Update on the Awful Kellers

The New York Times has yet to correct Bill Keller’s misleading lede of his shitty column about Lisa Adams:

Lisa Bonchek Adams has spent the last seven years in a fierce and very public cage fight with death.

Her blog was started in 2009. Her metastases were discovered in 2012.

After the Guardian pulled the even more awful piece by Mrs Keller, and after public editor Margaret Sullivan pointed out the inaccuracy above, I thought we’d see another correction by the Times. Nope. Apparently, former Times editor Keller will continue to regale us with his 1980s understanding of breast cancer, his petty insecurity over a blog that didn’t kowtow to media gatekeepers, and his grotesque lack of basic humanity.






131 replies
  1. 1
    Citizen_X says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Paper of Record!

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    Maybe you guys are too young to remember when Abe Rosenthal was writing his op ed column, popularly known as “out of my mind?” This quote, which perfectly sums up Bill Keller, perfectly describes it.

    Apparently, former Times editor Keller will continue to regale us with his 1980s understanding of breast cancer, his petty insecurity over a blog that didn’t kowtow to media gatekeepers, and his grotesque lack of basic humanity.

  3. 3
    Ash Can says:

    Hey, the NYT has to do something to make up for its Benghazi reporting transgression.

  4. 4
    Cermet says:

    From what I read (and this must be in error), sounds as if Ms. Adams has been fighting the cancer for some time using many methods – that usually implies that the cancer did not respond to the original treatment series. In which case, her illness, even through it hadn’t metastasis yet, was very likely terminal. Again, since you indicate the NYT’s reporter has it all wrong, this must not have been the case.

    Could you provide a short history of Ms. Adams illness so we can compare to the NYT piece and get a good idea of how they screwed up that post.

  5. 5
    Tommy says:

    Well can I just say “girl power.” My DVR just went off and I caught a few minutes of GMA. Talking about women and how a lot of folks don’t respect them. They said something I actually agree with, that moms need to reinforce in their little girls they are special. They can be anything they want to be.

    That is what my mom did for me back in the 70s when I was a kid. That I think women are my equal (and often better than myself actually) has worked well for me in my adult life. I don’t have any kids myself, but close with my niece. It is so nice she is being raised to be anything and everything she wants to be. There is no “this is a guy” thing. She can and will be whatever she wants.

    Anybody that tells her she can’t will have to face her parents, my parents, and me. I don’t think they want to do that.

    BTW: I should note there is a III at the end of my name. Katie is the first women born into my family since 1887. We don’t so much “birth” women in my family, so when she came into this world we were so happy. My mom, really happy :)!

  6. 6
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Her metastasis WAS discovered.

    or

    Her metastases WERE discovered.

    I wish her well.

  7. 7
    Belafon says:

    @aimai: Actually, that’s pretty much describes the men in the Republican party, though it doesn’t just apply to breast cancer, and the year could be moved back a few decades.

  8. 8
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @Cermet: This piece has a discussion of her current state:

    https://medium.com/technology-and-society/4d811b45840d

    Short answer is that she’s stage IV, acknowledges it without a bit of denial, has a sophisticated understanding of her illness, and is undergoing the standard palliative therapies for breast cancer that has metastasized into bone (radiation now, chemo before). She also had a Pleur-X catheter installed after having a few liters of fluid drained from her chest. These are not heroic measures, but hopefully they’ll address her pain while she waits for the inevitable mets in her brain and/or liver.

  9. 9
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Thanks, fixed.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    I’m just astounded that these enormously privileged people have the stones to take to two of the great international newspapers in order to make an extremely personal and inappropriate attack against a woman with a young family who is chronicling her experience, a task that I have no doubt helps her get through it all. And does so by comparing her health care decisions to those of an elderly man, as if their situations are even remotely similar. It’s horrible and inhuman. The most disgusting humans I’ve seen in a while.

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    This is how my mother died. She was 74 when it happened and she’d been fighting with all she had until it went into her bones. I don’t understand what Keller’s problem with her is. Sounds like a standard course for that illness.

  12. 12
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @aimai: I was quite charmed by the quotation from an editor of Boing Boing: “Shoddy, shitty, heartless, inaccurate grandstanding.”

  13. 13
    taylormattd says:

    Fucking disgusting. These people are such sociopaths.

  14. 14
    Tommy says:

    @geg6:

    I’m just astounded that these enormously privileged people have the stones to take to two of the great international newspapers in order to make an extremely personal and inappropriate attack against a woman with a young family ….

    It stuns me as well. I am, how do I say it, rich. You know the 1%. I say that not to sound “cool” but because I can’t understand how folks with means don’t seem to understand what it is like not to be rich. I try to understand, but I can’t really.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    The Kellers are stunned, simply stunned that one of those other bipeds, those outside of “our set”, those paper dolls useful for dotting about text as illustrations of scale or charming footnotes of mendacity / praise has objected to their clear inevitable destiny in life, as wallpaper to La vie Keller. The wallpaper must not disturb their beautiful minds.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @geg6:
    I guess Bill Keller (like the Stanford medical school academic he quotes towards the end of his column) sees Lisa Adams’ decision to fight her cancer all the way as some kind of undeserved rebuke to those like his own father-in-law, who decide to go peacefully instead. I find it very hard to believe Adams or anyone in her position would intend any such thing, but there you are.

  17. 17
    vhh says:

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn summed up people like the Kellers in his quasi autobiographical novel about life in the Siberian Gulag, “One Day in the LIfe of Ivan Denisovich”:

    “How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand one who’s cold?”

  18. 18

    Do the Kellers want people with cancer to just shut up and die? I don’t get the point of this article.

  19. 19
    Aji says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In a word, yes. Unless it’s themselves or one of their set, of course.

    Special rules for special people, after all.

  20. 20
    RSA says:

    I’m about to go TMI here, but so be it:

    My wife has early onset dementia, comparable to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease, at age 49. In early December her health had deteriorated to the point that we moved out of our house into an independent living facility, where we’re almost 30 years younger than the average resident. My life is pretty complicated these days.

