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 Robert Lancaster has had a stroke
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  10:39:46  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More bad news...

Robert Lancaster of Stop Sylvia Browne fame and all around great skeptic and good guy has suffered a stroke. News of this came from his wife Susan, who, along with Robert, are regulars at the JREF forums. Here is a link to the thread:

RSL in hospital

Here's wishing Robert a speedy recovery…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  12:50:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

More bad news...

Robert Lancaster of Stop Sylvia Browne fame and all around great skeptic and good guy has suffered a stroke. News of this came from his wife Susan, who, along with Robert, are regulars at the JREF forums. Here is a link to the thread:

RSL in hospital

Here's wishing Robert a speedy recovery…

I'll echo that. Sylvia probably hasn't been sober since she got the news.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  13:27:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One hell of a nice guy, Lancaster. Strokes are painless, but no fun. I wish Robert a speedy recovery.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2008 :  15:18:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have Susan's permission to copy her posts about Robert to this site. Here is the OP:

Hello, Everyone.

I just wanted you to know that my hubby will be out of commission for a while. Robert suffered a stroke last night (8/4). Some bleeding showed up in the cat scan, and it's in an inoperable place - dead center in the brain. The good news is that it is draining somewhat into the spinal cord. The stroke has left him paralyzed on the left side - the blood is mostly on the right side of the brain.

Right now we are in a "wait and see" phase. He is in CCU at a local hospital, and I'm told he'll likely be there a week. (Before anyone asks, no - he can't have flowers in the CCU.) He may go on from there to a rehabilitation facility where he may learn how to get the strength back on his left side. That, however, is too far down the road to think about now. There will be another cat scan to see if he is still bleeding or if it has stopped.

I will try to keep you posted on his progress, but news from me may be slow in coming. Please think good thoughts or pray if you are of the mind to. God bless you all.

Susan




Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2008 :  12:37:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Susan Posted:

I should've known what was going to happen with this thread, but I had no idea! Thank you, thank you, thank you - Everyone! I can't tell you what this all has done for me this morning!!!! Robert is sleeping through all this, but I'm hoping he will get to hear all this soon.

Two questions keep popping up:
1. Where can we send cards?
Please send all correspondence through SSB for now. Robert has a post office box for both websites. I will pick up the mail and take it with me to the hospital and show them to him, taking them home when I leave. There just is no room in his room for anything but hospital stuff.
2. What can we do?
Rest assured, as soon as I know what is needed I will ask for help. I am not too proud to ask for help when I need it. Robert and I have already experienced the kinds of help available from Forumites, so I know I can lean on you all.

Again, thank you so very much for the out-pouring of love for my wonderful man. Right now, as I said, he's sleeping a lot. The second cat scan has been done, but I have not yet spoken to the neurologist (sp?). The nurse said something about Robert's brain "shifting to the left." He was too busy cleaning Robert up (he had thrown up on himself) to explain any more to me. I'm trying to stay positive, though this did not sound like a positive thing.

Hopefully, Robert will wake up soon and start the long road to recovery. I know, I'm impatient. It's hard to believe that this happened a day and a half ago.

BTW: Robert's brother, Jim, has a theory for how this happened. He says that all the adoration from all of you have given Robert caused his head to swell and that caused the stroke! Yeah - same sense of humor runs through the entire family.

Gotta go. Will let you know when there is something to report.

Much love,
Susan



If anyone is interested in writing:


Robert Lancaster
c/o StopSylviaBrowne.com
3129 S. Hacienda Blvd. #622
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745-6304


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2008 :  12:08:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Susan:
Good morning.

I wish I had more to tell you. I believe I will just give you the possitives:

He sought out, found and squeezed my hand, all the while with his eyes closed. Two separate nurses (both male) told me that he can hear me, and that Robert is respnsive but you have to be insistant and loud to get his attention. His son spent some quality time with him yesterday, recalling his favorite "Dad" stories. His eldest daughter, the one who gave up her daughter in an open adoption, came down from Oregon yesterday. He squeezed her hand as well. His eldest sister came in last night and we will see her this morning. My church and his mom's church have prayer chains going. Our family is receiving such an outpouring of love and support that it brings us to tears.

