This week marked the beginning of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for my wife. She still maintains that her treatment will result in being cured and that come sometime in February, she will be able to resume her life.
Let me break this down in a little more detail.
First, chemotherapy is being used because leeches are like so Middle Ages. Chemotherapy is the purposeful injection of poison into your body that works much like the theory of the game “chicken”. You hope the “bad” cells are killed before the “good” ones. Depending on the dosage and frequency of treatment this may or may not work. However, it turns out, your body and immune system take a beating. Oh, to get your body to tolerate the chemo drugs, they give you other stuff before and after.
Radiation is more of the same. It is trying to concentrate a lethal dose of this unseen killer at a particular point or points in the body. As mentioned in a previous installment, the radiated tissue must be removed in a window five to ten weeks after “treatment” ends. Also, they forget to remind you that all the tissue which the radiation passes thru to get to the cancer takes a beating as well. The military would call this collateral damage but guys in white lab coats call it medicine.
Oh, my wife’s new basis for claiming that she will be cured is that the doctor filled out her initial disability application and said that the soonest that she could return to work would be February 2022. In her mind this means that she will be cured by February. Is this an example of childlike faith or utter delusion? I think the latter. In my opinion, my wife’s optimism is that of a five-year-old aspiring to be the next Disney Princess. This may be cute when looking at five-year-old children but in adults its disturbing.
As to the actual treatment. We were at the hospital for just over seven hours for the first round of chemo instead of the expected two and a half to three hours. My wife had a reaction to the drug, and it took much longer than advertised. After a few hours at home, she had a horrible headache and was not allowed to take any medication for the pain. (The following day she was told Tylenol would be ok to take.) In addition, while she has no fever, it looks like she spent 14 hours in the sun yesterday as her skin is a very bright shade of red; especially her face.
Two days later, my wife is lethargic and had some nausea. There is a prescription for that if she remembers to take it. She also spent a few hours in bed but was unable to nap so she opted to read a book.
The treatment train has left the station. I plan to post another update in about a week as we travel thru this journey.
Sad stories aren’t typically reserved for a Friday afternoon, hopefully this blog airs some other time. But this blog will showcase alcoholism and how it affects a person, a family, and their inner circle.
A close friend of mine from back in the day used to live kitty corner from us. We were thick as thieves, the two of us were. Best friends, our parent’s best friends as well. It seemed we did everything together or were always with the other one’s parents going/doing something. My mother hired his mother, and my dad and his dad were always working on a project or working on a 12 pack. Everything was great until I went off to college. Suddenly his parents were having major relationship issues. I never really understood it, but in a sense, I chalked it up to him being a hot-headed prison guard and her being a strong woman. Anyhow the relationship started boiling over very quickly. Suddenly the arguments almost came to fisticuffs, nasty exchanges were the regular. He could not get away from her quickly enough or stay away long enough. I never really understood it. They eventually had the world’s messiest divorce, literally fighting over the smallest things.
Things started becoming clearer after a couple years, my mom would never be able to see her because she was “sick all the time.” Literally plans made weeks/days/months in advance were cancelled, at the last minute…. sometimes literally the last minute. There were rumors of heavy drinking, but in all honesty, the household and groups I grew up around, most parents enjoyed a drink or two after work. Nothing out of the ordinary. I found out later she was actually guilty 3 separate times of taking a break at work, going to her car and sipping on a flask. Keep in mind she worked for my mother. She was caught all 3 times by parents at the school, never once was she disciplined.
The last-minute cancellations continued but things took yet another turn for the worse. She had moved in with her mother to save money and continued her drinking ways. Worse yet, hiding it from her 87-year-old mother. When my mother and I would visit, it was not uncommon to see her taking bathroom breaks or pouring something from behind the cover of the fridge door directly into a coffee cup. Clearly this was the rule not the exception.
My friend came home for a long weekend, flew in from out of state (upper Midwest) to visit his mother, he knew it wasn’t great, but felt obligated as any son would. I dropped him off, and saw his mother on a small trike, as she had broken her foot from falling (likely alcohol induced, but I cannot say for sure.) She fell repeatedly off her trike, and I decided after about 15 minutes, that it was time for me to leave. It was 9 AM. Not long after, my mother received a call as my friend had “disappeared.” I called him and he was driving (his own car was left here) back to the upper Midwest. Yeah, he had seen enough after a short stay.
The DUI charges also began racking up, with 4 happening over a 20-year period. She called me once to ask for a tow company while not knowing where she was saying only “I’m on the side of a freeway.” Folks Sacramento doesn’t have too many freeways, the northeast corner has even fewer. I cannot recall a time when I didn’t know where I was whilst stranded on the side of the roadway. This story led to bracelets around her wrists and a trip to the blue roof inn to detox.
She has been in and out of rehab more times than anyone can count. When my mother would visit, she would routinely smell booze on her breath and be told, “there is more being drank inside these walls than outside.” Sad but there is far more, and it only gets worse.
After about 3 years, my mother finally figured she just had to show up unannounced. She did, and likely regretted it. Her friend had the front door open only the screen closed, it wasn’t locked. She found her friend on the couch, half clothed. Jack in the Box burger and partial order of uneaten fries on the table. She claimed it was her lunch, the time was 3:45. Two drained bottles of wine rested not far from where she was seated. My mother inquired as to how she obtained the beverage and food. The response was door dash for the food, and AM PM delivers wine. Most disturbingly, she said she just can’t help herself in regard to drinking. Her friend had finally lost her license after several major surgeries and DUI’s. She had bruises on her body, from falling. Her friend used to be a well-built woman, not fat or heavy by any means, and was always on the cutting edge of fashion. Now she ambles around with a walker, and likely weighs 100 lbs. while being 6’3. Her legs are the size of golf balls, she is all skin and bone. She refuses additional help, or rehab, and my mother was quickly whisked away. Her son does not wish to see her again, but she wants to leave all kinds of money behind for him so he can love her.