    After a long debate with myself, I decided to chronicle parts of what’s going on in our lives and post it to Facebook. Some of it is relatively light, some intensely personal. Any self-aware person who does this sort of thing has had to think about the repercussions, in particular that other people might dump on me (that’s not a problem–I can block them) or use what I’m writing as part of some external agenda. The latter hasn’t happened to me, but I would be extremely uncomfortable if it did. My reasons for writing are complex. Our situation isn’t reducible to a thought experiment or a case study for thinking about larger issues. As other commenters have observed, the Kellers seem to be missing the point that they’re writing about human beings.

  21. 21
    Woody says:

    If a politician of national stature (analogous to Bill Keller) – Republican or Democrat – had spoken thus, the courtier press would be awash in commentary, all of it negative. The Kellers’ peers will, of course, observe strict silence – manners, don’t you know.

    They do this with the subjects they cover as well, of course.

  22. 22
    Aji says:

    @RSA:

    the Kellers seem to be missing the point that they’re writing about that essential element that would make them human beings.

    And I’m very sorry to hear what you and your wife are dealing with now. I can quite easily understand how “putting it out there” would be helpful at a time like this. I even more easily understand that it’s nobody’s business but yours and your wife’s. I know anything I have to say . . . well, that and a buck will get you a cup of really bad coffee. But FWIW, I wish you every single blessing you can cadge out of this old world right now.

  23. 23
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @RSA:

    How terrible! My sympathy and warm thoughts. Of course you should right about your experiences. And talk about them. And cry about them.

    Hugs to you both.

  24. 24
    El Cid says:

    Look, it’s hard work getting born to be the son of the Chairman & CEO of Chevron. Bill Keller never had it easy.

  25. 25
    Cervantes says:

    @Lee Rudolph: You have to realize that the quote comes from someone who now has second thoughts about “live-tweeting” her own cancer diagnosis and treatment two years ago.

  26. 26
    RSA says:

    Thanks, Aji and Linda. You’re exactly right–keeping a public journal (I post a couple of times a week) is part of staying connected with people and the outside world, which is pretty therapeutic for me, at least.

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    @RSA: Enormous hugs to you. Enormous. Writing and hitting “publish” are totally normal ways of trying to process thought about something so huge and overwhelming. At least for some people. You’d think that the Kellers, qua writers, would get that. Joan Didion did it in The Year of Magical Thinking. Lots of people have done it, and will do it, more or less professionally and for a more or less public audience. I wish you and your wife all the best on this terrible journey.

  28. 28
    eric says:

    @RSA: sorry is not enough, but i am so sorry. you do what you need to do for you now. you have to deal with the real life ramifications, no one else does and if writing somehow makes your spirit breathe easier so effing be it. i wish you peace

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I find it very hard to believe Adams or anyone in her position would intend any such thing.

    Given that she describes herself as “dedicated to education and personal choice by cancer patients,” I expect you’re right.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @RSA:
    I can’t think of anything to add to the wise words already said here about the value of chronicling your experiences as a way of coping and coming to terms with them. So let me add to the good thoughts coming your way.

  31. 31
    RSA says:

    Thanks again. (I’ll stop after this.) aimai, I wanted to say that this comment of yours yesterday was even more insightful than usual, and it made me think about the Lisa/Kellers situation in a new way.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The true solution is to fire the vile twit.

    But the Times won’t do that. They didn’t fire the equally vile Jeff Gerth, the man responsible for the fabricated scandals of Whitewater and Wen Ho Lee. Then of course there was Judith Miller, another vile hack who worked to sell the illegal and immoral war of aggression against Iraq.

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    @RSA: It helps to chronicle these things. That, alone, is worth doing.

    But it also informs other people. Whether they are coping with the same thing or a wildly different thing or nothing at all… yet; they need to know these things.

    I know I’m a better person for vicariously living more lives than the one I’ve got now. Your work is how that happens.

    Blessings on you for making such a huge change. Some people just can’t do it… and that turns out far worse.

  34. 34
    cmm says:

    Every time I am tempted to subscribe to NYT, something like this happens and I decide no, not right now.

  35. 35
    maurinsky says:

    I can totally understand why someone who is grappling with illness (or any crisis, really) takes to the internet. Being sick is isolating. Knowing you aren’t alone, sharing what you are going through…these are things that can help you keep connected with others. I don’t understand the Kellers.

  36. 36
    Hawes says:

    I read both articles and can’t understand the outrage. Her article in no way diminishes Ms Adams bravery, it simply wonders about social media and privacy. His article also says that Ms Adams choice is right for her, but it might not be right for everyone.

    If it wasn’t Bill Keller writing this, no one would give a shit. Instead, we are getting a bunch of straw man arguments hurled around because MSM, WMD, Judith Miller.

  37. 37

    Dealing with cancer can be very isolating. I experienced this not as patient but as a caregiver for someone with stage IV lymphoma. The way anyone deals with their own or or their loved one’s cancer is none of the Keller’s goddamned business. STFU.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ash Can:

    So they’re doubling down with Keller?

    Typical of the “Paper of Record” which has had a serious case of butthurt for 40 fucking years when they got shut out of Watergate by the WaPo, which has since joined the NYT in the “Pravda on an American river” club.

  39. 39

    @Hawes: Why write an op-ed about a dying woman and pass judgment on her choice of treatment and the way she expresses herself on social media? How is that Bill Keller’s business? I did not even know about this woman until Keller’s column appeared.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @RSA: You have my good wishes as your life has indeed become challenging and complicated. I can see how writing about it could be therapeutic, and hope that it continues to be.

  41. 41
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Hawes: Really? Or is my snarkometer in need of a tune up again?

    If it isn’t, well, I don’t have polite words.

  42. 42
    Seanly says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yes, it is. My wife & I tend to be loners and we withdrew even more during her treatments. I didn’t handle (or even acknowledge) the stress we were under & it contributed to me losing my job a few months after her treatment was over.

  43. 43
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Hawes: The problem, as RSA said, is they seemingly don’t recognize that they’re writing about human beings. By making it individual and personal this way, they crossed a line.

    Emma Keller wrote:

    I even set up a dedicated @adamslisa column in Tweetdeck

    That’s what it’s all about to her – her obsession and how she was forced to follow her on Twitter. Oh, the humanity!!!11

    It’s not about Lisa Adams, it’s about poor Emma.

