Archive for August, 2013
Today I received an enquiry as to whether I would like to display some of Chris’ work in a show in Cleveland along with his peers.
I want so much for the world to know there was a young man full of life and talent who fought so hard to live, to contribute to this life , to share his talent , his art but was was cut off in his prime. Ironically today , 4 years ago – The Cleveland Clinic for all their “stated miracles” – pronounced his death sentence. I have been reliving that scene over and over today
I received a note after Chris passed from his employer who stated he was on the verge of doing great things in his chosen career field. He never got the chance to blossom.
Every mother who has outlived her child wants and needs for their son or daughter’s life – no matter how short- to be not only remembered but acknowledged.
Oh! I have so much of Chris’s work here BUT it is basically his homework from college- his learning curve . Some of the most important pieces to me are ones I rescued from the trash as he threw them out. Having been an actress, at one point in my life, I know the audience should see the well rehearsed- finished production not the “read through and blocking rehearsals”.
My son , speaks to me through his work – he confirms to me that I did know who he was and what he wanted from life.
This is the quandary! What would Chris do?… would he trust me to be critical of the pieces I chose for public display among his peers. Should I even consider it? Would he agree- or would he say?
Mum, what are you thinking?
Three Times the charm??? Apparently the lady first went empty-handed after the Lorain Tornado- then to vandalism !
You can find a saga from yesteryear here from Dan Brady’s Blog:
and now thanks to volunteers Ed and Karyn Ferraro of Buckeye Sheet Metal, and the hard work of Art Schwan and the Lorain Elks club who have adopted Victory park-
The V is back in Victory and the winged lady has her sword back – the palm frond will follow
ED Note- I did find through the internet a tid bit from a forum page – If anyone can verify it would be a great help and in the continuing mystery – does anyone know when the V was erected and by whom ?
““My name is John Weinbrandt and I live in Lorain, OH. It is to my knowledge that the so called “DARK ANGEL” was sculpted by my great grandfather Valentini. My great grandfather was commissioned from Italy sometime in the early 1900’s to work in Washington D.C. sculpting angels and other statues of that nature. After finishing his work in D.C. he got a job with Lorain Monument, and the “DARK ANGEL” along with all of the other angels (which are the similar only smaller in size) in Calvary Cemetery and the larger than life angel that heads Victory Park here in Lorain”
Part 19 The Journey – In Search of my Son
No more candles on cakes to remind us of another year passing since you came into being. No more laughter , smiles , presents and special dinners shared. No more toasts to “life” with vodka and cranberry juice.
Just memories of your first birthday and your last birthday- the one filled with hope and so much joy
I held you , propped up on my knees, looking at your little face, all red and blotchy, little finger nails so perfect and I made the promises mothers make- I talked to you of life , your big sister and how I would never let you down , I would do everything I could to keep you safe and give you happiness. I was so grateful for the gift of your life. I can remember every word I spoke to you that morning and then Dr. Shotz telling me as long as my mother would be at home with me we could leave and start our lives as mother and son and take home MY birthday gift – YOU!
I sat trapped having to listening to what I considered inane comments , stupidity and selfishness of thinking by your bride’s vacuous grandmother and her brood https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/september-3rd-war-movin-on-hell-truly-is-other-people-chris-ritchey/ who had decided to “surprise us” ( although I know your “bride” wasn’t surprised )
As much as I try I cannot get your last birthday out of my head as the surgeon confirmed that the cancer was back- a gift of death on your birthday I had Nikki take me home – I knew that if you saw my face as you came round in the recovery room- you would know things were bad and I couldn’t bring you that pain on your birthday and I knew I couldn’t hide the horror from you ! Guilt swept over me as I also knew that by me not being there when you woke up would also cause you concern- I only hoped the excuse Nikki had to get back to feed Gavin would be plausible. I just couldn’t let you see what I know was written on my face.
I cried tears of great happiness the day you were placed in my arms and I continue to cry everyday from the day you were taken from us. I so miss your laughter , your irreverent humor, the way your nose would wrinkle just before you would smile.
I can still hear the echoes of a little boy calling _
Dad come up and kiss me goodnight”
as day turns to another night. I see the candles you gave me for my birthday- we always shared birthday celebrations- you were supposed to be born on my birthday…..
