Tag Archive: cancer

What does the American Cancer Society have against vaping?


I’m reading this article about how Missouri is getting ready to pass age restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes. Nothing new really. The same old under 18 ban. As we keep saying most vendors won’t sell to anyone under 18 anyway but a law doesn’t really hurt.

What really caught my eye about this article was the reaction of someone from the Missouri branch of the American Cancer Society.

“We still don’t know that these are safe,” said Stacy Reliford, Missouri government relations director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “That’s our greatest concern.”

“Our bottom-line concern is that it defines e-cigarettes as something other than a tobacco product,” Reliford said. “The nicotine in an e-cigarette is derived from tobacco.”

They want vaping and e-cigs to be regarded as tobacco products even though there is no tobacco in them just because the nicotine is derived from tobacco. Now I could understand if vaping and e-cigs were without a doubt proven to be as cancerous as cigarettes but they haven’t yet. I doubt they will be but that’s beside the point. Why are they so quick to ban a device or delivery system that has helped so many people from inhaling the known poisonous cloud of cigarettes?

Maybe it’s self-preservation? If more people quit smoking then maybe fewer people get lung cancer. If cancer rates drop dramatically due to more people quitting then fewer people may donate to the ACS. Am I saying that this is a fact? No, of course not. However it is something to think about until the ACS comments or proves otherwise.

Jerry Orbach Dies

Law and Order’s Jerry Orbach Dies:

I’m sure Law and Order fans everywhere are in mourning today as Jerry Orbach, who played Detective Lenny Briscoe for 12 years on the series, passed away at the age of 69 from prostate cancer.

I’m a huge fan of Law and Order and I am saddened by his passing. I even remember the episode where he played an attorney seasons before he became Lenny Briscoe. He was supposed to have been starring in the next L&O spin-off.

My prayers and condolences go out to Mr. Orbach’s friends and family. He will be missed by this fan.

Bob Knowles

WBTV anchor Knowles dies at age 42:

Staff Writer

WBTV anchor Bob Knowles died Tuesday, three years after he was diagnosed with a rare cancer that flared up again on his honeymoon two months ago. He was 42.

A genuine nice guy in a business where egos can run to the outsize, Knowles was known for his high standard of professionalism on the air and his impish pursuit of mischief when the camera was off.

Knowles joined WBTV in 1995. His helmet of graying hair and zest for investigative stories distinguished him to viewers.

Knowles was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., and grew up in the Bay area of California, a self-admitted smart-aleck kid who got in his fair share of trouble. His mother was a librarian who counseled alcoholic women; his father a banker and a lawyer.

“Both were funny and sarcastic,” Knowles said in a 2002 interview with The Observer. “Mom was bookish, serious. Dad is the life-of-the-party kind of guy.”

Settled early on TV career

Knowles decided he wanted to be a TV reporter at age 15, watching correspondents in the limelight at the Republican National Convention. Ten years later he was standing before a camera, covering labor strife and social problems in West Virginia’s coalfields for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va.

“I was clueless and completely eager. I loved that I was holding a microphone that had an NBC logo on it and had a camera on me. I thought there was nowhere I could go higher than this,” Knowles recalled.

He went to WCSC in Charleston, S.C., two years later and within weeks was covering the story of the decade: Hurricane Hugo. Knowles found himself in the anchor chair for hours at a stretch, ad-libbing over raw video. The station’s marathon coverage won a respected Peabody award.

Knowles spent six years at the Charleston station, at one point challenging the administration of The Citadel, which maintained that hazing of underclassmen had been eliminated. A cadet had slipped him a video of older cadets harassing underclassmen and he aired it.

It was also there that longtime North Charleston Mayor John Bourne denounced him on camera as a “stupid idiot pretty boy moron,” a burst of derision that overstepped the bounds of Lowcountry manners and played a part in the mayor’s defeat. Charleston pals ribbed Knowles for years with the nickname “pretty boy.”

Came to Charlotte in 1995

WBTV hired Knowles in 1995 to report and to anchor the 5 p.m. newscast. His first big story was the trial of Susan Smith, accused of drowning her two sons in South Carolina.

