Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Sickening Truth About Reality-Television and My Theory about the Dina Fued

On the Today Show, yesterday morning,(October 17), Giuliana Rancic had an announcement to make. When she revealed that she has breast cancer, reality-viewers were stunned because the Rancics have allowed the public to follow their quest to make a baby on their reality show on the Style network, Giuliana and Bill.
Just five days ago, US Weekly published an interview with Bill Rancic, that could not have possibly been true. (link to US Weekly October 15 interview) That interview was picked-up by Radar Online, and other major media-outlets, and quoted widely online. Here is a snip with some of the quotes:
"the E! Host and hubby Bill are in the midst of giving in vitro fertilization yet another try. We're not opposed to adoption, but at this point we're going down the IVF path," Bill, 40, told Us Weekly Thursday at the Nivea New Year's Eve preview in NYC. ...

But in the middle of their third IVF treatment, Giuliana, 37, and Bill are hopeful. "If [our doctor says] after this cycle, 'I don't think this is going to happen for you naturally. You're going to have to look at more options,' then we will," she told Us. "But if someone is telling you, 'I can get you pregnant,' then we're trying it."-(Bill Rancic to US Oct. 15)
Compare those words with what the same publication, US, said yesterday (link here):
"...Instead of a happy pregnancy announcement, Rancic, 37, told Ann Curry: "I have early stage breast cancer." The E! News host and Giuliana and Bill star made the frightening discovery back in August, as she was preparing for her third attempt to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
Rancic explained that her doctor sternly insisted that she get a mammogram before going through with the third IVF treatment. (The pregnancy hormones could "accelerate the cancer," Rancic recalled her doctor as saying.)
The star, who said she has no family history of breast cancer,..."-(Giuliana Rancic quoted by US October 17)

Am I heartless? Obviously, this couple deserves some privacy and their personal medical information is none of my, or the public's business-right? Not really. Not when you put yourself and your very personal medical problem in the spotlight of reality-television, and ask us to believe that what you are telling us is "real". Starting-with the premise that Rancic is dealing-with "infertility". At 37, her inability to become pregnant is not considered infertility, it is merely a fact-of-life, and quite normal for someone her age.

The pregnancy hormones could "accelerate the cancer," Rancic recalled her doctor as saying.-Pregnancy hormones? WHAT? 
Oh-I get it, since they added "recalled her doctor as saying", the accuracy of medical information "doesn't count"? I have never been treated for cancer myself, or fertility, and I certainly am not a doctor, but I can tell you that this information is incorrect and misleading. What she is calling, "pregnancy hormones", and implying that the hormones that her own body would produce in the event of a successful pregnancy, are really the fertility drugs, that she has already, obviously, taken too much-of.(link)
67 "Pregnancy Hormones" shots a month?!!

YES-it is sad, and it is her and her family's private sorrow, but when you share personal medical information with the public and call it, "reality"-you have an obligation to the public to GET IT RIGHT.

