"Autism-induced" breast cancer

breastcanceraware

Gayle DeLong has been diagnosed with what she refers to as “autism-induced” breast cancer.” She’s even given it an abbreviation, AIBC. Unfortunately, as you might be able to tell by the name she’s given her breast cancer, she is also showing signs of falling into the same errors in thinking with respect to her breast cancer as she clearly has with respect to autism. As a breast cancer surgeon, regardless of my personal opinion of DeLong’s anti-vaccine beliefs, I can only hope that she comes to her senses and undergoes science-based treatment, but I fear she will not, as you will see. Her brief post announcing her diagnosis and blaming it on autism, however, does provide what I like to call a “teachable moment” about cancer.

We’ve met DeLong before on this blog. For instance, she published an execrably bad study that—of course!—tried to link vaccine to autism and failed miserably, despite doing some amazing contortions of analysis, combining diagnoses willy-nilly, all in the service of the discredited vaccine-autism hypothesis. As I said at the time, it just goes to show that someone who is an associate professor of economics and finance shouldn’t be doing epidemiological research. As I also described at the time, if the sorts of analytical techniques she used in her study are acceptable in the world of economics and finance, no wonder our economy has been so screwed up for so long. Another time, DeLong wrote a broadside against the regulatory machinery that oversees vaccine development and safety that was full of the usual antivaccine misinformation, tropes, and pseudoscience and hugely exaggerated perceived “conflicts of interest” among the various parties.

So it’s not surprising that DeLong latches on to dealing with her autistic children as the cause of her cancer:

I have autism-induced breast cancer (AIBC). While I am not absolutely certain that the 1.9 centimeter lump that grew in my left breast is the result of the stress of raising two autistic children, all indications point in that direction. There is virtually no cancer in my family, I eat organically, I exercise, I’m a good weight. OK, so I live in the toxic dump known as New Jersey, but that is the only other major risk factor. No, the drop in cortisol levels whenever one kid’s school calls or the other kid has a public “flare up” is enough for the cancer to take root.

First of all, it’s very telling to me that she blames her breast cancer diagnosis on having to take care of her autistic children as the root cause of her breast cancer. The implication, of course, is that her decision to vaccinate her children is what led to their autism and her breast cancer. Be that as it may, notice how DeLong is very emphatic in proclaiming her healthy lifestyle bona fides and that there’s “no cancer in my family.” It’s a very common misconception about breast cancer (indeed, nearly all cancer) that it must be familial. In the case of breast cancer, while it’s true that there is a familial component and that there are genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, that, when mutated, result in an enormously elevated lifetime risk of breast cancer compared to women without them, the simple fact is that only around 10-15% of breast cancer cases have a familial or genetic component. That means around 85% of breast cancer cases are what we in the biz call “sporadic.” That basically means “we can’t identify a specific cause.” True, there are well-characterized risk factors for breast cancer, such as age, early menarche, late menopause, nulliparity, and others, but the magnitude of the risk increase due to these factors is way less than, say, a strong family history (i.e., a first degree relative with breast cancer) or an identified cancer-predisposing mutation in BRCA1.

Of course, people don’t like the concept of “sporadic” cancer, mainly because humans crave explanation. The default assumption is that everything must happen for a reason and there must be a cause for every disease or cancer. Perhaps the most emphatic statement of this that I’ve encountered thus far comes from (who else?) uber-quack Mike Adams when he heaped contempt on the idea of sporadic disease as “spontaneous disease.” He did this in the context of a story four years ago when America’s quack, Dr. Mehmet Oz, followed recommended care and underwent screening colonoscopy to look for polyps and was shocked that he actually had some:

Dr Oz even seems to think he has a perfect health record, saying, "I have done everything right. I don't have any family history, and yet I'm high risk now." His personal physician, meanwhile, is implying that even though Dr Oz's "healthy" diet was perfect, it wasn't enough to prevent colon polyps, and therefore you might get them too. (And therefore everybody should get screened...)

This led Adams to bloviate:

Colon polyps, in other words, appear without any cause! Mainstream medicine, you see, believes in the theory of "spontaneous disease" that "strikes" people at random.

Sort of like disease voodoo.

No matter what you do, they say, you can't be totally sure that you're disease free. Therefore, you need all their disease screening protocols, mammograms, and CT scans (which irradiate your body and can actually cause cancer, by the way).

What a bunch of nonsense. As any real scientist knows, everything that happens in our universe has a cause. It's a cause-effect universe, and unless you're God or can magically change the laws of the universe, you can't alter the laws of cause and effect.

So if you develop colon polyps, there is a cause for it, and that cause is without question related to the foods you're consuming, because that's what is in contact with your small intestine, large intestine and colon. (It's not the only factor, but it's the primary factor.)

This is exactly the sort of thinking DeLong is exhibiting. It’s understandable, particularly when you’ve been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease. Indeed, it’s quintessentially human. It’s also wrong. At least, it’s wrong in the sense that while, yes, there are causes of breast cancer (or colon polyps or whatever), but they are often highly multifactorial and can’t be placed into a simple “box” of diet, lifestyle, or failing to do the “right” thing. This whole idea feeds into magical thinking (which I’ve seen voiced before many times) that every disease can be prevented, if only you would do the right thing. The dark side of such thinking, of course, is the opposite assumption, which goes something like this: If every disease has a definite non-inherent (i.e., non-genetic) cause, such as crappy diet, then it’s the victim’s fault, in part or in whole, for getting sick. We’ve seen this same thinking from Bill Maher before as well when a few years ago he attacked the flu vaccine and proclaimed that the “soil” matters much more than the seed; i.e., if you live a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet, your “soil” won’t be conducive to the flu virus and you won’t get the flu. This reached a ridiculous extreme when Maher proclaimed that he was so healthy that he wouldn’t get flu even if exposed in a closed-in space like an airplane, leading Bob Costas to snort, “Oh, come on, Superman!” Sometimes this thinking goes beyond even Maher's, in that cancer or other diseases are blamed on "psychic trauma" or some other psychological factor. This idea is at the very heart of the quackery known as German New Medicine. The attraction of such ideas is obvious: They give the illusion of control, that you as a cancer patient can cure yourself if only you will it enough and act on that will. The dark side of this idea is an even worse version of what I just described. Now, it's not only your fault for being sick because you didn't live a "good" lifestyle, but you're sick because you either lack the will not to be sick or you secretly want to be sick.

As for the idea that stress can cause cancer, even the National Cancer Institute proclaims the evidence that stress can cause cancer to be “weak,” further pointing out that there is “no strong evidence that stress directly affects cancer outcomes.” Indeed, the evidence with respect to stress and cancer is at worst conflicting, at best quite negative, with the occasional study hyped in dubious outlets like the Daily Mail being proclaimed as evidence that stress causes cancer, but a recent meta-analysis of 116,000 people, found no significant correlation between stress and bowel, lung, breast or prostate cancers. So, despite its being a very common and intuitively seemingly reasonable idea that stress and cancer are linked, they almost certainly are not, at least not as far as causation. That’s not to say that chronic, unrelenting life stress is a good thing for your health, but evidence strongly suggests that it doesn’t increase the risk of cancer. So, while it’s understandable that DeLong might think the stress of her raising two autistic children is the cause of her breast cancer diagnosis, she’s wrong about that. What’s more disturbing to me is how she views her children’s autism as the cause of her cancer to the point of even calling it “autism-induced breast cancer” and giving it an abbreviation AIBC.