God bless you all (whether you want it or not). I love you. I'll try to give you another update tonight.

Susan

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2008 :  23:50:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having had a stroke myself, I've got to remark the Lancaster's was far worse than my own. My impression from the above is that Robert cannot see or talk at this point, but probably has hearing and understands what people are saying. It's impossible to know for sure in any case, but it's quite possible that Robert will regain much of what he's presently missing.

To put it mildly, I'm not a believer in prayer, but I certainly am wishing awfully hard for Robert's speedy and thorough recovery, and for the welfare of his loyal and loving family.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  15:11:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good morning everyone! Still nothing substantial to report. What I reported yesterday was all the positives I could think of from the day. Some people appear to have taken that to mean Robert has improved. He has not. At least, not yet.

More later.

Much love,
Susan



Later in the day:

HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!

Do I have your attention? Well, for the first time we have a better understanding of what's been going on, what is to come in the immediate future, and what we have to look forward to. One of the doctors began at the beginning and went all the way into his prognosis. Finally.

The slight difference between the first and second cat scans was not a bad turn. It actually meant there was "no change." The millimeter more blood that showed up in the second was seepage from the original bleed, not new bleeding. The third cat scan done today shows "no change" again. This isn't necessarily bad news. It means there has been no further bleeding, which is good news. Everything he's going through is "expected."

The doctor says Robert will be in the hospital for weeks. The doctor expects him to wake up next week - the week after at the latest. He'll likely be in rehab weeks to months. BUT THEN HE WILL COME HOME!!!!!!

The location of the damage is not expected to affect what we know of as "Robert." His sense of humor, the way he thinks, communicates, reasons, will be the same as it always has been. This got me to thinking . . . so, what if he remains on disability for the rest of his life? What if he can never return to computer programming? What will he do?

HEY SYLVIA, JOHN, JAMES, BENNY, PETER, KEVIN, ETC - ARE YOU LISTENING? IF ROBERT LANCASTER DOES NOT RETURN TO A 40-HR WORK WEEK, IT WILL MEAN HE'LL HAVE MORE TIME TO COME AFTER YOU! Maybe you should be praying alongside all of those praying for a full recovery!

Forumites, the Lancaster clan is ever so grateful for, and a bit overwhelmed by, the outpouring of love for Robert. His mother especially wanted me to express her gratitude to you all.

Good things are coming. They will take some time to get here, but they are coming.

Much love,
Susan



Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2008 :  22:09:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Kil! That last quote is encouraging.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2008 :  17:51:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Hi, Y'all.

What a roller coaster of a week it has been. From almost the worst news ever to jubilation over the smallest things.

So, today the feeding tube gets changed from the nose to the belly. Man! It's amazing what doctors can do these days! This whole thing sounds unobtrusive and so much more comfortable.

The pick line cannot be done, because the operating table is not big enough to hold Robert. So, they will put one of those things up on his shoulder or neck - like a shunt, I think. That won't be so comfortable, but better than being poked over and over with needles!

Still no word on when the traec will be done. But we still have some time.

I'm off to the hospital now. Love to all. God bless!

Susan


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2008 :  09:21:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by chefcrsh

I almost unintentionally stepped in it over at JREF when I noted to Susan that through hard work and brilliant medicine Derek had a remarkable recovery without need to appeal to any supernatural forces. I feel I am safer to talk of this here than over there, please let me know if I am mistaken. What is astonishing to me is that Susan and apparently RL's family are rooting for (and one can assume will give some credit to) god to lend a magical hand, but they don't seem to note that god did nothing to prevent the situation in the first place. God gets all the credit for the cure and has carte blanche forgiveness for the cause.
I think that a new thread should be created for this kind of discussion. Just repost in the religion area and we can have at it...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2008 :  15:36:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Forumites!