But now the celebrations cease – you see the day you died the part of me the was “the mother of Chris” died too…….the love that was especially for you has no focus- it bottles up inside me until it releases in hot scalding tears that burn like the flames of the candles……. and another year passes … Life goes on ……… and the candles burn…………….and my poor heart breaks into yet another thousand pieces……
The Journey- In search of My son continues
Part One – In search of my son- In search of me
Part Two – Tourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three – Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four – In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks
Part Five – Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six – The Unfinished Portrait
Part Seven– The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight
Part Nine– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a) – There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two
Part Thirteen– A Place of Echoes
Part Fourteen – An Absence of Laughter
Part 15 – Who I am , the artist speaks
Part 16- The Lowest Ebb- I knew my son- Chris Ritchey
Part 17 – The Journey Continues- I long for Laughter- Chris Ritchey
Part 18 Birthday- Chris Ritchey and the Chris Miss Present!
Disclaimer : These events are as I perceived them to be and are witnesssed and documented .
This is a particularly hard week for me and for others who have experienced the loss of sons and brothers. I know their pain all too well. These last days of August find my mind filled with thoughts trying to poke holes in the veil of grief that separates me from the “society of life”. However my mind has been on religion and grief naturally – considering MY PERSONAL story
I watch the news , I see the uprisings in Egypt – and I watched detached as the television screen minimizes the conflict into sound bites . Sectarian Violence spews forth across the world- sect against sect:
Sectarianism, according to one definition, is bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion, class, regional or factions of a political movement
According to the New York times blog
But the steady drumbeat of sectarian incidents since Mr. Mubarak’s downfall appears to have been eclipsed by the explosion of anti-Christian attacks over the last three days, which the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood has been reticent, at best, to condemn. An English-language statement e-mailed to journalists denouncing the church attacks was sent only 24 hours after widespread attention was drawn to an Arabic statement posted to a Facebook account affiliated with a branch of Mr. Morsi’s party that called the Coptic pope complicit in the deaths of 500 Islamist protesters on Wednesday. The statement on Facebook also suggested that Egyptian Christians had declared “war on Islam.”
It is a pity that all organized religions of the world have to involve people……
Locally a skull was turned in to the Lorain Police Dept
Poor Yorick read the “cutesy” headline- and the article by Brad Dicken went on to quote
““It’s probably very old, like before our great-grandparents were around,” Watkins said. Evans said his office plans to bring in an archaeologist to conduct further tests on the skull to see if more can be learned. “They should be able to give us a better idea of how old it is and what race it is,” he said. It’s unclear whether the specimen is from a Native America burial, as Sauer suspects, or whether it comes from another source. Evans said in the 1930s and 1940s medical students would be given skulls to take home to help them prepare for anatomy examinations, and many of those skulls may have ended up in relatives’ attics.”
My grandchildren’s great grandparent is still around- thank you very much 🙂 However, the thought crossed my mind
“when are the supposedly sacred burial places, the respect for one’s life lived classified as OK to treat as just another artifact”
We dig up graves, burial mounds and tombs – ooh and ah at another time”s grief- because as that person was given to the earth whether centuries ago or just a hundred years ago someone cried, someone grieved tears were shed.
And now the skull that held a thinking brain, which contributed to the history of humanity , the bones that supported flesh and blood – boxed in various way- religions using relics pieces parts of fingers and limbs of Saints for worship? When will we become an artifact?
Locally a little pioneer cemetery Charleston Pioneer Cemetery
was covered over – the population at that time seemingly did not care for even the hundred year rule-
the cemetery should not be developed or used for another purpose for 100 years after the last interment
The cemetery deemed to
“remain forever a burying-ground and under the control of town council”
The little cemetery on 6th was bulldozed and built upon and a road ran through it..
In the Lorain Daily News of 1900
“Want Crossing Through Cemetery”
The acceptance of the new Krantz allotment was refused for the second time by the Board of Public Service…
the privilege to Krantz to cross the corner of the cemetery was denied because the property was given for a cemetery purpose only.
Once again “development” must have won out because a mere 10 years later 1910
”Unearth Coffin while digging a water main -Strange find made by workmen excavating on 7th Street”
“the discovery of a coffin at this point is easily explained. Prior to the 60’s the city cemetery was located in what is now known as the Krantz addition to the city”…. The bones were placed in a box and will be transferred to Elmwood cemetery.
And so Lorain lost for many years the stories of those folk who were once loved and a part of the community. Were they buried deep so possibly they did not remind people of the shame that was the greed of the community and the Ohio Railroad Scheme?