“I went the first day, was all pumped up,” Knowles recalled. “Went for a run that night, ruptured my Achilles tendon and had to go back to Charlotte for an operation on it. I never got back to that trial.”

Knowles was a popular figure in the WBTV newsroom, where his gigglish laugh was part of the day-to-day sound effects of the office.

In March 2000, Knowles consulted a doctor because of redness around an eye. A tumor the size of a fingertip was found and the eye was removed.

Days before his prosthesis eye was ready, he returned to the anchor chair with an eyepatch. “People called and said, “Oh, it was so inspiring, you’re so courageous,” Knowles recalled. “What they didn’t know is that because of vacation schedules, I had to anchor; they needed a warm body in the chair. That’s just television.”

Aggressive cancer

Doctors explained to Knowles that the type of cancer he had, anterior uveal melanoma, was an unusually aggressive form. It was likely to attack his liver within 10 years, and no effective treatment was known. In October 2001, his liver showed signs of the cancer.

He underwent an experimental treatment at the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health in which his liver was bathed in chemicals designed to erase the cancer cells. Knowles knew it wasn?t a cure, but could buy him time until a cure or treatment was found.

“You don’t know when the recurrence will be,” Knowles said at the time. “You cross that bridge when you come to it. In two to five years there will be some kind of treatment – gene therapy or immune therapy. You want to stick around long enough for the next treatment. And you keep on living your life.”

He underwent a round of radiation treatments in April 2000 when a cancerous spot was detected in his hip and returned to work.

Honeymoon in Hawaii

On March 15 of this year, Knowles married his longtime girlfriend, Emily Patrice, and they went to Hawaii on a honeymoon. He shot a 92 on a picturesque Hawaiian golf course on March 28, his 42nd birthday, the best round of his life.

But Knowles began to experience stomach discomfort on the trip and when he returned to Charlotte, doctors found that the cancer had returned to his liver. There was little that could be done.

He was hospitalized for dehydration in early May but snuck out of his room to visit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Greater Charlotte, where he was honorary chairman. A thunderstorm disrupted the event so Knowles visited colleagues at WBTV and went on camera for the last time with his new wife.

“I don’t feel like I was half-asleep before all this,” Knowles said in the 2002. “If there are such things as old souls and young souls, I think I have a young soul. I always enjoyed life. This just made me pay more attention.”

Knowles is survived by his wife, Emily and two stepdaughters, Carlie, 11, and Tessa, 9.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to American Cancer Society or Hospice of Charlotte.

Now I didn’t know Bob Knowles personally and I’ve only lived here about 4 years. But the city of cHarlotte is short on good news people. (I’m looking at you channel 9) Bob Knowles was a class act on TV. I kind of identified with him because my dad lost his eye to cancer roughly around the same time Bob Knowles did. And it sounds like he was tough like my dad too because he was back on the air wearing an eye patch in what seemed like no time. It seemed to us people in TV land that Bob seemed to have beat it. But just like I said when my dad died, you can beat cancer a thousand times but it only has to beat you once.

My condolences go out to the friends and family of Bob Knowles.


It happened last night. My dad passed away. I’ll be offline for a few days. I want to thank everyone who sent their wishes and prayers. I’m ok right now but I’ll probably be worse once I get back home. I have an 11 hour drive in front of me so I’ll see you all when I get back.


12:33 PM: Talked to my wife a few minutes ago. She talked to my mom who is going to sign the papers. My mom just doesn’t know when. It turns out that the cancer has gotten into his spine and my wife said that the doctor pretty much told my mom that he won’t come out of it. I tried getting a hold of her at the hospital but she was talking to a doctor. I want to tell her that I think she’s doing the right thing and that I’m behind her. I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate me talking about this on the internet but it helps me deal with it. I don’t want to be at work right now but no matter where I was right now I’d be pretty much useless anyway.

