Debunking @vdaze, Cancer Truther

by Karoli on January 31, 2013 · 14 comments

It’s hard for this optimist to believe that people are insane enough with their hatefest to actually mock someone else’s cancer diagnosis or worse yet, to suggest it’s not true at all, but when it comes to Jessica @vdaze & Co, I expected it. Ordinarily I just ignore their daily obsessive idiocy, but since they’re actually making statements that could have an impact on others’ decisions to take the preventive measures needed to prevent death from one of the most curable cancers there is, I’ve decided to address it.

OsborneInk has more, but here is one of the images from his post:


Because Matt (@Shoq) chose not to tweet out his diagnosis beyond a general cancer diagnosis at first, the Hate Brigade jumped on the bandwagon right away with their mockery, and those of us who knew what was going on chose to ignore it as much as possible out of respect for his privacy. Now he’s willing to talk about his specific diagnosis publicly. Given that, it’s time to fact-check and maybe even reality-check Jessica’s deluded cancer truther trip.

1. Prostate cancer is curable IF it’s treated early

When doctors see a rising PSA test in men over the age of 50, it’s cause for concern. When PSA levels triple over a three-month period, action is warranted, particularly in cases where a direct family member (in this case, Matt’s father) has died of cancer.

Unfortunately, too many men shy away from even being tested even when they have symptoms, resulting in far too many advanced prostate cancers that are life-threatening.

2. Elevated PSA tests do not always mean it’s cancer

Here’s where things get tricky. After two elevated PSA tests, Matt was told they had to do a biopsy in order to confirm that it was, in fact, cancer. That biopsy came back with a clear indication of cancer cells, which left Matt weighing his treatment options. Every treatment for prostate cancer carries risks and side effects which can be unpleasant. It’s not a decision to weigh lightly, nor is it one that should be taken lightly.

After diving into all of the literature and talking to a number of people about his options, including his health insurance carrier, Matt opted for robotic surgery. Luckily for him, one of the best robotic surgeons in the world happens to practice medicine in Florida.

Matt opted for the surgery, for several reasons. There was his family history. Also, prostate cancers are elusive to actually see, even in CAT scans or MRIs. Surgery would enable his surgeon to not only remove the prostate, but also to visually examine the area and remove any tumor that had extended beyond the prostate gland with the assistance of highly developed robotic technology.

3. Some cancers are not easily visible to the naked eye

This may come as a shock to Matt’s detractors, but not all cancers pop out as lumps or simple tumors. Also? Prostate cancer is very different from breast cancer or uterine cancer or ovarian cancer, and it is no less deadly. Diagnostic tools are still primitive, treatments are limited, and there’s no guarantee anything will be easily visible at the time of the surgery. Biopsies help, but until the surgeon sees that area, performs the surgery, and does a microscopic examination of the entire zone, no pronouncements can be made. In Matt’s case, he was told it seemed the cancer was limited to the prostate (now removed), but he would have to be monitored every three months for certainty, likely for the rest of his life.

4. Cancer is no laughing matter

Prostate cancer kills men. It is the second highest cancer killer of men. It’s not something to laugh at or second-guess. It’s not something to mock. I’ve lost one family member to cancer in the last year too soon and too suddenly, I’ve seen friends fight cancer with everything they’ve got because they want to live more than they want their hair or their breast or even their prostate, and they deserve respect.

Just stop and imagine that you have been told there is This Thing, this mass of cells that has somehow gone awry and That Thing can grow inside of your body until it kills you just like It killed your father all those years ago. Your options are injection of radioactive seeds or surgery, but you have to do something because if you don’t The Thing will win and everything you’ve done with your life will. end. that. fast.

It’s not funny. It’s not a lie. Who are these people to presume they have the right to question another person’s health, no matter how deep their vein of hate may run?

Mocking someone who is recovering from cancer surgery goes right up there near the top of the list of heartless despicable acts. Those who choose to join the mockery should be sure to inform all of their friends that they think cancer is something funny, something to mock, something to laugh at, so those friends can decide how much of that bullshit they want to participate in, or maybe reject like some others did. No one is exempt, after all. The Thing is undiscriminating. It likes random people’s breasts, skin, ovaries, lungs, and bones. It hungers for them. Is that how they want to be treated, if The Thing should choose them?

