Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Things that are over analyzed

There was an primary yesterday in case anyone missed it. 23 states voted for president and several other local races. Its over. We all went and voted. Now the political campaign ads have stopped but the non-stop media coverage and analysis of who voted, why they voted, and where they voted begins. This shall slowly taper off but we will continually hear about what happened on Super Tuesday and how it impacted the race until the general elections. In case we wanted to forget about it, that's okay, the media will make sure our tiny brains don't.

In addition, two days ago there was a football game. We have almost forgotten about that. Not quite. There is still some news about it but the season is over. But the media is also here to remind us that basketball and hockey are now the big news but only until February 14 which is when the first baseball players report to spring training. Coincidentally into this gap between football and baseball, comes news of basketball trades. I have barely heard of basketball this year. There's a hockey team around some place as well that has been overlooked. Probably because of the election and football which the media has been shoving into our faces.

Also, in case anyone wanted to forget, 30 years ago today was a little bitty snowstorm they call the Blizzard (with a capital B) of 1978. The media wants to know where you were during the storm (sitting inside waiting for it to stop and then shoveling a lot), how did we survive (cross country skied three miles to get milk and bread at one point), and do we have any pictures to share (no, no one has pictures because we didn't have digital cameras and cell phones to take pictures to email in). It was a very intense storm. I was a teenager and remember lots of shoveling - I was young enough to enjoy a week off school but old enough to have to do lots of shoveling. But you know what? We have had many big storms since and will probably have many more. What made that one so special I think was that hundreds of cars were abandoned on highways and it took days to clear everything away. Roads were closed for six days in metropolitan Boston. However all of us had forgotten about it until the media brought it up again.

These days the media has a habit of grabbing onto something and distorting it and blowing it out of proportion - well maybe that isn't new - but it is most annoying when they do this with medical breakthroughs and make us all think there is a miracle cure and we are saved. I have learned in the past 8 months (has it really been that long? Yes, it has) that the best thing to do with the announcements in the media about new breakthroughs are to ignore them. Any new medical advance has to be tested and go through clinical trials and been approved by the FDA before it gets wide spread use and acceptance by doctors.

While I was in the middle of chemotherapy last fall, an announcement was made that a new analysis of old date incorporating hormone receptor status into previous clinical trials showed that the drugs I was getting were not effective for someone with my hormone receptor status. How did that make me feel? I was making myself sick for a drug that wasn't going to do any good? Not exactly. A clinical trial was done in the late 1990's. They now could take into account hormone receptor status and blah, blah, blah... You get what I mean. Was this announcement going to make any doctor change the treatment a patient was getting immediately? No. Was this announcement make thousands of cancer patients stress out and lose faith in their doctors and treatments? Yes. Who should we believe? The people who went to medical school and made a career out of treating patients and learning about treatment advances? Or the people that have lots of air time to fill and will grab at anything to fill their needed slots? Hmmm... I vote for listening to the doctors.

In the case of politics, why can't we just wait and see who wins instead of spending months over analyzing something that is in the past and can't be changed? I have nothing against the media and think that we can't afford not to keep up with what is going on in the world around us. I just wish they would keep us updated on what is new and not what is not-so-new.

That was my daily rant. Today I am tired. I think I stayed up too late. This morning I am going to the gym, then work, and then crisping, #20. Yesterday I also went to the gym, work, crisping and my support group. I am boring. The media would have nothing to write about my life!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're not so boring...I could tell the media a few stories...

XXOO Judie

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