4:00 AM Wake Up Call

Friday April 1, 2011  10:42 PM

It is always unnerving to get a call at an early hour of the day. This morning my phone rang and it was ADT. Instant dread sets in so I answer and I am told that one of the glass breaking sensors had triggered the alarm at the renovation house. They summoned the police and I headed over there, It is only a few miles away and the police were already there when I arrived. We checked and there was no broken glass so we went in and searched and everything was in order. It turns out that I had forgotten to unplug the air compressor and when it kicked in to recharge, it was loud enough to trigger the alarm. What a perfect way to start the day!

Stimpy went in for her check up on Wednesday. Her labs were good. Her white cell count was normal thankfully, but unfortunately she had lost three more ounces. She just does not seem to eat as much as she did before the chemo. I hope this is not a downward trend. Her chest x-ray showed that her lungs were perfectly clear so that was a huge relief. We went to a specialty pet store and bought her some new food and she seems to like most of  that. We got stuff low in phosphorus since she is getting old, we want to make sure she has no kidney issues. Thankfully she is doing OK in that department. Another $265 vet bill but at least the news was more encouraging than her last visit.

I take Stimpy out for walks every day and she absolutely loves it. She is getting somewhat demanding though in asking to go outside. She tried to bolt out the door this morning when I was leaving to answer the alarm call. She will go to the door and claw at it to try and open it. She wanders all around for quite a distance and the dogs all keep their distance. Here is a picture of her lounging on the retaining wall. She actually growled at me when I picked her up to take her inside. She was not ready to go back in!

        


         


Stimpy has found a hiding place outside. There are some lilies that give her nice cover. She curls up inside them and will just stay there for a long time, perfectly content. I just go off to the side and sit down until she is ready to move on. I love that she enjoys being outside. It is a small pleasure she has so I am happy to let her take her time.

          


I am almost done with the coffered ceiling in the dining room and then I will move on to another project. Another month and the house should finally be finished. I never want to renovate another house again! I have decided to forego the silvered leaf ceiling. It will take too long and I just do not want to do it. I have opted for a color called suede camel. It looks pretty good actually with the red walls. The coffered ceilings will be painted white. Here is a picture showing part of it finished so you can see what it will all look like eventually. I have had a few requests to help do the same in other homes. I think I will pass!

         
 

Hopefully in a few weeks I can go home to visit the family. I will probably drive although I can get a direct flight into Chicago from Oklahoma City and then just rent a car. I hate flying so I will probably just drive. It has been a while since I have been home. The last time was over a year ago when I went there to help my sister move.

Stimpy is finally asleep and leaving me alone about going outside. She has decided that she is now more comfortable in my spot on the bed and she curls up by my pillow. I hate to move her. She gives me her best "I'm so cute all curled up like this" look so I do not have the heart to disturb her. I am sure there are plenty of people who know what I am talking about. Cats rule!





Our own piece of the Internet

Sunday April 3, 2011  2:37 AM

I am not sure why I did not  think about this before but it dawned on me to start a website with the same name as Stimpy's journal, and upon checking, it was actually available. So, it is official, I have registered
www.thecatstimpy.com but it will likely be some time before I get around to developing it. I will use it for VAS education. There are a lot of possibilities. Now, if I can ever find the time to make it into a nice web page. It may mirror this journal, the two will certainly be linked. I thought about selling Stimpy souvenirs, donating the money to Kobi's Fund and other pet charities. (I was going to write something here, something that is somewhat "dark comedy" but I just could not find the words to express it in a tactful way. I feel too guilty for even thinking about it so I will have to keep that dark, twisted ironic comedy to myself at this time until I can figure out how to present it in a more tasteful way). I blame the thought entirely on this early morning, sleep deprived hour.

Stimpy is enjoying her walks outside immensely. She now waits by the door so when I come home, she is right there and she usually pops out. She really loves her hideout in the lilies. I think she thinks she is Invisible Cat while she is there. She just sits there for the longest time and just observes. I am going to build her a secure environment outside that will be off the master bedroom. I plan on putting a lot of plants in there, maybe even a smalll patch of grass, and give her access in warmer weather so she can just go outside when she wants. It will be enclosed to protect her but I think she will enjoy it. It will be her own mini day spa retreat. I will still take her outside for her walks but this way she will have a new jungle to explore when she is alone. Right now I am sitting near the door and she is a little put out that Baloo is stretched across the exit and she cannot get to the door to scratch it at and make her demands known. She kind of snorted and walked away and she has now retreated back to the bedroom. They have no sense about the time of day. She wants to go outside and there is no way I am taking her out at night. She could disappear too easily and there are too  many nocturnal animals on the estate, including that rogue bobcat. I used to walk down to the gate and back at night just to relax, but when I saw that bobcat just outside the property a few months ago, it made me think twice. We are pretty sure that the one boxer dog got into a confrontation with the bobcat one night and we think that is what messed her up so bad. It was such a sad day when I had to sit there and hold her paw as she was euthanized on the table. She was in such bad shape when we found her the next morning and we rushed her to the emergency room but they did not think she could be saved. Pets bring so much happiness, it is difficult to lose one. We now have our own little menagerie here. In addition to the bobcat, there are deer, red fox, peacock, armadillo, snakes (!) mice, opossom, gophers (unfortunately, what a parasite!) and of course, the occasional stray dog that has decided he wants to live here as well. Ah, yes, lets not forget the scarlet macaw...she makes sure of that. She screams at you if you ignore her and it sounds like she is being strangled!

                  


I took this picture of Stimpy on our walk yesterday. She sat there for a good 20 minutes before I finally had to pick her up and take her inside so I could get ready for dinner. She expressed her dislike of being manhandled with some low threatening "I know where you live" type of growls!