Even worse is how she views autism itself as being as bad as cancer. Actually, I get the distinct feeling she views it as worse than cancer, given the title of her post The Lesser of Two Evils: Breast Cancer and Autism. Look at her comparison between how cancer is viewed and her perception of how autism is viewed:

So, I speak from experience when I say Stage 1 breast cancer has nothing on autism. The differences are vast and significant. Unlike autism, no one is telling me to “celebrate” my cancer. No one is telling me that cancer is “just a different way for cells to grow.” People have told me that we’ve always had cancer, but no one is using that is an excuse for not doing anything about it. No one is blaming me (or my mother) for my cancer. Unlike a person with autism, society does not say my cancer is my fault. Another difference is that in three years, I’ll either be dead or cured. Autism is not tangible, so it neither exists concretely nor definitely leaves the body. Although cancer could do to me what autism did to Avonte Oquendo, the chances of dying from a tumor that I treat properly are small and growing smaller.

First off, unless DeLong’s cancer is a certain subtype called triple negative (and even then not entirely), it’s not true that in three years she’ll be cured or dead. Such a binary outlook! Estrogen receptor-positive [ER(+)] tumors can recur 5, 10, 15, and even 20+ years later, and the treatment for ER(+) tumors involves Tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor for at least five years. Indeed, trends based on clinical research showing better results are moving towards the recommendation of ten years of anti-estrogen therapy to reduce recurrence risk. Triple negative tumors, while more aggressive at the outset, tend not to recur after five years, usually recurring within three years, but they certainly can recur later. More offensive is her explicit likening of autism to cancer, in which she proclaims that “no one is telling me that cancer is ‘just a different way for cells to grow.’” This suggests to me that she views her autistic children as cancers or at least their autism as bad as any cancer, hence her resentment at the neurodiversity movement that seeks to destigmatize autism.

Avonte Oquendo, by the way, was a teenage boy with autism who walked out his school to go missing and whose remains were found months later. In other words, DeLong makes the connection between her view of cancer and her view of autism even more explicit: Both to her are killer diseases, but there is a difference. Her cancer is potentially curable.

Finally, if there’s one similarity we see between antivaccine thinking and other quackery, it’s made explicit by DeLong:

However, one major similarity exists between breast cancer and autism: the “wisdom” of the experts. The standard of care for cancer includes popping this sucker out of my breast, and I’m fine with that. However, I’m more than a bit uneasy about the radiation treatment that the surgeon has recommended post-op. Taking a sledge hammer to my breast may indeed kill the cancer, but what about the organ that lies directly under my breast, my heart? If 10 or 20 years from now I develop a heart condition – which is also unheard of in my family – would it be the result of the radiation or just bad stuff happening to good people? The cancer experts don’t care; after all, the cancer didn’t return! Except that sometimes (often?) cancer does return, perhaps because radiation can cause cancer? And don’t get me started about chemo! I didn’t question the established wisdom concerning vaccines, and my kids have autism. I won’t repeat that mistake. I’ll look for alternatives, weigh the options, and determine the best path for me. Amazing how a little pain in the breast can turn one into a huge pain in the derrière.

So her magical thinking with respect to vaccines is leading to magical thinking with respect to her cancer. I find it rather odd many times how patients often have no problem with surgery for their cancer but have so much trouble with other options. Of course, “cutting out” the tumor makes intuitive sense, so much so that I’ve not infrequently had patients show up in my clinic expecting that I would be doing just that that very day. In the old days, surgery alone was it, too; it’s the oldest and most reliable treatment for early stage breast cancer.

I’m assuming that the surgeon recommended a lumpectomy/partial mastectomy because DeLong has a stage I cancer (clinically, at least) and he’s recommending radiation. What DeLong doesn’t understand is that there’s a reason for the radiation. If she undergoes lumpectomy and doesn’t follow it up with radiation, the local recurrence rate (the chance of her tumor recurring in her breast near the surgery site) is 30-40%. With radiation, it’s in the range of 5-8%. That’s a huge difference. Of course, as I’ve described in many of my analyses of breast cancer testimonials going right back to the very beginning of this blog nearly 10 years ago, in which women undergo surgery but refuse chemotherapy and radiation, it’s still more likely than not that the tumor won’t recur, but a roughly one in three chance of recurrence are not odds that I would be willing to take, particularly when the risk of serious heart impairment due to “collateral damage” from the radiation is so low when modern techniques are used. She’s also quite incorrect that radiation oncologists “don’t care” if she gets radiation-induced cardiac disease because “the cancer is gone.” They care very, very much. An enormous amount of research over the last three decades has gone into developing techniques that minimize the risk of heart damage.

The other question is chemotherapy. If DeLong has a stage I tumor, then it’s quite possible she might not even need chemotherapy! If her tumor is not HER2(+) but is ER(+), and she doesn’t have any positive lymph nodes, what will be recommended is Tamoxifen if she’s premenopausal or an aromatase inhibitor if she is postmenopausal. If she’s triple negative (negative for ER, progesterone receptor, and HER2), chemotherapy will be recommended, as it will if she’s node positive regardless of markers. If she’s HER2(+), chemotherapy with Herceptin or one of the newer anti-HER2 agents will be recommended. In any case, the benefit of chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer tends to be relatively low as an absolute percentage; so it’s quite possible to refuse chemotherapy and do fine. The veritable plethora of “I refused chemotherapy and I’m fine” breast cancer testimonials that I’ve analyzed over the years attests to that. It’s just that DeLong should understand that if she refuses recommended chemotherapy she is increasing her risk of recurrence and death due to cancer. In early stage breast cancer, that increased risk might only be a few percent, but she needs to understand now that if she refuses chemotherapy and does well, it will be because of the surgery that removed her tumor and (if she accepts it) the radiation that reduced the risk of local recurrence, not due to any “alternative” treatments she ends up choosing to use after surgery.

What I fear we’re seeing right here is the beginning of yet another alternative breast cancer cure testimonial. DeLong will likely have surgery and then refuse radiation and chemotherapy. Assuming she doesn’t have any positive lymph nodes (which might or might not turn out to be true), the odds are more likely than not that she’ll probably be OK, but her survival and failure to recur, assuming that’s what happens, will be due to surgery and a lot of luck to have dodged the 30-40% chance of local recurrence. Her odds could be so much better if she just accepted everything modern oncology has to offer for treating breast cancer, and her survival and lack of recurrence. Our locations on opposite sides of the divide over vaccines notwithstanding, I sincerely hope she does just that, because I hope that she does not become this kind of breast cancer testimonial.

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No, the drop in cortisol levels whenever one kid’s school calls or the other kid has a public “flare up” is enough for the cancer to take root.

Doesn't stress cause cortisol levels to rise, not drop?

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Economists have long been known to make bold faced lies they then "back up" with contorted analysts, generally they do this to advance an ideological agenda.

<blockquote
I have Age of Autism-induced brain cancer (AoAIBC). While I am not absolutely certain that the 1.9 centimeter lump that grew in my left hemisohere is the result of the stress of believing I destroyed my beautiful babies by vaccinating them for MMR, all indications point in that direction. There is virtually no mental disease in my family, I take supplements from NaturalNews, I blog, I watch Oprah. OK, so I live in New Jersey, and watch Chris Christie press conferences, but that is the only other major stress factor. No, the drop in cortisol levels when Ann Daschel writes that stress may lead me to murder my autistic kid, and then I watch Nancy Grace on TV is enough for the cancer to take root in my brain. Taking a sledge hammer to my head may indeed kill the cancer, but sometimes (often?) stress does return. Amazing how a little pain in the ass can turn one into a huge pain in the cerebral cortex.

Isn't cortisol supposed to go UP under stress?

