June 17, 2009

Oh That Obama Economy

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:51 pm

Here are receipts through June 16, 2009, and June 17, 2008. Each day was a Tuesday, and represented the second day after estimated tax payments for June were due:

USreceipts061609and061708

Ouch.

Lucid Links (061709, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:23 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies, in relatively compact form:

From Elisabeth Eaves at Forbes“The Rececession Is Great.” She make some valid points about deal opportunities for those who are still working, but seems quite ignorant of the long-term dangers posed by the ongoing POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy aka the POR Recession As Normal People Define It, particularly and the Democratic trio’s deliberate recession-lengthening disregard for the lessons of history (based on failing to either learn or care about them).

“Rural Mich. counties turn failing roads to gravel” to save money — Anyone who has driven on gravel roads for miles at a time, which is what rural Michigan drivers will have to do, should recognize that this is a tangible, visible drop in standard of living in a state mismanaged to the point where providing even the most basic services has become problematic. Is it also a Buckeye State preview?

At the UK Times Online, following up on a days-old report out of Italy — “Italian prosecutors were trying to establish yesterday whether US bonds with a face value of $134 billion seized from two alleged smugglers were real or counterfeit.” If we see a few years of hyperinflation, it may not matter.

Glenn Beck apparently solicited comedic help from, of all people, Joel Stein (HT NewsBusters). Stein, of course, expressed his gratitude by immaturely ripping Beck and his “reactionary, religious, libertarian audience.” NB’s Tim Graham calls Stein a “left-wing hack.” Those of us with longer memories call him “the voice of the neuter.” A related BizzyBlog post from early 2006 is here.

Positivity: Now cancer-free, St. Joseph man far surpassed doctors’ expectations

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From St. Joseph, Missouri:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Medical Miracle

Larry Pike wasn’t in pain, but his body was looking increasingly strange.

In April 2008, comparing his current appearance with a photo of him taken at Christmas just a few months earlier emphasized the change. His face was thinner — a sign of all the weight he’d mysteriously lost — yet his midsection was inexplicably distended.

“I felt bloated all the time,” the St. Joseph man remembers. “Little did I know there was something in there other than air.”

An MRI taken at Heartland Regional Medical Center late that month revealed what was inside Mr. Pike was a tumor on his left kidney that had caused the organ to grow from about the size of a fist to about the size of a football. Several tests later, he was taken by ambulance to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City for the start of what would be months of tests and treatments — but also the start of a story he and his wife, Sally, believe will offer hope to anyone else facing a seemingly desperate medical situation.

Despite how quickly he was transferred to KU Med, Mr. Pike’s treatment didn’t begin for more than a month.

“Everyone realized the urgency of doing something,” Mrs. Pike says, “but they didn’t know what he had, so they didn’t know what to do.”

The course of treatment to follow became clearer after doctors’ plan to remove the tumor surgically had to be scrapped upon their discovery of multiple “cluster” tumors all over his abdomen. The only option, they told the Pikes, was to try to shrink the tumors with chemotherapy — a cocktail so harsh it initially shut down all his organs except his heart. Other complications arose, as well, from a blood clot moving toward his heart and bleeding of the tumors in his abdomen that resulted from a blood thinner he was put on to break up the clot.

It took 16 days for doctors to find the right chemotherapy combination and to bring Mr. Pike’s blood count and vital signs back to normal. Also during that time, Mrs. Pike was sending daily e-mail updates to a friend, Carol Lemirand, who forwarded them on to many others.

“I say she sent it to the world,” Mrs. Pike says. “We knew from that we had a huge prayer circle.”

She adds that even just three days after her husband’s diagnosis, they both felt inexplicably calm — something she attributes to the fact that “prayers had gone out. Prayers for healing, but also for comfort, and those (for comfort) could be answered immediately.”

The healing was slower in coming. Mr. Pike underwent chemotherapy treatments every three weeks for three days at a time from May until October last year. Finally, on Oct. 21, he went into surgery to have the tumors that remained after his chemotherapy removed, and Mrs. Pike told herself she wouldn’t worry unless the surgery stretched on more than six to eight hours.

“After just three hours, the doctor walked out of the operating room with a huge grin and said ‘He’s cancer free,’” she says, adding that it had been a much less involved surgery than they’d thought it might be, requiring the removal only of the kidney with the tumor and a few lymph nodes.

It wasn’t until his surgery was successful that doctors told the Pikes they hadn’t expected him to survive long enough to have surgery. They also told him they thought some of the most significant contributors to his survival were his positive attitude and all the support he had.

“He is definitely a miracle,” says Mrs. Lemirand, the friend who forwarded on Mrs. Pike’s e-mail updates. “You always hear doctors say how much of a difference a support system makes, but it’s something else entirely to actually see (the difference).” ….

Go here for the rest of the story.