Respectful Insolence

Discussing Stanislaw Burzynski’s abuse of science while contemplating how even his success stories really aren’t yesterday reminded me of a topic that I discussed rather extensively not long after I moved my blog over to ScienceBlogs and have covered sporadically since then. I’m referring to the case of Abraham Cherrix. Cherrix, for those who haven’t been regular readers long enough to have encounter him before, was a 15 year old boy who was unfortunate enough to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Unfortunately for him, rather than undergoing curative therapy, he decided that he wanted “natural” therapy for his lymphoma, specifically a quackery known as Hoxsey therapy. Even more unfortunately his mother was willing to go along with him to the point that she supported his decision and even went to court, which produced an agreement in which Cherrix would undergo therapy under the supervision of a radiation oncologist named Dr. R. Arnold Smith, who combines low dose radiation with a highly dubious unproven “immunotherapy” involving what he calls “belly plaques.” Worse, from a general standpoint, thanks to woo-friendly legislators in Virginia who conflated Cherrix’s bad decision with “health freedom” and passed a horrible, horrible law that became known as “Abraham’s Law.” This law basically decreased the age at which a teenager with a “life-threatening” condition can refuse conventional treatment and choose “alternatives” to as young as 14 years of age. As I said at the time, in essence, if you’re a child between the ages of 14-18, the State of Virginia no longer protects you from quackery or religious idiocy. In essence, parental stupidity, something state laws normally try to protect children against as much as possible in medical matters, is now legal.

Over the years, because Cherrix refused to undergo chemotherapy to treat his entire body, his Hodgkin’s disease would keep recurring. Dr. Smith would zap it with radiation, and then it would pop up again somewhere else like a game of Whac-A-Mole that ultimately can never be won. Fortunately for him, Cherrix apparently has a rather indolent form of Hodgkin’s, because over the years he did better than one would expect, even though what he was doing was falling prey to the fallacy of moderation. Still, over the last six and a half years, Cherrix has puttered along, having remissions, recurring, being treated, and then going into remission again. A few years ago he turned eighteen, and more recently he’s been going around to medical schools promoting quackery. The last time I mentioned him, he had had another recurrence but fortunately for him Dr. Smith was able to zap it into apparent remission one more time. However, the problem with what is sometimes called the “spot welding” technique of zapping lymphomatous tumors as they appear is that sooner or later, the tumor will recur in a previously radiated area, which can’t be radiated again.

In any case, all this talk of Burzynski of late reminded me of Abraham Cherrix, and I wondered what had become of him. Unfortunately, I found out. A blog post on a law firm’s blog led me to Abraham Cherrix’s GoFundMe page , where I learned in a post from January 8:

Despite keeping positive and fighting for my life, I find myself in the same position yet again. I learned today that the cancer has returned to my left lung, explaining a long series of events leading up to it (coughing up blood, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, chest pains etc). Now that it’s more aggressive than before, I don’t feel like I have much time. I need to act fast and I’m limited with what I can do.

I have some treatment options that I could pursue and things I could do to improve my condition or even help cure me, but they’re expensive and not covered by my medical insurance (Medicaid/Medicare). I need supplements to boost my immune system, while seeking out doctors country-wide for different treatments and opinions. I need better food that I can’t afford, and I want to move out of my trailer and into a clean house. Most of these costs thousands of dollars alone… and I’m barely able to afford a ride into town for grocery supplies.

There are actually a few specific treatments I’d love to start with. Heated needle therapy is a good start, and something I’ve been curious about. Studies now are also showing the validity of Hemp Oil as a cure for cancer, so I’m trying to get into one of the research groups. However if I can’t get into these groups, the expense will be monumental and certainly not covered by my insurance.

Note the attitude, so common in “alternative medicine” that a positive attitude will keep one healthy. Would that it were true, but it’s not! So poor Abraham is all puzzled that his cancer is back again. Another thing that’s interesting is that he seems to be saying that he underwent chemotherapy again, even though originally he had absolutely refused a second round of chemotherapy after another round of chemotherapy was recommended because he still had residual disease after the first round. So perhaps Cherrix is finally realizing that the woo he has pursued since 2006 is not working. On the other hand, “heated needle therapy” could refer to radiofrequency thermal ablation of tumors, which would be reasonable as a palliative therapy, but it could also refer to a form of quackery similar to acupuncture, known as “heated needle” or “red hot needle” therapy, which is part of traditional Chinese medicine and sometimes combined with blood letting and cupping. As for hemp oil being the cure for cancer, at least Cherrix appears to be looking to get into a clinical trial, which is far more reasonable than what he’s been doing before.

