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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Avril: Four Phils and brain cancer: Connection or coincidence?

And that elevated rate of brain cancer is statistically significant, though the analysis had certain limitations and the pattern easily could be due to chance, said Penn’s Timothy R. Rebbeck.

“These figures suggest that there’s an elevated risk of brain cancers in the baseball players compared to the general population,” said Rebbeck, a professor of epidemiology at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. “You can’t rule out the possibility that it’s random bad luck.”

Comparing cancer rates

The analysis then compared the rate of Phillies’ brain cancers over that period with the rate of similar cancers in the adult male population, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a 2011 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The national rate was 9.8 cases per 100,000 adult males per year, while the rate in the former Phillies was 30.1 cases per 100,000 - about 3.1 times as high. The national count included various kinds of glioma, such as glioblastoma - the aggressive form of cancer that struck all four former Phillies.

With Rebbeck’s assistance, The Inquirer then calculated that this 3.1 figure had a 95 percent confidence interval of 2.1 to 4.1 - meaning that the elevated rate appeared to be statistically significant. In lay terms, that means if one were somehow able to replay that 33-year period 100 times, you would expect the players’ brain cancer rate to be 2.1 to 4.1 times higher than that in the adult male population 95 times out of 100.

Assumptions

But Rebbeck cautioned that the analysis required making certain assumptions that could substantially change the outcome.

For example, the population of Phillies from 1971 to 2003 was not adjusted for age. The rate of brain cancer varies with age, so when comparing populations, it is important that they have the same distribution of people in various age groups. The Phillies in the analysis range in age from their 30s to their 70s whereas the national population number includes men above and below that.

Furthermore, the nationwide brain cancer number for the 33-year period was based on cases counted in 2004 to 2007. A better approach would be to use the exact number of adult male brain cancers for each year from 1971 to 2003, as the cancer rate has declined slightly over time.

Thanks to Benway.

Repoz Posted: July 16, 2013 at 08:56 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, medicine, phillies

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   1. JRVJ Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4495558)
I saw this story on my Twitter Feed, but I wasn't able to read it.

My one comment, without having delved into it, is that I would think that being a "Philly" probably was not unique enough for purposes of these brain cancer issues. What I am trying to say is that if workers of the MLB club Philadelphia Phillies who had similar work place habits than the players were also falling prey to brain cáncer, THEN I would think there's something to it (*)

(*) I am probably not explaining this correctly, but what I am trying to say is that the common factor between these players is physically having been together, and the one place where they would have been together most of the time is the Vet (methinks), and JUST MAYBE, a charter plane.

Wouldn't non-baseball playing employees of the Philadelphia Phillies have been exposed to the Vet just as much?

And as to a charter plane, one would think that stewardess, team officials and pilots would also be suffering brain cáncer if it was the plane.
   2. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4495567)
The current generation of ballplayers spanning the last twenty years or so is going to have all kinds of awful health issues because of their massive and systemic drug abuse.
   3. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4495579)
Since the percentage of ballplayers who dip is greater than the general population (a reasonable assumption) could there be a correlation between the two.
   4. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4495587)
It might also be that 4 cases isn't statistically significant, no matter how much you twist the math.

“These figures suggest that there’s an elevated risk of brain cancers in the baseball players compared to the general population,” said Rebbeck, a professor of epidemiology at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. “You can’t rule out the possibility that it’s random bad luck.”


You are a quack sir, please go join Jenny McCarthy on the view.
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4495596)
Getting cancer or any other illness is just bad luck and has nothing to do with diet, exercise, exposure to irritants, toxins, EMF or radiation, and the only way you can prevent or treat any illness is to take lots of vaccines and drugs and let doctors stick their fingers and instruments up your orifices on a regular basis.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4495597)
Every single player from the 1927 Yankees is dead. 100%.

Coincidence? Or connection?
   7. DA Baracus Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4495604)
This wasn't written by Dr. Dennis Deitch? Last week he refused to hear any other reason why Darren Daulton has brain cancer.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4495605)
Getting cancer or any other illness is just bad luck and has nothing to do with diet, exercise, exposure to irritants, toxins, EMF or radiation, and the only way you can prevent or treat any illness is to take lots of vaccines and drugs and let doctors stick their fingers and instruments up your orifices on a regular basis.