    The Kellers deserve every bit of outrage that they’re getting on these pieces.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    It’s always about them, even when it’s obviously not about them.

  45. 45
    Gex says:

    OT: But this kid knows what the problem is. My only quibble is that the teachers don’t seem to have much say in the curriculum or how they teach anymore, so perhaps the wrong person is on the receiving end. But the main point is the kids in these schools know that our for-profit inspired, teach-to-the-test approach isn’t serving them. Not that many adults seem to care…

  46. 46

    @Amir Khalid: Receiving a cancer diagnosis at any age and especially when you are young is a body blow. Some people just want you to curl up and die and not talk about it for they are afraid that it will give them cancer cooties. I have dealt with people like Kellers IRL. Thankfully for me they did not have op-ed columns in national newspapers.

  47. 47

    @Amir Khalid: Receiving a cancer diagnosis at any age and especially when you are young is a body blow. Some people just want you to curl up and die and not talk about it for they are afraid that it will give them cancer cooties. I have dealt with people like Kellers IRL. Thankfully for me they did not have op-ed columns in national newspapers.
    The entire column was terrible but begrudging a very sick person therapy dogs is the absolute limit of depravity.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @RSA:

    My wife has early onset dementia, comparable to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease, at age 49. In early December her health had deteriorated to the point that we moved out of our house into an independent living facility, where we’re almost 30 years younger than the average resident. My life is pretty complicated these days.

    We lost someone to Alzheimer’s disease about a year ago. He had been diagnosed at 70. He stayed at home for the first four years; his wife and extended family took care of him. Those years were manageable — but eventually his behavior grew more and more erratic, and it all became too much for his wife. She checked him — and only him — into a series of care facilities, each one seemingly more mechanical than the previous one — his condition deteriorated rapidly once he was not at home. You can imagine the complications and repercussions — and guilt.

    Our situation isn’t reducible to a thought experiment or a case study for thinking about larger issues.

    On the other hand those larger issues are compelling, which means literally that people are going to read about them, and think about them, and raise questions, and express their views. We should be aware that writing in a private diary is not the same thing as publishing on the Internet. And just as no one is forcing the Kellers to read Lisa Adams, no one is forcing anyone to read the Kellers, either.

    May the road rise up to meet you. My love and best wishes to you, your wife, and your family.

  49. 49
    Suffern ACE says:

    Look, I can see how this would happen and I think you’re kind of harsh on the Kellers. I mean I often sit around with my partner complaining how cancer patients suck up all of the attention. He’s just saying what everyone is thinking.

  50. 50
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Hawes: You really don’t see why it’s over the line for a well-known columnist in one of the world’s most powerful and widely-read newspapers to groundlessly speculate about the cost of a therapy dog for a terminal cancer patient whom he doesn’t even know?

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    My sympathy for one who was forced to lead such a hard life is boundless.

    This is why when you take out aristocrat wannabees, you take out their spawn as well. The rot is hereditary.

  52. 52
    Felonius Monk says:

    TBogg weighed in on this yesterday as part of a larger post titled Wild in the Tweets:

    Which brings us to Bill Keller’s column today which has set hearts aflutter, veins a’bulgin’ and brains a’splodin’, particularly amongst people whom I respect and read and enjoy on a daily basis (Death Panel! Bully! As bad as FishBowlDC!) and, to be frank: I don’t get the outrage. Keller’s column about Lisa Bonchek Adams takes off from one his wife wrote over at The Guardian (since taken down presumably because Emma Keller quoted private DM’s from Bonchek Adams without permission, but you can read it here). To my reading, Bill Keller is writing about how we choose to prolong or not prolong our lives, economic consequences, and how the modern tendency to ‘live out loud’ via social media informs others. Emma Keller’s piece, on the other hand, is primarily devoted to the social media aspect, particularly how, even though it is presented freely for our consideration, it can make us feel like a voyeur. She also addresses our propensity to over-share. I think it is possible to argue the merits of their views as well as their tone but, in light of their effusive praise of the courage and fight in Lisa Bonchek Adams, I’m hard pressed to find the shaming, the bullying, and the death-wishing. If there is something to complain about, it is Bill Keller seemingly using his NYT column to defend his wife’s column published elsewhere. Poorly played, Bill.

    Seems like he’s not quite as outraged as our Dread Pirate. How come?.

  53. 53
    Gene108 says:

    @Hawes:

    Keller could have made a “food for thought” argument on the actual value of medical treatments, when you know a patient is at a point the condition is terminal and nothing we do will cause it to get better.

    He went afte a specific stage 4 cancer patient and her choices for treatment.

    As if she is doing something that should be reprimanded.

    That is why Keller needs a kick in the nuts.

  54. 54
    Chyron HR says:

    @Hawes:

    Plebian blog commenters criticizing the NYT is BAD and WRONG.

    NYT editorials (plural) denouncing people for their “Tweets” is GOOD and JUST.

    Got it, folks? Hawes doesn’t want to have to tell you again.

  55. 55
    Aji says:

    @Hawes: If you can’t understand it, then you need to check yourself for, you know, a soul. Because what we have here are two overprivileged global attention whores (and bloody hypocrites, to boot) using international media platforms to troll a dying young woman because she has the nerve to do what they do and write about her experiences. It’s bullying, and it’s really cheap and tawdry and shameful.

  56. 56
    MomSense says:

    @Lee Rudolph:

    “Shoddy, shitty, heartless, inaccurate grandstanding.”

    That should be added immediately to our B-J rotation. Would work for so many situations.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Bypassing the gatekeepers is always, always wrong.

    This is why the Intertrons are so utterly evil. It means that some overprivileged assholes might lose their phony baloney jobs.

  58. 58
    Mark says:

    After reading the commentary here and elsewhere I was really surprised when I read Keller’s column. He was making a controversial point (that I don’t agree with) but he was respectful towards her while he was doing so. All this seems overblown.

    Didn’t see the wife’s take though.

  59. 59
    Cervantes says:

    @Felonius Monk: Count me in with TBogg on this one.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Similarly, a diagnosis can seem to eat up your life and all other people want to do is ask about your symptoms or get you to ‘talk’ about it as they see that as therapeutic. The interwebs can be a relief as a place where that’s not the sum total of your existence and where you can get away and make stupid jokes about shit and not be patted on the head about how brave you are. All depends on the person and exact day and finding a workable balance for that exact person.