So far, Cherrix’s fundraising campaign has gone reasonable well, as shown in this post from a month ago:

So it looks like I’ll be able to get the first half of my treatment (which is what I’m shooting for first with these donations). The other $1,500 probably isn’t too far away, so by the time I’m done with the first half I’ll be able to get the second :D

I’ve been talking to some doctors and they’ve all said I’m young and they have hope for a recovery. I’m gathering some different treatment information from them so I can cover all the bases. I may even get to visit the University of Virginia to get opinions!

All of which sounds very good. The question, though, is this: Why does Cherrix need money to pursue treatment? He’s got Medicare and Medicaid, which should cover any standard-of-care treatment. Moreover, if he were taking part in a clinical trial, Medicare and Medicaid should cover the conventional therapy he might need while the study’s sponsor should cover the cost of trial-related treatment. The obvious inference is that whatever treatment he is undergoing is not standard-of-care. So what treatment Cherrix is undergoing is not clear, although three days ago he posted this:

Good news! I’ll begin my treatments after the first week of march, having raised just short of 3,500 dollars!

So, after having followed the saga of Abraham Cherrix, I am surprised that he’s still around, particularly given that he’s still having recurrences. One thing is for sure, and that’s that he blew his single best chance of a long term cure nearly seven years ago, when he decided to refuse further chemotherapy and undergo Hoxsey therapy instead. He only relented to get partially effective radiation therapy because that was the price for the cessation of further legal actions on his behalf by Virginia Child Protective Services. As a result, he underwent a combination of half-assed, Whac-A-Mole radiation therapy combined with dubious immunotherapy interspersed with Hoxsey therapy. As a result, he finds himself in this predicament, alive only because he’s been fortunate enough that his tumor is clearly biologically not particularly aggressive. However, even tumors that are not highly aggressive can, if not adequately treated, kill you sooner or later.

I can only hope that Cherrix is undergoing science-based medical treatment. In a recent post, he says that his doctors say he still has a chance, and I have to believe it. However, he has to seize that chance by embracing science-based medicine rather than the quackery he’s been using.

Comments

  1. #1 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    February 19, 2013

    My niece had the same disease, went through SoC uneventfully and over 12 years later she’s fine.

    Cherrix is another example of the resulting harm of the freedom to choose woo…

  2. #2 S
    February 19, 2013

    I’ve been talking to some doctors and they’ve all said I’m young and they have hope for a recovery. I’m gathering some different treatment information from them so I can cover all the bases. I may even get to visit the University of Virginia to get opinions!

    The University of Virginia has a reputation within the Commonwealth of Virginia as having one of the best cancer treatment centers around. Funding for the facility was in large part donated by the Couric family. Katie Couric herself is well-known in the region and occasionally makes appearances locally. The facility, named after Emily Couric, is called the University of Virginia’s Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.

    It would make sense to me why a patient with a presumably difficult to cure case of cancer would want to get the opinion of the Couric Clinical Cancer Center, rather than going to their small town hospital. Abraham seems to be closet to Roanoke, Virginia, where there is a hospital, but the Couric Center is a new state-of-the-art treatment facility with undoubtedly more resources.

    Abraham lists his hometown as being about 2.5 hours from the Couric Clinical Cancer Center. There should be no reason why he couldn’t find a ride there, especially as Orac pointed out that Abraham has Medicare and Medicaid health insurance coverage.

    Abraham’s home is smack in the middle of the F.A.I.M. Director’s turf and a plethora of alternative medicine $$$ hiding out in the rolling hills of Virginia. He is clearly being influenced by alternative medicine providers. It’s a shame given that the Couric Center is nearby. You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

  3. #3 Andreas Johansson
    February 19, 2013

    Call me a cynic, but, given the apparent ease with he managed to raise $3500, a business model suggests itself.

  4. #4 Rose
    February 19, 2013

    Abraham lives in Floyd, woo mecca of Virginia (home to several outbreaks of pertussis due to low vaccination rates). I am not surprised that he is still seeking alternative treatments, since they abound in Floyd and are probably why he is living there.

    I wonder why he is going to UVA when Duke and Wake are both closer.

