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peggysue2's Journal
peggysue2's Journal
February 25, 2023

Children and Cancer

Our family received devastating news this week. My grand-daughter Cassandra, not quite 3 years old, has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She's had a very bumpy road since her 26-week preemie birth, has defied all manner of grim prognoses, and developed into a happy, giggly, dancing (loves all things musical) little girl.

Now this.

We've been notified she'll start chemo next week to shrink the liver tumor and, since the entire organ appears compromised, she could very well require a transplant. We're all holding our breath that the spot on her lung is scarring due to all the early lung interventions and 18-month ventilator usage.

Anyone here have experience with these childhood cancers or words of wisdom for fretting relatives? Prayers and good vibes would help, too.

My son and daughter-in-law are, of course, in total shock. It's a stunning reversal. Words fail moments like these, other than: it's so unfair. But even that sounds lame.

Would welcome any advice. Thanks in advance!

October 26, 2022

On that Kos OP (recently cited here) from the ER nurse

As I said at the Daily Kos, if I could recommend the OP x 1000 I would.

When my youngest son was nineteen, he suffered a traumatic brain injury followed by a stroke from a nicked carotid artery. It was not pretty to watch, not in the early intensive care days nor the months of subsequent therapies and rehab. As a mother, I was anguished by the struggle, the frustration, the months of pain--physical and emotional--my son endured. It was an event that affected our entire family.

John Fetterman's performance last night was ragged, even painful to watch. However, the fact that he was on that stage, pushed himself to do the debate is nothing short of remarkable. My son was also a fighter, bull-headed if you will. He, too, pushed himself and returned to University in 8 months after his accident. I held my breath the entire time but he was determined to get back up. Like John Fetterman, he got back up, chugged along despite mockery from some, doubt from a number of administrators and ended up on the Dean's List at the end of the semester.

Though John Fetterman's words were halting and uneven, they were true to the man, a man who has pushed against adversity, stood on his own two feet and vowed to work for those less fortunate than himself be it in healthcare access, minimum wage, a woman's right to choose, criminal justice, compassion in immigration matters, etc. His personal medical battle will only increase his ability to fight the good fight with the empathy he had and the insight people acquire after a life-and-death struggle.

John Fetterman has entered warrior territory now.

In contrast, Dr. Oz with his slick, arrogant performance came across with the biggest gaffe of the evening: a woman's healthcare and abortion should be between a woman, her doctor and LOCAL POLITICAL LEADER. All within the context that government should NEVER be involved in these matters. Just leave it to the States and those political leaders.

I listened to a disgusting CNN segment this morning, a panel of 'very serious people'. One of the panelists suggested there should have been a "Mercy Rule," that John Fetterman should have been put down after four minutes.

Can't tell you how that comment enraged me, set my hair on fire.

And then? My husband and I voted a straight Democratic ticket in Pennsylvania. After that, we got a Pfizer booster and flu shot.

I want to be perfectly healthy when John Fetterman raises his hand and is sworn in as our next Senator from Pennsylvania.

As for my son? He graduated, is happily married and gifted us with a beautiful granddaughter.

I predict last night will backfire on the Oz campaign. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

August 20, 2022

The State of the Race in Pennsylvania is Sinking In, Fast

To quote the Rolling Stone piece:

Even Trump Thinks Dr. Oz Will ‘F–king Lose,’ Sources Say.

And we all know how that Former Guy hates LOSERS. So, it should come as no surprise that in addition to DeSantis working a rally for the odious Republican candidate for Governor, Doug Mastriano, we will also have Trump in PA working the crowd and beating the weeds for the flailing Dr. Oz.

According to the article, Trump just cannot get his brain around his celebrity-pick doing so badly. Some allies are suggesting Oz wants to lose. LOL! If I were a better person, I might feel sympathy for Oz, the continuous humiliation he's been facing.

But I'm not and I don't.

Guaranteed if after this September 3rd rally with Herr Drumpt, Oz numbers don't go up? He'll be a Trumper pariah, forever.

But then, there's always New Jersey, Doc!


August 2, 2022

The News Just Keeps Getting Better For John Fetterman

Anyone who thought John Fetterman's campaign was off the mark, not professional or policy-laden enough or any of the other criticisms leveled at the man, should take the following poll into consideration. Because those of us who live in PA, know that this fight is a do or die moment.

And John Fetterman? He's killing the opposition.

Fetterman: 52% (14+)


Oz: 38%


July 29, 2022

Some Very Good News Out of PA, This Time From Fox News

As the countdown continues, polling for the Governor and Senate races in Pennsylvania are turning decisively toward our Democratic candidates. These upticks are despite the headwinds every pundit and political journalist have harped on: economic factors, low approval numbers for President Biden and historical precedent. We still have 100+ days to go until Election Day but running fringe and/or carpetbaggers for office has it's downside.