In conclusion this is what addiction does to the human body. My mom’s friend likely won’t last until Christmas, and it is no fault of anyone but her own. She didn’t want to work for the State anymore despite being only a few years way from being fully vested, instead she went to work for my mother. She became parttime worker, fulltime drinker. Any amount of the grape or beer or hard liquor will eventually cause major damage to the human body. The DUI’s just put the toll in real dollars as opposed to physical appearance. She ruined her marriage, her relationship with her son, and all her friends because her world revolved around drinking. It’s sad but it happens quite often. She couldn’t even slow herself down when her son visited …because like any other addict, they do not care. Most disturbing was the comment about having AM/PM, a gas station by the way, delivering your beverage of choice. If there is such thing as a rock bottom, that has to be scraping pretty close to it.
At 74, I’m sure this was not her idea of the glory years unless happiness is staring at a bottle and hoping to drain it in one night. College days are over, and you have ignored warnings from the health community, you had parts of your colon, and stomach removed, and you are still refusing to change your ways. Lunch isn’t served at 3:00, that only happens after passing out from drinking on an empty stomach. The empty calories “filled you up” and your body is lying to you as far as being full. The going to sleep isn’t because you need rest, it’s because your body can not take it any longer and needs a shut down. DUI may be a badge of honor at 25; it’s a sad story after 35. It’s flat depressing after 55, and unconscionable after 65. A lesson never learned. Now you are in serious peril of not making it to the next year. Friendships, marriage, and your only child, all lost because you couldn’t put the bottle down, even after several trips to rehab. It’s so bad folks that even her only brother is done with her, she moved in with her niece and was kicked out after 90 days due to you guessed it, her drinking. Addiction kills, sadly for this person. At least without a driver’s license, it won’t make her kill anyone else.
People get fooled by con artists all the time. It must work or why would so many people be trying to hustle us? Some of the best know Internet cons include: the Nigerian Prince promising you millions after you send 4 installments of several thousand, or your friend that has been robbed in some other country and turns to you to wire them money, or the person threatening to send your internet search history to your wife. The cons exist everywhere and prey on those unsuspecting. Corporations sometime get fooled as well; it happens, although no one gets fooled like ESPN did a week ago.
Check this story out.
ESPN a Disney subsidiary has been televising high school football games on Friday/Saturday and Sundays for several years now. These games highlight matchups of high school powerhouses traveling across state lines to play one another. In addition, they showcase junior and senior athletes that are some of the most sought after prospects by colleges across the country. These games are very popular as college recruiting has taken off in the last seven years. These games attract quite a few eye balls, and the matchups are intriguing. Also there isn’t much else to watch during this period on ESPN so it fills a time slot.
Now the con job comes into play.
One of the matchups featured Florida powerhouse IMG Academy vs Bishop Sycamore a school out of Ohio. The game was played and IMG won 58-0. IMG Academy is a school boasting between 15-20 players who will play high level Division 1 football upon graduating, including 7 in the top 100 of ESPN’s own ranking database as seniors. Bishop Sycamore claimed to have several Division 1 caliber athletes….emphasis on claimed. In the 3rd quarter with the game out of hand, the commentators wondered aloud why this game was being played and at one point even called into question player safety. Yes the game was that lopsided. Here is a quote from ESPN about this… Paragon who is referenced apparently is a broker in finding these matchups to be aired.
“We regret that this happened and have discussed it with Paragon, which secured the matchup and handles the majority of our high school event scheduling. They have ensured us that they will take steps to prevent this kind of situation from happening moving forward.”
So what happened exactly here? These same 2 squads matched up a year ago. Another quote regarding the “so called top players on Bishop Sycamore”
“Bishop Sycamore told us they had a number of Division I prospects on their roster, and to be frank, a lot of that, we could not verify,” ESPN’s announcers said during the game “They did not show up in our database, they did not show up in the databases of other recruiting services. … From what we’ve seen so far, this is not a fair fight.”
Well it isn’t hard to discover Bishop Sycamore is a fake school. First off, the term “Bishop” usually has an association with the catholic church/diocese in the area. The Columbus area diocese has no record or affiliation with this school. Ditto for the governing body of high school sports in all of Ohio. Bishop Sycamore claims they are a charter school but can’t claim a sponsoring entity. Maybe the following is why.
Bishop Sycamore is a scam, they are run by 2 men, Roy Johnson who has warrants out for his arrest for passing bad checks, among other things, and Andre Patterson a former Ohio State football player. Patterson is listed as director, and assistant football coach. (Update: Johnson was fired, now Patterson is in charge.) Patterson for his part continued the con job by saying the following about the talent on his “team”
“I try to defend when people who say, ‘Oh well, yeah, you lied about kids having Division I offers?’” Peterson said. “Well, I guess the best way for me to fight against that is having you sit down with us on signing day.”
Signing day is the day high school seniors make their decision of where to play in college. Mr. Patterson is either delusional or has lied to himself so much he actually believes his schtick. Bishop Sycamore had the wind taken out of its sails by a couple former “players” who said the class room consisted of just a building where we were told we could do classes, emphasis on could. The classes were allegedly put on by a prep school online. There was no practice schedule or field. They played in abandoned parking lots (yep) or fields at a local park. When I tell you “tuition” (I use that term loosely) was $2,000 a year, it may start to come into focus. This wasn’t a school; it was a glorified travel ball team. When they traveled to the host team’s site, they would stay in a hotel, several to a room, with fraudulent check writing Roy Johnson “fitting the bill.” One parent even said he wound up paying for the whole team once, as when he went to check-out, the front desk lady said no one had paid, and the credit card on file was rejected. My favorite was the team was evicted from its own “team lodging apartment complex.” The school has no address. It uses a PO Box and the website is too damn funny, it was taken down prior to publishing of this blog. My favorite part was under each school centric tab, the drop down menu would say coming soon. Here is the check writing shenanigans…
Canton Police Lt. Dennis Garren confirmed Wednesday that hotel management reported the team stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Canton South, 4025 Greentree Ave. SW, on Friday and Saturday, renting 25 rooms.
According to police reports, the hotel reported two invalid checks totaling $3,596. Garren said they were written on an account listed to Education Resources Group of New York, New York.