I wonder what future generation may come across your skull or that of one you loved in an attic, holding candles for Hallowe’en, digging up your grave so a development can come through- when will YOU become not the loved one mourned but an artifact or part of a tourist attraction? What secrets of your life or death will they uncover- a taste of history
Excavated skull suggests Jamestown colonists resorted to cannibalism
Remains of 14-year-old girl suggest that starving settlers had to go to extreme lengths to survive harsh winter of 1609
That will be 10 dollars please to view the skull and crossed bones …..
Opened in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century, and has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1874. Following an incident of vandalism, they were closed to the public in September 2009 and reopened 19 December of the same year.
For more in-depth answers re cemeteries
And so it seems the root of all our problems are “people” and the human race and lack of thought …..
And maybe that is our lot in death to become a curiosity in some future world – I am left to wonder since the dawn of human kind we have been a “sect” – if that future world will last and if there are tourists from other solar systems visiting the wreck that was once earth will view our remains with
Whatever were they thinking??????
A lot of us , at least one in three, have had to deal with someone in our immediate family having cancer- it is an obscenity! We have watched as loved ones have been hooked up to innocuous looking IV’s – bland liquid – belaying the fact they are full of poisons . The tip-off to their danger could be the way the nurses etc dress when they administer the noxious cocktail.
17% of cancer nurses unintentionally exposed to chemotherapy, U-M study finds
Researchers stress importance of implementing nurse safety measures around these highly toxic drugs
Unintentional chemotherapy exposure can affect the nervous system, impair the reproductive system and bring an increased risk of developing blood cancers in the future, the researchers said. These exposures are as dangerous to a nurse’s health as being accidentally stuck with a needle, the researchers said.
I still can see my son hooked up to the IV’s pumping poison into his body- Why would anyone knowingly put their child in such a terrible place? To save his life and that is why millions of people all over this world subject themselves to the poisons of a hopeful cure. It is a trade-off because although the poisons kill the good cells they hopefully kill the cancer. It is a trade-off cure or be killed. You make that decision.
However with drugs that tout ” possible remission” – such as Humira – they are being touted for non – life threatening conditions-
Humira (adalimumab) is a TNF inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Humira is used for pain relief and to reduce inflammation in a number of autoimmune diseases.
On Jul, 16, 2013: 130,505 people reported to have side effects when taking Humira. Among them, 1,024 people (0.78%) have Death.
The reason for the last two posts came to this blog in the form of a comment Wendy was looking for help and information :
I have been on Humira for 18 months now and have now decided to stop injecting it. Four months ago I was diagnosed with multiple pulmonary Embolism in both lungs. I was cycling 150km a week and very fit. I am still in extreme pain though my clots have dissolved from Warfarin therapy. No one can tell why I am in so much pain and also will not suggest that it may be the Humira. It seems that this wonder drug has caused a life threatening condition for me with no answers from anyone. So, I will discontinue treatment and see if I improve. I only hope that I have not developed long-term damage to my body that can not be reversed.
I contacted Lisa and others who have suffered untold pain with the deaths of their loved ones – and the “ MINIMALIZATION MANTRA” of those in the “healing business” and asked for their help in answering Wendy – From a mum who also lost her son to the Minimalization Mantra
If you decide to take Humira, or any other similar immune suppressant drug, make sure you have monthly blood work done. If there is any abnormal result, ask to be tested specifically for hstcl. It takes a specific test to identify it.
hepatosplenic t-cell lymphoma mostly/usually results in death (vs often). It is very rare to survive it.
Yes, the Humira ads/pamphlets make the side effects sound like no big deal – easy to take care of. Sickening. Rob didn’t take Humira, but was on Imuran/Azathioprine, another immune suppressor. We were told it was the thing to take, no big deal, no checking blood counts regularly. And no one tested for hstcl until he was critical – even though I told every doctor we saw that he was on Imuran for uc(ulcerative colitis). Even his GI didn’t get it. “It is so rare.” Only because there is no required reporting… so how would they know.
As the mother of Maxx Wendell, the boy whose story about Humira appears on Loraine’s blog,
I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the very complex nature of the patient’s experience of what it means to suffer the consequences of medical and/or pharmaceutical negligence.
There is a tendency to simplify the myriad interconnected factors that come into play when one is ill and prescribed a medication that offers either cure or, as significant, hope for one. We believe that if we do what we are advised by the professionals–our doctors– to do, if we follow the rules, we will reap the eventual reward– a return to health and well being. If we do not….then we are responsible for what may occur as a result of a failure to comply.