Yesterday started off with a bang. The bank called because apparently the debit card had been compromised. Some slimeball somehow got a hold of the number, etc, and tried to charge $2000 to it. The odd thing was that the charges were made to the London Borough of Newham to a government office. There were some minor authorizations, to test the card, like to Netflix, Keytag and Zagg, but the two main charges were for $168 and $1800 to the government offices. Maybe the person who stole the card number is not the brightest bulb on the tree because there is bound to be a paper trail with a charge like that. They allow you to make payments on line for your account in the UK so it has to lead somewhere. A fraud report was filed with the government office as well as the police in Newham. The card was canceled and they are Fed Ex'ing a new one. It is so unnerving to have that happen. It was a pretty bold charge too, the $1800 one. It makes you wonder if they also had access to your bank account to verify that much money was even in the account. I hate criminals. I hope they catch the slimeball and lock them up. Fortunately the bank was on it quickly and they put a halt to it before  the damage was done. I cannot say the same for American Express though. When I had a card stolen years ago, it was absolutely nerve wracking to deal with AMEX. With that one, I finally just paid the amount to stop their idiotic phone calls asking why I shorted that amount with my payment only to find that the day before their last call, they had already credited my account so now they had more of my money. Believe me, they took their time sending a refund too.

When I took Stimpy in to see her oncologist last Wednesday, I shared the letter that I received from Boehringer Ingelheim. In that letter, they outright blame the veterinarian for not disclosing the risks of VAS. They basically said that it was the veterinarians fault that we were not told about VAS because they supply the vets with the information they need and it is up to them to pass  that on to the consumer. They actually take this position to explain away their negligence. Unless the veterinarian is reading something different, I do not see how they claim they provide them with the information they need with a simple, sugar coated statement like this on their product:

" A local reaction may occur at the injection site following subcutaneous administration "

Boehringer Ingelheim does not seem to get it, that this is not sufficient. They do not seem to understand that this is NOT enough information and for them to hide behind the CVB (Center for Veterinarian Biologics) with the weak excuse that "they approved this" is nothing short of criminal in my book. They do not understand that is what I am  fighting for, changes in their disclosure. It will come someday. Too many cats are dying and being mutilated from this cancer. It has to change. They could make the moral decision now and make that change before they are told they need to make that change but they probably will not. No one wants to lose profits. They do not understand just how personal a pet is. They are family members. It has been proven how much they impact us emotionally, how they improve our lives. Their "it's just a cat" attitude is going to be their downfall. Too many people will not accept this. The oncologist was annoyed at their cavalier "blame the vets" attitiude. When I write to the insurance industry in my effort to have them require the vets that they insure to start disclosing the risks of VAS, I am going to include a copy of the letter from Boehringer Ingelheim showing them how they want to pin the blame on them, ultimately costing the insurance industry money and left holding the basket.

So, here we are again, at 3:30 in the morning. Stimpy woke me up an hour ago by gracing me with a hacked up hairball on the bedsheet right next to me. She was looking pretty pleased with her handiwork and was purring like a dove, and she did not seem to understand why I was contorting by body in all sorts of odd shapes to get around it. She looked somewhat annoyed that I cleaned it up and scrubbed the sheet vigorously. Thank you Miss Stimpy...that is just what I like waking up to. I do appreciate the fact that you did not deposit it just below the bed where I step out in the morning. I still have not been able to decide if I like them warm or cold. Yeech! She is shedding like crazy too. I brushed her yesterday and I swear she weighs a pound less now. I had a furball the size of a softball when I was finished combing her. She really enjoyed that too, purring heavily the whole time. These cats have me wrapped around their little paws! 

Another letter

Wednesday April 6, 2011  5:31  PM

A note about the following post. Last Friday I received a letter from Boehringer Ingelheim. It was the first and only letter I had received from BI and that was only after I had sent a letter to the CEO at his home. I suspect strongly that up until that time, he was not even aware of the situation at hand. That letter was somewhat gentler in its tone compared to the copy of the letter I received from the Attorney General's office. That letter pre-dated last weeks letter, having the date of February 14, 2011 on it. I have written this post much as I would have responded to their letter had I received it first. It amazes me how I was continually ignored for months. I guess I have taken my queue from Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction:

            



Today I received a letter from the State Attorney General's office in Missouri. Last December, I filed a complaint with them against Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. They enclosed a copy of the reply from Boehringer Ingelheim's attorney, the one who repeatedly ignored every letter I sent them. In his answer, he is whining about all the "harassing letters" I have sent him. Funny, that is the FIRST confirmation that I have had that he has even seen them. It is an obvious attempt to discredit me in my complaint. He goes on to state that I have threatened to post a billboard on the St. Joseph area (apparently that really touched on a nerve as he mentioned it several times). He also states that I have "defamed" Boehringer Ingelheim and I sent out "disturbing" Christmas cards to him and other Boehringer Ingelheim executives all over the world. 
                                                                 

I would have to agree, the Christmas card was disturbing. I made a parody of their "Have We Seen Your Cat Lately" campaign, a campaign designed to get people to get their pets in the veterinarians door to get more vaccinations. They make no mention of the dangers however, so yes, it is a disturbing Christmas card. Here is a picture of it:


                                                            Boehringer Ingelheim Christmas card


Now, I am not sure that is what he means by "disturbing" but I personally find it disturbing that they know their products cause cancer yet they do not disclose it. I wonder if Michael Herman (the BI attorney) finds this image disturbing?





                                                                       


I wonder if he finds this image disturbing, the image many of us are eventually faced with thanks to this cancer? (With all due respect to Rodney and Little Girl)



lg.jpg RIP Little Girl


The letters only strengthen my resolve to fight them on this. They just do not get it. They think this is about money. For them it is. For me and thousands of other victims, it is about accountability from the pharmaceutical companies.