To further the con, the members of this team were a who’s-who of undesirable folks, and by saying that I mean no racial bias. Some of the players were 19 or 20 year olds making this squad a danger to those it played against. Additionally some had criminal records and would have been found ineligible just like the other “young adults.” These players were from all over the country and would have been impossible to track on a database.
Just check out what Coach Tayven Jackson has to say about the school his team “plays for”
Jackson spoke with NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend and answered questions about Bishop Sycamore, providing a fairly blunt assessment that actually seems to line up with what most people assumed in the first place.
“We do not offer curriculum,” Jackson told NBC4. “We are not a school. That’s not what Bishop Sycamore is, and I think that’s what the biggest misconception about us was, and that was our fault. Because that was a mistake on paperwork.”
Jackson later refers to Bishop Sycamore as a “post-grad football academy.”
NBC4 notes that when they pressed him on what that mistake was or entailed, Jackson didn’t provide any further information and said he didn’t know much about the paperwork, which was submitted to the Ohio Department of Education before he was hired.
They also pressed him on the fact that the “school” had reported a bell schedule for the prior year, beginning at 7:10 a.m. and going until 3:05 p.m. As for why a school that is not a school would have a bell schedule, Jackson had no answers. Bishop Sycamore head coach: ‘We are not a school’ but a ‘post-grad football academy’
Stunning. These schools pop up all over the country, some like IMG and others are legit, and can make your son/daughter into a much better athlete and earn that scholarship. Others like this Bishop Sycamore are also common, and they are a scam. This school didn’t even have an away uniform, so when they played IMG both schools were wearing black uniforms. They even started a gofundme.com page to raise money for their uniforms. Roy Johnson, Tayven Jackson and others all talk a good game, but it’s a load of crap. Check out this comment by a former player “lunch and dinner? Whatever we could steam from Walmart or a convenience store, they didn’t provide us with anything. What a fecal blizzard this whole thing is. ESPN is exclusively at fault here, they could have done some due diligence, even a little and it would have turned up this whole thing didn’t pass the smell test. By the way Sycamore played a game the Friday night prior to the Sunday game against IMG, this is dangerous on a whole nother level. These folks have zero regard for player safety. Folks football is glorified gladiator, I played it in High School, there is a reason the games are held once a week, it does a toll on your body. More crap from this scandal:
It was revealed that Johnson recruited the students with the prospect of “practicing at Ohio State‘s facilities.” In reality, they held practice outside of an apartment complex that housed students at Ohio State. The team also did not have athletic trainers, which resulted in the athletes playing injured. The apartments housing the students frequently evicted them after Johnson failed to pay rent. Many players already graduated from high school and there “were four or five kids that were 20, 21, [and] had children of their own.” A number of players had legal issues; at one point so many players had active arrest warrants that the team couldn’t fly to away games. One player actually joined the team immediately after being released from jail. The team also struggled with camaraderie; a former player claimed there were at least five fights at every practice. Heads should be rolling at ESPN but I mean does anyone even have cable anymore? I found out this story on the website awfulannouncing.com I visit every so often. I used to think the cable companies were a con job, turns out it’s the cable companies getting conned by a school, who in turn cons you the payor. Ouch. Glad ESPN could not be bothered to check the top high school player rankings they literally have on their website…ouch. Or maybe a Google search to see this school used to be called Christians of Faith Academy, which folded under the same scenario. Or their story about being affiliated with the third district of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, another lie as the church claimed to have zero affiliation with this group. An investigation showed money did exchange hands between the two…no shock most churches would take money from Satan himself today. Roy Johnson also used the church’s name and the school’s name when he was selling life insurance in another scam…. FACEPALM. there is a lot more out there folks. But man is this fun to write about. The worldwide leader in sports scammed by a group of guys who toss a pigskin round on a green belt. Only thing this story is missing is uncle Jimbo who could thro ball over them thar mountains, or stories about multiple DUI’s.
Folks if it sounds too good to be true it likely is.
PS: The name Bishop Sycamore Centurions I will say is a pretty scary sounding team to play against so I will give them some credit here. I however do not remember a bishop named after a tree in the Bible but oh well.
Treatment is finally scheduled. I should be happy about that but…
We finally have a start date for chemo and radiation in mid-September. The radiation is the heavy lifter in this treatment plan and the chemo is supposed to make the radiation more successful. This is penciled -in for five weeks. This will be followed by four to six weeks of waiting and then will be followed by surgery. Said surgery is just in time for the beginning of the holidays. And then everything is all better, or so my wife claims. (She keeps using variations of the word, “cured”.)
Folks, if having esophageal cancer was really this easy, then why are half of all patients diagnosed with this cancer, dead within 13 to 18 months of diagnosis? I guess in polite company we don’t ask, and they won’t volunteer it.
For those willing to listen, the talk with the radiologist was measured and cautious. No, “you probably won’t get burns on your skin” and “your hair probably won’t fall out”. Then the comment about “if you’re healthy enough, you can have surgery.”
Of course, the treatment is to shrink to tumor and then allow for surgery. “Yes, radiation shrinks the tumor, but you may develop sores in your esophagus that prevent you from eating what you want.”
The chemo/radiation treatments will decimate my wife’s immune system and necessitates locking down all household members in a manner that sounds suspiciously like the two weeks to flatten the curve nonsense inflicted on us during the spring of 2020. However, unlike then, wipes and toilet paper are easily obtainable. During this time, our son gets to go to school and back, while I’m the designated grocery shopper. My wife is expected to lose 20 to 25 pounds during this period of time and that’s without the doctor knowing that I will be the designated cook for much of this time.
As for the surgery, my wife has it in her head that it will be laparoscopic in nature and over in a short period of time. Color me skeptical. We will know in a few days when we meet with the surgeon.
Update after meeting with the surgeon.
The surgeon says the procedure must be performed between five to ten weeks after the end of the radiation treatments. Five weeks is to allow the presence and effects of chemo to dissipate and probably allow the immune system to recover slightly. The ten-week limit is due to the fact that irradiated tissue will become scare tissue making the success of the surgical procedure unlikely.
Now for the procedure itself. Here are some quotes related to what is scheduled to happen.