    But giving people the space and freedom to work that out for themselves is basic civility. Using them as paper doll illustrations and quoting them without warning or approval? Doubles down on failing humanity, plus raking up a few journalist malfeasance stars. If either one of them needed “examples” as hooks, there were a few even closer to hand as at least a few cancer diagnoses and follow-throughs have had ongoing columns in the Guard itself, plus the whole book few years ago, so why pick on a person still in the thick of it, just because it’s a blog? Or, because the columnists were fellow journalists are they not to be questioned?

  61. 61
    Gex says:

    @RSA: I created a special Facebook page when Kate was hospitalized last January while she was dying. That page is still up and I still review it. As do others. That page tied us all together. It helped our friends and family stay current, support me, and deal in their own way with Kate’s death.

    In short, it was one of the most amazing writing experiences of my life. The community it provided when I was isolated in the hospital was immense. And I know the people following had equally profound experience with it.

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I hope that writing about your experience and sharing it with people is as helpful to you as it was to me.

    The Kellers are cruel. They want someone to be lonely and isolated. They want someone to not be able to express themselves as they see fit. Anyway, don’t these old media folks always go on and on about how new media has no rules or standards?

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:

    @RSA:

    Like others have already I can only say–hugs. Many hugs.
    I can only imagine what your situation is like and think you should be both commended and encouraged to keep journaling.
    Having dealt a little with mental impairment–my dad had 2 brain surgeries in the last year and is now diagnosed as an epileptic–I have a small window of insight into how challenging it is and how lonely you must feel. I’m glad you have found a way to keep reaching out to people.

  63. 63
    Butch says:

    @Cervantes: I was going to mention TBogg but got beated to it. I also can be counted with TBogg.

  64. 64
    EconWatcher says:

    Keller’s column was obnoxious, particularly the parting shot in the last sentence implying that Adams is not acting with grace.

    That said, my experiences with my dad last year have affected my view of battling cancer (depending on the diagnosis). He had a form of brain cancer that’s fatal for most people in about 18 months, and just about 100% fatal in 2 to 3 years, even with aggressive treatment. His doctors convinced him and us that he might have a chance at better quality of life in the time left if he went through some really nasty chemo and radiation treatments. Because my dad had been incredibly healthy (a 70 year old in the condition of a marine just out of boot camp), we thought it was worth a shot.

    I really wish we had said no. It was torture, and it just made him decline faster (he was gone after six months of horror). I have a very strong suspicion that the doctors would not recommend the treatments if it was their loved one, with my dad’s diagnosis. But they need data and experience in this area where the state of knowledge is still amazingly primitive, so they encourage patients to do it, and they write things down in charts for later compilation and study, while the patients go through hell.

    After it was all over, I realized that one of the nurses was very, very discreetly trying to warn me, but I just didn’t get it at the time. And then it hit me: Why on earth would anyone go through really brutal chemo and radiation treatments if the prognosis is still certain and fairly quick death? The arguments the doctors made for the treatments made absolutely no sense in retrospect, but when I was there at the time, I just couldn’t weigh it all clearly. I don’t think the doctors were really bad people, but they are using their patients. This all weighs on me, because I’ll never forget the images of suffering.

    You really have to make your own decisions. Doctors don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.

  65. 65

    @scav: Intertoobz and kittehs can be therapeutic, also too kittehz on the intertoobz.

  66. 66

    @EconWatcher: Nurses in the cancer wards are the real unsung heroes.

  67. 67
    EconWatcher says:

    @RSA:

    Best to you and your wife, sir.

  68. 68
    Gex says:

    @aimai: I read recently (probably on this site) about how as a society we like memoirs that talk about all these hard difficult struggles. But for some reason these two are complaining about information received real time that they would gladly have had her family collect and publish after her death at which point they’d gladly read it without a “tsk tsk” to be had.

    It’s completely arbitrary and stupid.

  69. 69

    @Hawes:

    If it wasn’t Bill Keller writing this, no one would give a shit.

    Well, yeah, that’s kind of the point.  This isn’t one blogger criticizing another blogger.  This is the NEW YORK FUCKING TIMES coming down on a private citizen blogging about her illness and holding her up as an example for the entire world to scrutinize.

    Like it or not, the New York Times still has an enormous amount of power and influence in this country, and a lot of people still look to them for opinion writing.

    When you watched “Bambi vs. Godzilla,” did you think, Well, Bambi shouldn’t have been prancing around in the forest where Godzilla could stomp on him?

  70. 70
    srv says:

    @RSA: Cannot imagine what that is like to go through. But I would guess your chronicle will open up a lot of eyes.

  71. 71
    Valdivia says:

    Apparently Keller is out with yet another gem today saying he’s being bullied by the political correctness police.

  72. 72

    @RSA: Keep writing and doing what ever it is that you need to do and good luck!

  73. 73
    Aji says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): [Snorfle]

    That one left a mark.

  74. 74
    gvg says:

    give an accurate view. The links above go to Adams blog where she says she has been writing about it for 6 years so even though the actual current blog may have been only started in 2009, Keller only mistated by one year maybe. The website says Lisa Adams 2008-2014.

  75. 75
    scav says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: perhaps to my detriment, kittens don’t work for me, nor does penicillin (rashes for the latter and oddly, I rather like actual cats, especially the uber-cat like ones with the haughty, elusive, demanding attitudes down). Rubber ducks, virtual or actual, however, usually bring immediate relief.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Valdivia:

    He’s fortunate it’s only that. And he’s still not comprehending what he’s done.

    A crowd with pitchforks outside his window MIGHT persuade him to engage in a bit of self examination, but I doubt it. He’s a very arrogant ass.

  77. 77
    Aji says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This would be a good place for that “Jump! You Fuckers!” sign.

  78. 78
    Cervantes says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Keller’s column was obnoxious, particularly the parting shot in the last sentence implying that Adams is not acting with grace.