Or is it just Matt’s cancer they think is funny?

No matter what the answer is to that question, Jessica et al’s mockery says far more about her and her moral code (or lack of one) than it says about Matt.

My advice to her so-called “friends”, including the one who sent Matt Osborne her tweets? Watch your back. When she decides she hates you, she’ll be happy to mock you too. No low is too low for Ms. Jessica/@vdaze.

One last thing. Jessica has ceded any moral standing she had for crying abuse. Even if one were to overlook the past six months, her cynical, comic-book cutout hatefest which has culminated in cancer trutherism disqualifies her from being taken seriously. Go look at this definition and figure out who is abusing, and who is abused.

Jessica, just drop the account you use to stalk Matt and walk away now, before you humiliate yourself more than you already have.

Update and PostScript: Jessica has bravely suspended her Twitter account. I could almost understand that. I’d be ashamed of myself too if I did that, but she could simply have deleted her tweets. What slays me is how she and her merry band of cancer truthers have translated being caught into the “mean Shoq” narrative somehow. It must have taken some serious practice to manage that so skillfully.

What follows is my response to that and also adding a fact I left out in order to satisfy Those Who Are Sure They Know All:

For the record: To @dkronin and @chickgonebad: While I realize that you two are the hidden gems of medicine who know all and more, the fact is that his mother was there. Because someone had to be for the first two days. Now she’s gone home. Ok?

My response to the nonsense: It is truly remarkable to watch the peanut gallery go on about how telling the truth is somehow an act of bullying.

Humility would suggest the right thing to do when caught being a self-serving lying bitch is simply apologize for one’s vile behavior, but it appears the right wing habit of simply projecting onto others is in full force. Poor persecuted Jessica…driven away because of Mean Matty Osborne’s obsession with writing true things. With facts and everything. DAMMIT.

Screw you people. No one typed that stuff for her. She did it all by herself, and you all cheered her on because…@vdaze fan club. No one held a gun to her head and forced her to “call bullshit.” There is absolutely no depth too low for her to plumb in her quest for hate. None whatsoever. No one forced Jessica to ridicule him or his cancer. He hasn’t mentioned her name in MONTHS. He brushed the dust from his feet and moved on, because honestly, life is too damned short to worry about someone insanely obsessed with perpetuating hate day after day after day the way you people do.

By “you people”, I mean you, you, and you. Among others.

What exactly will satisfy you? Would you like a copy of his hospital bill, or a video of the surgery? Do you need to receive a telephone call from his doctor? Or do you just wish him dead?

You people suck. Every last one of you. I don’t care WHAT you think he’s done to you in the past.

Not one of you, including some who actually do have health issues, has had their health problems ridiculed by him. Not one of you. Not one.

Other than the five people who actually care and suck up to Jessica on a nightly basis, the twitterverse is sick of this fuckwittery. So am I. This post was written to counteract the fact that ridiculing a very real diagnosis that too many men fear is evil, vile and ignorant, so I countered with facts. Deal with it.

Birthers and truthers. Ain’t it grand?

  • OsborneInk

    “Cynical, comic-book cutout hatefest” – from which her friends are now attempting to disassociate themselves in my Twitter stream, claiming their comments were completely unrelated to the subject of Matt’s cancer. Think I’ll just ignore their pleas and go make popcorn.

  • Patrick

    Karoli, I would greatly appreciate it if  you would encourage Osborne to remove me from the Chirpstory. My comment had nothing to do with Shoq’s illness. I did not even know he was ill. I was making a snarky response to a random tweet.  

  • Patrick

    Matt, that’s c0mpletly unfair.  If you checked my TL before that tweet, I had no knowledge of the greater issue.  I didn’t know Shoq was sick because I don’t follow him.  I was responding to a random tweet with snark.  Seriously man, check my TL before and after, I did not get a retweet from anyone involved. 

  • OsborneInk

    Will you denounce the “cancer truther” movement?

