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Steve Jobs taking medical leave, Tim Cook taking over daily operations while he is gone.


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted January 17 2011 - 02:06 AM

http://www.engadget....ok-taking-over/


I wish Steve well.


-Keith


As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 18 2011 - 03:49 AM

Wish Steve well but Apple has a good set of focused executives, not worried short term.

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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 19 2011 - 02:27 PM

I will be following developments in this area with great interest.

As many of you know, I'm currently dealing with the same disease - Pancreatic Cancer.  When it was announced that Steve was "cured" several months ago I understood that at the moment there really isn't any such animal.  I believed that the "cure" was more of an announcement to stop any ensuing panic at Apple.  Those in the know understand that while great strides have been made in two areas of cancer (Breast Cancer being the other one along with Pancreatic Cancer) they are still not really "curable" unless it is possible to section out all the tumorous areas.  Pancreatic Cancer is a devilish beast - a very slow growing cancer that can sit undetected for decades.  The Pancreas is located in a tricky area of your midsection - behind several vital organs and surrounded by essential blood vessels - both aortic and venous.  In most cases you can only retard the growth via Chemo and Radiation.  It was mentioned in several articles that Steve's cancer was a very rare strain (no two pancreatic cancers are identical as it is a series of diseases with the pancreas at the center of things) and that a chemical had been identified that completely eradicated his cancer.  I discussed this with several oncologists (including some of the finest cancer specialists in the nation) and when I inquired about such a "cure" I was met with a wink of the eye by these individuals.  While great progress was being made in Steve's treatments the "total cure" was met with skepticism by those who have a much greater working knowledge of the fields than I could ever hope to have.


I sincerely hope that Steve's remission is met with further success and that this latest "medical leave" addresses that area in a most positive fashion.  Every little success in this arena is a welcome addition to the growing body of knowledge.


When I was finally diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on July 1, 2010 (after almost a year of futile tests by other doctors!) I was told that my cancer was inoperable and that chemotherapy would be used to try to stem the tide of the tumor.  Initially we were being told (not to me directly but through full discovery by my loved ones) that we were talking about months to live as my prognosis. Miraculously, my first round of chemo (18 weeks on the Columbia Presbyterian GTX Chemo Cocktail protocol) resulted in discovering that the mass of my tumor had decreased by 60-70%.  The term used by my physician (Dr. Steven Heier, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY) was "Remarkable."  When I asked what this meant in layman's terms he said, "In your case we are now talking about years instead of months."  I certainly can live with that (no pun intended.)


My game plan is, I suspect, similar to Steve Jobs' - keep the disease in remission while we await the impending progress (fingers crossed with some concrete evidence of significant breakthroughs on several fronts in NYC, Philadelphia, Phoenix and other sites). It's a waiting game at this point.  In my particular case the team of doctors and consultants agreed to a second round of chemo to see if further mass reduction of the tumor can occur.  The tumor is malignant but in a state where it won't spread to other organs.  I had a round of chemo today (every Wednesday with several "rest" periods of off-chemo weeks sprinkled in.  Coincidentally, they looked at my recent symptoms and protein "markers" in the blood work which are indices of tumor mass - with a certain degree of specificity - and decided to change from the GTX protocol right now to one involving three other chemo compounds.  (The GT and X refer to the first letter of each of the three chemicals that I was taking or being given intravenously)  I won't bore you with the details of the chemicals involved other than that they attack Pancreatic Cancer where it's most vulnerable.  The pancreatic cancer cells offer a defense that most other cancer cells do not share - they form a very thick surface, referred to as a "cocoon" that makes them very strong and hard to penetrate.  The GTX protocol was attacking the cocoon, breaking it down temporarily and attacking it with other chemicals during the brief interval of exposure to the outside world.  The shrinkage of the tumor is testament to the fact that it has been working in my case.  Some people do not respond to chemotherapy (I was lucky on that score and hopefully this will continue).


