And in Latin American News Today . . .

| January 3, 2013

. . . . it looks like Generalissimo Francisco Franco Hugo Chavez is still – breathing.  Maybe.

Reports are scanty, but it seems that recovery from Chavez’s last cancer surgery hasn’t gone all that well.  Chavez is allegedly now in an “induced coma” with “very weak” vital signs, being kept alive only by life support that doctors could decide to terminate “at any moment”.

It appears the decision Chavez made to use steroids for strength during campaigning for Venezuela’s last presidential election might not have been  best one he ever made.  I’m no doctor,but using high levels of drugs known to promote unusual levels of cell growth as a cancer survivor – who probably was in the midst of an active recurrence of his cancer at the time – doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

There are rumors Chavez has already died.  There are also calls by Venezuelan opposition figures for “the whole truth” regarding Chavez’s condition.

Stay tuned.

Category: Hugo Chavez

Comments (20)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Sean Penn, Danny Glover (what a disappointment!), Oliver Stone, Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte, and obama are saddened. The rest of us could care less.

  2. beretverde says:

    Damn…Fidel outliving everyone.

  3. SSG Medzyk says:

    Waiiiiiiiiit a minute!!

    Wasn’t Cuban health care supposed to be better than anywhere else in the whole world? And they still let Huey go south?

    I think we’ve been lied to……

  4. NHSparky says:

    First beer’s on me!

  5. Hondo says:

    Dave in St. Louis: yes, some forms of steroids are used in cancer treatment. However, those used in cancer therapy are typically from the class of steroids called corticosteroids. In particular, hydrocortisone, prednisone, dexamethasone, and methylprednisone are used.

    The second article I linked implied Chavez was using large doses of steroids in order to maintain vigor and strength. That would have been anabolic-androgenic steroids (generally referred to as anabolic steroids), as it is anabolic steroids vice corticosteroids which have such effects. Anabolic steroids are not are not generally used in cancer treatment.

  6. ANCCPT says:

    They are probably referring to corticosteriods, not anabolic steroids. The ones he was taking were to suppress an inflammatory/immune response in the body during the chemotheraputics.

    Snap overview of chemo: Give a drug that kills all the fast growing cells in the body (Cancer cells, hair, stomach lining, bone marrow). Give drugs to suppress the body’s own immune and inflammatory response (corticosteriods). Give drugs to promote regeneration of destroyed cells after the cancer is dead. Treat opportunistic infections that pop up with antibiotics and antifungals.

    Chemo is not unlike using nuclear weapons on an hill to take out one squad sized enemy position. It’s very broad and destructive, and kills a lot of other stuff along with it.

    And as for the ‘induced coma’ that can mean almost anything. To a medical professional, there are very specific criteria for a coma…google ‘pentobarbital/phenobarbitol induced coma’ for a good example of a medically induced coma.
    HOWEVER: A medically induced coma to a reporter can be something as simple as an intravenous sedative to keep some calm and comfortable during mechanical ventilation. The ‘weak vital signs’….Eh. Weak is a relative term. A lot of the aforementioned sedatives can have a side effect of lowering heart rate and blood pressure while they are on them. (Google propofol and dexometodine)
    Overall story? Hugo Chavez is a damn cockroach. Untill you see him stop twitching, assume he’s under your sink, or crawling around in your bathroom, eating off the floor.

    Cheers. ANCCPT.

  7. Adirondack Patriot says:

    The reason he’s dying is because he went to Cuba for health care.

    Kinda like going to the Salvation Army for financial advice.

  8. Nik says:

    I’m no doctor,but using high levels of drugs known to promote unusual levels of cell growth as a cancer survivor – who probably was in the midst of an active recurrence of his cancer at the time – doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

    I dunno. In this case, it’s the best thing I’ve heard all day. I encourage him to undergo such “treatments” early and often. Vigorously.

  9. Tman says:

    Stick a fork in him

  10. Hondo says:

    I would disagree, ANCCPT. The second article distinctly implies Chavez was using the steroids to maintain strength, not as a treatment for cancer or chemo-related inflammation. To me, that says he was using anabolic steroids vice corticosteroids.

    That article’s author appears to know what he’s talking about – he “called” the December recurrence of Chavez’s cancer quite accurately.

  11. jonace says:

    @#8 ?

  12. UpNorth says:

    “Being kept alive only by life support that doctors could decide to terminate “at any moment”.” Or, until the Cuban power grid has another hiccup and shuts down.
    Either, or. Have a nice dirtnap, Hugo.

  13. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Hondo, nice early era SNL reference in the opening line….some of us old farts will get it, probably not too many of our younger compadres…

    Karma is, and has always been, a harsh mistress. When the bill comes due she collects with a vengeance. A slow lingering death by cancer is quite possibly one of the most miserable ways to go out….

    Mr. Chavez it’s nice to see you reaping the rewards of the life you’ve lived.

  14. Tman says:

    Cannot wait to see and hear sean penn’s teary eyed tribute to his comrade in arms, sniff sniff.

    Pure grandstanding comedy folks, coming to a media outlet near you soon.

  15. ANCCPT says:

    Hondo, I read it that way too. I wasn’t disagreeing, I was just laying some fancy learning down on our brothers here.

  16. Hondo says:

    ANCCPT: OK – misinterpreted what you were saying. Mea culpa.

    From my perspective, it looks as if Chavez thought he could spit in “the big C’s” face and get away with it. And it also looks as if he guessed wrong.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving old-school Latin-American leftist.

  17. NHSparky says:

    some of us old farts will get it

    Who you calling, “old fart?”

  18. Nik says:


    Would you prefer ancient gaseous expulsion?

  19. Joe Williams says:

    Sexy senior PERSON. I do not want the Ladies mad at me.I still have trouble accepting being called Old Corps. Joe