First off, unless DeLong’s cancer is a certain subtype called triple negative (and even then not entirely), it’s not true that in three years she’ll be cured or dead. Such a binary outlook! Estrogen receptor-positive [ER(+)] tumors can recur 5, 10, 15, and even 20+ years later

An a-propos XKCD comic to illustrate this.
Quite a serious one.
On the same topic, check "Tatoo" (XKCD #933).

Mrs DeLong, I hope you will be in the 60%, if only for the sake of your children. And I would encourage you to accept a tatoo, if your oncologist proposes you one.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

is there any evidence demonstrating the incidence of breast cancer in women who are the primary caregivers for one or more autistic children exceeds the incidence in women who are instead the primary caregivers for one or more non-autistic children?

Seems like that would be an essential bit of information to have on hand to suggest the existence of a causal association.

The *stress leads to cancer* ( and other illnesses) myth is alive and kicking amongst alties esp @ PRN where it thrives:
most 'protocols' involve meditation, 'de-stressing', prayer and other mind-body techniques like yoga, t'ai chi and journal wriiting. The name of Selye pops up frequently as do Benson and advice for 'holistic psychtherapy' ( whatever that is).

A particularly pernicious offfshoot is the belief that the fear associated with a diagnosis of hiv/aids in particulr leads to death which was bandied about quite a bit in the grand old days of hiv/aids denialism.

If a condition does not go into remission or improve, there is adequate opportunity for victim blaming: either the person was so weak or mentally compromised that they couldn't control stress or that they were defiantly unwilling to do so or non-compliant in other ways: thus it's THEIR OWN FAULT : when this is grafted onto the spurious belief that these illnesses are caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, wrongful living and out-of-control emotions we observe that the victim is doubly gulity giving the naturalist scolds something else to crow about incessantly.

( Unfortunately, the TMs just lost one of their own, Melanie Hamilton, to breast cancer - so we might hear some echoes there although I don't think she blamed her cancer on her son's autism )

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

is there any evidence demonstrating the incidence of breast cancer in women who are the primary caregivers for one or more autistic children exceeds the incidence in women who are instead the primary caregivers for one or more non-autistic children?

Seems like that would be an essential bit of information to have on hand to suggest the existence of a causal association.

That's too many variables for an antivaxxer.

By justthestats (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

So any hope of her not telegraphing or projecting the guilt, shame and resentment onto her kid?

I hate the Edenistic view of biology that were were designed so that in some sort of time or space the body was perfect and would run forever in perfection and if we just return to that perfect state we will be immortal. Then all disease, aging, or disorder must have some powerful cause that disrupts the perfection that would otherwise effortless continue on forever.

In that view there is always someone or something to blame. Whether it is something from outside (GMOs, toxins, people) or inside (my thoughts weren't good enough, pure enough, believed enough). In this view the feces never hit the rotating blade device.

To me the marvel is how well this cobbled together bits of this and that functions and how often it actually all works, even when the rotating blades are constantly bombarded.

That being said, I do believe managing stress can be helpful for disease management (as long as you don't make it the only reason for the disease or the one true cure). After all I keep waiting for the day the doctor tells me to stop eating regular healthy meals, pull at least 3 or more all-nighters every week and get a job that causes constant unrelenting feelings of failure with a minimum of 6 urgent fires that must be put out every day, marry the most dysfunctional human you can find and have excessive numbers of kids with needs you can't possibly meet, and all your symptoms will go away and you'll run like a well oiled machine from now on.

Wow. Autistic children aren't even children anymore. They're cancer causing agents. I think that may finally be the worst thing I've ever read a parent write.

No, the drop in cortisol levels whenever one kid’s school calls or the other kid has a public “flare up” is enough for the cancer to take root.

Doesn’t stress cause cortisol levels to rise, not drop?

What makes you think that those things increase stress for her?

By justthestats (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Isn’t cortisol supposed to go UP under stress?

That's what big pHARMa wants you to believe so that you won't buy cortisol supplements from reputable providers!

By justthestats (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

I sincerely hope that Ms Delong’s children never encounter and understand her words posted on a public website blaming them for her own misfortune.

I was going to quote her post, but that seemed hypocritical.

I hope that someone at AoA has the sense to take it down, or ask her to edit that opening line.

So when the anti-science folks can't blame the victim because they themselves got sick, they blame their children.

I believe the only thing I can inherit from my kids is insanity. Only because even when they are adults they drive me nuts. Yesterday the youngest got a flu vaccine, so she decided to blame me so I would by her a fancy cold coffee drink.

I also notice not comments of sympathy over at AoA regarding the latest parent to kill their autistic child....in fact, the only post from Anne Dachel seems to intimate that the killing could be justified....

They are monsters.

Unlike autism, no one is telling me to “celebrate” my cancer. No one is telling me that cancer is “just a different way for cells to grow.”

What a jaw-dropping bitch. Really. That's how she thinks of her kids? Yes, autism is challenging and exhausting and everything difficult about being a parent being made even more difficult. But calling your kids harmful, uncontrolled neoplasms?

Unlike a person with autism, society does not say my cancer is my fault.

Isn't she right up there, 'blaming' parents for their kids' autism, because they vaccinated or they didn't follow this or that diet or quack routine?

I wish I could be more eloquent, but holy hell, what a breathtakingly horrible thing to say about your kids. "How dare society at large say that autistics are people, too?"

And I take back that bit about calling her a bitch. I have two bitches, and they are very sweet and loving (if a bit dumb - but they don't pretend to be smart).

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Anyone else notice this little bit:

Unlike a person with autism, society does not say my cancer is my fault.

Gayle, society (or at least, science-based society) does not blame you or your kids for their autism. You did not do anything to cause it. Their autism is not your fault, nor is it their fault.

The kind of thinking that Gayle is espousing makes me rather worried for her kids, or for those who latch onto her explanation. How much of a step is it to go from "the stress of raising my autistic kids gave me cancer" to "removing" the cause of the cancer? We already see how so many in the autism pseudoscience realm view autistic children as lost, dead or not human. It doesn't seem like much of a stretch for one of them to kill their own kids, justifying it as not only ending the children's suffering, but to "cure" whatever illness in the parent is being blamed on the stress of raising the kids.

Now I understand why my mom had breastcancer.
I'm to blame!
I only wonder why my dad hasn't got any form of cancer.
I wasn't easy on both my parents.

I have to assume that the references to being blamed for autism refer to a genetic component, and I admit it's surprising to see a well educated person buy into that view. The view that sees finding a genetic component for autism as no different than blaming it on "refrigerator mothers."

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Your dad must have kept himself in good physical shape--if here were overweight to the point of developing man-boobs you'd probably have given cancer too.

(Is a sarcasm warning needed here?)

Off topic, but I ran across this nugget when "doing research" on autism associated with breast cancer.
Synthetic perfumes cause autism!
'Tis Friday.

I bet nobody here can produce a study showing that chemtrails don't cause autism.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

So, when will Ms. DeLong publish her latest research, that vaccines cause breast cancer?

I mean, it has to be from the vaccines - everything is caused by vaccines. If her kids weren't vaccinated, they wouldn't be autistic, and if they weren't autistic, she wouldn't have breast cancer.

I do hope that she's using evidence based medicine for treatment, and not some alt-woo-bullcrap.

Been a while since I've visited here, but I see the world is still as quacky and ableist as always. :(

By Bronze Dog (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

I can't believe I'm saying this...but I sincerely hope this woman's children are not literate. And here's hoping their friends don't read blogs either. Or if they do, that they all have extremely acute and sensitive parents to watch over them.

By ChristineRose (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

I have to assume that the references to being blamed for autism refer to a genetic component, and I admit it’s surprising to see a well educated person buy into that view.

If so, it's also surprising she's somehow missed genetic components in various cancers. Genetic risk factors for breast cancer specifically have made the news repeatedly.