According to Fox polling:

Shapiro is 10 pts up over Mastriano clocking in at 50-40%

Fetterman is 11 pts up over OZ pulling 47-36%

Still early but the winds have shifted.

Btw, just read that Mastriano is ditching his buddy from Gab. Appears the antisemitic, overall fascist lean isn't playing well among PA's electorate.


July 1, 2022

Speaking of John Fetterman's Return to the Campaign Trail

This is why Fetterman's going to win. Simply showing the Great Oz for who and what he is. A far cry from the "Everyman" pose Dr. Oz is desperately trying to portray. His recently purchased house in PA.? That would be house NUMBER NINE.

LOL. Fetterman's team nails this!


June 3, 2022

John Fetterman discloses medical report and attending physician's comments

John Fetterman, the subject of recent consternation, has released his full medical report, his failure to follow his doctor's recommendations in 2017 and that his recent attack could easily done him in. The disclosure includes comments from Dr. Ramesh Chandra:

In the letter released Friday by Fetterman’s campaign, the candidate’s cardiologist, Ramesh Chandra, said he last met with Fetterman on Thursday for a follow-up after his stroke.

Chandra said he first met with Fetterman in 2017, when the Pennsylvania Democrat was experiencing swelling in his feet. Chandra diagnosed Fetterman with “atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, along with a decreased heart pump” and prescribed him medications. The two were supposed to meet for a follow-up appointment months later, Chandra said, but instead, Fetterman went five years without visiting a doctor.

The diagnosis? In addition to the Afib, Fetterman suffers from cardiomyopathy, a condition that warranted the pacemaker/defib device, along with medication, diet control and exercise.

Equally important were these comments from Dr. Chandra:

“The prognosis I can give for John’s heart is this: if he takes his medications, eats healthy, and exercises, he’ll be fine,” he added. “If he does what I’ve told him, and I do believe that he is taking his recovery and his health very seriously this time, he should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem.”

So, there it is. Fetterman (like my husband, like too many men) refused to heed the initial medical warnings and recommendations. Fetterman was very lucky under the circumstances. He should recuperate well and be good to go.


May 5, 2022

Pro-Choice Advocate John Fetterman Jumps Another 12 Pts In Recent Poll

John Fetterman's strongest moment in the last PA Senate debate in Carlisle was his strong advocacy for reproductive rights, the Right to Choose, a woman's right to control her own body and reproductive destiny. In todays's swirling SCOTUS controversy over Roe vs Wade, those comments are ever more timely and important.

John Fetterman used the word 'sacred' and also suggested that a 'Right to Choose' position should serve as a litmus test for all judicial selections. There was a time when the idea of judicial litmus tests regarding pro-choice was considered over-the-top, hysterical. At least, that's what I recall the opposition shouting.

I suspect few would consider anything over-the-top after yesterday's first-draft disclosure of stripping away a 50-year precedent.

In any case, John Fetterman has again jumped ahead of the pack in a new F&M poll:

Mr. Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, leads U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb 53% to 14% in the new poll, which surveyed 357 registered Democrats from April 20 to May 1. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta registered in third place at 4%, with Jenkintown Councilwoman Alex Khalil trailing the pack at 1%.

This represents a 12-point bump for Mr. Fetterman since the last F&M poll, conducted in early April when he was at 41%. In that time frame, Mr. Lamb dropped 3 points and Mr. Kenyatta didn’t move the needle.

Conor Lamb has complained about the poll's small sampling number (357) which is reasonable considering he's running a distant second. With a mere two weeks in the primary race, I'm guessing John Fetterman is smiling (cautiously), not only by the spread but by his increased approval numbers (67% among registered Dems).

We're almost there!


April 29, 2022

Have We Discussed the Democratic Senate Debate in Carlisle, PA?

I recall an OP on the Republican debate but thought the lack of discussion on the Democratic side was . . . strange.

I watched the debate in its entirety. The debate was held on Monday night at Dickinson College in Carlisle. In addition to Fetterman, Lamb and Kenyatta, Jenkintown Borough Councilwoman Alex Khalil was on the debate stage.

At the end, my first reaction was that Malcolm Kenyatta is a very good debater. He's sharp, clear and didn't miss a beat. He doesn't stand a chance in hell in this race but clearly is a strong voice for the future.

Up front, I'd say Kenyatta won the debate.

John Fetterman (of whom I'm a fan) was on the defensive most the night. As the frontrunner, he's a big target (in more ways than one ). What became obvious was that the debate forum is not Fetterman's forte. He looked uncomfortable for most of the debate and that affected his performance. His responses need to be sharper, cleaner, less vague.

He was, for instance, on point about reproductive rights being sacred, a litmus test for any and all judges. The moderator reacted to that answer and asked if the other participants agreed. Everyone said yes and repeated the once boogie-man phrase 'litmus test.' In that moment, John Fetterman had control of the stage.

