Mimi’s Health Update (10/2016)
Our thanks to all of you for your messages and prayers. Please forgive me for not acknowledging you individually, but I (Jim) do most stuff now except for dollmaking, and we have just downsized Mimi’s studio and moved to a new, smaller apartment.
Previously, Mimi’s colorectal cancer had been inactive in the colon, but not before it had spread to the liver. The latest attempt to kill the cancer involved using radioactive beads inserted into the tumor through a catheter. It was hoped that that would improve her health enough to do a liver resection to remove anything remaining.
Mimi has been a lot healthier lately. The radioactive beads used to treat the tumor have helped. She has been more active, and has helped us move to our new apartment. (Including the painful downsizing of her studio.)
It takes about 3-6 months to see the results of the beads. We got the results of the PET CT scan which covers skull base to mid-thigh. (This is the one with the radioactive sugar that goes directly to areas of high metabolic growth, i.e., cancer.)
Abdomen: Most of the (colorectal) cancer in the liver seems to have shrunk to about 1/8 of previous size. It is not very active.
Chest: The cancer has metastasized again with two small spots in each lung ranging from 0.4 cm to 1.0 cm.
This means that we will NOT do the liver resection to remove the tumor as originally planned, because that would not get it all.
On the other hand, the cancer in the liver is much smaller, so the chemo may work better. The spread of the cancer means that we have started chemo again with a new drug.
Mimi’ cancer has an identified variation of the KRAS gene which provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in regulating cell division. The new chemo, Vectibix, is a monoclonal antibody that attaches to the cancer cell and makes the cancer cell visible to the immune system. White blood cells then attack the cancer cells. We’re hoping this will do it. Unfortunately, it, too, has some side effects. Mimi is having skin reactions, nausea and fatigue. These side-effects are nowhere near as dangerous as the ones from the original oxyplatin.
The doctor will also look into clinical trials as there are new specific therapies for cancers of this type.
We’ve moved to a smaller apartment because we need to be on the first floor. Mimi can’t make it up and down stairs anymore because of the chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy from the oxyplatin. We got a slightly smaller place so that it will be easier for me to take care of. This meant that we have had to downsize Mimi’s studio. It’s always painful to let go of things you have spent years collecting. After going through everything three or four times, we’ve gotten down to size where the studio only takes up half of the living room and a large closet by the front door.
We’ve given away about 50% of the supplies and about 80% of the books will be for sale on Amazon. Art materials generally went to the fabric artists of the Southwest Florida Fine Craft Guild. Dollmaking specific stuff went to some local dollmakers. More general stuff went to Goodwill.
If you need our new address, it is:
Gloria J. “Mimi” Winer
3780 Metro Pkwy #315
Fort Myers FL 33916.
Wells Fargo Does It to Mimi
I’m sure that you have already heard about Wells Fargo firing 5300 low-level employees for opening bogus accounts and allegedly screwing depositors in order to make executive required sales quotas. At the same time, not one single high-level executive was fired for setting up the whole thing, or failing to manage it and stopping it. (Lately, according to the NY Times, they have said goodbye to “Carrie Tolstedt, who ran Wells’s community banking operations… She was allowed to retire at age 56 in July, with a compensation package totaling tens of millions of dollars. She is still eligible for additional compensation this year, according to the Senate panel [investigating Wells Fargo].”)
Also, according to the NY Times, in recent years, Wells Fargo has paid more than $10 billion in fines. That includes penalties for subprime loan abuses, discriminating against African-American and Hispanic mortgage borrowers, and foreclosure violations for cars owned by military personnel called to active duty.
According to CNN,
“Active-duty members of the military cannot have their cars repossessed without a court order, according to the DOJ, which just charged Wells Fargo with illegally repossessing 413 vehicles from members of the U.S. military.”
Wells Fargo was fined 24.1 million dollars for just this item alone.
So what did Wells Fargo do to Mimi?
Nothing that drastic.
When we didn’t get the payment invoice for Mimi’s car from Wells Fargo Dealer Services, I called Wells Fargo customer service to verify that they had received our change of address. Wells Fargo wouldn’t talk to me. They insisted on talking to Mimi, even though I told them she had cancer and wasn’t feeling up to talking on the phone. So they grilled her for several minutes for the answers to the same identification questions that I had already given them the same answers to.
We determined that they didn’t have the apartment number in their files. Then Mimi handed me the phone without verifying that the zip code was correct. I attempted to get them to verify the zip code. They refused. They wanted to talk to Mimi again and go through the whole identification routine again. (I now record all phone calls using an app on my smartphone. We’ll see if it makes any difference.)
I personally think it’s obvious that Wells Fargo thinks it can abuse its customers in every conceivable way. I recommend that anyone who is a Wells Fargo customer find another bank or car finance company. Don’t do business with anything that says Wells Fargo.
Unfortunately, here’s a current item from NBC News:
“… the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ordered the same banks to pay over $1.4 billion in penalties. The formal settlement is for the “attempted manipulation of, and for aiding and abetting other banks’ attempts to manipulate, global foreign exchange benchmark rates to benefit the positions of certain traders,” it said. The more detailed breakdown shows that the FCA is fining Citibank $358 million, HSBC $343 million, JPMorgan Chase $352 million, RBS $344 million and UBS $371 million. The CFTC is imposing fines of $310 million each for Citibank and JPMorgan, $290 million each for RBS and UBS, and $275 million for HSBC. U.K. lender Barclays is also part of the investigation.”
You can’t trust any of the big banks! They are all out to maximize profits at the expense of customers! What to do?
There is something you can do t help!
Put your money in a Federal Credit Union. By law, Credit Unions aren’t allowed to do anything except consumer banking. Accounts are insured to the same level as FDIC insures the big banks. Find one near you at Credit Union Access. We use SunCoast FCU. The auto financing rates are around 2% instead of 7% or more. (We got the car before we moved from NJ to FL, so we weren’t members then.) Their mortgage rates are lower too.
Look into it yourself. Tell your friends about it too. It’s time to abandon the big commercial banks that are doing such a bad job for the little guys like us.
Mimi’s Health Update
Round 5 (3/15/16)
We just got the results back from the latest PET scan. The tumor seems to be dying from the inside out. While the overall size hasn’t decreased, the interior of the tumor shows significantly less activity. Apparently, the outside of the tumor will collapse eventually as the interior is cleaned away. This appears to be the result of the Avastin preventing new blood vessel growth. There are no signs of cancer anywhere else.
The doctors are reevaluating, and we may do a new contrast CT to determine if it is feasible to try the radioactive beads to kill the rest of the tumor and then surgically remove the remains.
Over the last few weeks, Mimi has been feeling better, but she has been having a down week this week with both nausea and pain. It looks like it will be a little bit better going into next week.
Behind the Scenes at Mimidolls
Mimi & I are working on a new e-book that will take you behind the scenes at Mimidolls. It will tell you a lot about Mimi and me, and show you how we create a new workshop including why we do it the way we do and which tools we use to get it put together. It should be available here in a few days.