Omigod. I saw the aborted-then-rescheduled Larry King Live interview with Suzanne Somers, a woman I'd been only dimly aware of - first through her silly, "aren't I vacuous and cute?" performance on "Three's Company", a show I accidentally and briefly turned on once and quickly turned off because it was painful to watch - and later through glimpses of her promoting her book on facing breast cancer. I had the feeling, without paying much attention, she was growing as a human being; she seemed fairly intelligent talking about her first book, and I know that facing mortality often deepens people.
BUT, last Friday I watched her interview on Larry King; initally with interest, thinking "Here's an intelligent, informed woman", but later convinced that she is lying. Convinced for many reasons:
I've NEVER heard the nonsensical term "full body cancer", nor has any other medical professional I know.
It's very unlikely they would have done a CT scan on a patient with dyspnea (shortness of breath) and a rash, a classic allergic reaction treated with IV meds and possibly a breathing treatment.
It's implausible that a hospital would have 4 "infectious doctors" - in my experience (ER nursing in 8 different hospitals over the years), hospitals have one infectious control specialist.
It's just plain silly that, as she claims, all four would have come to her room and informed her she had: tuberculosis, leprosy, and/or meningitis. It's even sillier that, as she claims, they would have TREATED her for all these diseases without verifying the diagnosis, which is not difficult to do for any of these diseases.
No "leprosy medicine" makes one bleed through the skin, as she claims she was warned could happen. Some cause clotting problems, which manifest themselves as bruising and maybe blood on your toothbrush, but that makes for SUCH a dull story. . .
Patients are not "wrapped in plastic and taken to a room way up on the top floor" when they are potentially contagious. Hospitals regularly deal with communicable diseases, and have fairly simple procedures for preventing spread: a room with an exhaust fan (of which there are many in hospitals, on regular wards); a cart outside with hand sanitizer, paper gowns, and face masks for various types of infections; and a sign advising visitors what type of protection they need.
There's no reason they would "cut open her throat" to take a lung biopsy (and there is no scar that I could see. . .).
NO doctor would later come to her room and say "What do you know - you DON'T have cancer. Your body is completely free of cancer". This is not something anyone could establish, nor a statement any doctor would make.
Equally suspicious is that Ms. Somers will not name the hospital or doctors she is accusing of such implausible actions. She implies this is high moral ground; my suspicion, however, is that she knows that HIPPA privacy laws preclude anyone's proving or disproving her outrageous story.
The fact is, she could have fabricated the ENTIRE story, or any part of it, and no hospital could contradict her, as she has not named any hospital. No one can prove that she was or was not a patient.
Except Ms. Somers. If she wants any credibility for this outlandish story, she could: produce witnesses who were with her that night - did her husband or her friends she was out with before she was rushed to the emergency room come with her to the hospital? Are they able to corroborate her story?
She could, if she so chose, publish her medical records, with names of the doctors and hospital deleted - not difficult to do. I suspect she will not do these things, because I suspect she fabricated some, maybe all, of this story.
Being in the spotlight is addicting, especially for someone whose self-worth has been largely fed by being pretty and somewhat famous. Ms. Somers may be free of cancer, but I think she has other issues that bear looking into. I'm thinking narcissism. I'm thinking underactive conscience.
Oh, and P.S.: Ms. Somers and the various doctors in her inner circle claim they're being harassed by the medical establishment because they are coming up with cures that obviate the need for more established, more profitable treatments. In fact, however, there is NO credible, peer-reviewed evidence for these people, who are, in my opinion, selling false hope for HUGE sums ($60 thousand for the Russian guy's treatment, per Larry King.) Watch the show - you'll see what I mean.
I'm somewhat surprised at my newfound animosity toward Ms. Somers; I'm usually nicer. This results, I think, from a couple things:
(To quote Dr. Seuss) Thing One: I HATE being lied to, and
Thing Two: by her addiction to celebrity, she is encouraging people to forego traditional treatments for cancer. These are clearly difficult and imperfect, but they are at least based in scientific method and inquiry into effectiveness, vs. anecdotal "I knew someone who did this and got better" evidence, which abounds in her stories.
I agree there are effective alternative treatments that traditional medicine has not embraced or proven, but it's silly to throw out one in favor of the other.
And it's unconscionable to garner money and fame encouraging people to do so.