Well, today was another good day. I arrived at the hospital at 8:30 this morning and Robert appeared to be sleeping comfortably. I decided not to wake him because I knew his mom and seestor Janie would arrive by noon, Jim was coming back up from San Diego just to see his baby brother's baby blue eyes, and Trish would be here after work. The neck-thingy was supposed to be some time today as well, so I figured he was going to have a full day.

They took him away at about 4 pm for another ct scan, but not before he allowed Janie and Jim to see his baby blues. Mom was under the weather, so did not come today. As of 6 pm they still had not done the neck-thingy. Maybe they needed the results of the ct scan before doing the procedure, I don't know. I will demand answers tomorrow.

Before I left, I spent several minutes (maybe 20) alone with Robert. His right eye was about half open and his left was open just a slit the whole time. He was looking around, appearing to assess everything around him, including me. He still has the ventilator, so he can't even try to talk. But he held my hand and squeezed it many times. He squeezed Jim's hand as well, which pleased Jim. He also held hands with his best buddy, John, today - which made John a little uncomfortable. They don't hold hands, you see. But it's the only way Robert can express his gratitude to people.

So, a little more alert for a longer period. Waking up is a tough job! He seems to be having a little difficulty swallowing. Luckily he is on a continuous feed directly into his tummy. But saliva is difficult for him to manage, so they suction still. And he doesn't like that at all.

Slightly better than yesterday. I'll take slightly better. That's fine with me.

Much love,
Susan

Quick request: Please send more cards and letters. I can hold his attention when I read them to him.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2008 :  07:54:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hope I gets better real soon!

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Vic Daring
New Member

49 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2008 :  09:22:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vic Daring a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read about this at scepticalcommunity.

Bummer.

A friend of mine had a pretty serious stroke back in January. He's now driving again, back at work, and still improving all the time.

It's hard work, but the key is to get on it early and stay on it.

Side note: I just read RSL's account of his encounter with Sylvia. If nothing else, it shows that he has her scared out of wits.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2008 :  10:15:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, tiny improvements every day. It's going to be a long haul. He keeps his eye/eyes open longer. He squeezes my hand. He's still paralyzed on the left side, but I have hope that will change eventually. Edit: he is being weaned off the ventilator. It should be removed tomorrow or Saturday. Janie has started a board for him to use when he's able. The doctors are getting nods yes or no from him. Honestly, I think he has surprised them!
So, another day of life checked off. And we go on. It's been 10 days now. Months - years to go. But I love him, and I know he loves me. We'll get through it.

Good night, All. I'll post more tomorrow.

Love,
Susan


And this from Elaine:
Help Robert S. Lancaster
For all of you who have been wondering how you can help Robert and his family, a PayPal account has been set up to help defray the cost of his medical expenses.

Thank you for contributing as you are able! I, for one, am always touched by the love and generosity that the members of JREF are known for.

http://skepticsunite.tripod.com/index.html

Just so's ya know, I have made a small donation. If you do make a donation, and I urge you to, please sign the guestbook so they know that SFN was your source for the information. My point is that those of us who care about Robert are part of the whole skeptical community and not just the JREF.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2008 :  11:05:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello again.

Well, I allowed the resp. tech. to get my hopes up that Robert might go off the ventilator today. Apparently, he didn't know the real reason Robert was on it (for suction, not breathing). Hopes were up and then dashed when the pulminologist reminded me what he said yesterday. I went, "Oh yeah." I felt rather small. Another couple days yet. Then we'll see. Wait and see. This is so hard, and it's only the beginning.

The good news is that he was more or less alert all day today. He would keep his eyes open as long as he could, and then close them for a while but I could tell he was still awake - eye movement under the lid, and he kept moving his right leg like he was exercising it. I gave him a good foot massage on both feet. He seems to like that.

I went to the P.O. box today and there was one card. Thanks, Grayman and the Mrs. I read it to him, and showed him a couple from a few days ago. I think I'll take a book to read to him tomorrow. If he's going to stay awake so long, I want to fill that time with something other than thoughts of being sick. I asked him today if he could believe that I can't think of anything to talk about. He just looked at me . . . with those beautiful baby blues!

12 days down.

Good night.
Susan


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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