Illness As Punishment

I have read some (by far in the minority, but enough to be easily noticed) horrid comments about Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor diagnosis – intimations that he deserves this because of past actions or because of his liberal politics.

Enough already. Very young children get malignant, non-operable brain tumors. What did they do to deserve theirs?

What did I do to get lucky and have a treatable benign brain tumor? I’m no better than those children, I guarantee you.

This is the same type of thinking that considered AIDS a punishment for being homosexual.

The  polity needs to grow up.  

UPDATE: DJ Drummond says it more eloquently and nicer than me.

…Cancer is a damnable enemy which respects no moral boundaries. It will attack a Republican just the same as a Democrat, a man or a woman with equal energy. Cancer is a horrifying malady, one which seeks to kill its victim, but only after excruciating torture. I know it too well, from my own cancer to my mother’s recent return of Breast Cancer, to the deaths of old friends and some new ones (and children – the damned thing goes after children as if it were the devil himself). No one deserves Cancer, and any victory over Cancer is a good one, one to celebrate.

Ted Kennedy Has Brain Tumor

That’s the breaking news on Fox right now. The “expert” they are speaking with is Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist. He says that most brain tumors in older people are benign, citing meningiomas.

He also made it sound like the surgery to remove any old meningioma is a breeze, patients recover and go on with life as before. Well, as the proud owner of a meningioma, I say not exactly.

For one, he’s a pathologist, not a surgeon. He probably doesn’t have many of his patients complaining about complications.

Second, he’s not a neurologist or neuropsychiatrist. He is probably as familiar with the physical structure of the brain as either one, but… perhaps he’s not as familiar with the peculiarities of minor damage to any area of the brain.

The thought that Kennedy might have a brain tumor has crossed my mind several times since I heard the news of his hospitalization. Mine was discovered when I thought I had a mini-stroke, or TIA. I was worried enough that I sat in the ER for 5 hours after all symptoms subsided to find out. I think Kennedy got, um… more aggressive treatment than I did.

For his sake, I hope it’s a meningioma, I hope it’s small, not near any major bloodworks, and that radiation is considered as the first course of treatment. This isn’t about politics, Imeningioma1.jpg wish him well.

Here’s one shot of my brain tumor, before radiation treatment.

UPDATE: AP is reporting that Kennedy’s tumor is a malignant glioma. Not good news.