I will scan the letters and post them on here in the next day or so. I want everyone to see how they do a tap dance to excuse their actions. I want other vets to see how they place the blame on them. I want people to see just how low they can go. 

I guess the letter today was an effort to intimidate me. It does not. I like the way he whines about the "harassing letters", letters that I have been sending to him and Boehringer Ingelheim since this began. Had he felt they were so harassing and defaming, why does he wait until now to bring this up? Are my letters so intimidating to this lawyer that he was too terrified to write me? No, it was their way of showing contempt for me and trivializing Stimpy's cancer. He makes a point that Stimpy's cancer was caused by a Pfizer product (Pfizer did indeed own the Fort Dodge division at the time of Stimpy's vaccination). This is their second attempt to push the blame on someone else (in this case Pfizer). Their letters only show how they think they are blameless. Unless Mr. Herman missed that day in class, he should know that liability does not disappear when a product is sold. 

Michael Herman has never made any objection to the "harassing letters" until now, in his answer to the State Attorney General. Again, I am sure it is just a feeble attempt to discredit me. I wonder, is Boehringer Ingelheim also in the business of incroaching on a person's First Amendment rights in the United States? I do not know what it is like in Germany, but the last time I checked, it is not illegal to express yourself. Like I said, no lies have been published here so Mr. Herman had better brush up on that area of the law if he wants to challenge me on that point. He also needs to brush up on the definitions of defamation and criticism.

To clarify things, I am sending a letter to Pfizer's legal department tomorrow via certified mail and I will get confirmation once and for all whether or not they are accountable for the products that they sold to Boehringer Ingelgeim. I already know the answer but I would like to have this clarified for my own satisfaction.

They also make the claim that they have offered to review Stimpy's medical expenses. Such outright lies. Unless they are referring to the ONE AND ONLY phone call from Dr. James Hall on November 10, 2010, a phone call that ended with me telling them I would settle this for the cost of Stimpy's care, including her post care, and with him telling me that he would "present it to the powers that be" and get back to me, a call I am  still waiting for, there has been no such offer. There have been no letters from them except for the one that my letter to George Heidgerken's home brought about. I filed the complaint with the Attorney General's office because they ignored all my letters. I knew they would be compelled to answer that letter at least. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as it were. 

So, I guess we are at a crossroads here. I am prepared to move forward. I will not back down in my battle with Boehringer Ingelheim. Mr. Herman stated I had published defamatory statements in this journal. No lies have been stated in this journal. Mr. Herman has in fact himself, published a defamatory statement against me now with his answer to the State Attorney General. 

I have yet to meet an attorney who can intimidate me. I am ready for this battle, I hope they are. I would welcome a day in court against them. It would really bring VAS into the spotlight. It will be a publicity nightmare for them, there are enough people who care about this issue that it will be very public. It would make Stimpy's name and face permanently synonymous with vaccine associated sarcoma and Boehringer Ingelheim. I can afford it.

Stay tuned. I will scan the letters and publish them here on the journal. It is interesting, in the Fed Ex letter that I received last Friday, it was not signed by anyone. The letter today, on the same letterhead, is signed by Michael Herman, their attorney. When I sent my reply to them in regards to last Friday's letter, I did not sign my name either. I wonder if that was lost on them?


billboard.jpg Stimpy billboard

Who let the cat out?

Thursday April 7, 2011  5:31 PM

Stimpy is getting pretty demanding about going outside these days. I have opened Pandora's Box by taking her out for walks and now she wants them all the time. She woke me up at 2:30 this morning and was wanting to go outside. She went to the door and meowed loudly and would not give up. Finally I made Baloo park his furry bottom by the door and that really ticked off  Stimpy so she stood one foot away from Baloo and just meowed at him loudly. Poor Baloo just kept his head low looking nervous until she finally retreated into the bedroom but I could hear her in there protesting loudly! Between all the animals, I do not think I will ever be allowed to sleep again.

I finally got the coffered ceiling finished today! What a task. If I had done the math beforehand, I do not think I would have started it. There are 260 pieces of wood in the ceiling. I am sure I spent over 100 hours on it. My body aches from being up and down a ladder every day for a week. I have not hung the chandelier yet, but here is the finished product. I am pretty pleased with it but I do not think I will ever do another project like this again. I do not build from a design, I do it as I go along, basically designing it in my head. It turned out exactly as I pictured it.



I take as many pictures and videos of Stimpy that I can these days. She loves being outside and yesterday I got some great shots. She really posed for the camera on these. She always protests vehemently when I pick her up to bring her in. I need to get some tick protection for her. Since we have so many trees and a woodsy setting, there are tons of ticks. Last night while sitting in the chair, I felt something crawling on me and it was a tick. Uugh! I hate ticks.





Stimpy's appetite seems to change with the wind. I worry about her and I try to give her plenty of choices. The mirtazipine seems to work OK the first day but by Day 2, she seems less interested. I keep some dry food out for her and she has been eating that. She usually does not like the dry stuff but I bought some Royal Canin and she seems to like it. At this point, I am happy that she eats anything before her.

Today a friend ask if I could stop by the pharmacy to pick up his prescription. I think it was called zyvox, made by Pfizer. It was an unbelievable $1900 (yes, that is one thousand, nine hundred dollars) for 20 pills! I am still in shock from that one. I called my friend and told him how much it was and asked him if he still wanted me to pick it up for him and he said OK. So that breaks down to almost $100 per pill, taken two times a day. I guess all Pfizer needs to do is sell a few of these to cover their small offering they give to VAS victims. Wow, my head is still spinning that a drug can possibly cost that much money. I guess my $30 a pill for Relpax (also a Pfizer drug) is not so bad after all.