    From the last part, where Keller quotes Goodman: The approach Adams takes

    has brought meaning, a deserved sense of accomplishment. But it shouldn’t be unduly praised. Equal praise is due to those who accept an inevitable fate with grace and courage.

    Grace and courage can show up in many ways, some explicit and some silent. Goodman is not saying or “implying that Adams is not acting with grace.” What he’s saying is that we should reserve some praise also for people who are perhaps more accepting of their fate than she is.

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Doctors don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.

    Call me cynical, but did any of those doctors have some sort of financial interest in providing the chemo therapy?

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    No, I don’t think so. What exactly does he mean by “unduly praised”? It implies that this woman is threatening to steal his spotlight from him. Which is why he is so deplorable an example of a human being. Totally unnecessary comment, IMHO.

    It’s part of a general disdain for the rabble having any sort of input into mass media at all, threatening Keller’s precious turf. They’re not supposed to participate in it, in the view of people like Keller.

  81. 81
    rb says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I guess Bill Keller (like the Stanford medical school academic he quotes towards the end of his column) sees Lisa Adams’ decision to fight her cancer all the way as some kind of undeserved rebuke to those like his own father-in-law, who decide to go peacefully instead.

    That was Steve Goodman, whom I used to know in a very limited way. He is an outstanding and thoughtful physician, and really one of the more humane and excellent people you’re likely to meet on a given day.

    It’s a very unfortunate quote in my opinion, and I was sad to read it. And so, aside from the affront to basic ethics and decency, this pathetic act of ‘journalism’ also provides a lesson in how making sure one is providing and understanding the full context of a situation is so important not only in quoting someone, but also in agreeing to be quoted. I believe Steve would have said something quite a bit more subtle and eloquent had Keller not framed the conversation/question around a hypothetical woman Keller invented (one who describes herself as a ‘warrior’ in a ‘cage match’ with a cancer that is definitely about to be terminal any minute but she won’t accept it, and who passes judgment on similar patients who don’t ‘fight’ as much as she thinks proper), as opposed to the real-life person in question, who is the complete f-cking opposite of that cheap stereotype.

    So it’s a shame Steve was (I have to imagine) misled. At the same time, he agreed to be quoted, and in dealing with the press, one must be on guard and take responsibility for one’s words. Very unfortunate.

  82. 82
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Felonius Monk: Seems like [TBogg]’s not quite as outraged as our Dread Pirate. How come?.

    Um, they’re not the same person? And different people have different opinions?

  83. 83
    EconWatcher says:

    @Cervantes:

    No disprespect, but I don’t think you’re seeing what’s there. What does it mean to say that Adams should not be “unduly praised”? And what does it mean to contrast “undue praise” that shouldn’t be afforded to Adamas with the courage and grace of someone accepting his fate, in the next sentence? People can certainly read language different ways, but to me at least, particularly in context of the rest, the implication seemed pretty clear.

    And the fact that it was a quote from someone else seems neither here nor there. Keller was obviously using it for support, and obviously agreed with it.

  84. 84
    EconWatcher says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I see Villago beat me to it.

  85. 85
    Valdivia says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    the lack of self awareness is such I even doubt that would awaken him to his errors.

  86. 86
    MomSense says:

    @RSA:

    I’m sorry to hear about what you and your wife are going through. We are not always heartless jackals here so I hope that you will share with us as you want/need to and that you will let us know how we can support you.

    Sending you and your wife my support and a big hug.

  87. 87
    EconWatcher says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As I believe Lily Thomlin once said, “I try to be cynical, but I just can’t keep up.”

    I don’t know if the doctors had a financial incentive to provide the treatments, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  88. 88
    rb says:

    @EconWatcher: The arguments the doctors made for the treatments made absolutely no sense in retrospect, but when I was there at the time, I just couldn’t weigh it all clearly. I don’t think the doctors were really bad people, but they are using their patients. This all weighs on me, because I’ll never forget the images of suffering.

    I’m so sorry your father went through that; I know that words can neither describe the level of suffering he endured nor ease your memory of that anguish.

    I just want to highlight what you say above for emphasis. Clinician scientists have a built-in conflict of interest. There is a legitimate need for these data, but the right of the patient to decide his/her own fate is paramount; if the science therefore suffers, so be it. Everyone knows and swears by this in principle, but in practice it is incredibly difficult to navigate that boundary.

    The way out, of course, is that scientists must make sure that the patient (who becomes a subject) and his/her care providers are in a 100% informed state as to the price to be paid, as well as being realistic about any gains to be had, if there are any at all. This is far easier said than done. It sounds as if the protocol in place in your case leaves much to be desired. I am sure you have thought about this, but in your situation I might consider making contact with researchers at the institution where your father was treated, or an academic center nearby. The practical ethics of these situations is itself an area of intense discussion both at the research and administrative level, and hearing from a voice like yours is many times more useful than all of the hypotheticals and simulations one could ever devise.

  89. 89
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    No, I don’t think so. What exactly does he mean by “unduly praised”?

    All Goodman means there is that both approaches mentioned are deserving of praise.

    In fact, he actually uses the words “equal praise is due,” so I’m not sure how much clearer he could be.

  90. 90
    brettvk says:

    @Gex: This. Adams is presenting her own story without the screening provided by editors/publishers who revise and repackage it after her death in a small-format inspirational hardback with a pastel cover. She has control over how realistic or sentimental her story is. What the Kellers and their media supporters object to is the innovation of cancer patients refusing the role of heroic lifetime-movie victims and telling their own stories.

    Keller may have had a vaguely praiseworthy goal in writing about futile treatments given to terminal patients, but his personal anxieties about social media and his own position in a deteriorating nation led him to choose a wildly inappropriate target to illustrate his argument. The fact that he would write about the same person his wife had just criticized in another paper is also a weird and questionable bit of authorial judgement.

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @rb: Keller claims that Goodman looked at (perused) Adams’s blog before commenting.

  92. 92
    EconWatcher says:

    @rb:

    Thank you, that’s an interesting and helpful comment. His main treating physician was an MD/PhD, heavily involved in cutting-edge research at a very renowned university hospital. Sounded good at the time. Now, I can see the other side of the coin you’re talking about.

  93. 93
    rb says:

    @Cervantes: I understand your parsing, but “unduly praised” just reads poorly, like a scrooge-ish way of implying that one should be miserly in doling out accolades to those who endure incredible suffering.