Rancic says that she wants to urge women to get mammograms. In her case, that may have saved her life at this point, but if she is claiming that she wants to better inform women in general, about the dangers of fertility-treatments and cancer, then in my opinion, she should be advising women who take ANY kind-of hormone, (be it fertility-related like egg-donors, infertility, birth-control, for menopausal-symptoms, menstrual-cycle symptom relief...), the thing that would prevent women from having to deal with the risk, is a simple test to find-out if it is safe for them to take hormones in the first place.
(link)Apparently, some women are genetically not able to metabolize some drugs, so those drugs become toxic in their bodies and can produce cancer. The link at http://ivfbreastcancer.com/, is an extensive resource created by a woman who is recovering from breast cancer and the treatment for breast cancer. The author also underwent IVF, and because she ultimately used a surrogate, and an egg-donor to produce her children, (causing those women to submit to an unnatural use of hormone treatments), in her quest to have a family, she unwittingly exposed herself and at least two other women to something that was more risky than it could have been. (if they had been tested before-hand, that risk would have been known and possibly mitigated, or avoided).
People who take certain statin-drugs for heart disease are now required to have such a test before beginning statin-therapy. The pharmaceutical industry will lose some customers and sales when this type-of genetic-testing is required for all prescriptions, but it will protect people from accidentally harming themselves with drugs.
I sincerely hope that Giuliana makes it through her cancer-treatment, and survives to tell the story. The true story. I honestly cannot hold Giuliana and Bill responsible themselves, for what I see as a tremendous violation of the public's right to receive accurate health information. It is just too-big, and too much of a responsibility to place on someone who's only, "crime", (yep-I put the quotes there to mean "not"), is to be a bit of a famewhore who wanted to have a baby or two. We are all responsible for our own health decisions when it comes down to it-but WHO is responsible, when not only are we not given the correct information, but we are given outright lies? There have obviously been lies told, and omissions of the truth, since at least August, when the couple heard the bad news. Was it because the news of Giulianna's diagnoses would have coincided, and disrupted the timeline of Giulianna and Bill , which was airing the IVF-treatment episodes at that time? We may never know the answer to that because no-matter what kind-of contract a person signs with reality-television, HIPPA-laws protect a person's medical privacy at any stage in the game, and even famewhore/reality characters have rights to their own private matters.
In situations like this, the viewers have no choice but to allow Giuliana to reclaim as-much of herself as she needs from the public stage of reality television.
Rancic has also announced that she intends to follow a pretty standard recommended treatment for her type of breast-cancer, which is what most people who want to save their lives would do. Chemo, and radiation, and although I personally hate cancer, and what chemo does to people, especially people who do the treatment and end-up dying from the chemotherapy treatment.......but unfortunately following the treatment that our doctors recommend, is usually the best option. Which brings me to The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the snake-oil that they have been hawking on Season 3. In interviews and elsewhere, they have propagated the myth that their drink was invented by sisters from Canada who cured their own mother of Breast Cancer.  Although I feel very sorry that Giulianna Rancic is looking-forward to really bad sickness caused by her treatment, at least she is not being mislead  to drink (read the reviews if you want to avoid this;))
BLK Water, at $55. a case instead-of taking what her doctors are offering. I was astounded to see what Jackie said about this product that she and her husband have invested-in on her Bravo-blog (link).
"Since the launch of BLK, we have received letter after letter about how it has helped many people with many different conditions, ailments, and diseases including people and children with AIDS, cancer, MS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, autism, etc. It has often been said that it helps cure a hang over."-(Jaq.'s Blog)
I was shocked to see this in print on Bravo's website. I am not in favor of with-holding alternative medicine from anyone. But making a health-claim for ANY product, UNLESS it has been through the rigorous-testing  that is required for products that make health-claims, (essentially drugs and medicines), is dangerous and there may be some kind of loop-hole that allows them to get-away with it, but I don't think so. Maybe there are some good treatments for ailments and diseases that deserve to be made available, but there clearly has been NO MEDICAL RESEARCH AT ALL done on this product. Therefore-they simply cannot make ANY claims whatsoever. Furthermore, I don't even believe that she had received so many letters since the product was hardly available when she posted the blog.I have searched high and low for the name of one person, including the two women who appeared on The Real Housewives of New Jersey,(and I could NOT find their names anywhere) who are claiming to have "cured their mother's breast cancer" with this stuff-and there is not one single iota of research or evidence of the claims that the people who are selling it are making.
As a consumer, I was interested in the novelty idea and marketing of this product, and most importantly I wanted to be sure that consuming a little bit would be safe. I can see by the crazy, sneaky way that they are trying to promote this as some kind-of, "cure-all", that they are more interested in selling this to desperate sick people than as a fun beverage experience.
Maybe the whole Dina vs Caroline "feud", has  less to do with Teresa, than it does with Dina, not-wanting to be seen endorsing this product? Besides what Jackie has posted at Bravo.com, health claims have been made by Albie Manzo, among others involved, but Albie's comments are particularly grievous because he claims to have sent this concoction to a mother who wanted to give it to her child. Dina's work with Project Ladybug would make any association with this product an ethical dilemma at best.
Anyone who has been reading my Real Housewives blogs for awhile, knows that it particularly irks me to see certain issues portrayed, like Ramona's bizarre pregnancy-scare at age 53, and other inaccurate plot-devices disguised-as real-life events. I don't blame reality-television for Rancic's breast cancer, but I do blame reality television for what happens, (or doesn't happen), to viewers who mistakenly make their own health and life decisions, based-on what they think that they have learned by seeing other people's real-life experiences.