Surgery to remove some or most of the esophagus is called an esophagectomy. If the cancer has not yet spread far beyond the esophagus, removing the esophagus (and nearby lymph nodes) may cure the cancer. Unfortunately, most esophageal cancers are not found early enough for doctors to cure them with surgery.
Often a small part of the stomach is removed as well. The upper part of the esophagus is then connected to the remaining part of the stomach. Part of the stomach is pulled up into the chest or neck to become the new esophagus.
How much of the esophagus is removed depends upon the stage of the tumor and where it’s located:
If the cancer is in the lower part of the esophagus (near the stomach) or at the place where the esophagus and stomach meet (the gastroesophageal or GE junction), the surgeon will remove part of the stomach, the part of the esophagus containing the cancer, and about 3 to 4 inches (about 7.6 to 10 cm) of normal esophagus above this. Then the stomach is connected to what is left of the esophagus either high in the chest or in the neck.
The surgeon described the procedure as a transthoracic esophagectomy. This method is also known as the Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy. The technique was originally developed in 1946.
A transthoracic esophagectomy, also known as an Ivor Lewis esophagectomy, is a procedure in which part of the esophagus is removed. During this surgery, small incisions are made in the chest and another is made on the abdomen. The cancerous portion of the esophagus is removed, along with the surrounding lymph nodes and a small margin of healthy tissue above and below the tumor. The stomach is made into a cylinder, pulled up into the chest and connected to the remaining section of the esophagus.
The surgery has a few points of deciding go or no-go on going thru with the procedure.
Is patient physically able to undergo the surgery after the pounding their body endures from the chemo and radiation?
Does the presurgical PET scan show any spread of the cancer since patient has had the chemo and radiation treatment?
When surgery begins, following the incision into the chest and stomach area, the doctor does a visual inspection of tissues surrounding the cancerous area. If cancer has spread, then the surgery is aborted before it proceeds further.
The operation begins with an esophagoscopy to confirm the extent of tumor. On opening the abdomen, the right gastroepiploic artery is palpated and its fitness as the blood supply for the gastric conduit is confirmed. Abdominal exploration should confirm absence of liver metastases, extensive nodal disease, omental metastases, etc.
Comparison of complications reported in a recent series is hindered by the lack of uniform definitions of complications, the nonreporting of events, and the mixture of surgical approaches in some of the reports. The incidence of pneumonia has varied from 8% to 26%. Anastomotic leak has been detected in 3% to 8%. Mortality has varied between 1.4% and 10%. It is also known that esophagectomy is a procedure that is affected by hospital and surgeon volumes.
The surgeon said that a hospital stay of 7 or more days was common. Per reading that I have done, some post operative complication is likely. Per the American Cancer Society, here are likely risks:
Short-term risks include reactions to anesthesia, more bleeding than expected, blood clots in the lungs or elsewhere, and infections. Most people will have at least some pain after the operation, which can usually be helped with pain medicines.
Lung complications are common. Pneumonia may develop, leading to a longer hospital stay, and sometimes even death.
Some people might have voice changes after the surgery.
There may be a leak at the place where the stomach (or intestine) is connected to the esophagus, which might require another operation to fix. This is not as common as it used to be because of improvements in surgical techniques.
Strictures (narrowing) can form where the esophagus is surgically connected to the stomach, which can cause problems swallowing for some patients. To relieve this symptom, these strictures can be expanded during an upper endoscopy procedure.
After surgery, the stomach may empty too slowly because the nerves that cause it to contract can be damaged by surgery. This can sometimes lead to frequent nausea and vomiting.
After surgery, bile and stomach contents can back up into the esophagus because the ring-shaped muscle that normally keeps them inside the stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter) is often removed or changed by the surgery. This can cause symptoms such as heartburn. Sometimes antacids or motility drugs can help these symptoms.
Conclusion … for now.
Now that I have described what lies ahead, I have a few closing comments.
My wife continues to display signs that the cancer is still growing. She has more difficulty swallowing than a few weeks ago and each night she is now afflicted with lots of acid reflux after going to bed. She believes (and based on what I see, I agree) that her stomach is no longer sealing, (sphincter muscle is no longer closing her stomach). She believes that her tumor is preventing this system from working correctly.
I will update you further as we progress thru this treatment. I still remain pessimistic, but as I am but a spectator in the drama, which is about to unfold, my opinion is of limited value.
We here at the blog have warned you; lockdowns, extra $300 a week benefits, vax vs anti-vax, and general fear would eventually lead to issues in the overall economy. You likely thought we were tin foil hat wearing wackos. Well, include Sysco as a wacko as well, or maybe they are credible?
Sysco is the largest food distributor in North America. You may recognize their trucks delivering to restaurants. Sysco provides food supplies to restaurants, jails, schools, and most concert venues or event halls. Chances are if you go out or “grab a bite” somewhere you likely are eating something from a Sysco truck. Well Sysco reported earnings earlier this week and, on the call, gave these dire warnings and I quote.
Sysco, North America’s largest wholesale food distributor, which is turning away customers in some areas where demand is exceeding capacity.
“There are certain areas across the country that are more challenged by the labor shortage and our volume of orders is regularly exceeding our capacity,” Sysco Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hourican said in a letter to clients earlier this month. “This has, unfortunately, led to service disruptions for some of our customers.”
Hourican’s troubling observations were confirmed by an analysis from DecaData, which tracks retailer transactions with shoppers and manufacturers; it showed that retailers are bumping up against manufacturer capacity as they stockpile ahead of the holiday season. In July, the incidence of suppliers limiting or putting a cap on orders from customers was more than double what it was in January, its data show.
I know what you are thinking, its one supplier, crying wolf, well united Natural Foods is another large distributor, here is what they said.
Another major distributor, United Natural Foods is having trouble getting food to stores on time. The company blamed not just labor shortages, but also delays in the procurement of some imported goods like cheese, coconut water and spices, as causing the problems.
“We anticipate additional supplier challenges in the short term with gradual improvement through the fall and winter,” a United Natural Foods representative said. The company’s top priority is to support customers “by working diligently to recover and bring their shelves back to normal inventory levels as quickly as possible.”