  5. #5 S
    February 19, 2013

    @Rose – Duke and Wake are in North Carolina and thus out of state to him. There may be insurance coverage problems with Medicaid in using out-of-state facilities when the necessary care is already available in-state. Both UVA and Duke are equidistant, but Wake is furthest. UVA appears to be the closet and largest state-of-the-art in-state facility.

  6. #6 Rose
    February 19, 2013

    Hmm…I did not post the comment by Rose above. Should I change my name? I am the Rose who has been posting on RI. Or are there two of u?. My mind is officially boggled. I have no idea about vaccination rates in Floyd or anywhere for that matter.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2013

    Oh no. This is awful.
    Abraham showed up in the comments** here last year and I enjoyed ‘speaking’ with him.

    ** IIRC, around the time when Orac switched blogging platforms.

  8. #8 Rose
    February 19, 2013

    Two of us…I am the Rose who can’t type!

  9. #9 Alain
    February 19, 2013

    Both Rose,

    Maybe adding your 2 letters states codes before your name will help us differentiate (assuming you’re not in the same state).

    Alain

  10. #10 S
    February 19, 2013

    On second thought, in reading some of the history on this case, it seems clear that Abraham does not want mainstream care, and he has been repeatedly and fully informed of his medical care options and their likely outcomes. I can’t imagine what could possibly be motivating him now to change his mind and make comments implying that he would like to be seen at UVA. However, in the past, there was a doctor speaking at UVA who stated that some cancers can be prevented and treated with diet and yoga, no chemo. There seems to be no escape from medical misinformation in Virginia.

  11. #11 Shannon Brownlee
    DC
    February 19, 2013

    Dear Mr. Orac,

    This comment is not related to the blog posted above, but given your anonymity, it is touch to reach you otherwise.

    You may recall an article flu vaccine, I published in The Atlantic in 2009 by my colleague Jeanne Lenzer. I thought you might want to reconsider your scathing attack after you read the systematic review of flu vaccine published recently by Michael Osterholm and coauthors. One can hardly call Osterholm an anti-vaccine nut, yet his systematic review points out many of the flaws in the reasoning around flu vaccine that we wrote about in 2009.

    Here’s a link to some information about Osterholm’s review.
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/oct2511lancet.html

    Cheers,
    Shannon Brownlee

  12. #12 Mu
    February 19, 2013

    I just wonder how you can consume nearly $400/month in supplements, unless it’s a euphemism for medical weed.

  13. #13 elburto
    February 19, 2013

    Shannon – ‘Mr Orac’ is so easy to unmask that it’s quite possible to do it without even trying.

    As for “scathing”, read the header. Insolence is not an attack.

  14. #14 S
    February 19, 2013

    @Oh, Mu, that’s easy. $400/month on supplements is nothing, if you have the ‘right’ doctor. See my comments about NutraMedix and scalar energy, or as Herr Doktor Bimler calls it ‘wibble’.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/02/12/who-they-view-us/#comment-238642

  15. #15 elburto
    February 19, 2013

    @Mu – some of that sh¡t is expensive. That’s what’s galling about so much of it, people might as well burn money.

  16. #16 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    February 19, 2013

    When asked about the possibility of anti-vaccine groups misusing his group’s findings to undermine support for flu vaccination, Osterholm commented, “The clear message we’ve sent here is to continue to use this vaccine. We can’t be caught in the mindset that it works all the time or it doesn’t work at all. It would be really unfortunate if we threw the baby out with the bath water.”

  17. #17 MIRose
    Differentiating myself
    February 19, 2013

    There. I hope now there is only one of me.

  18. #18 Rose
    February 19, 2013

    My last comment went into moderation. I will try to find a way besides c hanging my name to differentiate myself from the other Rose. It may be snarky location comments.

  19. #19 Mu
    February 19, 2013

    Scalar energy imprints? I bet they use magnetic monopoles to achieve that.

  20. #20 S
    February 19, 2013

    @Mu, I dunno know, but they’re sold in the United States by doctors with a valid medical licenses hanging on their wall. They even sell the energized woo in some pharmacies, I’m told. It’s 100% effective at killing MRSA too, lest you forget. That’s impressive.

    I never could get an answer to my question as to how they bring in the energy from outside the solar system. NASA must be in on the conspiracy. /sarcasm off

  21. #21 Narad
    February 19, 2013

    I thought you might want to reconsider your scathing attack after you read the systematic review of flu vaccine published recently by Michael Osterholm and coauthors.