Stimpy is sleeping on the bed at the moment. I will take her out for another walk soon and hopefully she will eat some more food. She is too tiny to lose any more weight.


Up all night

Friday April 8, 2011  6:30 AM

Last night I was finally faced with the reality that Stimpy is sick. Yesterday she was just so lethargic and did not even eat much of her wet food all day long. I tried to entice her with five different varieties but she just walked away. She did eat some of her dry food and she seemed very thirsty yesterday. She perked up a bit when I took her out for her walks, but even that seemed more sedate. Last night she just curled up in a hole that the dogs had dug up near the caretakers house and she just sat there for at least 30 minutes. I wasn't feeling too good myself actually so I was just as content  sitting on the rocks, taking in the nice breeze.

                  stimpydirt.jpg

Last night, she wouldn't even move from her spot on the bed. She normally comes up next to me and purrs for a short while. She seemed to be breathing shallow and did not respond to my touch. For the first time in a while, I was thinking this could be her last day. So many thoughts went through my head. I even told her that if she needed to go, it was OK. In one sense, I was relieved thinking that she would just go to sleep peacefully with me by her, and it would spare me of that agonizing decision that so many are faced with about having to euthanize their cat. They say you will know, but I have not come to grips with that reality yet.

So, I stayed up with her all night. My arm is numb because of all the overhead work I have been doing and I did not want to disturb Stimpy by moving so I just laid there like a statue, keeping vigil over my little buddy. The morning has finally come and she did get up and eat some of her wet food, followed by a lot water. I will call the vet this morning and get her in. I am hoping she is just sick from a common cold or something. Her last labs came back good, so I hope things cannot change that quickly. I know some people will understand why Stimpy is so special, moreso than the others. She is MY first pet. I have never had a pet that was MINE. It was always someone else's pet. I just cannot imagine Stimpy being gone.

I know this entry is somewhat dark. It is important to document the bad days too. This cancer is not all sunshine, that is for certain. It also makes one reflect on just how fragile life is.

Stimpy is up and about again so I will take her out for a short walk and see if that perks her up. I will post more later.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday April 12, 2011   8:15 AM


Unfortunately Photobucket is down at the moment so I cannot post any of the images of the letters from Boehringer Ingelheim, including their latest "go f*** yourself" letter received yesterday. As soon as Photobucket has resumed, I will post those letters for the world to see, along with my responses to Boehringer Ingelheim.

I suppose by this time, Michael Herman, the lawyer for Boehringer Ingelheim, has assured all his colleagues and the powers that be at Boehringer Ingelheim that I am just an insane person. No, it is much worse than that Mr. Herman, I am completely sane, enough to go after Boehringer Ingelheim with incredible stamina. I am definitely stressed....EXTREMELY! I am definitely pissed off...EXTREMELY and I am definitely angry. I suppose if it makes Mr. Herman feel better to tell people I am a nut job, knock yourself out Hermy. HEIL HERRMAN!

My next line of defense will be to use the letters that Boehringer Ingelheim has sent me to show the veterinarian community that Boehringer Ingelheim squarely places the liability for vaccine associated sarcoma in thier laps (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THOSE LETTERS!). They go on to say they they provide the information the veterinarians need to  educate the consumer about VAS. They also hide behind the veil of the CVB (Center for Veterinarian Biologics) and basically say "they said it was OK what we put on our labels." What a bunch of asses to blame someone else for their product liability.

"A local reaction may occur at the injection site following subcutaneous administration"
 
rabvac3tf.jpg Rabvac 3TF package insert
 
 
 
 

That's it, that is the only information they provide on their label. This particular product is the one that is killing Stimpy. 

Something funny that was in the latest letter from Boehringer Ingelheim was a statement that they were not willing to negotiate on my terms and conditions. I suppose Mr. Herman was upset that he did not come up with the terms himself. I suppose it could be somewhat insulting that "Joe Public" has gotten the best of you so you run off in the corner and pout. I sent a reply and asked, "did I miss something? Did I forget to include something in the terms?
 
WAS I ALSO SUPPOSED TO RELINQUISH OWNERSHIP OF STIMPY TO BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM?
 
There is not enough money in the world for that. 

I have officially withdrawn my offer to settle this. I do not not need their $35,000. The new copper gutters at the house are costing more than that. It will not change what they have done to Stimpy. They cannot argue that I did not try to settle this with them. Of course it was not on their conditions, something that really pisses a lawyer off. No, Mr. Herman, I did not get a big fancy degree from Syracuse University. I have been told by many I should have become a lawyer...I just do not have the stomach for it unless I was someone like Clarence Darrow, a person who did it because it was right and not for money. 

My next phase of this is to educate veterinarians. I will start with the ones who have been been suckered into Boehringer Ingelheims ad campaign "Have We Seen Your Cat Lately". 

Boehringer Ingelheim noted at the beginning of this campaign that

"Annual feline visits fell from 70.8 million in 2001 to 63.3 million in 2006, the latest statistics on the topic, according to the St. Joseph, Mo.-based company. The campaign is designed to reverse the trend of taking cats to the vets less often"

The trend is not because cat owners are less responsible, it is because we are finally becoming more educated about the risks of over vaccinating our cats. It is a trend Boehringer Ingelheim and the other pharmaceutical companies are obviously worried about, it greatly diminishes their profits. I for one demand titer tests to gauge the need for a vaccination. I also refuse to vaccinate Stimpy ever again after her vaccine associated sarcoma was discovered.

This blog has become very popular. It is apparent by the nearly 8000 hits the pictures are getting daily. I will maintain this blog even after Stimpy is gone to educate others about VAS. Of course, telling others about my dealings with Boehringer Ingelheim will always be a part of this blog. I know there are other pharmaceutical companies out there just as vile, but they are not the ones killing Stimpy. 

