Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Zen, Bill, and Emma Keller

Last weekend a woman approached me at my store to tell me how good I looked and how nice it was to see me on the mend. I have a lot of hair… last year, I didn't have a lot of hair. People with Lupus, M.S., Diabetes and {sadly} countless maladies, suffer in silence. Cancer patients, with their bald heads get to suffer out in the open, people often have no choice to bear witness, because our disease, or at least the treatment thereof, is so obvious. And then there are the bloggers {such as myself} who with their constantly posted links, inflict their disease on their Facebook friends and acquaintances, cancer spam. Some of us choose to wear a wig and suffer quietly, but I'm too cheap, too lazy, too sloppy and too itch-prone to have taken that route.

The woman who approached me said "you must have been so angry when you found out you had cancer," "not really, I told her." She then suggested that I must have felt like it was really unfair, "no", I hadn't considered that either. She made a few other suggestions of what she thought I must have felt but none of them fit the bill. I think she was a little disappointed by the time she left. I really, truly appreciated her concern, but we didn't bond. I am endless grateful to anyone who cares about my wellbeing, I continue to be touched deeply by so many.

The conversation got me to thinking, because bloody everything gets me to thinking, tiring, perpetual thinking. I wasn't angry, because who would I be angry at? I'm an atheist, so I can't be mad at god. No one gave me cancer, I didn't catch it from anyone, get it from anyone's negligence… I could have been diagnosed sooner, but that mostly annoyed me and well, gave me more stuff to think about. As for fairness, I know bad things happen, I'm not an idiot, I've heard of cancer and that some people get it and that no one knows {for the most part} who gets it and why. So why not me? Would it be more fair if someone else got it instead of me? Much of life is a crapshoot, I know that, and someone has to draw the short straw." Unfair is when someone accuses you of doing something you didn't do, something you would never do. Unfairness is when you get a bad grade just cause the teacher doesn't like you. I don't know what I felt. First a creeping awareness of, uh-oh, I think I have cancer and then terror, mostly terror.

I was about to congratulate myself on being so emotionally evolved, so zen, and then I realized, oh hell no, lot's of things get me really, really mad. Bill and Emma Keller make me mad. Bill Keller, privileged, elite, sanctimonious former editor of the New York Times. Bill's darling, fragile as a newborn ladybug, wife Emma, discovered a cancer blog on-line written by a 37-year old woman with metastatic, it's everywhere, stage 4, incurable breast cancer. This woman, Lisa Bonchek Adams, with whom I was previously unaware, publishes a blog and tweets frequently {very frequently, apparently}, and has a huge following which included, dear Emma. Emma was riveted by Lisa's story, even contacted her and initiating personal conversations. But then one day, Emma woke up and had nothing better to do than wonder about her obsession with Lisa's blog posts and tweets, and she came to the conclusion that reading Lisa's blog was like watching a car wreck, you know you should look away, but you can't. Instead of asking herself why she couldn't look away, or if she should look away, she got angry, and she got angry with stage four, mother of three young children, cancer patient Lisa Adams. And because Emma is connected and privileged, she wrote an editorial on the Guardian News Site. An editorial, so offensive and so lacking in journalistic integrity that it was taken down immediately. In the editorial, she quotes Lisa Adams, as if their private conversations were on the record interviews.

Big Bill Keller didn't like his poor wife treated this way, so he went on to pen his own editorial {sans reading the blog in question} which he had published in his alma mater, the New York Times. In his editorial, he questions Ms. Adam's right to avail herself of so many healthcare dollars when the end result, either way, is that she will die, it's only a matter of when. What's the point of putting off the inevitable? He questions the ethics of her decision to live as long as possible, to expect people to witness the brutal treatments she endures. He compares her to his father-in-law who had a "calm" death."His death seemed to me a humane and honorable alternative to the frantic medical trench warfare that often makes an expensive misery of death in America." say's Keller.

Oh us crazy cancer patients, being all frantic and such, not wanting to die way fucking too young while we have children to raise, we're so selfish.

One tiny difference, is that Bill's father-in-law was 89-years old, life lived, goal achieved, ripe old age, done. Lisa Adams is 37 and has 3 small kids and this asshat finds her quest for every last day, every moment of joy offensive? He views her pejoratively and does so on a national stage, like this woman doesn't have enough stress in her life?

Holy fuckwads. Please, please read this wonderful article at:;_ylt=A0geuqBS4dZSqSAAR8BXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0dGtta2d1BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1ZJUDI4NF8x

Or just google Bill and Emma Keller Cancer, oy vey. Incomprehensible. Despicable. I have a different opinion than Bill and Emma about who is self-absorbed in this equation.

So yeah, things definitely make me mad, I want to smash every piece of crystal and china in Bill and Emma's penthouse.

Then there's the brain-dead woman, essentially, a dead woman being kept on "life" support because she is 14 weeks pregnant with a likely very impaired, non-viable fetus due to oxygen loss. She left explicit instructions that she did not ever want to be kept on life support, her husband desperately wants to honor that wish, and will have to bankrupt himself going to court to stop this travesty. And how much is this costing? How many women desperately in need of prenatal care could get it for the cost of keeping a dead woman hooked up to machines? And then there are republicans, the NRA and traffic jams on the GW… yeah, zen? me? Nope, don't think so!

1 comment:

  1. Medical ethics is (are?) fascinating, scary and sometimes bewildering. Actually, most of the time bewildering.

    Anyway, those people sound loathsome and you're right: Despicable.