It is really hard to tell if this is parody or a real opinion. If parody it is brilliant. Otherwise, umm, good luck with all that.
   9. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4495615)
John Kruk found out he had testicular cancer after Mitch Williams hit him with a pickoff throw. I think Mitch Williams causes cancer.
   10. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4495622)
It was parody Bitter, but there are many, many, many people who believe it.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4495647)
The only thing that intrigues me about this is that Astroturf used to be painted with lead paint to make it green. And c'mon! Astroturf was made by Monsanto so it had to be dangerous.

Exposure studies for current turf fields (especially ones using ground up tires - all made with lead and benzene) have been done in some states and there have been recommendations in some cases to wash clothes separately after long play periods by children.

   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4495655)

The only thing that intrigues me about this is that Astroturf used to be painted with lead paint to make it green. And c'mon! Astroturf was made by Monsanto so it had to be dangerous.

Exposure studies for current turf fields (especially ones using ground up tires - all made with lead and benzene) have been done in some states and there have been recommendations in some cases to wash clothes separately after long play periods by children.


And we've discussed this a bit in reference to the Royals - who had Dick Hoswer, Dan Quisenberry, Paul Splittorff and Ken Brett (who was only in KC a short time) all died of cancer, and Bob himself (a former Royal) is a cancer survivor.
   13. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4495669)
I'd like MLB to take the "Stand Up To Cancer" program and use it to study its own current and former players - and treat them - in order to find faster and new cures at the genomic level.

I was at the HR Derby last night when they did the SU2C moment during the contest.

And as an aside, Met fans are horrid last night (at least where I was sitting). Profoundly profane when it came to Cano, they booed everyone, lost interest when Wright flamed out in the 1st round and a significant portion left when David finished.

A chance to finally see the best players on the field and they couldn't care less. I guess when your team sucks, you get really good at booing and it becomes second nature as a conditioned response to anything.
   14. Steve N Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4495677)
My understanding is that there are various types of brain cancer with causes known to be different. Did all 4 have the same kind of cancer?

Someone made the point that there are many folks who worked at the Vet, probably for more hours than the players. Do they have increased cancer rates?
   15. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4495689)
My one comment, without having delved into it, is that I would think that being a "Philly" probably was not unique enough for purposes of these brain cancer issues. What I am trying to say is that if workers of the MLB club Philadelphia Phillies who had similar work place habits than the players were also falling prey to brain cáncer, THEN I would think there's something to it (*)


It's possible, for instance, that the home locker room at Veterans Stadium had a seepage of radon gas and not enough ventilation to dissipate it. You'd expect that this would lead to higher cancer levels among players for and employees the home team. It wouldn't tell us anything we don't already know about cancer, and it's also a hypothesis that's impossible to test now that the stadium has been imploded. But it's a possible mechanism.

From TFA, the mother of a Phillies beat reporter who also died of brain cancer:

"There's no answer sometimes," Ferretti said.


That's the sad truth.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4495717)
The 1992 Dodgers starting outfield was Eric Davis (diagnosed with cancer at 35), Brett Butler (cancer at 38), and Darryl Strawberry (cancer at 36).
   17. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4495728)

"There's no answer sometimes," Ferretti said.


That's the sad truth.



So we look for the answers. That's what we do.


The latest research deals with examining genomic triggers for causing various types of cancer - a DNA based predisposition, if you will. As opposed to bombing the system with any and all chemotherapies, the new protocols (when achieved) will be able to target the specific gene with one specific chemo (usually in pill form and out patient) instead.

This will reduce side effects, save lives, reduce hospital stays (where infections can be deadly to cancer patients) and allow patients to get to work again earlier.

Economic estimates say that since 1990 there have been 50 million life years added and we have added $ 4.7 trillion to GDP in that time thanks to cancer care.

And it will only increase more rapidly if we can reform the approval process for cancer drugs (12 years at $1 billion plus per drug) and change the treatment of orphan diseases.

There was no true answer in 2006 for my type of cancer - but there was within a few years.

"Faster, please" as instapundit would say!
   18. eddieot Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4495731)
as an aside, Met fans are horrid last night (at least where I was sitting). Profoundly profane when it came to Cano, they booed everyone, lost interest when Wright flamed out in the 1st round and a significant portion left when David finished.