Doing a google search has been an easy way to locate the veterinarians who promoted Boehringer Ingelheim's latest ad campaign. Sending them a copy of Boehringer Ingelheim's letter where they shift the blame to them for liability with be a start. Eventually, I  will start targeting all veterinarians in the US. Even if they are not Boehringer Ingelheim customers, I think they will find it interesting that they are the ones being passed the basket for liability. I wonder how many of them can afford a $25,000 lawsuit? I wonder how long their insurance carrier will continue to pay those claims without getting informed consent. Educating people is key here and if that is what it takes, I will do it. I  am fortunate that I do not have to work so I have plenty of time to devote to this mission.

For those who have not seen Stimpy's video, I made one showing her before her leg had to be amputated. It still bothers me to watch it. She is so energetic and romping around on the floor with a ball, and a few short months later, she is hobbling around on three legs. Please watch the video and share it with others. Please share this blog with anyone you know who has a cat.
 
I need to run for now. I have to meet some people at the "Renovation House". I have finally decided I  do not want to do much more there, I just want it finished so it can be placed on the market. I am hiring a work crew to go in and finish the work. After building that coffered ceiling, I just do not have the stamina to continue. I have more important things to take care of.

Stay tuned, as soon as Photobucket has fixed it's problems, I will post the letters from Boehringer Ingelheim. I think you will find them very interesting. I would encourage ANYONE whose vet uses Boehringer Ingelheim vaccines to print out a copy of the letter and show it to their vet. Let them see first hand how Boehringer Ingelheim wants to shift the liability to them. It may wake them up to disclosing the risks of VAS (and the vets too!).

Have they seen your cat lately?
 
Boehringer Ingelheim Devil
 

 

Click here to go to the next page and read the letters from Boehringer Ingelheim

http://thecatstimpy.livejournal.com/?skip=100





 

Love letters from Boehringer Ingelheim

Tuesday April 12, 2011  9:42 AM

Well, here they are. I do not have time to comment on all of them at the moment but here are the letters from Boehringer Ingelheim.. These include their reply to the State Attorney General's office (an effort that I knew was a waste of time but I DID KNOW that it would compel Mr. Herman to finally answer my letters. Chronologically, that was the first letter EVER written in response to my letters to them. Mr Herman ignored all of them until I sent the letter to the private residence of George Heidgerken, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica's CEO. That certainly went over like a ton of bricks I am sure!)

This is the first letter, dated February 14, 2011 (Valentine's Day...ahh...lawyers in love!)

Feel free to print out ANY of these letters and give them to your veterinarian.



Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately


I like the blatant obvious lie in the letter to the State Attorney General that they had offered to review Stimpy's care costs. I guess when you are not under oath officially, it is OK to lie about things to the Attorney General?

This next letter is the one they sent me via Fed Ex immediately after George Heidgerken received his letter at his home in Kansas City, Missouri. 


Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately


This letter most obviously was NOT in response to my letter to Mr. Herman on February 25th, 2011. This was the "Holy Shit" letter, as I have come to call it. This was obviously in response to my letter to Mr. Heidgerken. Do they really think they are that smooth?

This "Go F@*# Yourself" letter is the one that arrived yesterday via Fed Ex. I find it the most amusing of them all. I imagine Mr. Herman has felt a little stress over all this as well. Good, let them know exactly what I  am experiencing. They have no idea how stressful this has been to me.
 

 


Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

This was my reply to them initially, followed up by a more direct letter that was sent to them via FAX yesterday. 
 
 


Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately

My official "Go F#@! Yourself" letter was this:
 
 
 



Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately


Boehringer Ingelheim,Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica,VAS,vaccine associated sarcoma,have we seen your cat lately
I wish I had more time to reply to each one of these points, but it will give me something to work on in the coming week. Like I said feel free to print any of these out  and show them to your veterinarian. My guess is that I will not be getting many more letters from Mr. Herman in the near future. I suppose he could sue me, accusing me of defamation like he did in the letter to the State Attorney General but that is OK. I would welcome that with even more enthusiasm!

Moving on...

Wednesday April 13, 2011  6:30 AM

Wow, yesterday had a record number of readers on the journal. I used to hate Facebook but I have found it a very important tool for spreading the word about vaccine associated sarcoma and Stimpy's battle with it and my battle with Boehringer Ingelheim. Yesterday was really a pretty exhilarating day in so many ways. It was a huge relief to subcontract the work out at the renovation house so that took a tremendous amount of pressure off me. The crew will be there today and hopefully, they can finish everything in a week. I will do a lot of the trimming out and I will still build the custom built in's but that part is easy. No more drywall or painting for me!

I need some input from the readers here. You can either post a note directly or e-mail me directly at
stimpysjourney@yahoo.com . I need to make a decision about the billboards I am going to install in the St. Joseph, Missouri area. There are basically three choices I have to work with. One would be the electronic billboard, the kind that has multiple messages on it but the problem with that is that they circulate throughout the day. They only make an impact on the people who happen to be there at the moment.

The  cost of these is $3000 every four weeks. The message is guaranteed to display 1426 times in a 24 hour period. That seems like it would speed by too fast for anyone to see it. I want the message to be simple, with Stimpy's web page, but it needs to be slow enough so people can have time to note the name. I personally am leaning away from this media. I will have to verify that 1426 number with the sales rep but that is what she e-mailed me. It just seems so fast! You do have control over those as far as the message. You can change it yourself from your computer from what I gathered.