But then, not so much in answering to the 2013 jogger incident. Kenyatta hammered Fetterman on that issue and in a way did the man a favor (at least, I hope so). It underscores the need for Fetterman to put this issue to bed, defuse it, before the Republicans attempt to crucify him. And they will try just that.

Conor Lamb, not unsurprisingly, gave a polished, poised performance. His main argument is that he's the more electable candidate, safe, middle-of-the-road, appealing to swing voters although he's somewhat defensive being reminded of that. He, too, went after Fetterman but not with the vigor or delight of Kenyatta.

And then, there was Councilwoman Khalil who reminded me of my favorite aunt. Very amicable, passionate, a bit frantic in some of her answers but genuine in her democratic values. Also kind, a virtue too often overlooked. Alex Kahlil is someone I could easily be friends with.

I suspect few saw this debate. I managed to catch it on C-span and it didn't start until 9:30 pm.

I really, really want John Fetterman to improve his debate skills, let himself go and come across as the man so many voters have responded to, the man we see at his rallies.

He does that? He'll win in a landslide.

April 1, 2022

The Power of Propaganda

Americans have had a taste of propaganda’s strong lure, seen the devastating effects on our body politic and discourse. Many of us have experienced family members being drawn into the circles of disinformation where no manner of reasoning or logic can make a dent. Too frequently, anger and frustration are the only winners in these endless debates.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a rift in Russian families has been reported over the recent war/special military operation in Ukraine. Think Fox News on steroids, a constant barrage of disinformation from . . . everywhere over the course of a lifetime.

The Daily Beast has an article up today on the subject (sorry it’s behind a paywall). I found it interesting because it sounds so familiar—these splits between family members, parents disavowing their kids for uncomfortable ideas or speaking out against Putin on social media. Here’s a two-paragraph sample:

Even the most loving and tight knit Russian families are having painful fights over the war in Ukraine. Anna Zekria, a 42-year-old photo curator, told The Daily Beast she has always had healthy discussions with her 74-year-old father about political issues in Russia in the past.

But this time around, things were drastically different. “My father has always respected my political views, I am not even sure what happened. It was a sudden change,” Zekriya told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “My father is trying to convince me and my brother that geopolitics are more complicated than we know, that ‘Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine,’ that ‘Nazis run Ukraine.’”

There’s another story about a young biracial man, now living in France, whose Russian mother raised him as a single mother and ‘always had his back.’ This is an educated woman, a linguist. No matter. She idolizes Putin, was mad as hell when the son refused to vote for the man in the last election. They managed to patch over that dispute. But now, the son’s distaste for a senseless war has irrevocably broken the relationship.

“You are no longer my son,” the mother said.

The power of propaganda can destroy families and friendships. Americans have yet to find an antidote for our own tidal wave of Qanon fantasies, white nationalist fervor, Trumpism, religious intolerance, racial bigotry, etc. Bothsiderism, whataboutism are off-shoots in the propaganda wars, techniques used by our own media, presumably for ‘balance.’

If everyone does it then it’s no biggie, right?

Using the Russian example where reportedly 83% of the population support Putin during this unprovoked invasion,


it behooves Americans supporting democratic institutions to find/use effective anti-propaganda tools before the endless lies win on our own soil.

Yes, right here in the good ole USA.

A good portion of America fell for the propagandized debacles in the Mideast, blood and treasure spilled in all the wrong places. The tentacles of that propaganda machine, now fine-tuned, have spread throughout the American ether. Putin may be the master of propaganda, but those who would reshape America in their own image or that of their favorite autocrat are catching up.

The Ukrainian war has offered a stark example of how powerful the tools of propaganda truly are. Zelenskyy has certainly won the world-wide information war zeroing in on Putin’s misinformation, rallying his own citizens to the cause of independence and democratic rule. The man has inspired millions around the globe with his transparency, courage and resilience.

But Putin has also won a propaganda war with most Russian citizens by closing off criticism and dissent, jailing protestors and disappearing any and all dissenters/activists using the hard fist of fear, intimidation. Projection, deception, deflection, gross hyperbole and/or gas-lighting have been used to great effect. The most recent gaslighting I’ve read? Ukraine is now ‘Biden’s War.’

Is there any better example of which country you’d rather live in? Is there any better contrast between a striving (though struggling) free society and a dystopian-like nightmare of a country?

I know what my answers are.

Oh, and btw? We have elections coming up.

Profile Information

Name: Peg
Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Current location: Wilmington, DE
Member since: Sat Feb 6, 2016, 07:31 PM
Number of posts: 10,442

About peggysue2

Retired writer/editor, avid reader, political junkie, Mom to grown kids and endlessly kid-like puppies and Nan to our sweet Cassandra.

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