I concur, and I was sitting in "the good seats." I thought that much venom was kind of silly and out-of-place at a freakin' HR Derby. They even booed the Phillie Phanatic lustily. You don't have a much of a baseball soul or a sense of humor if you're hatin' on the Phanatic.

That being said I was glad so many people cleared out after Wright flamed out. Much less traffic than expected getting out of there at the end of the night.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4495740)
Eddieot, you were lucky. At the end of the game there was a fire at 1043d street which shut down the 7 line for over an hour and the LIRR was also a mess. I walked home to Forest Hills due to the mess.

By the way, face price for section 519 for the HR Derby? $ 205 per seat. I'm glad my daughter got them gratis!
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4495751)
It is really hard to tell if this is parody or a real opinion. If parody it is brilliant. Otherwise, umm, good luck with all that.

I think it's a parody of the morons who believe medical care is useful. Brilliant! Glad to see we have Jenny McCarthy commenting here, I thought it was all guys nowadays.

As for the Phillies, it was a bad idea to have spring training at the Nevada Proving Grounds, is all I can say.
   21. TerpNats Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4495794)
At the end of the game there was a fire at 1043d street which shut down the 7 line for over an hour and the LIRR was also a mess.
1043rd Street? Has the LIRR Port Washington line been extended to Greenport?
   22. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4495812)
1,

What you're talking about is "multiple endpoints." The chances of such a cluster happening on the Philadelphia Phillies and the chances of it happening on any one of the 24 baseball teams are vastly different statistically. We only know it's the Phillies after observing the cluster after the fact.

The textbook example is for a teacher to go through a room of students and ask each one their birthday. As soon as a birthday is repeated (which is more likely than not), say July 23, the teacher then asks the room what the chances were of two students in the same class both being born on July 23? That, of course, is the wrong question because there's no specific reason why it has to be that day as opposed to the other 364.242 days. We only knew that day after the phenomenon was observed.
   23. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4495828)
At the end of the game there was a fire at 1043d street which shut down the 7 line for over an hour and the LIRR was also a mess.

1043rd Street? Has the LIRR Port Washington line been extended to Greenport?


It seemed like that during the 3 1/2 mile walk home...
   24. zenbitz Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4495862)
My understanding is that there are various types of brain cancer with causes known to be different. Did all 4 have the same kind of cancer?


They all had glioblastomas. But many "brain cancers" are gilomas, because neurons don't divide. The brain is generally made of neurons and glial cells. You can also get "brain cancer" from cells that are really "brain" cells but the tumor could be located in your head. Let's say you had some kind of blood-vessel cancer - you have blood vessels in your brain.

All cancers are caused by various types of genetic damage. This damage is stochastic in nature in that there are many, many, many things that damage DNA --= radiation (including UV]) chemical agents (including burned food, smoke, asbestos, free radicals), viruses, and your own inflammatory response and cell division. The more a given cell lineage divides, the more likely it is to accumulate replication errors which are a form of DNA "damage".

Then you have your own personal genetic background and it's influences on EACH of these various agents and the general response to DNA damage, the (random) efficacy of your immune system in recognizing cancer cells and killing them.

"The causes are known to be different" is not a really true statement. Since it's a statistical event, you can never (outside the lab, maybe) estabilish a CAUSE of a given cancer, only a correlation. There are some obvious connects that are powerful statstically: Smoke (or other inhalents) and lung cancer, UV radiiation and skin cancer, "stuff you eat" and colon cancer.

FTFA:
With Rebbeck’s assistance, The Inquirer then calculated that this 3.1 figure had a 95 percent confidence interval of 2.1 to 4.1 - meaning that the elevated rate appeared to be statistically significant. In lay terms, that means if one were somehow able to replay that 33-year period 100 times, you would expect the players’ brain cancer rate to be 2.1 to 4.1 times higher than that in the adult male population 95 times out of 100.


Is it just me, or is this gibberish? 95% confidence level means that there is a 5% chance that this sample (3 'hits' in 33 years of phillies) is derived from the same distribution as as the rest of the population.
Note that as Voros said - there are multiple hypothesis issues here. There are 30 teams so there is a reasonable expectations that ONE baseball team out of 30 has an 5% outlier distibution of glioblastoma (or whatever).