The next option would be poster units. These are approximately 11' x 23' and these are great for saturating the market overnight  and reaching neighborhoods in St. Joseph, MO.  Seven locations will reach 50% of the St. Joseph, MO population and the rate for production, installation & 4 weeks of space is $4515. Here is a map showing the market area: 


 


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I am personally kind of leaning towards these. They seem to reach the largest market over a wide area. I also get to keep the posters when the job is finished. Those would be great to use as cat shows to promote VAS awareness.

The third option are the billboards. These are 14' x 48' and make the biggest visual impact. There is one approximately at the Number 2 spot above (how appropriate!). The initial cost of this is $3000 which includes $1500 for the production of the large vinyl bulletin and then it costs $1500 every four weeks. Quite frankly, I think any of these options are very reasonably priced. Any input from people would be much appreciated.

It is only a six hour drive up there from Oklahoma City so I think I will venture up that way soon to visually check the bulletin locations to give me a better perspective. I need to go home and visit the family and I could hop on over to I-35 and then take the 80 over to Chicago. I really need to go home and visit my mother, it has been some time now.

I called the investigator from the State Atty General's office and asked if there was anything else I needed to do. She said I could follow up with a reply if I wanted to. I pointed out that Mr. Herman lied in his answer so I think I will address that and have that on file. I told her that they have refused to answer any letters and the only contact from them have been that one phone call from Dr. James Hall on November 10. She thought that was kind of funny because they had called her numerous times in regards to this. She was also a cat owner so it was a chance to educate her about VAS. I asked her if she could afford the $25,000 for the cost of care if her cat got VAS? She said she could not. Most people cannot sadly. Most people cannot even afford the initial costs of surgery to remove the tumor. Boehringer Ingelheim is low enough to offer "up to $1500" to the pet care giver, an amount that is a pittance to them. I imagine they hate dealing with someone like me, a person who could tell them to shove their offer. Mr. Herman went on to talk about how "rare" VAS is. We all know the numbers are blatantly way off. The reported cases are rare indeed, and that is simply because the consumer does not know what to look for. Education is lacking in VAS awareness. I know this journal has reached many people who knew nothing about it so it is doing its job. Mr. Herman basically defends the deaths and suffering of our cats by saying that the good of the many outweigh the needs of the one. Tell that to the person who had to just inject a deadly liquid into their cat to end its suffering.

This will eventually end up in litigation I am sure. I am prepared for it. I hope it does. Not only does Boehringer Ingelheim profit off the suffering of our cats, they will probably also try and profit off the suffering I am dealing with. They just do not get it. They are killing our cats and hiding behind some government veil. I wonder who the pharmacy lobbyists had to sleep with to get those bills passed?  I can guarantee them this though...they have never dealt with someone like me. Nothing will discourage me from continuing this battle. They can threaten me...big deal, I do not scare easily. They can sue me...big deal, I am fully prepared for that battle too. I guess you could characterize my determination right now as a pitbull with rabies. I am pissed off so stay out of my path!

The workers are here at the house. This may prove more stressful than if I did the work myself. They are painfully slow so far. Sigh...I guess I will just have to grin and bear it!

Stimpy is doing well it seems. She has gotten somewhat demanding in her rights to go outside. Yesterday I took her out twice and in the early part of the day, she saw one of the gardeners hauling something towards the greenhouse. She hunkered down and then suddenly took off running so fast that I had to run full pace to catch up with her. She rounded the house and when I finally caught up to her, she was by the door wanting to go back inside. Dang!!! I do not think she ran that fast when she had four legs! I do not know why the gardener spooked her so much. The gutter guys have done their share too. I had no ideal there were so many gutters and downspouts all over the house. The old ones were brown, and we discovered that those also were copper that the architect had painted years ago! Who in their right minds paint copper gutters brown? What was he thinking? The new ones are so embarassingly shiny right now though,  you could probably see them from an airplane. I hope they get that work done soon. They have been there for weeks now.  Last night when Stimpy was taken out for her walk, there were two deer on the other side of the back lot gate. I do not think she has ever seen deer before. She was so fascinated by them, she just stared for a good five minutes.

More later, I want to go over the letters in more depth. I usually have more time when I am relaxing in the evening. I need to get some work done around here. Paws out.

Oh, the hypocrisy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011  9:33 AM

It has been a very busy past few days! Dealing with taxes, workers at both houses and of course all the animals. I am basically back to square one at the renovation house. The work crew I hired was so pathetically bad and inexperienced that I just paid them for their work and told them not to come back. They did such a horrible job on the drywall installation. They have left areas untaped and some without mud even and the "smooth" finish is as rough as it can be. I will have to spend days correcting their work. Oh well, at least the drywall is in place. I can correct their poor work, it will just take more time. Once again, I have learned that if you want it done correctly, just do it yourself. On top of the bad drywall job, I now have several deep gouges to repair in the new wood floors where they kept dropping their tools. I even covered the floor with heavy tarps to protect it yet they somehow managed to kicked them all up and expose the floors. I guess duct tape does NOT work for everything!

Tax day has come and gone. As usual, no tax refund but a large amount was due for capital gains. I noticed this posted on Boehringer Ingelheims website:

In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17 billion.

WOW! Seventeen BILLION dollars! It does pose some questions. First off, why does a wealthy multi-billion dollar German company need a $3.2 million forgiveable loan from the State of Iowa so they can expand their Fort Dodge plant? That was $3.2 million US taxpayers dollars. I feel like I just wrote a check to the bastards that are killing Stimpy with their vaccine. They even get tax credits for doing something that they would have done even without the aid of US taxpayers. Does anyone really believe that Boehringer Ingelheim would have yanked up their operations in Fort Dodge without this gift? I am sure they did the math and realized that it would cost them more to move. They are too greedy to not factor that in. It creates jobs? Yeah, so...the workers they hire will also make them many more millions over what they are paid so it is not like Boehringer Ingelheim is doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. It is always about the bottom dollar.

http://www.messengernews.net/page/content.detail/id/534505/Boehringer-Ingelheim-expansion-advances.html?nav=5010

The next question I have is that since Boehringer Ingelheim is so wealthy, why are they so lax in assisting cat owners with the costs of treatment associated with their products? Most people cannot afford the $25,000 plus to help their cat. Most do not do what we have done so it would cost this greedy corporation even less money to do the humane thing here. The money was never a question for Stimpy. She is one of the fortunate ones that we were able to provide her the care.