For those interested in how the tumor was discovered by Dr. Heier after being missed by many, many other doctors: Dr. Heier specializes in getting to the root of otherwise non-diagnosed diseases.  He employs equipment (some of which he designed) that uses an endoscopic process coupled with sonic imaging (known as FNA for "Fine Needle Aspiration")  He not only is one of the few doctors specializing in this technique but he also trains other doctors in this very important technique.  In other words, he has better tools than others to arrive at a diagnosis.  While the process of finding Dr. Heier was a long one (11 months when he was practically in my backyard!)  I was lucky to have such a prominent physician close at hand.  (He's a remarkable individual - having graduated Bronx High School of Science at age 14 or 15 I believe.)


So, in conclusion, you can see why I follow the exploits of Mr. Jobs quite up close and personal.  Here's hoping that his progress contributes to the growing body of knowledge of this still "non-curable" disease.  It's an area of medicine that frightens many physicians but hopefully the cure that is coming eventually will benefit those of us who have been able to stem the tide a bit while we await a positive outcome.   And this explains to those of you who were not aware of my medical condition (and relative absence from the forum compared to earlier days) where I have been.  In a chemo weekly cycle days 3, 4 and 5 are usually the roughest (some pain as the chemo battles my cells - both the good and the bad ones) and by the 7th day I'm feeling quite good.  Each week of Chemotherapy starts with intravenous application of Steroids (for Strength) and Anti-nausea medication (self-explanatory).  That's why Wednesday and Thursday feel so good before the chemo wins the battle.  If I was 30 or 40 years younger I'd probably be battling Alex Rodriguez for the Home Run championship!


Posted Image


And that also explains (referring to a different thread) why I'll be upgrading my Verizon phones to a pair of $299 iPhone4s for Sandy and myself.  And why I'll also get the LTE version at full freight whenever Verizon works out the details, both physical and contractual. Placed in that context my Verizon/iPhone "game plan" doesn't seem so difficult to defend. 


 In life everything is relative.  So that's the rest of the story - for now....





RAF
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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 20 2011 - 02:01 AM

Damn doc, had no idea.  Wishing you the best in your game plan and totally agree with your assessment!  We ALL need to enjoy the things that make us happy, life is short whether we have a few decades, years or months ahead of us!


As I think you know, I have a benign pituitary tumor, and have lived with the advice of my doctor since it was discovered:  "Don't treat yourself like a china doll, get out there and do what you want despite it".  Sage counsel!


Sam


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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 23 2011 - 12:16 PM

RAF -- I'd seen your mention of this in a different thread; the CETON 4--tuner card, I think. But your details here bring fresh perspective to Jobs' (and more importantly, your) situations.


I've had loved ones battle different forms of cancer, and seen more than I care. I hope you can keep in remission for a good long while. Posted Image



#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted January 24 2011 - 02:44 AM

RAF:


Thanks for the update. Pancreatic cancer is one of those cancers that continues to give physicians and scientists a run for its money when it comes to treating it with

the treatments about as bad as the disease. I am still upset that it took so long for them to diagnosis you but at least you are in very good hands now.


I haven't liked the way that Jobs has looked in the past few conferences that Apple has done and felt that he wasn't doing as good as he and the company let on.

I have a feeling that his disease has progressed and the best thing he can do is take care of himself.


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 24 2011 - 05:46 AM

Hmmm

http://www.businessi...m-breyer-2011-1


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#8 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 25 2011 - 02:46 PM

Interesting link and article Sam.  Being able to look at this disease from a very close personal perspective I can tell you that doctors have a hard time predicting time frames and outcomes with any degree of certainty.  The people around Steve Jobs and even Steve himself probably don't know exactly what is going to happen.  I know that in my case I'm in a second (12 to 18 week) round of Chemotherapy as the ingredients are changed in response to my weekly blood work, cell counts and a myriad of other factors.  When I ask questions I realize that the answer(s) I get will be really the physicians' best educated guess at that particular moment in time.