Essentially, as patients we are almost goaded (and what choice, really do we have to do otherwise?) into placing our trust, our lives, into the hands of those who, according to those rules, are equipped to know what is best for us. When everything works, we consider ourselves to have done “the right thing.” We are grateful to our doctors, we pride ourselves on our intelligence to have located the best practitioner-“expert”, we are gratified in ways that only the once ill, now recovered can be.
But, just as often, everything doesn’t work. Just as often, everything not only fails to work, but breaks apart slowly, horrifically, unimaginably into irretrievable bits no matter our commitment or compliance. No matter the “evidence-based science.”
It is never simple to be ill, to be diagnosed with a disease or condition that requires immediate attention and/or a protocol for managing a long-term chronic situation, but because we live in a time when science and technology are packaged (to the tune of billions of profit dollars) to offer the promise of a long-lived, disease-free life we cannot help but trust in the illusion that this is always possible. And for some it is.
For millions of others, however, it is not. And when it becomes clear that “science” can’t save or help us, as patients we become failures. On every level. Regardless of what we did, or how hard we fought, how many questions we asked, how intelligent we believed we and/or are doctors were, we failed. We are sick, we will stay sick, and many of us will die. When that happens, we cannot help but look for people, situations, circumstances to blame.
Frequently, there are no identifiable causes. But just as frequently there are–and particularly so whenever drugs are involved. Maxx died from Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma only because of the drugs he took, only because, despite available scientific knowledge and evidence known as early as 2002, the pharmaceutical companies in concert with a profit-compromised, inefficient FDA did not make the information we needed to keep him from ever becoming ill in the first place available in time to do so. Maxx died in 2007.
Of the three drugs he took for years in the manner they were prescribed and about which deadly side-effects were known, but discounted as “statistically insignificant,” one did not receive a Black Box warning until 2008 another in 2012, and one other not at all.
Millions of people take drugs that will either help, or possibly kill them. Millions of people have died from medications that have turned out to be potentially deadly and about which this was known. It happens every day.
Ultimately, this reality, however disturbing, however tragic, means little in terms of helping those who are suffering or dying to answer the questions, “What now?”
When we are sick, we will go to a doctor and we will be told to do something, take something, have a procedure. We will have to make a choice but we must understand that our choices will not, cannot, ever really be based upon full disclosure because there is no such thing. Whether intentionally or not, we can never know everything there is to know about what we most need to understand–how or IF it is possible to recapture and maintain our health, or if our choice to comply may indeed have deadly implications. We cannot know because we ARE NOT TOLD.
What happened to Maxx is not just about Humira, or any of the drugs he was prescribed, although many, if not most, are reading this site searching for information about this particular drug. What befell my son is a tragedy, but his is not a new story.
It is the same story that involves the same decision-making process and similar risks, for millions of others who must take medication. The Gordion Knot is this: No matter how hard we may look for answers we can never be advised fully of any risk in all its possible permutations. And it is this that we must understand in the very beginning; this that must also be a crucial component of the decision-making process—that the possibility for utter annihilation lurks within every choice that as patients we may make.
We must simply assume on the face of it that we only see the tip of the iceberg–that below the surface there is much more that may prove catastrophic. And most importantly, we, as patients, are not to blame, we are not at fault. We do the best we can given the fact that we are all only ever provided with the favorable, positive information the drug companies are eager to release.
Had we known that these drugs harbored even a 00000000000000.1% chance that patients in a population of young men between the ages of 16 and 32 could develop a terminal cancer as a “side effect,” he would not have taken the drug. We did not know this and we DID ask again and again for years. “What are the risks? What are the most serious side effects? How long does he have to take these drugs?”
And the answers were always the same–
any risk for incurring dangerous (not to mention, deadly) side-effects are miniscule and the benefit of the medication outweighed any dangers.
What few studies that did exist about the deadly implications of recombinant immuno-suppressive drug therapy in young adolescent males with ulcerative colitis WERE NOT RELEASED either to doctors or the general public. Should we have assumed that what we did not know, even in our wildest imaginings was just as likely to destroy our lives, to kill him, as not? At what point does the term “patient input” become an absurd joke?
This is the bottom line, what patients MUST understand before they take any medication: Whatever the condition, whatever the drug, whatever the situation, you can be certain that some professional somewhere, a so-called an expert, a drug company’s scientific research team, has or is deliberately suppressing life-saving information and someone, somewhere in a pharmaceutical marketing department is working hard to package and present only partial truths, pieces of a clinical reality, that may or may not have disastrous consequences for yourself or those you love most in the world.