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Dawry: "So, when will Ms. DeLong publish her latest research, that vaccines cause breast cancer?"

This is right up to her "research" that revealed every child with a Speech/Language Impairment is autistic! I bet the deaf/hard of hearing community was surprised at her "brilliant" revelation.

There is virtually no cancer in my family, I eat organically, I exercise, I’m a good weight.

Therefore WITCHCRAFT.
I am concerned to see an economist sinking to this level of magical thinking.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ JGC
Well, my dad is in good physical shape, just like my mom was, when she was alive.

And yes, I understood it was sacastic. I was as well, when blaming myself for my moms breastcancer.

Blaming myself for her death (which had nothing to do with breastcancer), would be more realistic. If my bike wasn't stolen and I had gone to the police myself, instead of letting my dad do it for me and if I had gone after him, to bring the keys of my bike, to prove my bike was locked, when it was stolen, my mom wouldn't have tripped which in the end resulted in a celebral haemorage, which led to her death.

It's a variation on the same old theme at AoA.

Every time a new study comes out identifying a risk factor for autism (genetic, parental age at time of conception, prenatal or postnatal exposures (not vaccines), high order/preterm/low birthweight/traumatic births, etc.), we have an absence of analyses and an outpouring of "testimonials" from the AoA critters, detailing how they don't haven't any risk factors, ergo it's the vaccines.

That "autism-induced-breast cancer" is a new low for Ms. DeLong and Age of Autism.

So any hope of her not telegraphing or projecting the guilt, shame and resentment onto her kids?

[sarcasm]"in three years, I’ll be dead"[/sarcasm]
Well, maybe if she gets in a cancer support group, and trots out 'my kid's autism gave me cancer' the other folks in the group will think 'cancer drives us all crazy' and try to talk her down with sympathy and compassion. She' (and her children) would probably be better off the more contact she has with caring people outside the AoA funny farm.

Great stuff about Edenistic ideology, KayMarie. Getting a handle on the Bigger Picture is a first step to figuring out effective counter-argument.

To me the marvel is how well this cobbled together bits of this and that functions and how often it actually all works

I do agree that how we should look at 'nature.' But as I write that, I'm asking myself why more people don't, why they have expectations of perfection. And my first thought is that consumer capitalism has a lot to do with it. In his classic critical history of the development of advertising 'Captains of Consciousness', Stuart Ewen argues industry's shift to mass-production for mass-consumption faced a profound obstacle: people didn't think they needed more and more material things. To create demand, capital had to create NEED. Thus, the fundamental message of advertising was, 'You are imperfect, deeply flawed. Everyone is watching you, noting all your imperfections, judging you harshly. But if you buy this product you will be fixed, be accepted by your peers, and be happy.' As a paradigm, Ewen cites Listerine ads promoting the idea that the made-up-disease "halitosis," was a guarantee of social downfall, to which nasty-tasting medicinal mouthwash was the cure.

Not content just to interpret the psychology of the ads themselves, Ewen cites the writings of Merchant Kings, articles in trade magazines, etc. From 1930, in the main advertising trade mag: "advertising helps keep the masses dissatisfied with their mode of life... Satisfied customers are not as profitable as discontented ones."

It's always your fault you're not perfect. Does Gayle DeLong really think her cancer is her children's fault? Or is it her fault because "I didn’t question the established wisdom concerning vaccines, and my kids have autism"? Don't conspiracy theories always articulate the idea, 'You should have known better! But here's the fix for your ignorance!'? How stupid you were to trust Monsanto or Merck! But you can fix everything by buying supplements and super-foods from the Health Ranger!

HDB wrote: "I am concerned to see an economist sinking to this level of magical thinking."

Ha! That's a Laffer! What did you expect?

I didn't say I was surprised.

Taking a sledge hammer to my breast may indeed kill the cancer, but what about the organ that lies directly under my breast, my heart? If 10 or 20 years from now I develop a heart condition – which is also unheard of in my family – would it be the result of the radiation or just bad stuff happening to good people? The cancer experts don’t care; after all, the cancer didn’t return!

I guess if you are preparing yourself to ignore the advice of experts, the first step is to convince yourself that those experts are dishonest and that oncologists don't care about side-effects.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

I do believe the esteemed Dr. Crislip has stated (in some fashion) that all disease comes from three things: germs, genes & wear and tear. I like to add a 4th: __it happens

By nutritionprof (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

This woman seriously pisses me off. I mean really. I don't wish ill of any human being and I am sorry about her diagnosis, but to blame your own children! I have a delightful 3 y/o (and a bun cooking who is cursing me with nearly intractable nausea) and I don't blame them for my life! Is it stressful? Absolutely! I mean really, there are only so many times a sane person can watch Wreck-It Ralph before contemplating suicide but I'm still not blaming my illnesses on my small child's temper tantrums over going to bed or insistence on watching Peppa Pig non-stop for hours straight. They are your children, the joy you got to feel growing in your body and hold for the first time marveling at their tiny little hands and feet. I can't imagine not loving my child and doing everything I can for him every day. To blame your cancer on caring for your children wow that takes the cake for me. Plus to complain that we are finally beginning to make strides in public understanding and acceptance of autistic children and adults. Wow. Just wow it's all I can say.

I guess if you are preparing yourself to ignore the advice of experts, the first step is to convince yourself that those experts are dishonest and that oncologists don’t care about side-effects.

No, they're not even interested. Oh, wait.

Maybe it was her "milk of human kindness".

By daedalus2u (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Chemmomo: You may get your wish. The whole site is down. I suspect one of the clueless tried to take the post down, and took the whole site offline.

Personally, I hope someone shows that post to CPS, and she never sees her kids again. What a horrible ghastly woman. I hope she goes bankrupt.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

The really sad part in all of this, is that her "brethren" over at AoA & other "alt-med" groups are going to convince her to abandon any conventional therapies and go full-on alternative...which means that, most likely, she will have sentenced herself to a very long and painful death.

I wouldn't wish something like this on my own worst enemy, but already the comments on that story are attempting to take her down a very dark path....with all of the usual Cancer quack cures.

You're probably right. The post I was originally going to blog about early this AM before I saw DeLong's post was a post over at The (Not-So)-Thinking Moms' Revolution touting homeopathy to prevent "vaccine injury." Holy hell. But this one's more up my alley.

You can't win with such a patient. I'd recommend not operating on them, since they won't follow up one efforts will be largely wasted. Let them choose magical thinking or medicine but do not be drawn into a situation where one may be blamed (sued) for a bad outcome while denigrated (and possibly sued) for a good one when the patient attributes any desirable outcome to shaken water or whatever, and declares the surgery an unnecessary predation.
This will also direct resources to someone less wealthy who will actually follow up.

By Spectator (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

The *stress leads to cancer* ( and other illnesses) myth is alive and kicking amongst alties esp @ PRN where it thrives:

I was diagnosed with Stage I Breast Cancer 20 years ago. I tried my damnedest to figure out what caused it. One of the things I figured out was that whether or not stress causes cancer, I can offer plenty of anecdotal evidence that cancer causes stress.

The really sad part in all of this, is that her “brethren” over at AoA & other “alt-med” groups are going to convince her to abandon any conventional therapies and go full-on alternative…

I almost said something about the halfwitted AoA comments recommending "alkalinization," etc., but I tend to suspect that DeLong is able to recognize base idiocy so long as it's not her own.

@ Lawrence:

I believe that 'brethren' is incorrect-
it's more like 'cistern'
oops, I mean, 'sistren'.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

able to recognize base idiocy
I see what you do there, Narad.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

You can’t win with such a patient. I’d recommend not operating on them, since they won’t follow up one efforts will be largely wasted.