Once again, I get this sickening feeling in my stomach that we just wrote a check to the bastards that are killing Stimpy.

I have not had a lot of time responding to Michael Herman's letters (the lawyer for Boehringer Ingelheim). I will soon but one thing I did notice was this:


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Notice the red box. This is in the letter that Mr. Herman sent to me and here he is quoting the AVMA's advice to veterinarian's in regards to vaccine associated sarcoma.

"There are other uncommon but serious adverse reactions, including injection site tumors (sarcomas) in cats, which can develop weeks or months after a vaccination."

First off, have you noticed how it is only the people closely related to vaccine associated sarcoma, the people who could really make a difference in education, are the same people who continually throw out the word "rare" when addressing VAS?

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The above image is from Mr. Herman's letter to the State Attorney General in Missouri.

Back to the "red box" above. I find it interesting that Mr. Herman is so quick to quote the AVMA in their defense about how they handle informing the public about vaccine associated sarcoma. It varies dramatically from what they actually put on their labels:

Rabvac,Boehringer Ingelheim,Vetmedica,VAS,Vaccine Associated Sarcoma 

According to the AVMA, a source that Boehringer Ingelheim obvious reveres, they call this deadly cancer what it is..." a SERIOUS side effect".

Boehringer Ingelheim on the other hand likes to sugar coat their version of it, just so it will not sound so sinister. Boehringer Ingelheim simply refers to this deadly cancer as "A LOCAL REACTION".

I guess the AVMA and the veterinarians have to be a little more cautious on their handling of VAS. After all, they do not have the same bedfellows that Boehringer Ingelheim does in Washington DC so they have to watch their backs more carefully.

Did you notice the first full paragraph of the above letter too? Mr. Herman foolishly blames the veterinarian for vaccine associated sarcoma. I wonder if he has any regrets being stupid enough to put that in writing for the whole world to see? From what I am reading in Mr. Herman's letters, they like to quote findings, recommendations, etc, when it benefits their lack of concern for cat owners and our cats. BTW Mr. Herman, that IS a criticism of the way Boehringer Ingelheim handles this situation. It is NOT defamation. What a joke...he accuses me of defamation but so far has not had the balls to do his job as an attorney and sue me for it. We all know why he has not, he does not have a leg to stand on. We all know what an embarassment it would be to Boehringer Ingelheim also to have a story break that they are suing the owner of a cat that got cancer from one of their vaccines.

On a more somber note, today marks the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It really tugs at you when you visit the memorial and see all the chairs on the location where the Murrah Building once stood. There is a chair for each victim of this senseless tragedy. What really gets to you is when you see the small chairs, the ones representing a child that was killed in the bombing.

File:Oklahoma City Memorial Chairs.JPG

I remember exactly where I was when this happened. I did not live in Oklahoma City but I was at one of my customers house doing an installation, and she came running in and said her husband had just had a heart attack while mowing the grass. The ambulance came and rushed him to the hospital and then shortly after that, she came back in and said there was an explosion in Oklahoma City. She turned on the news and there it was. A good friend works just blocks away from the Murrah building. They said they felt the blast on the 20th floor of their office building. Sadly, my customer's husband also died that day from his heart attack. So much senseless stuff in this world.

Even more tales from the city

Friday April 22, 2011  5:28 AM

Stimpy woke me up this morning at 3:30 AM. She wasn't distressed or anything, she was just wanting to cuddle. I moved to the side and smoothed out the pillow and she actually laid down facing me with her head on the pillow. She was purring so deeply and she was so calm. It was incredibly relaxing to me, almost too much as I started to drift off to sleep again and then she reached out with her big fluffy paw and placed it on my chin, almost as if she was telling me that the job was not finished yet and I had more to do. So, I started scratching her on the neck and behind the ears so she continued purring again.

It occurred to me that I did have more work to do. As I laid there looking at Stimpy, I decided that I need to move forward. It took Boehringer Ingelheim nearly a year to write me a letter. The more I read that letter, the angrier I become. They are so arrogant in their attitude that they can get away with it simply because they can. I think the part that makes me most irate is where Mr. Herman quoted the AVMA in a clear attempt to justify their apathy, and it only served to show how this does need to change. He quoted them as saying in some instances, serious side effects may occur, particularly, sarcoma's. OK, so he wants to use the AVMA as a model for disclosing the risks of vaccines. Why then, is the only warning on THEIR label, is an over simplified one calling this serious side effect "a local reaction".

I could continue writing in this journal about my problems with Boehringer Ingelheim.I can continue documenting Stimpy's day to day life as she lives with this cancer. That was the whole point of starting this journal, "A day in the life of a cat with cancer". That does include my battle with Boehringer Ingelheim for certain, but I need to move forward.

It is obvious that Boehringer Ingelheim and the other pharmaceutical companies sit back and laugh at people like me. People like Rodney who lost his beautiful cat to VAS (another Boehringer Ingelheim victim). People like Jenny, who is fighting to save her cat Chicken, and she has gone through a lot of the same things I have with Stimpy. A month of radiation after surgery, and then an attempt at chemo but only to find it was too harsh on Chicken (read Chicken's blog here
http://chickenthecat.wordpress.com/ ).