People don't die of Pancreatic Cancer itself in the majority of cases.  They die of something else caused by the presence of the disease.  The Pancreas is located in a place completely surrounded by vital blood vessels that supply blood to vital organs (kidneys, Liver, intestines, stomach, etc. etc. etc.  As the tumor grows - even if it is not mobile it will apply pressure to these blood vessels and start to cut off the supply of blood to one or more vital organs.  Which organ or organs are affected is the luck of the draw.  If one is lucky enough (as in my case) to have chemotherapy shrink the tumor then the effects lessen.  In my case it was the blood supply to the small intestine which was causing almost regular diarrhea about 1/2 hour after eating.  Interestingly, when the doctors were able to "see" what was happening they discovered that my body had adjusted itself to the cut off blood supply by generating new blood vessels to create an alternate blood supply at the time.  The body is able to fight death in this manner - and interestingly, it increases such abilities as one gets older.  A younger person might not get these alternate pathways and might not survive.  When I asked my physician what would have happened if I hadn't grown these new blood vessels and he said, "We wouldn't be having this conversation in that case."  Sobering, but realistic.


When a person doesn't respond to Chemotherapy (in other words if their body can't stand Chemo) then the pancreas will not slow down tumor growth and the resulting cut off of blood in some part of the body's midsection has usually fatal consequences.  Parker, being a surgical nurse, has much more knowledge in this area than I do.  The fact that I was a Chemistry teacher in my early days (for about the first 20 years of my career)  helps me to understand some of the terminology and mechanisms.  Organic Chemistry was one of my favorite subjects so I'm not intimidated by the nomenclature and associated reactions.  At least I'm not overwhelmed by the information and can still recall enough to give me at least a rudimentary basis for holding intelligent conversations with all the professional personnel.  I find it comforting to be able to assess (almost as well as the doctors) my current condition and have a bit of an idea of what's going on.  I take each day and each week as an adventure where another piece of the puzzle will be put in place.


But having Pancreatic Cancer and having all the answers don't go hand in hand.  As stated previously, we never know what organ(s) will be subject to abnormal conditions and the best course of action is to try to keep the tumor's size in check and the disease in remission.  This can (hopefully) go on for years and the more time we buy, the better we have a chance be around when a PC cure is developed.  Obviously, I'm looking forward to being around when that is achieved.  In Steve Jobs' case I suspect (educated guess only without access to all the facts) that his liver transplant might have been associated with PC tumor growth and ensuing liver damage.  That would have solved the immediate problem but I venture a guess that the PC is now attacking a different vital organ.

The Pancreas is a vital organ - one that we cannot live without.  Not only does it produce insulin but it also contributes to digestion.  So whether we are talking about sugar levels or digestion of food the Pancreas is essential.  It's also in a location that would not allow for much if any surgery.  If one of the many vital vessels is cut open during any such procedure the patient would bleed out.  There are some techniques (one such technique is termed the Cyberknife and it involves using radioactive seeds to guide the "knife" - not really a knife but something that is able to sever a location with tremendous accuracy) that might put delicate procedures in the hands of technology rather than in those of surgeons.  In other words we are not only looking at cures but revolutionary procedures in the fight against many forms of cancer.


It is always good when noteworthy people are in the news with a disease that is being attacked from a variety of techniques.  Research costs money and publicity usually results in increased donations and funding, be it from people associated with Steve Jobs, or Michael Landon, or Aretha Franklin, or President Carter's relative (brother?), or Patrick Swayze, etc. etc. etc.  But increased exposure to the "facts" by sensationalizing journalists has a dark side too.  This is a subject that has a lot of unknowns to begin with.  Put it into the hands of Pulp writers and you can imagine what happens when sensationalism meets the desire to outdo the other columnists.  I have to laugh at some of the things being reported in this current situation.  Steve Jobs has reached a point where whatever it is has to be dealt with ASAP and out of the limelight.  As Parker said, you can see that Steve is thinner and has some other features (skin tone, facial features, mannerisms) that I have become familiar with, either with myself or other PC patients that leads me to think that he is putting up a good front but now is a time to withdraw and take care of himself.


