On Melanoma, Weed, Jimmy Carter, and Zombie Beavers

Some interesting news this week regarding melanoma and weed…okay, actually, this is a little bit of false advertising…I know-I know because like I live in Colorado, and I think Jerry Garcia should have run for president (dunno maybe he still could, might be better, cryogenics or Randal Koene save us), and like, um, I live in Colorado (oh wait I said that already, ahuh, ahuh), that you thought I was talking about the art supplies, the sticky icky, the wacky tobacky, the weed man, Jeff Spicoli’s perpetual homework assignment from Mr. Hand man.

The news was actually regarding melanoma and seaweed; or more specifically a sugar called L-fucose which is found in seaweed (especially) brown kelp, mushrooms and some seeds. L-fucose was demonstrated to slow down cell metastasis (division) and spread in melanoma cells (Melanoma and L-fucose). I’ll likely be adding more kelp to the rotation in the pantry; or, maybe next time in the area, I’ll go for a swim at Downtown Aquarium in Denver and do some grazing at the bottom of the tank. That won’t scare any kids off or anything.

Of-course these results with seaweed and melanoma were demonstrated in mice; who knows if that will translate into positive results for humans. To verify that we will likely have to wait ten years and for a major pharmaceutical company to spend a billion dollars on research and development and for the FDA to approve…unless of-course you are Jimmy Carter and/or a possible member of the american aristocracy and little things like FDA approvals do not necessarily apply to you.

In the last six months he announced that he had melanoma and it had spread to various parts of his body, including his brain.  In turn, it was noted that he would be receiving gamma knife and Keytruda.

It’s the Keytruda part that got lodged under my craw, a little.

Why?

Keytruda is not yet FDA approved for first line treatment for patients diagnosed with advanced, Stage IV melanoma. They are working on that and it should happen soon, but not yet. Keytruda is only approved as a second line treatment. In other words its supposed to be given to people only after they have received other interventions such as yervoy or chemotherapy first. If and when they don’t respond, then they are allowed to get it. That’s not just a nice-to-have, its the law. Wonder what any of those families who have ever petitioned the pharmaceutical companies and/or the FDA to get a medicine before approved (and were denied) for themselves or their loved ones would say?

Okay, this is may be unfair. Dunno. Dunno the whole story. These are things conspiracies are made. That’s always-always-always possible.

For the record, I have nothing against former President Carter. Think he’s in a good place, as elder statesman, to make truthful statements in the media and he certainly has availed himself of this…referring here to his recent quip about US politics becoming an oligarchy controlled by private interest groups and unlimited political bribery (Carter and Oligarchy). Probably some truth to that.

And its cool how much he appears to be doing with his charity and humanitarian work in the world, and has been for a long time. Probably has done more in a few hours more than I will ever do in a lifetime. Don’t know what he’s had to put up with or go through to accomplish this, never walked in his shoes.

And its cool he received the same treatment I did and is doing great (.Washington Post: Jimmy Carter tells Sunday school class that he has no signs of cancer).

All good man.

But…

How did he get Keytruda before FDA approval? Did he receive yervoy or chemo first? Or was there a special dispensation? If the answer is yes does this maybe seem a little inconsistent or, perhaps, oligarchical. Ish?

It occurred to me after getting a little hot under the collar that the reality to cut it out.

In case hadn’t noticed lately, I’m not the alpha and omega of the universe. I don’t know all the rhymes and reasons for why things roll they way they do. I mean really Jerry, why did you have to die in 1995, four years after I got sober and was still too crazy to once again enjoy your music? And why is there only one word for the word ‘thesaurus’ or ‘abbreviation’ such a long word? Why does sour cream have an expiration date? Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard? Why don’t fish get cramps after eating? These are mysteries I will never be able to solve. I could try but they might, in turn, only create useless and futile conspiracy theories.

So the best option seems to be gratitude today. Gonna remember this while I’m chowing on my seaweed, sipping on some turmeric tea, or popping some bifidobacterium (The Atlantic: 11/2015 – Immunotherapy cancer drugs depend on gut microbes), FDA approvals, inconsistencies and frailties of people and life, or whatever, be damned.

Finally, I will take solace in knowing that none of this really matters anyway.  In case you didn’t know the world ended last year. In some kind of bizarre, mass Jacob’s Ladder scenario, we haven’t realized it yet.

Here’s proof that Nostradamus was right, that the world did end last year, as  heralded by the release Zombeavers trailer in 2014.

Now perhaps we can only be saved now by a Fast Times sequel: WeWantAFastimesAtRidgemontHighSequel

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