There are too  many people to list. Every time a new person joins the VAS support group, I have to keep asking myself, why does this go on like it does, with the pharmaceutical companies hiding behind their government buddies? Every time I read another e-mail from someone, telling about those last precious moments of life they spent with their beloved cat, it is hard to take at times. I just cannot imagine or even begin to comprehend, the agony of holding your cat in your arms as it is euthanized, taking its last gasps of breath as it lays there looking up at you. It is all so senseless too. There are some in the group who want to blame the veterinarians. They do hold some responsibility but I have been connected to the medical and pharmaceutical world too long now to know the blame lies with the pharmaceutical industry. How they can actually sit back and make billions of dollars every year (Boehringer Ingelheim posted sales of $17 billion alone in 2008, and that was even before they acquired the Fort Dodge Animal Health division. "Animal Health"...it is a sickening thought) and accept no responsibilty for their immoral actions is beyond comprehension. It is criminal, plain and simple in my opinion. They all act like they are such saints, offering a "reimbursement" program. That reimbursement doesn't even touch on the actual costs of this cancer. It doesn't even come close to the emotional impact it has on our lives.

So, where do we go from here? As I laid in bed, I thought, let's go ahead and file a suit against Boehringer Ingelheim. I have nothing to lose from it. They will argue that they are protected and it is a frivolous lawsuit, but in order to move forward and make changes to this negligent act by the pharmaceutical industry, you must first start with a lawsuit. I have tried to reason with Boehringer Ingelheim and they just tossed me to the side. That is very clear by their actions in taking nearly a year to even send me a letter. At this stage of the game, it is not about monetary damages. I do still hold them accountable for Stimpy's health care costs, but the deed is done. I have paid over $25,000 in care costs for Stimpy and it is a moot point right now. I want to have them in front of a jury, and I want to be able to tell Stimpy's story, Little Girl's story, Chicken, Job, Sakura, Cassie...there are too many to name here. I want this to become an issue in the pharmaceutical world. I want them to start listening to us and stop hiding behind their government bedfellows. As I laid there looking at Stimpy, I knew that is what I needed to do. Now is the time to file this lawsuit. What am I waiting for? For a while, I was hoping Boehringer Ingelheim would sue me, after all Mr. Herman has publicly accused me of defamation at this point. I wondered, what are they waiting for? If I truly am defaming them, why would they tolerate it? I was hoping they would serve me with papers, trying to intimidate me into backing off, but those papers have never arrived. It would be an embarrassment to them to sue the owner of a cat who got cancer and had her leg amputated from it. So, what AM I waiting for? The answer is, "I am not waiting for anything". It is time to move forward.

Another reason now would be an appropriate time to file a suit against Boehringer Ingelheim is we are approaching Stimpy's one year anniversary. I have not had any satisfactory answers from Beohringer Ingelheim. I have not had any satisfactory acceptance of responsibility from them. Indeed, I am still waiting for the Freedom of Information documents I requested. Supposedly, those have been sent to Boehringer Ingelheim for "approval" as it contained some trademark secrets, sales figures, etc. I was supposed to have those months ago.

It is time to move forward.


It is amazing how this has impacted my life in the past year. My headaches have increased, largely due to stress. My personal life has been put on hold. I do not want to travel out of fear something will happen to Stimpy while I am gone. I find myself leaving the house on the days I have to give her the Mirtazapine. She has such a low, mournful wail on the first day and it is too heartbreaking to listen to her. It reminds me too much about that night I went to visit her in the hospital after having her leg amputated. It is a sound that will live with me forever and every time this Mirtazapine kicks in, she cries like that. I hate to not give it to her, as it does stimulate her appetite. She just cannot afford to lose any more weight.

The other day, a friend called me and offered me a job at their high end gift shop in Nichols Hills. I could do it as they are the same kind of clientele I had in Tucson, very wealthy society people. At first, I thought, it could be good. I have not worked in years and it would give me something to focus on. That thought quickly disappeared though when I realized I have to take care of Stimpy. I do not want to be strapped down to a 9-5 job ever again. I did not want to schedule my life around a job, not being able to give Stimpy the best of care possible, not now, not while she is dealing with this cancer. So, that thought set aside, I need to focus on the task at hand. Taking care of the houses, the animals, it already is a full time job.

Speaking of the animals, Baloo went in for his haircut yesterday. It was almost a year ago too, that I took Baloo in for his haircut. It is too hot and humid here so he is shaved for the season. He almost seems to be proud of it, the way he romps around with the other dogs when he gets home. Frida will be next and Chula has nothing to shave. Here are a few pics of his new style:


 


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Chula checking out Baloo's new cut. I wondered as we were on the way home, do dogs actually have a perception of changes like a new haircut on one of their companions? My question was answered by Chula's look when she first encountered Baloo, she was very cautious in approaching him and of course they had to do the customary butt sniffing!

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Doesn't Baloo look thrilled to death here?


The other day on the news, they were talking about the drought here in Oklahoma. They said we are down 5" from what is normal for this time of year. It is very apparent by just looking at the pond. It does not look like it here, but I would guess the pond has dropped a good 8' here at the house. You can see where the water line was but even that was lower than usual. I wonder where the turtles have gone to? I have rescued many turtles from the road and have released them near the pond but maybe they have moved on. They always did so well here when the pond was full.

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It is nearly 7:00 AM now so I guess I will go over to the renovation house and get some work done there. I keep telling myself, one more month and it will be finished but I know that is not true. I am too picky about how I do things. People have often told me I should have been a lawyer or something on a "professional" level. That just is not how I operate. I like creating things too much. I like building things, fixing things, etc. I get so much satisfaction from that. I am pretty proud of how the coffered ceiling turned out at the house. It was worth the effort so now I must do something creative like that again to keep me out of trouble!




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Paws out!