Look at how desperate these corporations are to hire workers.
U.S. companies across industries are reporting a dearth of workers amid sweetened unemployment benefits, stimulus payments and a pandemic that has reduced the appeal of in-person employment. Houston-based Sysco is aggressively hiring warehouse workers and truck drivers and offering referral and sign-on bonuses along with retention money for current staff.
The entire food sector is seeing “massive labor shortages,” Benjamin Walker, senior vice president of sales, marketing and merchandising at Baldor Specialty Foods told Bloomberg. “Service levels are the lowest I’ve seen in my 16-year career, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon.” Finding truck drivers is “next to impossible,” he said, while freight costs are rising daily. The company’s orders are arriving late and consequently facing delays in being sent to customers. On the outbound side, on-time deliveries are still above 50% but have fallen from the usual rate of more than 90%.
“We all thought it would be over by now. It’s just one thing after another,” he said.
“This is going to be the norm for a while.”
Folks get ready. In addition to menu shortages, inflation is coming to restaurants in a very big way soon. For the elite, that means they may not have a steak on the menu, for the serfs, the chicken dish you ordered; they may be out of it. The price increases hit the corporations first as they have to buy from distributors, but they are coming to a grocer near you, mark my words. You can already see it in the “ads” each week, you may notice sales prices don’t seem as great anymore. You may have also heard about water and toilet paper shortages or quotas placed on how many you can buy. This is not a test or a joke people, we are facing inflation like never before seen in a millennial’s lifetime. A burger (2 patties) no cheese, or bacon at Five Guys runs almost $10, that does not include fries and a coke. That price would be laughable a year or two ago, it could be a sale price in another year.
Truth be told, the labor shortage is due to a variety of things, yes, the $300 a week is a thing still and will continue to be. Also, most truckers have worked non-stop with mandatory overtime since this started, they are burned out, and want/need a family life balance. As far as the slaughterhouses/production lines for veggies etc., those workers feel the same way, and frankly the wages are not typically conducive to long term employment at one place.
In addition, the shortage of labor has been brewing for years, and our education system is to blame. I will expand on this in another blog but for years of my childhood anything other than a management desk job with stock options and 10% annual salary increases was a loser job. Actually 2 former teachers of mine impressed that on me; work at a grocery store…loser, construction…loser, truck driver…loser. Well, we know are desperate for these positions so much so hiring bonuses are being dangled, they still cannot hire folks. The reason is truck driving is a skill you need a separate license for, your regular Class C license isn’t what you need. Getting a class A license takes time, and a behind the wheel test, and lots of training; the acquisition cost to a company is very high. This is not going to be a short-term fix.
A corporation as big as Sysco unable to deliver foods to some customers; and in some area’s not taking new customers at all. A recipe for massive disaster. Again, I’m not citing high prices yet, its scarce availability.
Well, it took about 18 months, but New York finally flattened something. Nope, not Covid, but their governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo—once believed to be a top 2024 presidential frontrunner—resigned in disgrace after the floodgates were finally opened about his repeated sexual assaults and harassment. Please don’t confuse the “Luv Gov” with his weightlifter, health nut, Trump hating brother, Chris who doubles at Andrew’s PR guy on CNN. Andrew may wish to take advice from his brother Chris, since it appears the two are father son, more than brothers…. just saying, but now on to the story.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo was accused back in December of last year of sexual harassment by multiple women. The New York State Assembly started impeachment proceedings in March…. once they found out they weren’t impeaching Trump or seeking his tax returns, they basically folded up and quit the investigation. At the end of February New York AG (Attorney General) Letitia James announced her own investigation into Cuomo. The results and report finally came out on August 10th. Trump would have been impeached about 50 times over in the same amount of time. Justice Kavanaugh ironically was crucified, in less time, with a fraction of the charges, and no evidence at all we remind you.
PDF above is complete New York A.G. Report on Cuomo.
In the meantime, prior to the report from AG James coming out, the entire congressional delegation of New York (it’s pretty big) called on him to resign, both senators, and NYC Mayor and fellow scum bag Bill DeBlasio. It was a rare showing of bipartisanship. Cuomo ignored it, and so did his brother on CNN Chris. Funny because Chris fawned all over his brother during his mishandling of Covid in nursing homes, more on this later.
I was not going to publish the names of the victims, but BLM always says “say their names” so here goes, names and actions of Cuomo:
In late February 2021, Charlotte Bennett, an executive assistant and health policy advisor to Cuomo, accused him of sexual harassment, which included questions about her sex life. In a March 5 video interview with CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell, Bennett said that during a one-on-one meeting in the governor’s office on June 5, 2020, Cuomo implied “that I was old enough for him and he was lonely.” Bennett went on to claim that Cuomo’s office director took the state’s mandatory sexual harassment training for him, “I was there. I heard [the office director] say, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this for you’ and making a joke about the fact that she was completing the training for him. And then I heard her at the end ask him to sign the certificate.”
In early March 2021, a third person, Anna Ruch, a member of the Obama administration (who later served on Joe Biden’spresidential campaign), said that when they were speaking at a wedding reception Cuomo put a hand on her back, that she removed it, and that he then placed his hands on her face cheeks and asked if he could kiss her. A friend photographed Cuomo touching her face.
On March 6, 2021, Ana Liss, a policy and operations aide to Cuomo from 2013 to 2015, became the third former aide to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment. Liss said Cuomo called her “sweetheart,” touched her on her lower back while they were at a reception, and also once kissed her hand after she stood up from her desk.
Also on March 6, Karen Hinton, a former press aide for Cuomo when he served as the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said that in 2000, Cuomo had, while meeting with her in a California hotel room, hugged her in an “inappropriate” and “unethical” embrace. Hinton has more recently worked for Cuomo rival New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On March 9, 2021, the Times Union of Albany reported an anonymous member of the governor’s Executive Chamber staff had accused Cuomo of inappropriate touching. On March 11, the same newspaper reported she said Cuomo called her to his mansion, reached under her blouse, and fondled her. Cuomo denied the allegation.