    Again, my reading is that Goodman was reacting to Keller’s projection onto Adams of the ‘warrior’ metaphor and its implicit judgment of those who choose not to fight using the same tools. And in a vacuum I would agree; one should not ‘unduly’ privilege that approach over any other.

    But the whole point is that Keller had created a phantom Adams nothing like the real one, and was being unduly and perversely critical in his take on her approach. It’s unfortunate that any clinicians, to say nothing of leaders in the field, allowed themselves to be drafted into this unethical and reprehensible shitshow.

  94. 94
    Hawes says:

    To everyone who suggested I was soulless, well, at least I read the articles in question without prejudgment. I’m more sympathetic to Tbogg’s point. I don’t think at ANY POINT did Keller suggest this woman “go away and die”. To reach that conclusion, you have to decide you dislike Keller ahead of time.

    The flaw in his argument is that there is a crucial difference between the decision a 37 year old mom might make and an 80 year old man, when faced with the same dread diagnosis. But Keller only suggests that our veneration for the “fighter” – which at no time does he suggest is wrong – not diminish the choice of those who decide a different path.

    We have the technological means to extend life – see Ariel Sharon. But we also need to realize that sometimes, some people decide to not exhaust every available treatment (Keller himself expressed surprise at how few cancer patients sign up for experimental treatments).

    I don’t give a shit about Bill Keller. But I worry – as Tbogg notes in his piece – when the Left enters its own little haterverse and refuses to engage any personality we decide is distasteful to us personally. I don’t like it when DougJ attacks people who listen to NPR.

    It’s easy enough to win arguments against the “other side” without distorting what they are saying.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Seems like he’s not quite as outraged as our Dread Pirate. How come?

    Because TBogg is somewhat embarrassed at the outsized wrath he brought down on a jackass whose name you might remember: George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina:

    One last thing before everyone starts accusing me in the comments of “mansplaining” (as if cancer isn’t an equal opportunity destroyer), or “heathsplaining” or “mortalityplaining” or whatever catchy dismissive neologism bubbles up to the surface this week. I had no small part in an Internet mob in 2012 when I posted a tweet from George Tierney of Greenville, South Carolina for being a dick to Sandra Fluke. It was all fun and games with his request to be taken off the Google until it kind of exploded and then people starting harassing his parents and posting his address and phone number and being every bit as douchey as George. At that point, as awful of a person as I thought he was, I wished I could have taken all of it off of the Google.

    So it’s not so much “Keller isn’t so bad” as “I [TBogg] have reason to know these things can spin out of control because I started one of these feeding frenzies myself.”

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @Cervantes: He clearly could have exercised much better judgement in picking illustrating examples. Even if he had to use actual people, there’s the issue of counterposing a living person against one that is dead. There are other less fraught examples of people more firmly in the public domain even at the Guard. His choice was at best lazy and unthinking and callous and on the balance probably driven in part by his wife’s more serious misuse. His repeated doubling down does not reflect well on either his understanding or probable motives. In short, irregardless of his position on this exact subject, he’s an arrogant SOB, whining about being hounded by public opinion from a throne wherein he pretends to deliver same.

  97. 97
    Hawes says:

    @brettvk: I never saw that criticism. Maybe it’s implicit in Emma Keller’s piece. But as she notes, she found the story incredibly compelling and emotional. Emma Keller wrote about social media and privacy (and what could be more private and personal than our dying?). Bill Keller wrote about end of life decisions.

    It is warped and incestuous that they picked the same woman as their subject, but I didn’t find the condemnatory tone others found.

  98. 98
    Cervantes says:

    @rb:

    “Unduly praised” just reads poorly, like a scrooge-ish way of implying that one should be miserly in doling out accolades to those who endure incredible suffering.

    This I agree with. It reads poorly.

  99. 99
    rb says:

    @Cervantes: Keller claims that Goodman looked at (perused) Adams’s blog before commenting.

    Indeed, and assuming that’s true, it’s why Goodman isn’t off the hook for having been misled.

  100. 100
    WereBear says:

    @EconWatcher: You are profoundly correct.

    I’m very sad you had to come to this knowledge so harshly; and even more so for your father. My condolences. But you did the best you could, and none of us are thinking clearly in such circumstances.

    My MIL (in her late 70’s) just passed away after 2 1/2 years of cancer treatment suffering. In her last summer here (though neither of us knew that is what it was) we spent a whole week together, and she told me that if she had been told the truth of it all, not pretty euphemisms, she would have simply enjoyed the time she had left.

    She wound up with a longer time, but very little of it was enjoyable.

    And so, that’s the bigger picture of what’s going on here: honesty.

    The Kellers (especially the wife’s column, who did some outright unethical things) were not musing on different paths taken and how our society should handle it.

    They were demeaning this mother’s struggle to be a part of her children’s lives a little longer, of putting up with a lot of physical and mental pain to live on her own terms, and, actually musing on the cost of Canine Companions. I guess research is something these journalists can do without; therapy dog programs are run mostly by volunteers.

    I did find the whole thing disgusting. They did it very subtly; but they were rude and condescending.

    They should know better. They are not our betters.

  101. 101
    rk says:

    I don’t see any reason why anyone (least of all an NY times editor and his wife), need to comment or pass judgement on a woman blogging about her cancer experience. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t read it. Common decency should tell them to keep their mouths shut and their disapproval to themselves. There should only be a few rules about dealing with or saying anything to terminal cancer patients. Don’t do anything to add to the patients’ emotional burden. Only give advise about treatment or the situation if asked. Want to criticize their choices, bite your tongue till the urge passes, or in the case or this stupid editor man, step away from the keyboard and drag your wife with you.

  102. 102
    Cervantes says:

    @Hawes:

    To everyone who suggested I was soulless

    Just ignore such nonsense. It’s easy to do.

    I don’t think at ANY POINT did Keller suggest this woman “go away and die”. To reach that conclusion, you have to decide you dislike Keller ahead of time.

    I do dislike Keller, have done so for decades. Still I don’t conclude from this (admittedly flawed) column that he wants Lisa Adams to “go away and die.” It’s a ridiculous idea.