I'm going to go with "ah, no" here. This isn't organ transplantation.

Thanks, HDB. I wouldn't have caught Narad's pun.

Very good, sir Narad! Thous dost have an acid tongue!

Stacy wrote:

Wow. Autistic children aren’t even children anymore. They’re cancer causing agents. I think that may finally be the worst thing I’ve ever read a parent write.

That's why I don't read AoA. It just gets worse. This comment to Delong may win the prize, for the day anyway... or not...

Hi Gayle. You have said it perfectly by addressing the complete fools who think autism is something to celebrate and view it as just another way of being. The most astonishing thing I have ever read on a blog from one of these types was a mother who stated that her child was just simply "wired differently than your average bear." She is taking something as serious as this and trying to make it sound cute. So to this mindless mom I would ask, if she ended up with breast cancer would it mean that she believed that her cells just divide differently than your average bear and she wasn't sick or there was no need to panic?

ASD child: sick, ugly, broken, infectious, deadly, unstoppabele. PANIC TIME!

To me the marvel is how well this cobbled together bits of this and that functions and how often it actually all works, even when the rotating blades are constantly bombarded.

I've been semi-jokingly referring to the 'Russian Dancing Bear' model of biology/anatomy/evolution for years.

As they say, people applaud the Russian dancing bear at the circus. They do not applaud because it dances particularly well; they applaud because it is frankly amazing it can dance at all.

Frankly, I am still amazed at how anybody can look at the sheer mess of anatomy and biology as we understand it today and not realize that, yeah, this is the result of billions of years of hack-jobs and patches that all just barely worked well enough to survive to the next generation. (And not even the end result either, just another version that will continue to be patched. Lactase persistence, for one, is a mutation that post-dates agriculture.)

By Jenora Feuer (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Sadmar: "ASD child: sick, ugly, broken, infectious, deadly, unstoppabele. PANIC TIME!"

This is why these people revolt me. I don't know why the mothers (and it's usually the mothers) don't just pack up and leave if they hate their children so much. It makes you wonder whether they'd be capable of raising a kid who went deaf from measles or suffered paralysis from tetanus. It's odd how this generation of parents is so incapable of dealing with disabled children, given that we now have more tools than ever to make disabled people's lives easier.

The only thing *worse* than their comments about living autistic children are when they pretend to cry over dead autistic kids. It's disgusting, especially in the Spourdalakis case, where the whole lot of them should be charged for incitement to murder.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Jenora Feuer's comment about the jerry-rigged, barely-good-enough nature of physiology apply as well to psychology. Rather than demonise people who crack up under stress, I am more inclined to marvel at how many people cope with terrible situations without going calenture hatstand.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

@47 - she really socks it to those mindless moms who love their kids, doesn't she? Imagine the nerve of a parent taking good care of a child, instead of abusing him!

Agreed, herr doktor.

Interestingly, although woo-meisters forever implicate stress as causing all manner of serious illness they forever RAMP UP stress and fear in their advocates by endlessly listing all of the dangerous food, toxins, the contaminated, medicine-laced water and heavy metals they ingest, the dangerous, polluted air they breathe, the radiation that surrounds them, the 'toxic relationships' they maintain, the demonic corporations, criminal doctors and police state governments that plague them as well as earthquakes,civil wars, riots, tsunamis and solar flares- which are all on the way.

Is alt med an avoidable source of malignant stress that endangers well-being?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

It’s odd how this generation of parents is so incapable of dealing with disabled children, given that we now have more tools than ever to make disabled people’s lives easier.

The previous few generations generally dealt with mentally disabled children by sending them off to some institution and rarely if ever seeing them again. It's definitely not a bad thing that that is not socially acceptable anymore, but it did make day-to-day dealing with them easier for the parents.

By justthestats (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

HDB wrote: “I am concerned to see an economist sinking to this level of magical thinking.”

Ha! That’s a Laffer! What did you expect?

...
I am staring at that post, thinking really hard, hoping your brain will catch on fire. That was awful.

By Chan Kobun, th… (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Mike Adams' quote caught my eye:

As any real scientist knows, everything that happens in our universe has a cause.

Like, maybe, the radioactive decay of a single nucleus you happen to be watching?

This is BS of an especially high order. If he keeps this up, he will soon rise to the level of the guru of BS, the great, great, and inimitable -- or, maybe, all too imitable -- Deepak.

By palindrom (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

I dunno, Orac. You may have had some fun with the TM's inspirational 'Homeopathy Saved My Daughter's Life, Prevented Autism, and Fixes Everything!' post.

The first comment:
" I’ve had the same success with helping my dogs with vaccine-induced damage."

Yes, the conspiracy is so immense it includes the vet clinics at Petco, the villains so cruel they go after Fido! I wonder if she uses homeopathy for heartworm. Somebody call PETA. Seriously, this woman is going to kill her dog.

Like, maybe, the radioactive decay of a single nucleus you happen to be watching?

I'm surprised that the NSA hasn't called upon Mikey to dispatch that whole "one-time pad" business.

"There is virtually no cancer in my family" " a heart condition – which is also unheard of in my family "

So, her family has avoided the 2 diseases that kill the vast majority of people. Are they all extremely accident prone, or perhaps immortal.

By Greenwhat (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Hi PGP:

I don’t know why the mothers don’t just pack up and leave if they hate their children so much.

I think they don't leave, or put their kids in someone else's care, because (per #30) it's really themselves they hate deep down. We've previously discussed the possibility narcissistic tendencies may be common among the AoA/TM crowd. For all their self-centered-ness, narcissists are hollow inside and feel horribly inadequate.

It's actually worse than hating their kids, because to hate them, they would have to recognize them as human beings. I don't think they do. They seem to treat their ASD kids as extensions of themselves, not as, you know, actual people with any kind of individuality.

So they can't leave the kids because they know they can't leave themselves. They would lose their source of self-flaggelation for having been duped by the conspiracy, and their source of self-inflation through martyrdom.

I mean, it's always a conversion narrative, right? It's never 'well i was always all-natural, and my kids are great, and I'm just so heartbroken by those kids across town who got thimerisal poisoning'. It starts with a confession of sin. 'I was blind. I didn't know. Fool that I was, I trusted the Dr. How did I not see the horns coming from her forehead?' Then they recognize they have punished for their sin, in the form of having to care for a sub-human alien. The kid is their hair-shirt, their 39 lashes, the cross they must drag up to calvary. But the purpose of having a cross is climb up up on, show the world your wounds and speak your revelations! Truth from suffering turns the tables on sin and converts it the heroic messianic sacrifice of martyrdom. The world shall know my story and be saved!

The kid is just a prop in the passion play, but a necessary one. No kid, no cross. No cross, no platform. No platform, no listeners. No listeners, and they're alone with their hollow selves. Their kids are their identity badges, their super-hero uniforms. Without them, they would be naked and lost. But that only works as long as the kids are objects.

@ sadmar:

Unfortunately, for all of their talk about '@ss kicking' feminism and 'revolution', these women most likely rely upon traditional roles, like being a wife and mother, for the basis of their identity and self-esteem. The fact that their children require additional assistance compared to average kids puts them in a position to add 'martyr' to their resume. A few talk sadly about the loss of their careers which seems to betray their ambivalence about their supposedly cherished role as the *ne plus ultra* mamacita.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

justthe stats: "It’s definitely not a bad thing that that is not socially acceptable anymore, but it did make day-to-day dealing with them easier for the parents."