On April 7, 2021, an unnamed executive assistant to Cuomo alleged that she had been summoned to the governor’s mansion in November 2020 to help Cuomo with a problem with his iPhone. After reaching him, Cuomo allegedly rose from his desk and began groping her. After the aide told him his behavior would get him in trouble, Cuomo then shut the door and said “I don’t care.” He returned and groped one of her breasts under her bra by reaching under her blouse. She then left following the groping. A month later she claimed that Cuomo told her to cover-up what had occurred. Her identity was revealed on August 8, 2021 as Brittany Commisso.
Kaitlin (last name not reported as Jenner)
On March 12, Kaitlin (last name unreported), who formerly worked for the governor’s office, alleged that Cuomo had made her feel uncomfortable in various situations, with his comments, questions, requests, and invasions of her personal space. She did not allege inappropriate touching or explicit sexual propositions.
Jessica Bakeman, a former member of the Capitol press corps who worked for Politico New York, wrote about the atmosphere for women in Albany, New York. On March 12, for the New York magazine website, she wrote that Cuomo had touched her on her arms, shoulders, the small of her back, and waist in 2012, and put his arm around her back and his hand on her waist posing for a picture at a holiday party in 2014 (she wrote that “For years, I would relive that moment at the holiday party”), and made multiple “humiliating” comments during her time covering him. She wrote of the incident in 2014: “Keeping his grip on me as I practically squirmed to get away from him, the governor turned my body to face a different direction for yet another picture. He never let go of my hand.”
On March 18, Valerie Bauman, a reporter for Bloomberg, said in a tweet that during Cuomo’s tenure as New York Attorney General from 2007 to 2010, there was a period of “rampant sexism and sexual harassment.” Cuomo allegedly also made her uncomfortable with unwanted flirting and eye contact. She also claimed that in 2007, upon meeting her, “He took my hand, entered my personal space and looked into my eyes as he announced, ‘Hello, I’m Andrew Cuomo'”.]
On March 19, Alyssa McGrath, the first current employee to come forward publicly, spoke to The New York Times claiming Cuomo chronically ogled female aides like herself, commenting about their appearances in a way McGrath found inappropriate. McGrath also said that the aide who alleged Cuomo sexually assaulted her in the Executive Mansion “described the encounter in detail to her after it was made public in a report in the Times Union last week.” McGrath claimed that Cuomo told her not to talk with the anonymous aide about the incident.
During a March 29, 2021 Zoom news conference with an attorney, Sherry Vill alleged that Cuomo kissed her cheek in front of family members while inspecting her flood-damaged house during a May 28, 2017 visit to her Rochester-area home following a flood. Vill said the kiss was of a “highly sexual manner.” Cuomo also kissed Vill for a second time on the cheek outside her home in a “very aggressive manner.”
Unnamed state trooper
According to the August 2021 report, Cuomo met the state trooper in November 2017 and lobbied to hire her as part of his security detail despite her not satisfying the requirements for the post; she was indeed hired, and Cuomo later inappropriately touched her stomach and back, and also made inappropriate comments.
First unnamed state entity employee
According to the August 2021 report, Cuomo met this unnamed state entity employee at an event in September 2019, where he tapped and grabbed her buttocks while they were posing for photographs.
Second unnamed state entity employee
According to the August 2021 report, Cuomo in March 2020 made inappropriate comments to this unnamed state entity employee, a doctor, who had administered a nasal swab test on Cuomo at a press conference.
According to the August 2021 report, Cuomo met energy company employee Virginia Limmiatis at an event in May 2017, where he touched her chest with his fingers.
Governor Cuomo finally stepped down 8/24, but on his way out, he commuted the sentences of 4 murderers, which tells me he will be running for something again soon, likely DA. I say this because it seems like a pre-requisite to brandish your anti-law enforcement, pro crime policies to make yourself desirable to the Democrat base. (It worked in Los Angeles so why not?) Whilst doing so, he basically said he was innocent, and this was all one big witch hunt. Isn’t call this a “witch hunt” a sexist way of saying it was the women’s fault not his?
My commentary on this is simple but may come off as male chauvinist. First off Cuomo is wealthy, son of a former governor (Mario) and has been in politics quite literally his whole life. He should be able to get with almost any women he wants, it shouldn’t be that hard. (Didn’t we recently write about a mayor that behaved like this? — editor) Why the harassment? And by the way I read quite a bit of the AG report, he is a gross sicko of a human. Telling aides and staffers to “sit on his lap” like he is some shopping mall Santa Clause?
This guy literally seemed to make lewd comments or gestures with any member of the opposite sex he came in contact with. It truly is a stunning fall from grace for a man who could have been governor until he didn’t want it anymore. Especially with all the favorable press he got during Covid.
Speaking of Covid did anyone see how the new governor, Kathy Hochul, on her first day on the job released the “real number” of deaths in nursing homes under Cuomo’s rule? Yeah, it’s an additional 12,000. Yup, now it makes sense … all the refrigerated trucks. What a low life scumbag this guy was. Not only did he kill your grandparents/parents he then lied and covered it up.
Not to be outdone, Joe Biden said Cuomo did a great job as governor. This just begs for comparing trapped Americans in Afghanistan with trapped Americans in New York nursing homes.
Kind of ironic, all his harassment and assaults of women….to think he was replaced with New York’s first women governor. LOL
BTW that headline…. kind of Babylon Bee worthy, isn’t it?
As expected, this installment won’t be any more cheerful than the last. I’m writing this account for two reasons, first so that I have a way to deal with my emotions as I have to deal with what’s going on with my wife, my role as the supportive spouse, and the role as parent of a teenager facing the real prospect that he will lose his mother in the next several months. The second reason is in case somebody else finds this account and may be going thru the same cancer in their family.
I would have written sooner but the doctors found ways of delaying the PET scan and coming up with a treatment plan—a plan that while formulated still lacks a start date.
It’s now been about three weeks since the initial diagnosis. In that time, my wife has developed much more difficulty in chewing food since it keeps getting caught on the tumor. Clearly the tumor continues to grow.