    It’s easy enough to win arguments against the “other side” without distorting what they are saying.

    Preach it.

  103. 103
    Cervantes says:

    @rb: How was Goodman “misled” if he actually read Adams before commenting on what she writes?

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    My father-in-law made the same decision, and he did get those extra three years (he had a glioblastoma multiforme that was inoperable). It’s not so much that the doctors don’t have your best interests at heart — it’s more that they don’t know. They don’t know how a particular person is going to react to the treatment, only how most people react. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t have given you fuller information about the risks and benefits, but even doctors don’t know for sure.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, but George Tierney is another nobody.

    Bill Keller is a somebody, with an income, lifestyle, and set of friends to match. Bill Keller will tell you he’s a somebody, who should be above the fray of the peasants.

    Which is why he and his wife both need tumbrel rides.

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Keller earned his tumbrel ride ages ago.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rk:

    Common decency

    Bill Keller, like Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in Die Hard will tell you that he is NOT common.

    Therefore you won’t be finding any “common decency” from him.

  108. 108
    Gretchen says:

    @RSA: I’m sorry to hear that. Keep us up on what’s happening.
    The thing that got me was Keller’s asking Sloane-Kettering and Adams how much her treatment was costing, and complaining that they wouldn’t tell him. How much does he think it’s worth for a child to have another 6 months with her mother? Does it cost too much, so the kid should just suck it up?
    Brining pet therapy into the whole thing, as if she is too pampered, is just weird. Those people are usually volunteers. I’ve done it myself, when I had a gently friendly Golden Retriever.

  109. 109
    pete says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think that’s right. TBogg is basically a good person who likes to flail away at those who deserve it; GT Jr of SC thoroughly deserved it for being a jackass but OTOH was not really a public figure until TBogg outed him. In this case, however, TBogg is in my view conflating some ridiculous over-reactions to other recent mini-scandalettes with the Keller faux pas de deux, which do deserve public flailing.

  110. 110
    rb says:

    @EconWatcher: His main treating physician was an MD/PhD, heavily involved in cutting-edge research at a very renowned university hospital.

    Yours is one of the really difficult situations, because the person who has the very best knowledge and understanding of your dad’s specific circumstance – who can really inform you about what could happen – is also the one who has the greatest conflict of interest. S/he is likely also a very positive thinker / go-getter / risk-taker etc., who will, no matter how much s/he modulates her tone, unconsciously project a ‘let’s do this!’ attitude.

    Some fail-safes, like having an ‘independent’ party (defined how?) discuss the details of the treatment/research with you, aren’t wholly satisfactory, because you want the most knowledgeable person in the room and taking responsibility. I sometimes feel that there should be in the room an independent advocate for your dad in that moment along with the physician him/herself, but that cuts both ways as well, because now you’re dealing with a committee rather than a doctor, and in some sense that third party would presumably be empowered to overrule you and your dad (and given how risk-averse we can be in these situations, that might happen a good deal more often than patients would like).

    Be that as it may: bluntly, in your case, the ethics protocol failed. I am truly sorry.

  111. 111
    Another amazon says:

    Reading over the thread so far, it occurs to me that not everyone knows that some people with Stage IV BC react very well to the current treatments available and live for many years, as in 10+. Their cancer stabilizes & stops advancing or they even reach NED (no evidence of disease). In general, people with bone mets tend to do better than those with lung or liver mets (those are the three places BC mets tend to land first).

    It’s not always smooth sailing though. Patients do well for a while, have a medical crisis, change or add a new treatment, and bounce back until the next bump in the road. I don’t think anyone can know if Ms Adams’ current medical condition is a temporary bump or not, especially those of us who are far removed (looking at you, Bill & Emma).

    Lisa Bonchek Adams is only one of a good-sized online community of Stage IV BC bloggers/facebookers/tweeters, and I will tell you, her compatriots are beyond livid at the Kellers’ treatment of her.

  112. 112
    Jon Karak says:

    The “Margaret Sullivan pointed out the inaccuracy” link is broken. Should be:
    http://publiceditor.blogs.nyti.....ncer/?_r=0

  113. 113
    rb says:

    @Cervantes: How was Goodman “misled” if he actually read Adams before commenting on what she writes?

    I don’t think Goodman read her entire blog and all of her tweets, or anywhere close to that; I think ‘peruse’ (Keller’s word IIRC) means he scanned some fraction of it. I am making the assumption that he did not intentionally imply criticism of a patient for using the ‘warrior’ metaphor knowing full well that she flatly rejects and hates said metaphor.

    My read is: Keller sloppily mischaracterized his subject, a cardinal journalistic sin. Having read some probably-smallish fraction of her work, Goodman did not detect the disconnect between it and Keller’s summary of it, a regrettable and wince-inducing error, but one that you can see happening given Keller’s stature. It’s a blunder, no doubt, but from my limited viewpoint this feels more like ‘misled’ than ‘knowingly wrong.’

  114. 114
    Another amazon says:

    @Gretchen: I’ve mentioned this is in a previous thread but it’s a horse I enjoyed beating. Emma Keller had Stage 0 BC last year and opted for one, if not the most, complicated and involved method of breast reconstruction. It involved three surgeons and 12 hours in the OR, and cost a cool quarter of a million.

    She’s entitled to reconstruction, it’s a legitmate choice. But if the Kellers were really concerned about medical spending, they could have gotten her a prothesis for a couple of hundred dollars.

  115. 115
    Lex says:

    The ironic thing in all this is that some media-industry insiders have been informally campaigning for Margaret Sullivan to get a Pulitzer Prize next year.

    Pros: She’s leagues better than any previous person to hold the position.

    Cons: There’s an argument that the effect (or lack of effect) of one’s work shouldn’t figure into Pulitzer-worthiness, and in most cases I would agree. But Sullivan has one job: to advocate on behalf of readers for making the Times better. And has she? Not just no, but hell, no. When she can’t even get a simple factual error corrected, putting her in the same league with Pulitzer-quality work is to betray a horrible lack of perspective. Because, frankly, “better than any other NYT ombudsman” is not that high a bar.