It would be interesting to sequence their respective cancers to see if they were due to similar events. That would be more evidence (although hardly conclusive, it's a very complex evolving system) that they were caused by a similar (presumably chemical) insult.
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4495902)

What does the existence of the contemporaneous KC threesome with brain cancer do to this outlier analysis?
   26. AROM Posted: July 16, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4495945)
The 1992 Dodgers starting outfield was Eric Davis (diagnosed with cancer at 35), Brett Butler (cancer at 38), and Darryl Strawberry


Between the cancer and his substance abuse problems, I am amazed to see that Darryl is not only still alive, but in last night's post-derby softball game he looked in pretty good shape and was able to play the same kind of RF defense as in his playing career.
   27. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 16, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4495990)
I think it's a parody of the morons who believe medical care is useful.


No, it was a parody of all those who take no responsibility for their lifestyle and then want a magic bullet (which does not and never will exist in a million years) to cure their ills. If you eat garbage food, use personal care products with known carcinogens and excitotoxins in them, treat painkillers, antibiotics and other drugs like candy, allow yourself to be under emotional and/or mental stress for extended periods of time, and never get any exercise, you're gonna get sick. The sad thing is that MOST doctors don't know this. Western medicine is great for emergency trauma care, but the rest of it quite frankly sucks.

A co-worker of my sister-in-law is pregnant and was told by her GP that based on her blood work she was at risk of developing gestational diabetes, so she should "eat healthier" (with no explanation of what that meant), and they may have to put her on insulin. Just an automatic default to the drug. So my s-i-l asked her why she was eating fresh fruit salad and cranberry juice for lunch if her blood sugar was running high. The doctor didn't even tell her to avoid sugar FFS.

Don't get me wrong, cancer certainly does strike some people seemingly at random, but that doesn't mean its not primarily a lifestyle disease.
   28. Karl from NY Posted: July 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4495999)
At the end of the game there was a fire at 1043d street which shut down the 7 line for over an hour and the LIRR was also a mess.

1043rd Street? Has the LIRR Port Washington line been extended to Greenport?


This is a good time to throw in this musing on Queens geography: http://forgotten-ny.com/2013/06/every-street-is-named-60-maspeth/
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4496020)
Don't get me wrong, cancer certainly does strike some people seemingly at random, but that doesn't mean its not primarily a lifestyle disease.

I think that's an overbid. Lifestyle contributes, but genetic pre-disposition contributes even more.
   30. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4496047)
So did these gene lines just mutate into existence over the last 100 years? That's not how I would explain a tripling in the cancer death rate over that time.
   31. thranduil Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4496063)
Although the surgeon general report on the health consequences of smoking doesn't identify a causal relationship between smoking and brain cancers, there are a few studies which show an increased risk among men. Certainly during the time studied there likely was tobacco use going on, unfortunately there wouldn't be a good way to identify users/non-users.
   32. AROM Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4496069)
So did these gene lines just mutate into existence over the last 100 years? That's not how I would explain a tripling in the cancer death rate over that time.


100 years ago most people probably died of something else before they could get cancer.
   33. bunyon Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4496070)
So did these gene lines just mutate into existence over the last 100 years? That's not how I would explain a tripling in the cancer death rate over that time.

One generally explains it by a drastic lowering of other causes of death. Few in the modern west die of TB, for instance. For all our concerns about post-op infections (which are scandalously high), acquiring an infected cut, today, is not a big deal. I have a great-great uncle who died of such. He was hanging fence, cut himself on the arm and died of the ensuing infection in an age before antibiotics. I'm sure he'd have liked the chance to die of cancer 30 years later.

Anyway, I don't really disagree with your comments in regard to general health and lifestyle. You're absolutely right that most people would feel better if they'd take better care of themselves and probably live a little longer. You're overplaying it in regard to cancer. Cancer has always existed, and always will exist.
   34. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4496075)
Snapper is correct as is Bunyon.

Most cancers are correlated closest with age - and our life expectancy is significantly higher due to curing many death sentence diseases. So, we are dying from new diseases that we wouldn't have experienced decades ago - such as cancers.