The PET scan results were emailed to us and the doctor simultaneously just a few hours after the procedure. The tumor is in my wife’s esophagus just above the stomach. It is 40 v 27 mm in the axial plane (left and right) and 60 mm in craniocaudal extent (up and down). This translates to 1.57 by 1 by 2.36 inches. The cancer was found in only one location and thus excludes a stage 4 diagnosis.
Per several medical studies that I’ve read on the Internet, the over/under on tumor size for esophageal cancer is 3 cm (or 30 mm) in height. Under 3 cm, the odds are much better for survival. Over 3 cm, the odds are markedly worse. Per one study that did three divisions, under 3 cm, 3 to 6 cm, and over 6 cm; the numbers are even worse over 6 cm. This is regardless of stage of the cancer.
The difference between stage 2 and 3 for cancer in this situation is a matter of how many layers of esophageal tissue that the cancer has penetrated. More superficial is stage 2 and more layers containing cancer is stage 3. Given the size of the tumor, I think it’s stage 3, but the doctor won’t commit to saying that. The doctor said that the treatment is the same so why does it matter? As an aside, the doctor capable of making the determination is on vacation so waiting for the endoscopy ultrasound would cause even more delays in treatment.
Oh, the treatment is six weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy. This will be followed by surgery to remove the cancerous area. Per Doctor Google, as my wife calls the Internet, the surgery portion for this type of cancer is pure butchery. When I think about this treatment plan, I have a mental picture of Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy (Deforest Kelly) mumbling about the damn primitive 20th Century butchers.
Besides waiting to get a start date for treatment, we are waiting to be contacted by a “nurse navigator”. Apparently, this nurse will be our go-to person and point of contact to guide us thru the maze of cancer treatment. My sister says there is also a similar person whose job is to guide you thru the financial and insurance obstacles necessary to get treatment.
After writing this draft we did get more info on the treatment plan from a “clinical nurse navigator”. Also, and I don’t know if its just because its August or it’s a Covid thing, but the radiologist assigned my wife’s treatment is on vacation and thus we are experiencing another delay as we wait for him to return. Ditto for the surgeon. Additionally, due to Labor Day being during the first full week of September, we may be pushed back another week because they want chemo on Mondays (of course they have Monday holidays off). Thus, we are probably looking at another three-week delay before any treatment will begin. Hurry up and wait may be monotonous for military life but for this type of cancer, its just more time for it to grow and spread, two things that make it even more life threatening. I think the doctors should be allowed vacation but the fact that their workload seems to freeze when that happens is concerning. Sometimes it feels like our emergency is not their problem. I’ll post more as things develop further.
Took me a while to write this due to the outrage I have toward vile Biles and her performance at the Olympics this past month. Folks first of all Simone Bile’s is a gymnast and is very decorated, winning 4 Olympic golds in 2016, along with a bronze. She has won other various events, but we are only going to discuss the Olympic wins. Specifically, the 2020 Olympics’ and the nickname she gave herself “The Goat” which means Greatest of All Time.
Fast forward to 2020 er 2021 due to Covid. Bile’s who calls herself the GOAT and landed tons of endorsement deals grabbed a silver medal in the team competition, then prior to her events (again she is the best in the world, just ask her) she dropped out, saying it was a mental health crisis. While we here at reallyright.com respect mental health and the struggles that go along with it, Bile’s story does not add up.
These were her best events so why drop out then, as opposed to earlier? She claimed to have been suffering from this for a while. If she was then why not send someone else in her place? These Olympian folks train for years for this, and most do not get to make the trip as the team size is limited in numbers. Biles sat out all the events until the balance beam event and she won bronze…congrats? I say it that way because the media fawned all over her and loved that she was taking a principled stand for mental health. They proclaimed Biles a role model and someone to be looked up to. She cost her team and the USA badly. Good luck explaining that to the media or the cable watching cabal who think she is the greatest of all time.
Folks I just want to put someone else in the same scenario and see if you still have sympathy for Ms. Biles. Say someone who actually is the Greatest of All Time, like Tom Brady quit on his team and claimed mental health. Say 2 minutes left in a game, trailing by 2, and he gets the “twisties.” For some reason I don’t think the reaction would be anything close to the same. Quite frankly the major news networks would be trashing him. If you don’t believe me, just tune in after a loss to any news medium. Brady would stand no chance, since he is a professional athlete. In the case of Biles, she gets to perform on a big stage once every 4 years, how could a mental health issue stop that?
My hot take is this and it will likely land me in hot water with our readers, but I feel Biles never took her training seriously. Maybe it was Covid, or maybe her mouth wrote checks that her body couldn’t cash, or the endorsements came so easy her head wasn’t prepared, who knows, but it seems genuinely odd to sit out of all your big events sans the last one due to mental health. She claims to have been a foster kid so I would never question her resolve and will to battle against the odds, but when the lights went on she crumbled? When she returned stateside one would think she would get some help right? Nope, she decided to hang out at her pool next to her boyfriend who she labels “The hottest pool boy ever.” Doesn’t sound like a mental health crisis to me, sounds like a made-up fairytale.
My take is this, Biles had no mental health issue, she didn’t take her training seriously. There was pressure on her to get gold, but she decided not to take it seriously. She knows she has natural talent so why worry? The pressure on her was nothing compared to what a normal professional athlete has to handle. Also, the Olympics were taking place between 1-3 am USA time so it’s not like there was a huge live audience. In addition, with viewership down over 50% it’s not like it was the talk at the watercooler the following day. She then got over her crisis for her last event and placed bronze so the media could put a bow on her fantasyland story. All this from someone who calls herself the greatest of all time and even wears a goat logo on her apparel.
Biles fooled everyone and the media fawned all over it. This was not a fairytale ending. She manufactured this so her performance would not be judged negatively. A GOAT does not wuss-out and blame mental health. If you had a crisis, why didn’t you fly back stateside and seek out help?
Tom Brady and Muhammad Ali were among the greatest in their respective fields and proved it every chance they got; in contrast, Biles concocted a way to save her fiscal/endorsement butt and laughed all the way to the bank without having to back it up. She is best not compared with other world-class gymnasts but folks like P.T. Barnham.
