SCOTT RABINER

 

When Officer Scott Rabiner���s back started hurting in 2004, he assumed kidney stones he’d battled three years earlier were back — and headed right to the doctor.

“It’s not kidney stones,” he was told. “It’s cancer.”

Rabiner, a cop since 1993, was on patrol in the 122nd Precinct on Sept. 11. He rushed to Ground Zero and stayed for weeks.

His service is documented in “The Thousand-Mile Stare: Images from Ground Zero,” a photo book that shows him, leg bandaged and arm in a sling, after he ran from the Liberty One building amid fears it was about to collapse.

Little thought was given to the carcinogens floating in the air at the time. Today, he has no doubt those toxins caused a rare form of testicular cancer that struck his lymph nodes, liver, aorta and kidney.

“They gave me a 40% chance to live,” he said.

Intense chemotherapy five days a week and a strong will helped Rabiner pull through and return to work.
“I was lucky,” he said. “They caught it early, and for some reason, God didn’t want me.”

Rabiner was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2009 and twice had additional tumors removed.

Now 44, he’s still out on patrol but must get tested every three months.

“It’s hard,” he admits. “Just the stress the week I’m going for the test and not knowing what the test is going to show.”

PAUL GERASIMCZYK

Retired officer Paul Gerasimczyk spent 382 hours at Ground Zero and was diagnosed with kidney cancer six years later. He’s cancer-free now, and is trying to get other 9/11 cops to be proactive about their health.

“There are a lot of sick people out there that aren’t getting help,” Gerasimczyk said. “A lot of cops don’t want to know what’s wrong. They feel that if they get sick they want to die right away.”

Gerasimczyk said it would help if cops knew they wouldn’t have to battle their insurance companies to cover certain procedures and medications.

“Soldiers risk their lives to go into battle,” the 52-year-old said. “If they get injured they expect they’re going to get care. The police officers and the firefighters who went down there that day expected the same thing.”Gerasimczyk lost a third of his kidney to cancer and suffers from asthma, acid reflux and damaged sinuses. He tires easily when climbing stairs or lifting packages.

He retired from the force in 2005, but hasn’t stopped working. He does security at Aqueduct — a job made necessary by the possibility his medical bills might one day outpace his benefits.

Is Cancer the Answer? “If cost is the issue, cancer’s the answer.”

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Posted 25 Jul 2011 — by James Street
Category Finance and Politics of cancer research and treatment, Life Death and Dying
By L. Michael Glodé, MD1 | July 18, 2011
1University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver, Colorado.
L. Michael Glodé is an editorial board member of the journal ONCOLOGY. To read more of his writing go to: prost8blog.com.

 

As a medical oncologist who entered the field when there were perhaps 50 or so active drugs, I have become increasingly disturbed by the rising costs of cancer care. Of course, I am not alone in worrying about this. A New York Times article last month highlighted the striking costs of drugs approved or in the pipeline to treat prostate cancer, my major area of research interest. There is an old aphorism in medical oncology that goes, “When cancer’s the answer, tissue’s the issue.” I wonder if there should be a new one, “If cost is the issue, cancer’s the answer.”

L. Michael Glodé, MD

There are no easy answers to healthcare cost containment. However what is abundantly clear is that our medical industrial complex is rapidly surpassing the military industrial complex as a driver of our economic woes. The spending for healthcare in our beloved country is now twice that of other industrialized countries according to a Los Angeles Times article. Because of this, every widget produced here has a surplus charge that makes our workforce increasingly unable to make widgets in a global economy, since we have to pay for that worker’s healthcare costs in some way. When you try to get at the drivers of the problem, you end up with the nasty political debate that turns a reasonable discussion about the importance of discussing end-of-life care into “death panels” sound bites. Five of the 15 most expensive drugs on the market are cancer drugs. At the government level, patient advocates present emotional appeals for Medicare to pay for all of them.

So here are some inconvenient truths that we need to face up to:

1. Cancer is a disease of aging.
2. We are not immortal and will die from something—hopefully in a dignified, loving environment.
3.
The molecular biology revolution and subsequent human genome understanding will make it possible to identify more and more driver mutations for each individual person’s cancer.
4. Our remarkable pharmaceutical industry can build designer drugs for each mutation, but the size of the market for each new targeted drug will be much smaller than just a cancer type.
5. Our system of capitalism is incentivized to maximize financial revenue to each entity in the healthcare system (hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies).

I think it is time for oncology physicians and their patients to begin to discuss these issues in ways that seek global answers rather than the individual problem facing his/her treatment choice. In my office, I can always think of one more long-shot drug to try in treating a patient with prostate cancer. But is it really fair to him or to our society to prescribe a vaccine that costs almost $100,000 and prolongs life by 4 months? What about using expensive cytokines to support white blood cells after cytotoxic drugs if the goal of treatment is palliation, not cure? Would it not be better to reduce the cytotoxic drug dose? And finally, since there are studies that show patients who receive palliative care counseling early in their disease process may live longer and better lives, shouldn’t we begin to focus on that rather than introducing another “miracle” life extending drug that actually adds only a few months of survival at the very end of a long life?

The 20th century provided mankind with the ability to understand diseases at the most fundamental level. Vaccination, cardiac care, early detection technologies, and remarkable improvements in cancer medicine allow most of us to live to the proverbial “3 score and 10, or even 4 score” years we are allotted. The 21st century seems to be asking whether we will ruin our collective selves seeking false immortality.