Will he be back?  Who's to say?  I hope so, but if not then let's hope it's because he's dealing with something treatable as he struggles with remission.  And will he be around long enough to take advantage of a cure?  I sure as hell hope so for obvious reasons.  In the meanwhile, let's see if he has assembled and put in place a team of Apple executives that are able to carry on his technological game plan with the usual offerings of upgrades and new and better products.  And let's hope that Steve's "off" time is sprinkled with some personal enjoyment as well.  I have found that keeping busy, while not a cure, is a tremendous psychological boost.  I'm making a bit of a dent in my personal "Bucket List" and much of it revolves around technology.  (Ceton/FIOS, iPads, MacBook Airs, Verizon iPhones, 3D television, Lots of books and computer programs that I never got to over the past several years)  My grandkids have reached an age where they can share with me my passion for technology and I can see them passing Grandpa before too long. (Someone has to be able to turn on the equipment in my Home Theater!Posted Image)


So there you have it.  Steve Jobs and I are PC pals - in more than one sense of the term!    And there's a bit of irony in the fact that I was diagnosed with PC just around the time that I purchased my first iPad (a second one went to my daughter who travels in from PA to NY - about 2.5 hours away to help out dad with lots of items.)  This has since been supplemented with a top of the line MacBook Pro and a similar 13" Macbook Air (my Bucket List requires top of the line gizmos!)  so now I consider myself well versed in things Mac as an owner and not just as an observer.  But even though I'm a PC guy because of my background I can understand the attraction for Macs as long as we keep the discussion based on facts and not simply fandom.

Thank you Steve Jobs for some great products over the years.  I've been an early adopter for most of them.  But I've also been there for the Newton and the Lisa (ouch!)  I even tried to purchase a NeXT but they couldn't figure out how to sell a lab full of them to a school system, only to companies (double ouch!!).


Been there, done that.


"Mark it as a 8, Donnie!"


"O.K. Dude!"


RAF
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 25 2011 - 03:05 PM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

RAF -- I'd seen your mention of this in a different thread; the CETON 4--tuner card, I think. But your details here bring fresh perspective to Jobs' (and more importantly, your) situations.


I've had loved ones battle different forms of cancer, and seen more than I care. I hope you can keep in remission for a good long while. Posted Image


Thanks for the kind words, Dave.  They are appreciated.  I, too, have seen cancer up close an personal.  Almost ten years ago I lost my wife, Therese, to a brain tumor (advanced stage 4 gliobastoma) and I was her care giver up until the end (mercifully only a painless nine months total time from diagnosis to her passing.)  Many of the people in the forum (like Ron and Parker) knew Therese because she accompanied me to a lot of HTF functions such as the annual Scooterpalooza held in NJ (brings back memories, right Sam?).


I'm in the somewhat unique position of probably knowing what I'm going to die of - but just not when.  I don't know whether that's good or bad but at least it's different.  During that uncertain interval I plan on having a most enjoyable time.  At this point one can choose to be sad or to be happy.  I choose humor.  Posted Image  Posted Image


Once again, thanks and take care!


RAF
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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 25 2011 - 03:16 PM

Good memories Doc! I'm hoping I can host a spiritual successor to the paloozas some time in the future, I hope you and Scoot will both be there when I can swing it! I have a weird request Doc, would you minding I linked to your tow posts to some folks on other destinations who are following the story closely? Normally I'd link to HTF posts with abandon, but this thread has some intensely personal details in it so if you would prefer I did not I will understand if you would prefer I did not!

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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 25 2011 - 03:44 PM

Sam,


If PostenPalooza becomes a reality then Sandy and I (and possibly a grand kid or two if it's in NJ) would do our darnedest to attend.  As you are probably aware, it all depends on whether or not whatever treatment is being administered to me at that time is affecting my body before I can give a definitive answer.  But all other things being equal (healthy enough to attend and no conflicts with a wedding or two this coming summer) I would definitely be there.  Good luck in pulling this off.