    Sixteen months ago is “recent”?

  22. #22 Chris
    February 19, 2013

    elburto:

    Shannon – ‘Mr Orac’ is so easy to unmask that it’s quite possible to do it without even trying.

    Especially since many of the “scathing attack” took place on the not so secret other blog. Perhaps she never heard of it. It is odd that an investigative reporter is having some much trouble discovering the worst kept secret on teh internets.

  23. #23 Narad
    February 19, 2013

    Scalar energy imprints? I bet they use magnetic monopoles to achieve that.

    Notoriously incompetent HuffPo homeopathy advocate “ChristyRed” has indeed suggested just this, although I doubt she understood that she had:

    The results of this paper show that healing by using homeopathy involves exciting or alternating the level of the energy terms of the pathological pathways by magnetic photons according to resonance principle. The principle of similarity in homeopathy can be reduced to similar resonance frequencies of the remedy and the pathological pathway. Homeopathy is an energy medicine. Homeopathic potencies consist of magnetic photons. Each homeopathic med consists of a specific energy and of different frequencies in the HF range within the longer wave length.

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2013

    It is odd that an investigative reporter is having some much trouble discovering the worst kept secret on teh internets.

    It is odd that an investigative journalist cannot use the “e-mail” to contact Orac at the “address” provided in the “About Orac” section at the top of the page.

    It is downright concerning that an investigative journalist uses grammar like this:

    an article flu vaccine, I published in The Atlantic in 2009 by my colleague Jeanne Lenzer.

  25. #25 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2013

    See my comments about NutraMedix and scalar energy, or […] ‘wibble’.

    The word “wibble” is best accompanied by a picture of Blackadder with a pencil stuck up each nostril and a pair of underpants on his head.

  26. #26 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 19, 2013

    Seriously off topic question – I learned many, many years ago that magnetism is a relativistic correction to the equations for a changing electric field (and saw the math to prove it). Based on those equations, the concept of a magnetic monopole is a non-starter. Yet apparently now monopoles are considered possible, based on quantum or string theory. What changed?

  27. #27 Narad
    February 19, 2013

    Yet apparently now monopoles are considered possible, based on quantum or string theory. What changed?

    The short answer is “nothing.” String theory has produced a lot of quite nice mathematics, but no physics. SUSY looks to be toast. I’m rather suprised that MoEDAL even got funding; the searches in the ’80s produced nothing.

    Check out Peter Woit, Luboš Motl, and the rest of the usual suspects.

  28. #28 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 19, 2013

    hdb:

    It is downright concerning that an investigative journalist uses grammar like this

    Perhaps she should be told she is being impersonated by someone who is incompetent.

  29. #29 THS
    February 19, 2013

    @Chris: that occurred to me also.

    Quite a thread. What’s this about homeopathic energy?

  30. #30 S
    February 19, 2013

    @28 – I should have been an investigative reporter.

    I was raised in a town known for being a hotbed of woo. We were taught that molecules were always in motion, even the coffee table was constantly in motion. There is no such thing as a solid, as there is space between even the tiniest of atoms, we were taught.

    Woomeisters would claim that if one was skilled, they could move their hand through a table without breaking or disturbing either their hand or the table. It was merely a matter of being able to move at the right frequency or vibration level, move as “one”. Being ‘at one’ with everything was their mission, and still is.

    @HDB – Yes, and we’ve got a crisis on our hands. A crisis of quantum scalar proportions. http://allgatesbrewery.com/allgates-brewery-blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Blackadder-31.jpg

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2013

    re ” being able to move at the right frequency or vibration level”…

    uh oh. Was one of them named Royal Rife?

  32. #32 Narad
    February 19, 2013

    Woomeisters would claim that if one was skilled, they could move their hand through a table without breaking or disturbing either their hand or the table. It was merely a matter of being able to move at the right frequency or vibration level, move as “one”.

    Well, did they, or is this a Nabokovian enterprise?

  33. #33 MI Dawn
    February 19, 2013

    @MIRose….another Michigander! Welcome to the pack. So…U-M or MSU?

  34. #34 MI Rose
    In a land where this Rose is one of a kind.
    February 19, 2013

    MI Dawn
    MSU. What about you?

  35. #35 S
    February 19, 2013

    Quite a thread. What’s this about homeopathic energy?