Increased Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha and Natural Killer Cell (NK) Function using an Integrative Approach in Late Stage Cancers

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Posted 07 Jul 2011 — by James Street
Category Alternative Therapies, Complementary Therapy, Immune System, Life Death and Dying, Natural Killer Cells

Darryl See, Stephanie Mason and Ramesh Roshan

Center for Advanced Medicine, 4403 Manchester Ave. Suite 107, Encinitias, California 92024

Link to Full PDF Article

A young girl’s battle with cancer

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Posted 27 Jun 2011 — by James Street
Category Finance and Politics of cancer research and treatment, Life Death and Dying

by John Faherty – Jun. 26, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic


Carrie Farinella stands next to her daughter Sophie Farinella’s bed at Ryan House, a non-profit respite home and juvenile hospice facility. (Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic)

Carrie Farinella slips into the dark of the room and settles quietly next to her daughter. She needs to be near Sophie but doesn’t dare wake her.

The 5-year-old girl’s breathing is rapid and jagged. Carrie places her hand on top of Sophie’s chest and watches it go up and down.

Lying in the dark, she closes her eyes and thinks about the day six weeks earlier, when she sat with her husband, Nick, and Sophie’s doctor.

The doctor had the latest results of the treatment for her leukemia. It wasn’t working.

They could keep trying, she told them. Or they could stop, and let Sophie go.

Now her daughter is dying, the cancer cells growing inside her. And Carrie still doesn’t know if she has made the right choice.

She leans into her daughter and drifts into a shallow sleep.

An hour later, Carrie wakes. The room is still dark and Sophie is still breathing. Maybe tonight, she thinks. Maybe tomorrow.

- – -

Sophie is 5 months old, sitting on Nick’s lap, when the doctor walks into the room and gasps.

It is early in the morning on June 4, 2006, and everything is about to change.

Nick explains to the doctor that Sophie had been a happy and healthy baby for her first four months. That’s when she suddenly became fussy and uncomfortable.

Three days ago, Nick says, Sophie’s eyes began to cast downward.

Carrie and Nick don’t know it yet, but this is called “sunsetting,” because the eyes look like they are dipping below a horizon. It is a sign of a possible tumor.

This is what makes the doctor gasp. “I’ll be right back,” she says. Fifteen minutes later, doctors fill the room.

By the end of the day, Sophie is diagnosed with choroid plexus carcinoma – a brain tumor.

Next comes surgery. The tumor looks angry, the surgeon says.

Then there are 10 months of chemotherapy, but Sophie surprises everyone. She learns to walk by holding on to her IV pole. She learns to talk, to eat normal food.

In August 2007, Sophie is 18 months old, and doctors say she is cancer-free.

Nick and Carrie have worked for In-N-Out Burger for years, and Nick gets a promotion to become a second-in-command in Prescott. The family moves north, buys a home with a big backyard and enrolls Sophie’s older brother, Aiden, in school.

It is the best year of their lives, Nick says. Sophie’s story is “going to have a happy ending.”

- – -

The helicopter blades spinning overhead almost drown out the voice of the paramedic, who is asking Carrie to hand Sophie over.

Carrie is confused.

She has brought Sophie to the hospital because of a cough that wouldn’t go away.

But the doctor in Prescott sees something he doesn’t like on Sophie’s X-rays and wants to fly her to Phoenix right away.

It is Mother’s Day 2009. Sophie is 3 years old and has been healthy for two years.

A procedure at Phoenix Children’s Hospital reveals a mass, a tumor. The doctor walks out of surgery and says it is approximately “the size of a teddy bear’s head.”

Carrie thinks that is a weird way to describe it.

The tumor is a new cancer, T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Sophie also has something called pre-malignant MDS – myelodysplastic syndrome – a precursor to leukemia.

More testing reveals an awful truth.

Dr. Dana Salzberg explains that the chemotherapy that saved Sophie’s life when she was treated for her brain cancer has damaged the structure of some of her DNA.

Sophie’s body cannot fight cancer. This is a known but “extraordinarily rare” side effect. Sophie’s brain tumor was chance. Now, because of the damage, she will keep getting cancer.

For the first time, Nick and Carrie realize there is something profoundly wrong with their daughter.

Sophie takes steroids and chemotherapy to fight the new cancer. The steroids make her hungry, the chemo makes her nauseous. She carries a plastic bucket to throw up in. Her brown hair falls out in her brush.

But she makes it through. Sophie always makes it.

“She’s remarkable that way,” Nick says later. “She never complained about anything and always did what we asked her to do.”

Still, the leukemia looms.

Doctors recommend a bone-marrow transplant, which will require intensive chemotherapy to destroy her existing, and flawed, bone marrow.

There is no discussion about doing it or not. Nick and Carrie owe it to Sophie to make her well.

On Sept. 30, 2009, Sophie receives new bone marrow. She is not yet 4 years old.

Nick’s insurance pays the medical bills. He decides to take a demotion at In-N-Out so he can return to a restaurant in the Valley while Sophie gets her treatment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Upside-down on their home in Prescott, they walk away and lose it to foreclosure.

Sophie survives the treatment and regains her strength. The Make-A-Wish Foundation pays for a trip to Disney World in Florida, where she spends the entire week giving hugs to costumed characters and insisting that they look at her new shoes.

At the beginning of the school year in 2010, she goes to preschool, joining her brother at Madison Camelview in Phoenix.

The doctor’s visits become routine, just blood tests and checkups. Everything comes back normal.

“Our life was coming back together again,” Carrie says later. “We might really have won.”

On the morning of Dec. 15, Nick and Carrie are getting Aiden ready for school and preparing Sophie for another doctor’s appointment when the phone rings. The appointment has been changed, the nurse tells them. They’ll be seeing Dr. Salzberg and should expect it to take a bit longer.

“I knew something was wrong right away,” Carrie says.