   35. zenbitz Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4496120)
@30 There are some genetic variants that are STRONGLY predisposed to cancer - BRAC1/2 for example (Angelina Jolie's defect). Most of the other effects are quite small and hard to detect. For example - "everyone agrees" that smoking cigarettes on a daily bases "causes" (i.e, "radically increases your chances of") lung (and other) cancers. But I am 100% certain that this is really only true for subsets (perhaps large ones) of the population. Some people (although this is just a hypothesis) are presumably genetically resistant to cancer via smoke inhiation.

This immediately applies to all other forms of cancers and cancer causing agents. The "classic" exaample is xenoderma pigmentosa - a disease where you have a busted DNA repair enzyme. The enzyme repairs "everyday" damage to DNA from UV light (i.e, the Sun). If you have this disease you are basically just covered with skin cancer from a very early time period. Assuming you are exposed to sunlight. But the effectiveness of these enzymes (like all enyzmes, proteins, genetic actors, etc.) are on a continium - so there are some people who are highly resistent to UV light (independent of pigmentation) and others who are more intermediate.

But you can make all the generalizations you want about environmental toxins or eating right if it makes you sleep better at night knowing you are living your life 'correctly'.
   36. Steve N Posted: July 16, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4496127)
I'm not sure what tripling the death rate means exactly but it would seem that better treatment for other diseases, and less deaths from them, would make the rates for other diseases rise.
   37. bunyon Posted: July 16, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4496128)
@30 There are some genetic variants that are STRONGLY predisposed to cancer - BRAC1/2 for example (Angelina Jolie's defect). Most of the other effects are quite small and hard to detect. For example - "everyone agrees" that smoking cigarettes on a daily bases "causes" (i.e, "radically increases your chances of") lung (and other) cancers. But I am 100% certain that this is really only true for subsets (perhaps large ones) of the population. Some people (although this is just a hypothesis) are presumably genetically resistant to cancer via smoke inhiation.

Sure. You don't have to go to many nursing homes before you find a 95 year old who smokes and drinks a ton. It's just that, unless that person is your parent or grandparent, it's a bad idea to try to mimic their life experience.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4496173)
Is it just me, or is this gibberish? 95% confidence level means that there is a 5% chance that this sample (3 'hits' in 33 years of phillies) is derived from the same distribution as as the rest of the population.

Their explanation isn't great but you're confusing significance testing with estimation. They are using a confidence interval which is about estimation. The two are linked (if the confidence interval contains zero, the test was not statistically significant) but not quite the same thing. It is standard to report 95% CIs and, if anything, the trend is away from significance testing and towards estimation.

Alas, CIs are not easy to interpret from either the frequentist or Bayesian perspective. Theirs is not great as it essentially boils down to "under the assumption our mean is correct, the standard error is the sampling variability so if we reran the experiment 100 times ..." But their explanation is "consistent" with the formula for calculating the confidence interval (mean +/- 1.96 SEs -- i.e. where you expect 95% of observations to lie in a normal distribution with those parameters).

CIs are an expression of the confidence we have in the estimate -- our mean estimate is 3.1 and we're 95% confident that the real value lies between 2.1 and 4.1 (Bayesian). Or from 100 experiments, 95 CIs calculated in this way would contain the true value, so if this is one of the 95 then the true value lies between 2.1 and 4.1 (frequentist).

Essentially using your terminology ... OK, we've determined there's a less than 5% chance that this sample comes from the same distribution as the overall population. This naturally leads to the question of "what is the distribution (well, mean) of this population then?" Obviously we should not assume that the mean of this distribution is exactly 3.1 but capture the uncertainty of our estimation. The 95% CI is saying "OK, I can't tell you exactly what the mean is but -- wink, wink, nudge, nudge -- it's between 2.1 and 4.1."

Anyway, I give them points for trying.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4496235)
TE Jr. was diagnosed with his glial-neuronal tumor at 3-1/2 so I don't think there were any contributing lifestyle causes in his case. He 's one of the lucky ones (even though the tumor was in the thalamus we found a surgeon who was able to do a gross total resection and he hasn't had a recurrence in 4 years); I can't tell you how many kids we've come in contact with--either via Facebook connections or via oncology waiting rooms--who have GBMs; often in the 2-6 age range. Clearly they didn't do anything lifestyle-wise to cause a tumor. GBMs may one day prove to be mostly genetic, but at the moment--as far as I know--there's no genetic mutation associated with it... Although, like I said, it's hard to buy the idea there's a lifestyle reason for all those kids getting GBMs. Sometimes it really is just bad luck.