    @29 THS – The products are sold by NutraMedix and generally referred to as “The Cowden Protocol”. The protocol was developed by Dr. Lee Cowden. The product line consists of “dilutions” of various herbs, which are bio-infused using scalar energy. Various questionable claims are being made, such as one of the products supposedly contains an ingredient which is 100% effective at killing MRSA.

    An explanation of their products as written by Dr. Cowden can be found here on Google Docs. These documents have a tendency to disappear from the Internet, so you may want to look at it soon if you are interested.

    An explanation of Cowden’s protocol to treat Lyme disease can be found here. Note that the product information on that link states, “*These products have been energetically imprinted* with a proprietary process using a scalar generator for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the natural chemicals in each product. All of the Microbial Defense products have been imprinted with specific energies to aid the body in dealing with specific microbes.

    The products are sold in the United States by licensed medical doctors most of whom seem to be members of ILADS, on Amazon, and now apparently in some specialty pharmacies. A colorful handbook with a detailed chart graphically depicting the dosages and treatment schedule had been published online, but it seems to have disappeared.

  36. #36 S
    February 19, 2013

    About the Cowden protocol mentioned @#34, Dr. Cowden details in his document on Google Docs the cause and treatment for several different types of cancer. On page 14 of the document, his explanation as to a possible cause of prostate cancer is “subconscious fear and/or anxiety”. He seems to think that subconscious thoughts cause cancer.

  37. #37 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 20, 2013

    hdb:

    It is odd that an investigative journalist cannot use the “e-mail” to contact Orac at the “address” provided in the “About Orac” section at the top of the page.

    To be perfectly clear, one actually has to click on Orac’s name right after the title to get to that page. On the version of the page I see (Firefox) there is no “About Orac” section at top the of the page.

    Though that is still no excuse since the articles about Ms. Brownlee’s journalism were also discussed on the other blog, where the real name is displayed with the title. So it could be someone pretending to be her who has absolutly no skill with Google.

  38. #38 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 20, 2013

    THS:

    Quite a thread. What’s this about homeopathic energy?

    That is what I feel right now. I am now going to turn off my laptop and go watch a silly movie.

  39. #39 Narad
    February 20, 2013

    with a proprietary process using a scalar generator

    Well, that’s not going to do. What kind? I mean, one can have one of for a mere $995 (“custom inert gas inserts” extra). Then there’s the Hamel scalar generator (does not appear to have attracted venture capital). Surely, a consumer would want to know where the scalar-wave imprinting is coming from.

  40. #40 Andreas Johansson
    February 20, 2013

    scalar energy

    As opposed to what? Vector energy?

  41. #41 dingo199
    February 20, 2013

    I see that Cowden lists the causes of Breast Cancer like so:

    Causes: Human Papilloma Virus and usually one or more of the following: Syphilitic Miasm, additional
    microbial infections (usually fungal), heavy metals (most commonly mercury from amalgams in the teeth),
    environmental toxins (usually pesticides), radiation exposure or radio activity exposure (nuclear power plant,
    radon gas in the home, mammograms, etc), hormone replacement therapy (especially synthetic hormones),
    breast implants, EMF exposure, a major emotional event within 2 years before the cancer was detected,
    tissue acidity, low hydrochloric acid in the stomach and low pancreatic enzyme function, iodine deficiency

    So it’s a type of poker – you need HPV and something else from his dorky list.
    Gobsmacked.

  42. #42 MartinB
    February 20, 2013

    @Mephistopheles
    A bit late, but better than never:
    Moving electric charges can create magnetic fields (that can be proved by relativistic calculations as you say).
    However, it would still be possible that there are magnetic monopoles (whose movement would then create electric fields). The Maxwell equations are unsymmetric wrt electric/magnetic phenomena because they contain electrical charges but not magnetic ones. It is easy to introduce those magnetic monopoles into the equations.

    Magnetic monopoles are not an idea of string theory but much older – Dirac showed that the existence of magnetic monopoles would provide an explanation why electric charge is quantised.

  43. #43 sophia8
    February 20, 2013

    The word “wibble” is best accompanied by a picture of Blackadder with a pencil stuck up each nostril and a pair of underpants on his head.
    Herr Doktor Bimler, I was eating my breakfast porridge when I read that. I respectfully ask that in future you post a warning before you come out with any more lines like that.