That's the problem..it didn't make it easier for the parents. A few, yes. There are parents for whom a diagnosis is only a confirmation of what they already knew and is useful as a roadmap, and for those, the relationship with the child never changes. But a lot of parents lose that relationship with the child, leading to all sorts of abuses and often, straight up filicide. The kids might as well be raised by strangers for all the warmth they're going to get from an anti-vax parent.
And these days, parenting is such a competitive sport that raising even a deaf or a blind child would be almost impossible for your average suburban hothouse flower-er, housewife.

Sadmar: I think you're right. The few trolls I've actually exchanged words with could never accept that people with autism were people, or for that matter, that they could grow up to be fairly successful adults.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 07 Nov 2014 #permalink

Well, I don’t DISagree with any of the people above who feel sorry for this woman’s children, especially because she seems to think they are the worst thing in the world, BUT--depending on the level of disability, I can see where raising even one--let alone two--autistic children could lead to despair. Still, I think I would lean more to suicide than to such deep resentment of my own children. Perhaps she is deeply depressed. It must be devastating to get a cancer diagnosis on top of raising challenging children, no matter how you feel about your children’s condition.

Well, I don’t DISagree with any of the people above who feel sorry for this woman’s children, especially because she seems to think they are the worst thing in the world, BUT--depending on the level of disability, I can see where raising even one--let alone two--autistic children could lead to despair. Still, I think I would lean more to suicide than to such deep resentment of my own children. Perhaps she is deeply depressed. It must be devastating to get a cancer diagnosis on top of raising challenging children, no matter how you feel about your children’s condition.

Hang on, I thought stress caused AIDS?
Or was I in the wrong quackosphere....?

I am just surprised she hasn't cut out the supposed middleman and labelled it "Vaccine induced breast cancer"

I'm on the spectrum, so is my husband, and so are most of our five children (all independent adults, most parents themselves). I have EDS and most of the disabilities that go with that.

I had pre-cancerous ovarian tumours in my thirties, leading to total hysterectomy.

Yes, all of those are challenging (I wouldn't wish post-partum depression on my worst enemy, if I had one). But blaming autism (or vaccines) for the cancer is nonsense, and expecting medals for just living my life would be outrageous.

I'm at low risk for breast cancer (late menarche, early menopause, lots and lots of breast feeding) but even so, I've had my lumps checked out (always benign).

Having had 'friends' with narcissistic personality disorder, and having had to cope with all the drama that comes with being one of their 'extras' in their self-directed plays, I'm in agreement with Sadmar's comment at 59.

To them, their children aren't people. If they aren't disabled, then they are expected to fulfil the narcissistic parent's dreams for them, regardless of their own hopes and desires; and if they have the temerity to be unable, through disability, to be Proud Mama's Reflection of Her Awesomeness, then they become props in her martyrdom.

By tiggerthewing (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Doug
Funnily enough, perfumes and cosmetics are, in general perception, steeped into the natural fallacy really bad.

The aromachemicals, natural or synthetic, are not exactly benign but it's no secret. Yes, a lot of plant stuff is photosensitizing, for example citrus oils... One year, I grew a pigmented moustache from eating too many oranges. I even found references in medical literature that describe this phenomenon. I was aware that this may happen, washed my mouth and used sunscreen but it still did happen. And those were perfect organic oranges from the farmer's market.
Yes, perfume components are potential allegens/irritants, as just about anything. Funnily enough, people who don't wink an eye about showing MMS aka bleach into all their orifices go all bonkers about cologne because it contains scary-sounding things like hydroxycitronellal or geraniol. These occur naturally, geraniol makes most of the rose scent, for example. And perfectly natural nice-smelling coumarin and related compounts are actually poisonous. I don't know to what extent coumarin is used in perfumery but the tonka bean extract is used in natural perfumery and tonka beans are a great source of coumarin....

By Kultakutri (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

If nothing else, ORAC gives the heartless as place to practice their art.

"Natural" cosmetics bug me on a conceptual level. Isn't the very point of cosmetics to improve on nature?

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Kultakutri:

Tonka bean is often used in non-natural perfumery as well:
I don't recall exactly *which ones* but I know I've seen it listed amongst ingredients of several fashionable scents
( perhaps something buy Calvin Klien). I don't think that I have any examples currently at home. It may be used as a substitute for vanilla.

There are a few perfume sales sites which list ingredients for each speciifc scent however I haven't had any luck searching the 'net by that speciifc ingredient today.

It seems I personally choose scents that mix diverse fruits and flowers with more exotic additions like incense, patchouli, vanillas, cedar, tea, amber, almonds, spices etc.
As opposed to more 'natural' simple oils.

I believe that a very famous scent was created to smell speciifically un-natural for Mlle Chanel. I.e.* Moderne*

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

That should be KLEIN

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

So if you develop colon polyps, there is a cause for it, and that cause is without question related to the foods you’re consuming, because that’s what is in contact with your small intestine, large intestine and colon.

Couple of questions for the Health Deranger:
- if contact with food causes intestinal polyps and cancer, why are neoplastic polyps and cancers far less common in the small intestine than the large intestine?
- if he's such a health expert, maybe he could explain the difference between "large intestine" and "colon", and why the omission of "rectum"?

tonka beans are a great source of coumarin
Also, most disappointing Christmas gift ever.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

Ross:
That we are outraged at this woman's ingnorant, self-absorbed and thoughtless (to her own children) comments is seen by you as "heartless." So be it. I think you will also see that many of us have commented that we are sorry that she's ill and wish her a full recovery. I think that risking her own life with quackery at her children's peril is actually pretty heartless. From her writing, I can tell you that I don't like her. I don't have to, but I wish her no ill will and a swift recovery. Nobody deserves to go through this. I wear your ill thought out scorn as if it were a medal of honor.

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

"– if he’s such a health expert, maybe he could explain the difference between “large intestine” and “colon”, and why the omission of “rectum”?"

"Colon" is Spanish for "Large Intestine".

"Rectum" is the place where Mike Adams' head is firmly embedded.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

I hope that someone at AoA has the sense to take it down

Speaking of which, did anybody notice the abrupt disappearance of the AoA banner stating that donations are now tax-deductible? I tidied the screen shot out of existence before noticing that they had removed it.

Narad: Don't ask me, since the whole freaking site refuses to show up for me.

Ross: I was the only one who wished this lady ill, and I simply said I hope she goes bankrupt and had her kids taken away. That's hardly heartless; in fact, I'm giving her way more sympathy than she deserves

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Politicalguineapig: Spectator did wish her ill in #40, much mre than you did

You can’t win with such a patient. I’d recommend not operating on them, since they won’t follow up one efforts will be largely wasted.

Recommending science-based treatment be denied to someone with a fatal disease is pretty heartless. 

@Ross, you'll notice, I hope, that no one else agreed with that.  

Looks like ol' Ross was another drive-by. We shall not see his like . . . until the next one storms in with the Argumentum ad Big Meanium.

By Pareidolius (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

"– if contact with food causes intestinal polyps and cancer, why are neoplastic polyps and cancers far less common in the small intestine than the large intestine?"

I think because the contents of the small intestine are more diluted and as water gets reabsorbed the carcinogens become concentrated.

Narad that banner went up ~ one week ago and it was featured on AoA's Facebook page.

LW: Right, I missed that. Spectator kinda has a point, but doctors can't refuse to treat patients regardless of the patient's personality or publicly stated opinions. If they did, most of Congress would be out of luck.

Personally, I think bankruptcy and losing the kids is in the top ten of worst things you can wish on a person. I can't stomach wishing someone dead right now (due to personal reasons) and the top worst thing isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

"I bet nobody here can produce a study showing that chemtrails don’t cause autism."