  • OsborneInk

    Hey! Over here, pat — Karoli doesn’t run me.

  • OsborneInk

    “You people suck. Every last one of you. I don’t care WHAT you think he’s done to you in the past.”


  • Karoli

    to you both: I went back through as best as I could to see the context of those tweets…I’m blocked by some involved so couldn’t see it all, but I do agree that it appears to be a reply to an unrelated third party from both ABL and QCP. 

  • Nuveeeeena

    I cannot believe they are so butthurt over Cat that they cannot stop the trolling. The mean girls were really effective at derailing lefty discussion at a vital period last year, sneering and cawing at anyone who tried to get them to desist from the 24/7/52/*.* sniping. Conclude that vdaze may be Rove in drag.

  • usedtobgop

    To be clear, I’m an outsider but have made comments to “them” about their twitter attacks on Shoq. At the time, I didn’t know Shoq from shinola. I’d rather ignore it and focus on lifting the Left and it’s goals. But the “Mean Girl” attacks were/are out there for everyone to see on their TL. 

    I don’t see how anyone can reconcile & justify criticizing the GOP for their attacks on Hillary who are claiming her illness was fake, yet do the very same thing to someone else. Ultimately, how the FUCK can you jeer at someone who has cancer? 

    So I’ll say this again to the attackers. Just stop. Stop acting like Republicans who are so effectively “eating their own” right now. Sit back and enjoy that & don’t do it on the Left. If you hadn’t noticed, the opposition IS feeding off this. The Liberals & Progressives need to get their shit together for the 2014 elections & GOP nonsense taking place in our state houses across the country.  

  • Beccas43

    No matter what Matt does he’s the bad guy. It’s such an old, tired song these girls are singing. Matt has purposefully not mentioned Jessica for months because unlike her, he learned something from the events last August, yes, 6 months they’ve been doing this! Matt is not only a different person, but now he’s recovering from something that even the lowest of trolls will leave alone. Now you’ve temporarily deleted your twitter? Please. Join you friend Heather and be gone for good. I was right all along. You are a disgrace to women. Especially victims of abuse.

  • Who’s Your Damage?©

    You didn’t know Edelstein was sick because you don’t follow him. but you do follow Delahunty. Are we to believe you’d missed her many prior tweets on the matter? This wasn’t the first instance.

  • Who’s Your Damage?©

    Excellent excellent excellent post, Karoli. An issue of great medical relevance.

  • Pat Fuller

    I’ve watched that drama for awhile and didn’t know either one. Yet, my gut feeling told me Shoq was truthful. I hope he heals from his cancer. 

  • PhattElvis

    I came to this story knowing none of the parties on either side. I’m a feminist activist, lawyer, lefty, ardent on abortion and bodily autonomy rights, self-determination, personally blew the whistle on ritualized gang rape at my university when frat guys I hung with raped a fellow student. Got death threats for that.

    Shoq said a terrible word last year.  Last year. What kind of feminism fixates on a personal vendetta with your ex-boyfriend who did you wrong?  I thought that when someone has been wronged, the key to credibility is to carry oneself above the wanting standards of he or she who would persecute you.  Exhibit exemplary integrity and composure to underscore, in boldface type, how venal and vile and objectionable the conduct of one’s “oppressor”… or for that matter, anyone who is, basically, acting like an asshole.  You have to be above reproach, carry yourself with class, discipline and self-possession, exemplifying the very best of your own principles.

    If you sink to the asshole’s level, and do what s/he does or did to you, how can you claim any moral authority, let alone moral superiority?  What ever happened to “Living well is the best revenge”?

    Karoli, I am astonished that you even have to spell out the patent indecency of the cancer-related ridicule. It is just ugly, hideous, atrocious.  I would not want to know anyone who could behave this way. This is junior high school shit — no, even 7th graders get it that cancer is off-limits.

    This is stuff for PhD study: How people rationalize the most mortifying behavior.  I’ve often said, when someone falsely accuses you of stealing from him or her, keep your hand on your wallet.  I see that all the time on the right.  To witness this utter failure of human decency among self-identified feminists on the left…, I cannot express how deeply disappointing I find this.

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