  44. #44 MI Rose
    February 20, 2013

    So dingo, you need HPV and pretty much anything to get breast cancer. Is he then a proponent of Gardasil. If his statement is true, that inoculation would cut way back on the breast cancer rate.

  45. #45 S
    February 20, 2013

    Was one of them named Royal Rife?

    @Narad and Denice – The concept or teachings of ‘Oneness’, as well as holism are among the basic principles taught by Edgar Cayce and his followers.

    Cayce was a psychic who is still believed by many as having had the ability to “accurately diagnose illness and prescribe treatment for people he had never met or seen.”

  46. #46 Melissa G
    February 20, 2013

    MIDawn and MIRose, awesome! What’s good for the Michigoose is good for the Michigander! Sorry for all the mishugas. :D

  47. #47 MI Dawn
    February 20, 2013

    @MIRose: Orac and I both Go Blue…same year, even. However, we didn’t meet while as students. I discovered him later on his early blog.

    But in fighting woo, we all root for the same team!

    (I no longer live in Michigan – Royal oak – but in NJ where I met Orac in meatspace. He’s a very nice set of blinky lights.)

  48. #48 MI Rose
    February 20, 2013

    MI Dawn
    I do live in MI but did not grow up here. Sorry about your U of M affliction. ; )

  49. #49 Dorothy
    Over the Rainbow
    February 20, 2013

    I used to live in a town full of Cayce disciples, many of whom died of cancer (under 50, all of ‘em). Most of them sought real treatment once they realized things were not working in spite of their sunny dispositions, but it was too late, of course. Has this lessened the number of Cayce and New Age devotees? No way; it’s religion and just like the end of the world bunch, they simply regroup and invent another scenario for why the nice people died. Must have been the wrong woo, next time try the latest regimen, supplement, juice, blah, blah, blah. Even if you get them to admit the woo didn’t save the dead person, they will likely insist that at least the wheat grass juice make them live longer (this is pulled out whenever the person lasts a bit longer than the original diagnosing doctor did his best to predict.).

    If young Abe lives in a town like this, he is going to pursue woo until the end. What I don’t understand is why his trailer isn’t “clean”?

  50. #50 The Typical Pharma Shill
    NWO HQ - Denver, Colorado
    February 21, 2013

    I love how Cherrix is desperately looking to “boost his immune system”, I suppose most quackeries can help him with that!

    Now onto my other thoughts
    [i]”The results of this paper show that healing by using homeopathy involves exciting or alternating the level of the energy terms of the pathological pathways by magnetic photons according to resonance principle. The principle of similarity in homeopathy can be reduced to similar resonance frequencies of the remedy and the pathological pathway. Homeopathy is an energy medicine. Homeopathic potencies consist of magnetic photons. Each homeopathic med consists of a specific energy and of different frequencies in the HF range within the longer wave length.”[/i]
    The mumbojumbo, oh Dog the mumbojumbo, I’ve never seen such a disjointed mash-up of inane phrases to make homeopathetics look “deep”

    @dingo199, man, I’m goddamn shocked over people unironically talking about “miasms” in the 21th century and calling it medicine. And then it goes into acid/base woo (the typical acid=EVIL, base=GOOD)

  51. #51 The Typical Pharma Shill
    Hollow Earth entrance underneath NWO HQ
    February 21, 2013

    Aw dawn, I have no idea how to quote.

  52. #52 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    February 21, 2013

    The Typical Pharma Shill, you need to use the angled brackets, not the square brackets. Those are the ones you saw in math class that meant “less than” or “greater than.”

    How to blockquote (we don’t have preview so I hope this works, it takes additional characters to show the angle brackets):
    <blockquote>Put paragraph of person you are quoting in here.</blockquote>

  53. #53 Chris
    February 21, 2013

    Yay! It worked!

  54. #54 Narad
    February 21, 2013

    Aw dawn, I have no idea how to quote.

    Use less-than and greater-than signs rather than the square brackets of UBB et al. Blockquote is ‘<blockquote>’ rather than ‘[quote]’, as well.

  55. #55 Narad
    February 21, 2013

    I see that Chris beat me to it. The main tags that you’re used to should work with the change of delimiters, e.g., <i>, <b>. For strikethrough, I recommend <del> rather than trying to keep remember whether <s> or <strike> works. Monospace is basically broken, and font-sizing and color are out.