11:09 PM: Talked to my mom a couple of hours ago. She told me that all these neurologists want to try these procedures on my dad giving her false hope. An 80-year-old oncologist from the old school was honest with her and told her that he’ll never come back. When I get back home I’d like to meet this doctor and shake his hand and thank him for being honest with my mom. I think these other “doctors” are merely trying to cover their own ass. My mom is handling this a lot better than I thought. She says she’ll be in the room with my dad when its time. She’s stronger than me. I couldn’t do it.

Medical Update

Got a call from Mom this morning. Its getting really creepy because every time she calls I’m expecting her to deliver the final news. Anyway she told me that my dad is now on a respirator. She asked if I wanted to go back home and see my dad possibly one last time and she would pay for it. I turned her down. I told her I’m sure my dad would not want me to see him that way and I don’t want to see him that way. Not to mention the hospital panic attacks. I felt bad saying it. She said she understood and assured me she was ok with it. My wife also assured me that it was ok what I’m doing. And I know what I’m doing is ok. But I just can’t shake the guilt.

Dad Update

Dad’s running a fever of 101 today. And when my mom got to the hospital today his IV was infiltrated. It came out of the vein and was injecting fluid under the skin. Luckily it wasn’t like that too long. My mom finally put the NCAA tourney on for him. They still don’t know what’s wrong.

More on Dad

I’m still numb. No news to report as of yet. So I’m just going to try to work through this.

2:25 PM:I guess I spoke too soon. My wife spoke to my mom. They have a tube in his nose to his throat feeding him but he’s totally non responsive and I still don’t know exactly what’s wrong with him. I don’t know if my dad expressed his wishes about being kept alive by a respirator or not.

11:05 PM:My cat is all freaked out. She’s chewed a bald spot on her tail. I swear she knows what’s going on. They say a cat’s senses are more “psychically” acute than ours. Maybe she does know. Which is entirely possible because my dad loved her. He would just let her bite him to no end and he played with her all the time. When I got married I almost felt bad taking her with me because he loved her so much. My parents were talking about getting a cat for my dad right before any of this happened. I wish he could see her.


I got word last night that more than likely my father is dying. I thought it would pass just like any other day when the time came. He was not exactly what you would call a role model. Think of Christopher Titus’ dad minus the womanizing. That’s my dad. But he always kept food on the table and a roof over our heads. I hated him for the longest time because of things he’s done to me and my family. But within the past year I’ve just felt sorry for him. He’s beaten cancer 3 times. He’s going through his 4th bout right now. That’s the thing about cancer, no matter how many times you’ve beaten it, it only needs to beat you once. My wife thinks I should go back home. My mom says to stay here. Personally I’d rather stay here. As much hatred as I once had for him I don’t want to see him lying in a hospital bed with tubes and wires sticking out of him like some bizarre scientific voodoo experiment. But this all could be premature. My dad has cheated death so many times death doesn’t even want to play with him anymore.A part of me says that he’ll make it through this. For all the bad things I remember about my dad there are also some good things. My dad was born during the depression so he’s like a walking history lesson. He was in Alabama during the time of the civil rights movements. He lived through WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. He saw Kennedy assassinated, and Nixon resign. He remembers Pearl Harbor. And he’s been all over the country. That’s what I’ll remember. But hopefully I won’t have to remember anytime soon.

3:38 PM. I just got off the phone with the hospital back home. After being transferred 6 times, no lie, I finally got the nurses station who told me he was not responding well and he’s not eating. Which are ways of describing a coma. They didn’t come right out and say it so that’s not been confirmed but that’s what I’m assuming.

6:09 PM. Talked to my mom an hour ago. They want to put a feeding tube in him. He’s breathing. He has some moments of responsiveness. He just doesn’t eat. They’ll put the food in his mouth and it will just stay there. She asked me what she should do. I advised her to have them put the tube in. What’s pissing me off is the doctors aren’t telling my mom anything. They keep saying they have to do more tests. Bunch of cowards. Too afraid to tell anyone the truth.

9:24 PM. You know what really sucks? This is my dad’s favorite time of year. He loves the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. He used to play college ball for a pretty well-known university. Every March he would tell me about how the NIT used to be the big tournament. And then he would complain about Dick Vitale. I hope they put it on the TV at the hospital for him and on some level it gets through to him.