But what is interesting--and getting to what Voros was getting at--is that now that we've had a son with a brain tumor, it is amazing how many other kids in our general county/region we've met or been introduced to who also have or have had tumors... But this is all because we're looking at it after the fact, and after we've become those parents you think of when you hear a friend of a friend has a child with a brain tumor... That 'connection' can often make it seem ( to us) like more kids have brain tumors than actually do if you looked at the general population.

Amazing progress is being made in fighting brain tumors of various types, and genetically targeted chemotherapy is actually starting to happen. For any kid where surgery is not an option--and there are many--the battle is to simply stay alive long enough and hope that curative treatments come along. I remember thinking when I first heard this it was depressing as hell but honestly the progress they've made in just the past 4-5 years has been amazing.
   40. bunyon Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4496241)
Geez, TE. I'm glad to hear Jr. is doing well and you have my best wishes for the next few decades. My BIL had leukemia at about the age your son is now and even though he's been in remission for going on 25 years now, the whole family still shows signs of the trauma. My wife says her mom went gray within a few months and her dad lost all his hair in the same span. They basically treat him as if he's about to die. Annoys the bejesus out of him.

No point to that but to say that I'm sure it's a special kind of hell. Best of luck to Jr. and the rest of you.
   41. Textbook Editor Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4496262)
Thanks bunyon. Don't let the brave talk fool you; we're still scared out of our minds everytime he has an MRI to check for recurrence. And I'm pretty sure we both have a form of PTSD from those first 6 months of diagnosis-surgery-recovery, which I suspect will never really totally get better. And we're the lucky ones, we still have our son.

Cancer just ####### sucks.
   42. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4496280)
Good grief, TE. If I believed in a higher power, I'd be praying for you & yours. If some of the believers here would be kind enough to pick up my slack, I hereby invite them to go for it.
   43. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4496291)
Good luck and best wishes, TE.

My wife had to deal with her mother having a colon cancer operation, I was in the hospital for 5 weeks and our daughter was a freshman in college. Ahe had a difficult time taking time to care for herself. Schedule time to relax - even 30 scheduled minutes per day - and decompress.

And if you ever want to talk, I will gladly do so for anyone or any family that has faced cancer.
   44. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 16, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4496356)
Sure. You don't have to go to many nursing homes before you find a 95 year old who smokes and drinks a ton. It's just that, unless that person is your parent or grandparent, it's a bad idea to try to mimic their life experience.


This sounds like my mother's side of the family; at least the smoking part.
   45. AndrewJ Posted: July 17, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4496919)
TE>> You and your family are in my prayers.

now that we've had a son with a brain tumor, it is amazing how many other kids in our general county/region we've met or been introduced to who also have or have had tumors... But this is all because we're looking at it after the fact, and after we've become those parents you think of when you hear a friend of a friend has a child with a brain tumor... That 'connection' can often make it seem ( to us) like more kids have brain tumors than actually do if you looked at the general population.

I think this same thing comes into play with autism -- yes, the definition of autism has expanded greatly in the last generation, but you suddenly hear about a lot of people in your community having it once someone close to you is diagnosed.
   46. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 17, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4496966)
That, of course, is the wrong question because there's no specific reason why it has to be that day as opposed to the other 364.242 days.


Total quibble. There are 366 days one can be born on. Not every year has all the days (stupid Feb 29), but there are are nice integer number of possibilities. :)
   47. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: July 17, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4497794)
Thanks bunyon. Don't let the brave talk fool you; we're still scared out of our minds everytime he has an MRI to check for recurrence. And I'm pretty sure we both have a form of PTSD from those first 6 months of diagnosis-surgery-recovery, which I suspect will never really totally get better. And we're the lucky ones, we still have our son.

Cancer just ####### sucks.


Damn. Strength and continued healing to you and yours, sir. It goes without saying that that's one of my greatest fears as a parent.
   48. Lassus Posted: July 18, 2013 at 08:08 AM (#4497856)
They even booed the Phillie Phanatic lustily. You don't have a much of a baseball soul or a sense of humor if you're hatin' on the Phanatic.

You have got to be out of your mind. People who hate especially annoying mascots have no baseball soul? I won't defend crappy behavior, but hating on the Phanatic is not that.

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