  56. #56 Narad
    February 21, 2013

    Oh, and ‘[url=address]text[/url]’ has to become ‘<a href=”address“>text<a&gt’. Mind the double quotes in the opening <a> tag.

  57. #57 Narad
    February 21, 2013

    And, naturally, I blew it.

    ‘<a href=”address“>text<a>’

  58. #58 S
    February 21, 2013

    What I don’t understand is why his trailer isn’t “clean”?</blockquote.

    Most likely due to toxins from mold, else toxins emitted from plastic objects, carpets or anything synthetic.

    If young Abe lives in a town like this, he is going to pursue woo until the end.

    The education system and health departments need to pick up some more responsibility for educating people about basic health and sciences. This is not happening in those areas. If children are taught the woo at home and no one else bothers to educate them otherwise, then they have no reason to question what has been ingrained into them since birth. They may grow into adulthood believing in the woo, then pass such beliefs onto their children.

  59. #59 S
    February 21, 2013

    Total fail on blockquote and italics.

  60. #60 LW
    February 21, 2013

    I had lunch this week with a friend who developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma before Cherrix did. He went the conventional route with chemo and radiation (I think radiation — it’s been many years). “Poison and burn”, the alties would say. It was tough on him for a while, but he’s fully recovered and has been for many years.

    Cherrix — well, he avoided the several months of misery, but his whole life since has revolved around fighting, and slowly losing the battle against, the cancer.

  61. #61 Lawrence
    February 21, 2013

    @LW – I have several friends who have gone through conventional Cancer treatments – and they are all still alive today with very little residual issues (a couple of re-occurrences, but nothing malignant or fatal) – which involved a few months of going through the processes……and you’re right, I see these “Alties” going through years of pain and misery, dealing with their Cancers over and over again – I really don’t see where they are gaining anything.

  62. #62 LW
    February 21, 2013

    My sister went through the “slash and poison” treatment seven years ago. She celebrated her birthday Monday: no recurrences. I shudder to think where she’d be now if she’d listened to alties. The grave, I expect.

  63. #63 Delurked Lurker
    February 21, 2013

    I had the poison for DLBCL and am coming up to 5 years. No real issues apart from a bit of mental noise now and again. But don’t take my word for it as that is just anecdotal. Look at the stats they tell the story and the stats on Hodgkins are awesome.

    Abe was a silly boy and has no sympathy from me at all. As my mother was fond of saying “If you burn your arse you have to sit on the blisters”

  64. #64 Johnny
    Next to that thing over there
    February 21, 2013

    DL, I agree that Starchild was a silly boy, and I plan to use your mother’s saying next chance I get. But this kid does deserve a little sympathy.

    After his original diagnosis, Starchild had chemo, and it mostly worked. However, as our host has pointed out, when dealing with cancer, it’s necessary to kill every cell, and that didn’t happen in this case. But Starchild didn’t want to have another round of chemo, he wanted something that wasn’t so unpleasant – he wanted to drink tea and eat salad.

    And his freakin’ granola eatin’ parents said ‘OK’.

    If he had parents who wanted to be a parents first and not friends, if they had more than 1 working brain cell between them, if they would have stood up to him and made him take his medicine, he would probably be healthy today.

    So, yeah, he made the choice, but his poor excuse for parents are the real villains in this tragedy. They are the ones who will get no sympathy from me when they bury this kid.

  65. #65 LW
    February 21, 2013

    @Johnny, exactly. Yes, Cherrix made a stupid decision and has been paying for it ever since. But he was very young, if not, strictly speaking, a child, and it was the responsibility of the adults around him to discourage him as much as possible from stupid decisions. They didn’t do so, in fact they encouraged him, so a lot of the blame falls on them. I do have sympathy for him, and even his parents, who also made a stupid decision and have been paying for it ever since.

  66. #66 S
    February 21, 2013

    Seriously folks, the University of Virginia Medical Center is only a mere 2.5 hour drive from him. The route is a highly traveled route so it should be easy enough for him to find a ride if he couldn’t drive himself. He states he has medical insurance and the UVA center accepts that insurance.

    His GoFundMe page shows that he has raised $3,100 dollars and he wants $20,000. Why would he possibly need so much money to make trips to a medical facility at public university.

    http://uvahealth.com/directions-locations/clinics/emily-couric-clinical-cancer-center

  67. #67 Michelle
    February 21, 2013

    I’m mad at the stupid judge in Virginia who didn’t force the kid to do the chemo. What the hell is wrong with him?