As to linking these threads to the outside world, I have no problem at all with that.  I'm glad to keep the discussion going wherever it appears (within the limits of my cyber time and my daily health situation.)  I did not feel that keeping my condition private would serve any purpose.  In fact it's just the opposite.  Several people had asked me privately why my activity on the forum had dropped off in the past six months or so and because I was so active in so many different areas I felt that an explanation was in order.  I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that but going right to the heart of the matter explains this to the membership.  For example, yearly at this time I would have been starting the annual American Idol HTF Challenge but this is the type of activity that requires a lot of behind the scene work.  It might appear to be relatively easy (and it was when my mind was sharp) but I'm finding out that such tasks become extremely challenging to administer so you and others may have noticed that I'm not going to organize the challenge this year because I don't feel up to the task.  When I do something I like to do it in a clear and organized fashion.  Anything less than that is not acceptable to me.


If anyone else wants to start a Challenge for American Idol 10 (I believe that's the number, right?) they have my blessing.  In fact I would probably even enter along with Sandy as well, in administrative non-eligible for any prize package status.  We'll see if anyone steps up to the plate.


To recap (since PC hasn't slowed down my yadda-yadda-yadda):


  • PostenPalooza (or whatever you choose to call it):  YES, within health limits
  • Spreading the words in this thread to others outside our normal sphere of attention:  Also a YES.  Fine by me.  I feel that getting more eyes to the HTF pages is always a good thing for the forum and while this one involves some items of a personal nature I have no problem in such action on your part.  Go for it!
Take care.

RAF
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#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 26 2011 - 01:02 AM

Outstanding Doc, thanks!  Will keep you posted on the party, all going to hinge on selling my place in Jersey to get new digs, hopefully good news by spring!  And my thanks on the thumbs up for passing on your insights, I know quite a few folks will find them as illuminating as I do.


Sam


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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 26 2011 - 03:20 PM

RAF, I never talk about it online, but I lost my younger brother to the same cancer that took your wife. Thanks for your comments and insights. :) If there's an HTF event I'd hope to come. Never been to one, and it would be fun.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 26 2011 - 03:21 PM

Well I noticed that the Idol challenge was missing and saw no new topic had been started,

just an old one from last summer when the new hosts were announced.


Robert we've never met but I've been an extremely active poster here for over 10 years now and
feel like I now you just from that.



Your room is one of the ones I did a bit of study on when

I built my room a few years ago.

  For what it's worth I'll be channeling good thoughts your way for
continued improvement.


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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 28 2011 - 02:30 PM

TonyD,


Thanks for the good thoughts.  They are sincerely appreciated.


I spoke to Adam Gregorich (co-owner of the HTF) and he's going to make some sort of announcement regarding a possible American Idol Challenge.  We'll see where it goes so stay tuned....


I saw the Phillies Logo as your Avatar.  My daughter has season tickets for the Phillies and I've been able to attend several games at Citizen Bank Park -  including Game four of the 2009 World Series - forever known as the "Johnny Damon Sequential Two Base Steal" game.  As a New Yawker, I've been a Yankees Fan (went to my first game in August of 1949 at age 7.  Joe D. had 3 hits in that game.  Don't ask me why I remember that and can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning.  The mind is a mysterious device!  Daughter Liz lives in Ambler, PA (Sumneytown Pike - near Rte. 202).  Anywhere close to you?


RAF
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 28 2011 - 02:45 PM

No, I'm in Pa close to the Delaware border about 10 miles south of the Philly airport, but I know the area.

Worked about 10 miles south of there in Chestnut Hill p.o. for 12 years starting around '90.


Very nice area to live from what I remember.

 That Damon 2 base steal was devastating for the Phils, turned the tide I think.
I'm trying to forget it.

Posted Image


Very good first ballgame memory. Mine is a memory of going to my first game but not actually being in there.

My dad to me took Connie Mack stadium in it's last year '70. I remember seeing the

outside of the stadium and wondering why they played in a warehouse.


I guess I thought the old stadium looked like a building and not a stadium from the outside.

6 years old, and lived in a neighborhood about 25 blocks away from the stadium with

industrial warehouses all over the place so what did I know.


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