Sure I can. Find someone to fund it and I could do it. It may not be a valid study (and it is certainly not what you are actually talking about). But, hey, that happens all the time in autism. Dwoskin/Segal/SafeMinds/Generation Rescue/etc. fund a study and, Hooker/Geier/Shaw/someone produces a result.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 08 Nov 2014 #permalink

Well, I don’t DISagree with any of the people above who feel sorry for this woman’s children, especially because she seems to think they are the worst thing in the world, BUT–depending on the level of disability, I can see where raising even one–let alone two–autistic children could lead to despair. Still, I think I would lean more to suicide than to such deep resentment of my own children. Perhaps she is deeply depressed. It must be devastating to get a cancer diagnosis on top of raising challenging children, no matter how you feel about your children’s condition.

PGP, I'm working on the process of adopting an autistic child which will take few years to do so. But the fact is, I met a number of autistic parents who are raising autistic child and both (the parent and the child unless proved otherwise) are vastly more intelligent than I am (I only have a 119 IQ score on the Raven) and they confirmed what I deducted out of my own experience of helping raise a neurotypical child from 10 y/o up to her current 16 y/o for one key detail: she know how to assess me and help me to the degree that she can help me deal with 95% of my problems. Period. I remember having said that in a previous thread. The thing is, she helped me a royal lot during those years; probably as much as her mother (my best friend). I'm looking forward to raise an autistic child to the degree that the child will enlighten me to know how to raise him/her.

I'll postpone any further comments for later on. I had a really rough week and understand that my post might not be the most coherent post possible but tomorrow, I'm off of everything beside laundry. So I'll be able to give a more accurate answer.

G'night,

Alain

Personally, I think bankruptcy and losing the kids is in the top ten of worst things you can wish on a person.

I'm sure, given these examplars, that the remainder of the list will be fascinatingly well considered.

Perhaps she is deeply depressed. It must be devastating to get a cancer diagnosis on top of raising challenging children, no matter how you feel about your children’s condition.

This is why I follow the principle of not criticising someone until I have walked for a mile in their shoes. That way, it doesn't matter how much they dislike the criticism, because (1) I have a one-mile head start, and (2) I have their shoes.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

My mother died of breast cancer when I was 14. This was long before MMR, so it couldn't have been autism-induced, but I'm interested to learn from Dr DeLong that she thinks it may have been looking after me and my brothers that lay behind my mother's suffering.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Alain: I'm not sure who you were quoting- possibly Denice- but that's not my comment in the blockquotes. Anyway, good luck with the adoption, and don't worry about the IQ thing. There are a number of books about the problems with IQ testing, and the most important thing about parenting is a high tolerance for mistakes and mess. And a sense of humor.

Narad: Well, I personally think sexual assault is the worst thing to wish on a person or to suffer through. No one blames murder victims or theft victims. Plus victims of SA lose family and friends immediately.
Bankruptcy is awful unless you happen to be rich, since people need money to live at least in the states. And death- well, that's awful and legally actionable.

In this particular case, losing her kids would be problematic for "Dr.." Delong, since she has little identity outside of being a "mother" to autistic kids. (Putting mother in quote marks because as I mentioned in an earlier thread, the parent-child relationship has long been severed.) Also, someone should write to her alma mater about rescinding that degree.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Sorry, I was a bit too harsh on Dr. Delong. What can you really expect from someone who studied- and teaches entrail reading for the new millenium?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Then, there's this anecdotal story.

When my developmentally disabled child was young and I was caring for him 24/7/365, I developed a duodenal ulcer. A few years after, damn science proved that caring for a special needs child really doesn't cause duodenal ulcers.

But, you've got to give it to Ms DeLong. She is sufficiently in the know about how the game is played to fabricate an acronym for a nonexistent syndrome.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Bankruptcy is awful unless you happen to be rich, since people need money to live at least in the states.

Bankruptcy is a way for individuals to preserve meager assets. It doesn't work if you're rich.

Most nobody wants to declare bankruptcy, but likening it to losing one's children (and, now, sexual assault) simply demonstrates how disconnected from reality you are.

The critters at AoA have done their "research" on the internet and a making recommendations for Ms. DeLong "treatments", including this one:

"I have never had to battle cancer, but I have seen lots of reports on successful alternative methods. Dr. Burzinsky and avoiding sugar are two very popular notes on the Internet. Google "cancer glucose" to learn more.

Posted by: HeidiN | November 08, 2014 at 08:39 AM"

I was diagnosed with DCIS in my left breast in late 2011. I had 2 surgeries & underwent a newer protocol of 16 days of higher dose radiation. My radiologist was careful to explain that there were ways of "bending " ( my simplistic term) the radiation around my heart; just a sliver of my lung was in the radiation path. Since her husband was a cardiologist, she was very aware of the need to keep my heart out of the path of the radiation..

The process was kinda fascinating in a weird way. I could see the machine cycle from 1 side of my chest to the other; I only got zapped from the sides .

@hdb

This is why I follow the principle of not criticising someone until I have walked for a mile in their shoes. That way, it doesn’t matter how much they dislike the criticism, because (1) I have a one-mile head start, and (2) I have their shoes.

The first part is a rule I'm trying to follow, whenever I manage to remember to act a decent human being.
The second part made my day.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Oh well, I take a 24hr break from viewing that cyber-asylum and find hat Dan is praising his personal god(dess) of journalism, her book and her book party. Jameson is again carrying on about vaccine injury and readers provide DeLong with medical advice.
( non-existent) Lord almighty! What's a sceptic to do?

HOWEVER one of my minions sent me an article which I will share yesterday's TPM LiveWire:
'Chris Hayes Grills Sharyl Attkisson Hacking Claim'.
She's precious, isn't she?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

‘Chris Hayes Grills Sharyl Attkisson Hacking Claim’.
She’s precious, isn’t she?

As I've already noted, Hayes isn't the only one.

Narad:
You seem to know a lot about law, but most people don't. I'm not surprised PGP is a bit confused about bankruptcy. There are different types, and different individual cases, of course, and I don't know all the angles well at all. But the option to declare personal bankruptcy is a great benefit for the not-well-heeled who get behind the credit 8-ball due to unforeseen circumstance.

The thing is, few people know that, because capital does all it can to add to the stigma of bankruptcy, and promote the idea that "it will ruin your life!" Obviously, the banks that lent out the money in the first place want to keep getting interest payments on a principal that will never go down.

There's a whole scam 'industry' of credit counselors preying on the stigma and vast public ignorance by luring debtors into schemes to avoid bankruptcy that just delay some immediate consequences and leave the client further in the whole.

I didn't know anything about individual bankruptcy until I was in my mid-30s. I think PGP is young enough (??) not to have had the life experiences that would reveal the "reality."

A few years ago, one of my former students (now friend) was living hand-to-mouth in L.A., trying to break into the film industry as a DP. He'd get gigs for a day or a week, on-again, off-again. Of course, he had no employer-based health-care, and considered a private plan beyond his budget. You know 20-somethings: they rarely get sicj and think they're immortal. So then his gall-bladder goes, and he's buried under massive hospital bills and maxed out high-interest credit cards. His dad had been a banker, and was adamant that he NOT go the bankruptcy route — filling his head with horror stories.

My take was that very-Republican dad was more "No son of MINE is going to run away from his obligations!" So my young friend tried to avoid it as long as he could, but then the creditors hired really vile and unscrupulous debt collectors to go after him, and he eventually had to file to avoid going to jail. Of course, that let him get back on his feet, to the point where he could afford a minimal health plan, and didn't affect his employment at all. He changed careers, got married, had a kid... happy ending.

