Archive for October, 2008
I have never posted about this before, mostly because it’s never come up. But over the last year or so, I got caught up in the tale of Angela ledcke at bustedscammers.com. People use the web to cheat each other out of money all the time. It’s happened before Angela Ledcke and it will happen long after she disappears from the web. But around 2:30pm today, I seen an anouncement on her introduction page that she had ovarian cancer and was taking Etoposide, then would under go surgery then chemotherapy.
As an RN, a cancer victim, a mother of a daughter who had cancer, an aunt whose nephew suffered and died of cancer earlier this year, and an employee of a pediatric cancer clinic, I don’t think Angela is entirely telling the truth about her alleged cancer diagnosis.
Red flags went off for me when she said she was given Etoposide then surgery then chemotherapy. Etoposide is a form of chemotherapy. I was also shocked that she was not given a surgery date. When cancer is in a tumor form, normally surgery is the first line of defense. If the cancer is embedded in a part of the brain where surgery cannot be performed, the patient then goes through rigorous rounds of chemotherapy, biopsies and MRIs.
I just had my second MRI and biopsey Monday for detection of organ failure due to excessive doses of chemotherapy. It was not fun nor was it pleasant, and it certainly was not something I’d get on the web and lie about for attention or pity. The iodine dye used in my MRI made me nauseated and unable to eat for days. Everything I ate I vomited up. I am just now able to drink and keep down chocolate milk. This has made me lose massive amounts of weight when I was not overweight to begin with.
Other red flags were her links to her disease and diagnosis. They were all WebMD.com links. The oncologist that I work for, as well as my own doctor, have told me that places like WebMD.com and Wikipedia should be banned from the internet because people self-diagnose themselves and often mis-self-diagnose themselves and order medicine from places like Mexico or Canada on the web and end up sicker than they originally were. Some people mask cancer pain with extreme pain pills from those places. While it’s possible that Angela Ledcke got the diagnosis and just Googled around to put her diagnosis in simple, user-friendly terms, that doesn’t explain why she did not Google her medicine and word her scamming note as “I am currently on chemotherapy called Etoposide…”
A red flag: Angela’s daughter didn’t make a video about wanting her mother well. What 11/12 year old wouldn’t be scared their mother might die of ovarian cancer, especially when she was given end-stage chemotherapy drugs, enough to make a video about it? When my nephew was dying, we made lots of videos of him. Most of them are on our Revver account, but they are all preserved on CDs for us to view whenever we want. My nine year old even made a video about how she misses her cousin.
The last red flag for me was that she made this public on her website, though she claimed it was for her loved ones overseas. If that was true, why not make it in a private blog on Myspace? Why post it where all your “haters and their followers” can see it?
Yes, I alerted bustedscammers.com about the alleged cancer hoax. I took my screen shot, I put a load of laundry in to wash, loaded the dishwasher, and came back and refreshed Angela’s page and guess what? She’s changed it. They’ve reported about it here.
This whole Angela thing made me remember a woman, about 40, the age Angela just turned, who pretended to have cancer over the course of two years. I became close to her, because I was freshly diagnosed with leukemia, something I thought this woman had. I also thought she was 19 years old, but that’s a different story. When the girl died, people were sad. When they found out she was a fake, people were enraged. Others were questioned. I was questioned. The few of us who had cancer-survivor blogs were questioned, called out, proof was demanded of us. One of the reasons I cannot stand fakes is because it makes those of us who are telling the truth about our lives that much harder to believe.
I cleaned up a lot of things here on my blog. I made all parts of the layout look the same. Now there’s no reason why people should come here and accuse me of not keeping the site up to date. =) I’m thinking about just using this site exclusively for my blog and having my journal. I really don’t need several blogs going at the same time. I’m happy with just the two. This blog and my private journal. Speaking of which, I need to get my journal fixed up so it looks nice again. I need to make more pages on this site, too. For some reason, I got really inspired last week to do some work on the site. I was amazed at all that I got done when I just sat down and did it. I did it right, too. =D
I turned on my computer today, and all of my files were magically gone. All of my programs from iWork, iLife and Office. I had to hunt down the install discs and re-install them all. Damned Intel computer. Is this something common with Intel machines? I don’t mind re-installing everything, but I wish I could have spent the morning of my biopsey and MRI doing something other than transferring all of my files and programs from one computer to another. I don’t know how well this transaction is going to go, and I just know that I’m going to lose something irreplaceable. =( I need to clean up and clean out. Not just my computer, but our entire living quarters. I think I’ll feel better if I did something like that, and come December I was going to give away my little G4 laptop anyway. Let my dad have it. He’s been asking for some easy access to the internet and that computer is just perfect for that.
Dennis and I cleaned out Pogo’s closet and room yesterday. We packd away five teddy bears, tons of Christmas dresses and clothes that she never wears anymore, toys, bedding, and other things. Things that we just couldn’t throw away, but we just couldn’t bear to keep in the closet and in other storage places in her room. She wanted to keep her two dolls and lots of her stuffed toys, and we told her that she could keep anything that wasn’t broken and could still fit her. After all, it was her stuff. I also tried to assert some authority and tell her that some things just weren’t made to keep. Used up paints, notebooks and crayons. I assured her that we’d buy her some new paints and crayons as soon as we can.
I’m also a big recycler of spiral notebooks, especially with two kids in school. When the semester ends and they don’t need the notes in the front of the books anymore, I tear those pages out and throw them in the recycle bins. Then, if there’s enough for the next semester, I let them have the books back for another sixteen weeks of use. They last longer that way. I remember when I was in middle school, my mother used to throw my spirals away when they weren’t even half used, at the end of the semester or school year. I’ve watched Pogo use the same notebook for the last two years. I told her once she used up the entire book, we could go shopping for more. The same with Darren. When his notebooks are used up 100%, he can have new. I hope that the kids are realising that they are learning to be more resourceful and environmentally conscious.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing enough as a parent and as a person. It’s been six years since I started trying to be a better person. Getting off drugs and alcohol. Cleaning up my life. Getting a degree. It’s not been a pretty road and my lack of self esteem was a huge hurdle in the road. I think in the end I’m just scared of these tests today. I don’t want to hear the results because I know the results will be bad. I just want this to be over so I can get on with my life. =( Think happy, positive thoughts for me.