The worst CAN and does happen all the time. Critical information on the Internet about these drugs was not available in 2002, but access to this kind of knowledge IS available now.
Be very, very careful.
As another commenter stated- my dear friend- Paula who herself has been hooked up to the Kill or Cure IV
I found it interesting watching the ads on TV for all the meds. It’s called push/pull. Push it on the consumer, pull them into their doctors asking for it. Notice when they’re saying the fine print they have happy people having fun, living their lives and you don’t hear the warning, because that’s what you want.
Follow the money.
Paula”s story found here :
Part One – The Faces of Humira
Every day searches come to this blog on the drug Humira , cancer in all its obscenity and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma . They are people looking for answers, hope and direction but most of all answers…….
In part three of the series The Good???? Dr.
I touched upon the drug Humira and the story of Maxx Wendell – the obscenity of a drug that caused his young life to end and his mother’s torment to begin. Last week, a comment came to this blog requesting information about Humira. I contacted Maxx’s mother, Lisa , for her input and the question and her thoughts will be in Part Two. In the meantime, let us once again look at Humira . In the post “Selling of Hope” ( above ) I stated:
I have watched the commercial, as probably you have ( the commerce drug of the moment- this drug in the billions of dollars – bigger than some country’s budgets ) HUMIRA for many months and any of number of times a night. I have noted the voice over of the side effects- can cause . Lymphoma/ Cancer Tuberculosis ( this is a CURE!!!!!”) and HOW MANY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS HAPPENED? I walked the path of the Curable Lymphoma – Hodgkin’s
Why would anyone take this drug ? from their own website
What is a Black Box Warning :
“Important Safety Information About HUMIRA® (adalimumab)1
What is the most important information I should know about HUMIRA?
You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
•Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.
Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.”
Let us look at the language in this Black Box Warning for the drug Humira that is played over and over and over again on our electronic media. The soft-spoken voice over for the commercial showing the young woman playing with her son , the guy living his life
as music plays and laughter abounds under the voice over quietly downplaying stating in a matter of fact way :
– serious infections , bacteria and cancer has happened and it has resulted in death and other cancer types have happened but they are “GENERALLY” aren’t life threatening if treated–
Question Humira( Abbott Laboratories ) Who pays for the non life threatening cancer to be treated? Abbott Laboratories ?
And while we are at it- Why don’t you show the faces of those “some people” their light, laughter and life denied to them and their families along side the happy families…. I don’t think that would make good ad copy would it.
And why are we showing these drug ads to the general population-
Could it be you want the general population to play Dr.? Is this just another avenue to get to the physicians prescription pad?
Because in Humira’s disclaimers they state again and again “ask your doctor” – your doctor should- tell your doctor.
So why are you not just advertising to “doctors “? We know that you and every other pharmaceutical group canvass and sell their pills and potions to “the doctor”.
But this is the biggest of businesses and Abbott Laboratories say it themselves as to why they have such an aggressive ad campaign- Emphasis mine!
First, ‘STRONG PATIENT DEMAND’ has lead to global market share gains in both dermatology and gastroenterology.”
Ah! there you have it – it isn’t the doctors driving Humira’s success it is the “patients demands”
From Abbotts report October 2012
Abbott Laboratories Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript
Certainly, HUMIRA remains the cornerstone of our portfolio and is a strong driver for AbbVie, and will remain so. Not many brands are able to achieve and sustain the level of performance we’ve demonstrated with HUMIRA.
Clearly, HUMIRA has a strong clinical profile. Our commercial, our development and our regulatory execution on HUMIRA have been outstanding. HUMIRA’s performance continues to be exceptional, as evidenced by the strong double-digit growth this year.
Several factors are driving that performance. First, strong patient demand has lead to global market share gains in both dermatology and gastroenterology. Second, the addition of 2 new indications for patients; UC here in the U.S. and Europe, as well as axial SpA in Europe. HUMIRA now treats a total of 8 approved indications and 4 more in late-stage development.
Finally, the global biologic market growth remains strong, and HUMIRA continues to outpace that growth. We expect HUMIRA demand to continue to grow, given the relative modest biologic penetration rates across all market segments, but in particular, the dermatology segment, where biological penetration rates are still mid single digits.
TO BE CONTINUED ……..