Personal backruptcy is rarely an issue for the well-off. Rather, business bankruptcy is a way a lot of shady characters get well-off in the first place. There was a guy in my hometown who started a series of businesses that brought in a lot of cash-flow by undercutting the competition on price. Of course he was getting all his merch from vendors on long-payment terms, and once he'd drained off the income into an offshore bank account, he'd fold the business and leave the vendors in the lurch. Then he'd start another business and do it all over again. He was skillful enough that the law couldn't make a good case against him, and he could make his record look clean enough that a new set of vendors would let him open accounts without sensing a scam.

And then there's Enron...

Of course Sheryl's computer is acting weird. It's got a bug or two. She didn't want to risk the CPU becoming compu-atypical, so she didn't install an anti-virus program. Now her virtual brain is messing with herd immunity by embedding malware in all her outgoing emails.

From Robert Graham at Narad's link:

Attkisson quotes an "expert" using the pseudonym "Jerry Patel" saying that the hack is "far beyond the abilities of even the best nongovernment hackers".

Graham suggests anyone who would make such a statement is not a computer security expert, but a quack.

Perhaps Mr. Patel diagnosed the hack by feeling the computer's qi. But maybe not, as he surely could have set it right with Reiki, or accupressure on the network card, hard drive, CPU cooler.
........
Actually going to woo-web pages upsets me, so I don't check out the real deal often. But I was confused about something Denice reported and went to Celia Farber's FB page to check. Of course, she's all outraged about the Black Hacker conspiracy targeting Sheryll. But i had no idea how thoroughly detached from reality-in-general folks like Farber, Attkisson and their fans are. I thought they had delusions on this issue or that. But it's a total beyond Lewis Carroll fantasy land. They don't actually know ANYTHING about any of the stuff they carry on about. The operative definition of 'investigative journalism' seems to be 'ask another kook.' There's tons of literature on hacking, several books on Kevin Mitnick alone. Like other legendary hackers, Mitnick's tech skills were limited, and he relied on 'human engineering' to get unwitting folks to reveal passwords until he got to root. If Attkisson was the target of a minimally competent hack, she'd never be half the wiser.

The real fantasy here is the belief she has anything remotely incriminating to anyone on her computer, and that even if she did, anyone would actually care.

Whatever Happened to Sharyl Attkisson?

The parsimonious explanation is that nothing happened, and that she was always a self-glorifying bullsh1t artist with a propensity for making stuff up to support the narrative-du-jour, these traits fitting in perfectly comfortably into CBS journamalist. Until the gap between her obsessions and observable reality became too large to ignore.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

sadmar " had no idea how thoroughly detached from reality-in-general... "

Sure. I know that psychologists often speak of 'conflict-free zones' but there is also a general level of reason/or not in people's communication. Prior to landing in psychology , I first studied literature, writing and language, later I explored topics like the development of kids' cognition as revealed by their speech/ writing and the verbal productions of people with SMI as recounted by classical psychiatry and more recent psychological testing.

Needless to say, AoA is very interesting to me although I cannot OBVIOUSLY make any diagnoses from people I never met
( beside the ethical issue involved)

BUT we should never forget that these people are writing for an audience and there is competition to say the most outrageous things and to be the ultimate rebel or freedom fighter or whatever the h3ll it is they're idolising this week.

However, I will go as far as to say that- most likely- quite a few of the regular contributors at these outlets could, IMNSHO, benefit from counselling.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

I’m not sure who you were quoting- possibly Denice

PGP, tap your heals together and say "there is no place like 'find in text' under the browser's edit function"
=========================================

My radiologist was careful to explain that there were ways of “bending ” ( my simplistic term)

Nina, that sounds like a type of 'gamma knife' -- beams of rad are passed through the body from multiple directions so that no one cross-section/path is lethal yet the cumulative dose at the focii is. -- It doesn't 'bend' though there is still undesirable backscatter.

The one that moves around is called a Cyberknife
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyberKnife

It seems like a totally great idea some eggheads thought up; It didn't work out so well for Bruce Banner but he probably had more going through his mind than holding his breath while aiming.

By Wizzard of (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

This is fucking despicable.

I’m not sure who you were quoting- possibly Denice- but that’s not my comment in the block quotes

My mistake, I was quoting Dorothy (and ended up speaking to you about tiredness....)

Alain

about === out of

Wizard: I'm kinda in a hurry currently.

Alain: No sweat. Take care of yourself.

Narad: Generally, bankruptcy isn't a good thing. That's why I wished it on "Dr." Delong. I hope she recovers, but a dose of hard reality might be good for her, and it doesn't get much harder than a bed-bug infested studio in a down-at-heels part of town.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

Nina, that sounds like a type of ‘gamma knife’

Or something like prone AWBI + IMRT.

it doesn’t get much harder than a bed-bug infested studio in a down-at-heels part of town

That's not what bankruptcy means. I have already pointed this out. If you can't actually be bothered – after having been given directions clear – to unwind what you really mean, which is wishing some sort of selectively chosen fruition of your personal mass of inchoate fears upon someone else, then there's not just nothing worth saying, but nothing worth listening to.

The newest type of ink used for radiation treatment of breasts is invisible. I've seen the dark blue ink tattoos on White women (and I never really thought about the difficulty locating those tiny dark blue ink tattoos on women with darker skin):

http://radiationtherapynews.com/2014/11/07/breast-cancer-patients-benef…

It's not just the down-at-heals locales you have to worry about when it comes to bedbug infestations in apartments:

http://www.nyshcr.org/aboutus/offices/housingoperations/2010_b07.htm

I'm so bedbug phobic that I never unpack my suitcase in a hotel/motel. What cannot be hung up, stays sealed in closed luggage on a luggage rack.

It didn’t work out so well for Bruce Banner but he probably had more going through his mind than holding his breath while aiming.

"What's going through your mind right now?"
"A whole lot of gamma rays."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Nov 2014 #permalink

"wishing some sort of selectively chosen fruition of your personal mass of inchoate fears upon someone else"

To be fair, that pretty much describes PGP's entire posting history.

Again, I'm late to the party and what I was thinking has already been said better than I could.

She doesn't really care about her children. For these mother-martyrs, the child is an extension of the self. Extensive self-purification and self flagellation will no doubt cast the changeling out and reunite the Good Child with the Good Mother, and both shall look down upon the Bad Mother, who has the temerity to be a working mother or let their child eat a hamburger on a white bun.

Bankruptcy is often used colloquially to describe the process of going into increasing debt, losing your savings, and selling off a substantial portion of your assets before the actual bankruptcy which, as Narad says, is for the protection of assets and a mediated way to settle with creditors. Of course, both the run up to bankruptcy and the bankruptcy itself will destroy the person's credit rating. If you file for bankruptcy in a timely way (i.e. before you completely run yourself out of money), then I'm told it can be a good thing. There's the whole "you've failed personally and given up on paying your debts" thing, but that's a cultural artifact and not a moral failing.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 10 Nov 2014 #permalink

"I have autism-induced breast cancer (AIBC). While I am not absolutely certain that the 1.9 centimeter lump that grew in my left breast is the result of the stress of raising two autistic children, all indications point in that direction. "

Translation: "I couldn't think of anything else, so therefore my kids' autism is killing me!"

I have to admit, it's definitely a novel approach for making your child's autism all about you.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 10 Nov 2014 #permalink

Gayle DeLong's suggestion that her children played a role in her breast cancer diagnosis is patently absurd, which is why Age Of Autism will gleefully post it.

Of course, both the run up to bankruptcy and the bankruptcy itself will destroy the person’s credit rating.

While credit utilization apparently accounts for 30% of FICO, so long as those bills are actually being paid until the filing, it's not of much consequence in the long run – a brief look around suggests mid-600's until the hammer falls.

ORAC makes sure only those who side with him can post. So what's with that?

By ORAC is WHACK (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink