Tuesday, October 10, 2006

10.10.06 Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

Okay, first off this post is in no way a request for money to be sent my way. Thank you in advance if you would have thought to do so; my purpose is, rather, the pissing and the moaning.

On the MLM. The big secretive company that sells the glyconutrient I decided to pursue further. The next step in my treatment program, then, as the standard medical arsenal is slowly exhausted on my cancer (more slowly please...), is to take this stuff "religiously" (below) and hope on the wings of a dove. Maybe some of what they claim will obtain for pancreatic cancer, stage IV, fucking serious as a heart attack, and late in the game. The only way to know is to try it. This is all past, I decided that part recently.

Turns out it will cost me nearly, no, more than a grand just to walk in the door "get all the necessary product to begin, [however] and actually that includes a five month supply of most of it." In MLM land, you don't describe your commodities in the plural — why, I'm not totally sure — but it's a consistent practice to discuss "product." "How much product have we got?" "Not enough! People are dying out there!" or something like that is what I imagine. Even if there are 16 different and unique products involved. There are more at issue here too, not just the magical mannose extracted from aloe vera plants and purported to do too many things to list here. (Not without sufficient caveats on the role of the FDA, our gratitude to them, and the implicit radical fear and loathing of that entire organization. This view, too, is as common in MLM land as calling what you sell "product.") So if I spend approx $1300 I can begin, and of course, they all tell me, they would really like to see me get on this ASAP. For my health of course, surely nothing so cynical as anyone's income stream. For me, a sort of quagmire.

The clear point is that the treatment plan of these nutritional supplements has been set up in such a way, perhaps with good intentions but still no doubt with business and profits in mind, so that a significant initial investment is required. This one "nice man" who had called me from the South to tell me his wife's success story — odd, don't you think?, that he calls me to discuss his wife's story... she can't talk? what? — and he tells me how he thinks the 10.99 pack, also called the Extended Pack, really what I should go for. In part I could feel his "sell level" elevate so I figured "If eleven dollars is the deluxe version, then I'll be able to manage." You see it coming don't you? 10-99 obviously stands for one thousand ninety nine dollars, just under 11 C notes. I'm an idiot, sitting there thinking "Hey, 10-99, not too bad." Not fucking chump change, this 1,099.00 when you are allowed to see where the comma goes. Yes enough to make me think twice about this whole set up.

Do I do it IN SPITE of all the signs I know too well about MLMs, about bullshit testimonials that are not ever verifiable, results that are not empirically checked, research not repeatable, and so on and so on and so on. How do the people involved not see all these holes in the package? How does their faith become so blind and robust? Religious extremists are the same, of any type, Christian, Zionist, Islamic, Protestant, any and all — extremism mixed with religion turns the future as an illusion into the future as sheer nightmare. And all the people who DO NOT worry about how close church and state have become since Bush and Boys started to do there thing in Washington. Another mind boggler. Not to see that danger?!

And the testimonials: god damn. I've told every one of them not to even start because the testimonials mean ZERO to me, they are nothing, less than nothing they might even alienate me, they are just stories, I don't know the people, the people have vested interests, YOUR COMPANY HIRED THEM, HELLO NUMBNUTS!, etc. They still just don't hear me and go on to talk about Aunt Melba, the doctor who is one of the "20 best" in the country. (Did you know there is an official list ranking the best doctors in the US? Right next to the sales paperwork on that bridge I was telling you about...) They tell, they tell, they droll onward, inhabit my ears w/o permission. One or two have enough sense to finally hear me after several very polite warnings from me.

Long and short: I'm deciding what to do. Onto the credit card? Am I going to do it anyway so I may as well get started? Is 200-300/month really so much for a 5-6 month treatment? Of course not if it reverses the disease course, but do you want to know what odds I'd bet on that. Right. I'm stuck? Ideas? Comments? Questions? I did finally get an MD's email address who supposedly knows this whole routine and has been involved since the start — yes, he's got a stake too but perhaps I can get some insight from him.

Ugh. I cannot go on with this tonight, and this after spending half the day at work in my office, experiencing several mini-revelations, slogging through far too much pain this afternoon, just the shits from about 2, and I had this work meeting at 3. Franky Scale then would get a 7 for my verve and anger, mixed in equal portions today, and for the a.m. hours when it all seemed more possible; then it drops to a low 6, just there, hanging, flacid, tired out for the day, as pain is just that, so goddam tiring and impolite.

Then that work thing. I do think those of you who work where I do should work, kindly, on getting me out there more: it's counterintuitive but there is some good to be realized from my sitting this skinny white ass down in that expensive chair to produce something.


Anonymous said...

How often have you been going into the office? If there's a chance of your being there one day I'll stop by- not to ask inane questions (at least that wouldn't be the intent), just to say hi.

I don't work where you work but I'm always there trying to soak up the ambience, and schmoozing.

As for the "product," you wouldn't be able to fenagle a trial run out of them, would you? If their glyconutrient is as good as they say it is, surely they'd have faith that you would feel better after a month and would rush to sign up for several more months?

Hm, anyway.


david said...

Korea and back. Arrived Sunday left Tuesday morning. Monday was a holiday, Korean Alphabet (Han'gul) Day. Day after the North made some noise in the mountains, banging on the rocks, trying to chase away the devils, the sea monsters out there in the mists. Monday was Columbus Day in Massachustetts, though an article in the Boston Globe pointed out that the statue of Chris there in the (Italian) North End is the most defaced of all statues anywhere in the Commonwealth. Most recently-- in the picture-- with red paint. Makes him look like he has red hair and red shoulders. And in the picture, he does!

So what do the doctors say, I am wondering, not what do the testifiers say? Utah accent? Save yer life?

Spread more shit! is what I say.

Slarry said...

Hey Mr. Jones:

"OH MY HECK," Mom and Spacely are on their
way!!!! : )
And soon, you will be heading to the Cancer Center
for another IV Infusion.
I'll be thinking of you fondly, of course and
sending good thoughts and strong vibes
that things go smoothly and for NO PAIN.

My other thought, very scarey--- Spacely driving in
Seattle. All those who drive-- BEWARE.
We don't call her "Spacely" for nothing. : )
She is loved greatly but the name has always
fit. : ) Nah, Tossing's driving is far more frightening
and I drive like a turtle and get a little distracted.

Scott-- take it easy and I wish for good conversations with Mme X if she is your escort
and buddy for the day.

Take care. We are all thinking of you and also
hoping for an easy move. And you little readers / lurkers from The Data Center-- I dare you to post a comment. : )

Love you Mr. monkey Man.


[disenchanted princess] said...

For those who wonder if there are ways to help and/or if they are helping, an interesing article from the NY Times on the biology of emotional healing.

An excerpt: "At the same time, there is now no doubt that this same connectivity can offer a biologically grounded emotional solace. Physical suffering aside, a healing presence can relieve emotional suffering. A case in point is a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of women awaiting an electric shock. When the women endured their apprehension alone, activity in neural regions that incite stress hormones and anxiety was heightened. As James A. Coan reported last year in an article in Psychophysiology, when a stranger held the subject’s hand as she waited, she found little relief. When her husband held her hand, she not only felt calm, but her brain circuitry quieted, revealing the biology of emotional rescue. . . . . Sheldon Cohen, a psychologist at Carnegie-Mellon University who studies the effects of personal connections on health, emphasizes that a hospital patient’s family and friends help just by visiting, whether or not they quite know what to say."


tossing salads said...

thanks princess. i so totally agree with all that you said and have done for the scott. im sorry scott. its been hell here for me. im taking on my boss and its been very hard and not very pretty. im actually gonna be looking for a new job. i cant work in an inviroment where im so disrespected anymore. it just doesnt work for me any more. ive learned to stand up for myself. so, im sorry i havent posted lately. its not lack of caring or thoughts. my thoughts swirl around you and dan alot during the day. i still cant believe i havent seen him in over a year. very strange, ya know. i hope today wasnt too bad. i think about you always. i love you. take care.

spacely said...

hey everyone out there!!! The spot is doing amazing!! I was so proud of him on my little trip. First, chemo from 9-12 where I met Ted on thursday then straight to the ct scan on one of the floors below. Where he finally got to have something on his stomach...yes it was berry barium juice for his ct scan. Then he got into my little rental car and off we went to his apt. What a trooper that young man is! Friday was awesome, got to meet the lovely kim. We went to the crumpet shop, pike's market and to the university where we(mom and I) got to see where the famous scott teaches and got to meet some of his colleagues too. Then he dropped off the pooped nadine and I at our hotel and he trekked off with kim to pick up her car an hour away.Then came back picked us up and off to Dinner on some island. Best dinner ever because it was with scott and kim on the bay. Saturday we started the MOVE, got to meet some more wonderful friends of scotts. My favorite moment when we tried to get his bed frame down 4 flights of stairs.
Totally hularious(that's how my son dayne says it)!Then finally had a quiet moment with the famous scott at the gas station while i filled up my car. What an amazing trip!!! What an amazing brother!! And yes please send love and money to the spot tricia, he may have a chance with that awesome spirit and drive. I heart you, my precious brother. Spacely
P.S. And I wasn't spacely on the road, I must have had the force with me. You would have thought I've lived in seattle.