  116. 116
    WereBear says:

    @Another amazon: Lisa Bonchek Adams is only one of a good-sized online community of Stage IV BC bloggers/facebookers/tweeters, and I will tell you, her compatriots are beyond livid at the Kellers’ treatment of her.

    And they should know, methinks.

  117. 117
    slippytoad says:

    @geg6:

    enormously privileged people have the stones to take to two of the great international newspapers in order to make an extremely personal and inappropriate attack against a woman with a young family who is chronicling her experience, a task that I have no doubt helps her get through it all.

    I think I said this before, but some people who have assigned themselves a ‘class’ of superior what-the-hell-ever they think it is that they have over the mere Lisa Adams’ of the word, and feel it is their proper and right role to armchair quarterback our lives.

    I think it is because they are hollow, shapeless, empty and useless people. Personally, I believe when most people achieve “wealth” it must kind of feel like becoming a grandparent — you know for a fact your days in the sun are over. The game is then finished. You no longer struggle. I see this in many aspects of people who become successful and then seem to lose whatever edge got them into the game in the first place. I don’t know how long the Kellers’ gaping mouths have been at the trough, but it’s pretty clear they’ve got nothing better to do than needle-nose through the lives of everyone else who is still struggling, still actually living (even Lisa Adams is living more than the Kellers probably do).

    I can’t think of another reason people who have no need and no want in their life would waste their breath bitterly complaining about someone who has nothing to do with them.

  118. 118
    shelly says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I am so sorry for what you and your father went thru.
    My Dad died of a brain tumor as well . Went thru surgery, chemo , which seemed to help. But then when it was advancing, radiation, which the doctors admitted might not then make much difference. And then, the neurosurgeon wanted a second surgery. Our GP told our Mother she really had to go along with it. And not because it would do any real good, but ‘if she didn’t, she’d always regret it.’ I mean, talk about fucked up. He barely lasted another 3 months.

  119. 119
    Cervantes says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I don’t think you’re seeing what’s there. What does it mean to say that Adams should not be “unduly praised”? And what does it mean to contrast “undue praise” that shouldn’t be afforded to Adamas with the courage and grace of someone accepting his fate, in the next sentence?

    Goodman’s construction is precisely as follows:

    [X] “shouldn’t be unduly praised. Equal praise is due to” [Y].

    Are you seeing in this construction any disdain for [X] or preference for [Y]? Why does Goodman use the word “equal”?

    Yes, this is Goodman’s text and not Keller’s, but wasn’t it you who said above that “Keller was obviously using [Goodman’s text] for support, and obviously agreed with it”?

    People can certainly read language different ways

    No doubt.

  120. 120
    Cervantes says:

    @rb: Thanks.

    If, what with the uproar and all, you happen to see Goodman now re-stating or re-phrasing or withdrawing his words, I’d appreciate a pointer.

  121. 121
    ericblair says:

    @Cervantes:

    This I agree with. It reads poorly.

    It’s litotes. When someone asks you how you feel and you say “not great”, people don’t interpret it that you feel extremely good but not quite fantastic. If Keller didn’t understand that use of rhetoric and how easily it could be misinterpreted if that’s not what he meant, I don’t know what he’s fucking doing being the editor of one of the world’s major newspapers.

  122. 122
    greennotGreen says:

    @ericblair: Very good point. If Goodman is as good a guy (eponymous, much?) as someone above said he is, then maybe what he said is “…shouldn’t be unduly praised. Equal praise is due to…”

    BTW, I read the whole Bill Keller article, and he could have made a lot of decent points that are worth discussing if he hadn’t used an actual, living human being as his fulcrum.

  123. 123
    Cervantes says:

    @greennotGreen:

    … then maybe what he said is “…shouldn’t be unduly praised. Equal praise is due to…”

    Yes, that’s what he said.

  124. 124
    Cervantes says:

    @ericblair:

    It’s litotes.

    No, it’s not. He wasn’t using understatement; I think he meant it quite literally, i.e., Approach [X] should not be praised at the expense of Approach [Y]. That’s not litotes.

    If Keller didn’t understand that use of rhetoric and how easily it could be misinterpreted if that’s not what he meant, I don’t know what he’s fucking doing being the editor of one of the world’s major newspapers.

    N/A.

  125. 125
    Karen in GA says:

    @RSA: I’m so sorry you and your wife are going through that.

  126. 126
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Good answer.

  127. 127
    sm*t cl*de says:

    If Keller didn’t understand that use of rhetoric and how easily it could be misinterpreted if that’s not what he meant

    In his explanation to the Public Editor, Keller smugly wrote that his column had “touched a nerve, particularly among [Lisa Adam’s] devoted following”.

    “Devoted following”.
    If that’s not a sneer of disdain, directed at someone who receives more attention than she deserves, then I don’t know what is.

  128. 128
    Cervantes says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    “touched a nerve, particularly among [Lisa Adam’s] devoted following”.

    Yes, that was uncalled for.

  129. 129
    Gretchen says:

    @Another amazon: thanks for the info about stage IV. I didn’t know that that much extra time was possible. I hope Amy gets more time, and however much her time can be extended is worth it to her children. And I was very intereted in the costs Mrs. Keller was willing to spend on herself, while her husband wondered if someone else was spending too much. That makes them even more entitled jerks than I’d thought before.

  130. 130
    Another amazon says:

    @Gretchen: It’s said that Stage IV is uncurable but treatable. The current thinking is that as the science advances, it may become more of a chronic condidition (somewhat like HIV I suppose).

    I should make it clear that there’s a federal law requiring most group insurance plans to pay for breast reconstruction (the Kellers probably were not out anywhere near $250,000); that other types of reconstruction are simpler procedures and therefore, much less expensive; and that yes, the Kellers come off like extremely entilted jerks was the subtext of my comment.

  131. 131
    Another amazon says:

    @Gretchen: It’s said that Stage IV is uncurable but treatable. The current thinking is that as the science advances, it may become more of a chronic condidition (somewhat like HIV I suppose).

    I should make it clear that there’s a federal law requiring most group insurance plans to pay for breast reconstruction (the Kellers probably were not out anywhere near $250,000); that other types of reconstruction are simpler procedures and therefore, much less expensive; and that yes, the Kellers come off like extremely entilted jerks was the subtext of my comment.

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