  68. #68 Delurked Lurker
    February 22, 2013

    S @ 66

    Maybe he wants to see good ol Stan :)

  69. #69 Delurked Lurker
    A very large Island or small continent on a pale blue dot floating in the Cosmos
    February 22, 2013

    LW @ 65

    Abe would now be considered an adult in my part of the pale blue dot. He would be allowed to vote, drink and he would probably have been driving a car for 2 years. On top of this he has been going around the US advocating woo.

    No sympathy

  70. #70 Delurked Lurker
    February 22, 2013

    Johnny @ 64

    I see a precocious child at 14 who convinced his parents this was the right thing to do. To me it seems he had the power in that relationship and he has full responsibility. At 14 especially at the descending part of the bell curve of I.Q. he knew what he was doing. I firmly believe Abe was in Piaget’s formal operational stage when he convinced his parents to avoid the best chance he had to enjoy a full life.

    No sympathy

  71. #71 Raines
    Seattle WA
    February 22, 2013

    I just finished my last treatment of ABVD for my Hodgkin’s lymphoma (yay me). At an online support group I use, a member asked his doctor about alternative therapies that were not chemo, and how he was having trouble finding credible cases of cures. His doctor replied “that’s because there are none- they’re all dead.”

    “Spot welding” with radiation is a TERRIBLE idea, does he even get PET scans? Or are they just blasting away at external nodes as they come up… because the lymph system kind is also inside the body, and by “kinda” I mean “it is.” If they’re not using anything to check internally of what’s going on, inside his body has got to be a mess slowly growing.

    Hodgkin’s is a notoriously slow growing cancer, this will not play out well in his favor in the next 10 years.

    The thing that gets me the most? The whole chemicals vs natural-whatever. EVERYTHING is a chemical. Hell Taxol was isolated from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree, and vincristine comes from the Madagascar periwinkle plant. Supposedly the “natural treatments” are safer than “chemical chemo,” but the majority of the time “natural things” ARE chemotherapy. I chalk it up to one part poor science education in the US, and one part to intentional ignorance. Full disclosure: I work at a NIH funded university medical research center, and I’m certain our PI’s aren’t taking “big pharma cancer money” and “sitting on the cure conspiracy”- if they did they would have nicer cars, desks not made in the 70’s, and a hell of a lot more money in their projects.

  72. #72 Renate
    February 22, 2013

    @DL
    I’m not sure a 14 year old is really capable of making such an important choice by himself. He isn’t allowed to drink alcohol at this age, but he is able to make an informed decision on chemotherapy? He talked his parents into it, but probably they were into woo themselves.
    A 14 year old should be protected against harmfull decisions.

  73. #73 LW
    February 22, 2013

    @Delurked Lurker: “At 14 especially at the descending part of the bell curve of I.Q. he knew what he was doing.”

    When I was fourteen and “at the descending part of the bell curve of I.Q.”, I sure didn’t know what I was doing, especially with respect to anything as important as cancer. Even a smart fourteen-year-old most likely isn’t informed and wise enough to reasonably evaluate his chances, especially if his parents are poorly informed themselves and passed their ignorance and misinformation on to him.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Cherrix.

  74. #74 S
    February 22, 2013

    @DL – I don’t think 14 year olds have enough experience to make those decisions or are aware of the amount of medical misinformation being promoted. They are naive and think they can trust medical advice as long as it is being promoted by a medical ‘professional’. Business, politics, greed, kickbacks, critical thinking, … those are things not taught in public school.

  75. #75 S
    February 25, 2013

    THS: Quite a thread. What’s this about homeopathic energy?

    @29 THS – The products are sold by NutraMedix and generally referred to as “The Cowden Protocol”. The protocol was developed by Dr. Lee Cowden. The product line consists of “dilutions” of various herbs, which are bio-infused using scalar energy.

    Retraction Watch has an article about scalar waves. This is way out of my field, but I would think it also applies to the Cowden Protocols scalar wave infusion claims.

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/way-out-there-paper-claiming-to-merge-physics-and-biology-retracted/

  76. #76 S
    April 24, 2013

    I used to feel as though the Abrahams of this world were victims. Time has apparently hardened my soul. I do feel sorry for the children who suffer due to the decisions of stupid parents. But otherwise, I simply feel that evolution is taking place.

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