The Chief (with additional commentary from the editor)
So, this past Saturday was the California Republican Party Gubernatorial recall election endorsing convention. It was not held in a hotel or conference room it was done virtually.
Folks, the CAGOP has been misrun for years, and yet no one seems to really care. You had Tom Del Beccaro drinking to excess and using the delegate list as a dating service, Ron Nehring who flew frequently to Australia; not trying to start or fuel a rumor but I heard there was a mistress involved here. I do not know much about Jim Brulte or his reign, but I know the party no longer has any money. We now have first Latinx chair Jessica Millan Patterson, and to say she is a disaster is putting it mildly. Patterson makes over $250k a year, her counterpart in the very much dominant Democrat Party makes less than half that.
But on to the endorsing convention.
First of all, why is the party endorsing a candidate? It’s a non-partisan race, due to it being a recall. The party should only take an endorsement of; Yes to recall Comrade Newsom. Let the chips fall where they may after. Well for some reason, a rumor was started that former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer wanted an endorsement, it was parroted around as if it were gospel. Faulconer did not want the endorsement; actually, no candidate did. This was being pushed from the inside of the party headquarters, by Shawn Steel, Harmeet Dhillon, and Jessica Patterson. Again, Faulconer did not want to seek the endorsement, and frankly why would he want to? Registration is at 24% statewide, it’s a kiss of death.
So, the week of the convention, a movement started to have a “no endorsement vote” which led to a direct appeal from Shawn Steel and Harmeet Dhillion (there are those names again) to not endorse. The convention started and literally only half the delegates showed up to vote, roughly 800. This is due to the CAGOP making delegates pay $50 for the right to cast their vote. I call this a pole tax, yet 800 willingly paid. The motion to not endorse passed overwhelmingly with about 80% or so voting in favor. Steel and Dhillon were revered as folks who “stopped the steal;” however, the reality is that they were the conductors of this scheme. You see, the party charged $50 per delegate which times 800 equals roughly $40K they raised. Since the convention was virtual there were virtually zero expenses. Thankfully half the delegates didn’t fall for this pay to play tax scheme, sadly the other half did.
Faulconer did not want the endorsement just to say it again. This was a drill run by Jessica Patterson via her Lieutenant’s Dhillon and Steel. You see Dhillon is a former ACLU lawyer who once was viewed as unacceptable to be vice chair of the party however she was elected and has since been re-elected. Shawn Steel is the husband of Congressperson (we don’t do gender here) Michelle Park Steel. Better known to me as the serpent from the Garden of Eden. Where there is money, endorsements, or power; you can always see Steel slithering around. But the delegates and party continue to elect these folks as they now serve as national committee delegates. Sheep do sheep things.
Congrats on paying $50 to endorse no one and taking the principled stand against a candidate who didn’t even want the endorsement. Hope this all works out but it sounds like the party made money, consultants likely made money, and you parted with $50. Aaron Park put it on his blog the convention lasted so short the price per minute made phone sex a cheaper alternative. (His words not mine.) Is it a wonder why several GOP elected’s always seem to side with the Democrats on tax hikes and the party doesn’t care? The party apparatus just taxed their own activists, and they didn’t seem to care either. Where is the outrage!
Folks it isn’t nice to pick on older citizens, but enough is enough with this Dr. Fauci. Take a look at what he had to say in an interview with Hugh Hewitt.
“It’s not comfortable, obviously, for children to wear masks, particularly the younger children,” he said. “But you know, what we’re starting to see, Hugh, and I think it’s going to unfold even more as the weeks go by, that this virus not only is so extraordinarily transmissible, but we’re starting to see pediatric hospitals get more and more younger people and kids not only numerically, but what seems to be more severe disease.
“Now we’re tracking that, the CDC is tracking that really very carefully, so it’s going to be a balance that we would feel very badly if we all of a sudden said OK, kids, don’t wear masks, then you find out retrospectively that this virus in a very, very strange and unusual way is really hitting kids really hard,” he continued. “But hopefully, this will be a temporary thing, temporary enough that it doesn’t have any lasting negative impact on them.”
Yep, hopefully it’s temporary and doesn’t have any lasting effects on them. Kind of like let’s pass the bill to find out what is in it. Just as a sidebar, my doctor has told me implicitly in regards to masking, “do not wear a mask while working out, it’s horrible for your health as it restricts airflow.” Yet it is ok for young people to wear masks all day in a school setting? Oh, furthermore they will not have to wear masks while at lunch, I guess the virus takes a lunch break just like humans do?
Folks this is crazy. Vaccinated or not we must mask, and our kids must mask too. Clearly this stupid vaccine is not all that great. How is it in a country of about 350 million, the only leadership we have is a doctor whose best days are in the distant past? Shame on Joe Biden for wheeling him out there every day and making him answer questions from reporters about Covid. No one knows anything about this virus except the Chinese workers at the Wuhan lab, and they aren’t allowed to talk. We collectively freaked out as a society, mask, no mask, dine in, no dine in, but the numbers never went down. We demand answers yet our scientists and doctors cannot supply them since we know nothing about this virus and how it behaves.
One last thought, please riddle me this “science believers,” since I had Covid why should I get a vaccine? Shouldn’t the presence of anti-bodies in my blood be good enough? One more thought, my colleague did a 2 shot Moderna, a friend did the 2 shot Pfizer. Both were inoculated four plus months ago, both got Covid, both got it pretty severely. Maybe quit drinking the Kool Aid and start looking at this with an open mind, we have no answers. Quit making Fauci “Meet the Depressed” every day. And quit agreeing to mask mandates and restrictions on your freedoms. Wear a mask if you want, don’t if you don’t want.
Hope your kids don’t get “affected” by wearing a mask all day at school, but hey science says its ok. Or was that a Dr who has been wrong the entire time?
Editor’s Note: My wife has been an educator for many years. She has always worked with small children. There is no doubt in her mind that the way Covid is being handled is permanently harming our children. Fearing our neighbors is the stuff of Communist tyrannies not freedom loving Americans. This whole episode is yet another example of the compassion of the wicked being cruelty.