Thank You And Update From Rachel Lea Hunter
Dear Friends and Voters:
I made it through the surgery. I would like to thank God for getting me through this. I consider myself fortunate that I only had an acoustic neuroma. Others are not so lucky and have far worse conditions, including cancer. They are in my thoughts and prayers.
I would also like to thank my surgeons, Dr. Sampson, Dr. Tucci, Dr.Fukushima and the members of their teams. Ten years ago, this surgery and its results would not have been possible. Their skill and the technological improvements are amazing.
Thank you to all of my nurses and nursing assistants at Duke. They have a tough job. I don't know how they can perform their tasks, some of which are not pleasant. But they do so with good cheer and dedication. And a thank you to the young man that wheeled me to the eye clinic upon my discharge. I could not have walked that distance at the time.
Thank you to the members of the Acoustic Neuroma Association support group. Your calls, offers of help and encouragement meant a great deal. If anyone else in the area or state has this problem, I would encourage them to join the group.
I am told that the surgery lasted 13+ hours. While the care was superb, being in the hospital was not fun. I had a drain in my spine, tubes, IVs and a catheter inserted. I could not shower or sleep too much. My head was bandaged and it felt like I had on a massive turban. And the surgeons could not get the entire tumor because it was so large and wrapped around the nerves and we wanted to preserve functioning of the facial nerve. Hopefully, what was left will die, but it will have to be monitored.
I was discharged home on May 31st and have been recuperating slowly. Although I have made progress and have been remarkably pain free throughout my hospitalization and recovery, my face is paralyzed on the right side. For some reason, my handwriting was also affected. It is frustrating for me. However, my writing has been improving and I think the facial function will return in time. I am driving and hope to return to work, on a part-time basis this.
Thank all of you for your cards and letters. Dave Burton and even strangers brought me dinners. The support truly has been overwhelming and humbling.
That's my report for now. I am back and glad to be so!
Contrast the support that I received during and after my surgery with that with how some members of the Republican Party behaved. While I was on the operating table, the attacks continued. While I was in the ICU, Richard Vinroot was too busy demonstrating yet again why he is unfit to lead this state.
Cameron, my campaign manager, purchased email lists a long time ago and sent out an email alert on my condition. It contained no politics of any kind. Normal people would have read the message. Some would have responded with kind words, thoughts or prayers. It would have been the decent and human thing to do. Others might have hit the delete or unsubscribe buttons. Not Mr. Vinroot. Mr. Vinroot wants me to unsubscribe him from my list.
Four years ago, when Mr. Vinroot was campaigning for governor, I worked at party headquarters answering the phone because I was new to the state and just had surgery on my foot and I could not do too much. Mr.Vinroot was on the campaign trail with then Governor Gilmour of Virginia. He called me a "real patriot." No, I am not and never pretended to be. Real patriots are like our founding fathers. Yes, they had their flaws, but they put their lives, their fortunes and their honor on the line for an idea that was larger than themselves - freedom. But I never forgot my humanity or my sense of professionalism owed to a fellow member of the bar, Mr. Vinroot. We will certainly unsubscribe you. And I will unsubscribe from the party. I do not want to be associated with such individuals as these any longer.
Speaking of ethically-challenged, I see that our newest justice has already declared his candidacy for 2012. Now, why would he do that? He already endorsed his clone at the Republican Convention and told the group that only the clone was running, despite my appearance there as well as the announced intention of someone else to run. Apparently, someone reminded him of the rules yet again. A judge cannot endorse anyone unless he is a candidate. So he now has to declare his candidacy to cover himself. Is this the kind of person you want in office?
And the party is up to its old tricks too. Did we hear a word about the funds fiasco at the convention? Would it have made a difference if the delegates had known that the state party was engaged in a scheme to borrow money in a manner that contravened the election law? And who will pay the fine? Not Bill Peaslee or Ferrell Blount.
Those delegates who voted to support the status quo probably won't change their minds. But for those who think, for those who are not mind-numbed robots that do the party's bidding, ask yourselves, is this the kind of leadership that you want? If not, then do not give money to the party. Do not support their candidates. Leave and let what is left continue on its present losing course. As Max the dog says, they will be reduced to four people meeting in a phone booth at this rate.
Republican dirty tricks are not confined to just me any more. I also saw that Congressman Jones made the news by calling for a withdrawal of our troops. Whatever one may think about the war, one should ask when the mission will be over and when the troops can come home. Are we going to stay indefinitely? While it is nice that we are building Iraq, what about America? And what about the cost? Why do the Americans have to foot the bill when we can ill afford it? These are all legitimate questions to ask. Congressman Jones did nothing more than make a proposal to start pulling out.
But it seems that the administration in Washington will brook no criticism of its policies. So it has sent out its dutiful attack dogs to shoot the messenger. What have we heard? That Walter Jones is a member of the lunatic fringe. That Walter Jones should resign. Its the same stuff that COPAM pulled on me, only this time its orchestrated by those in Washington instead of those in Raleigh.
What I find disturbing is that we are criticized for nothing more than the exercise of our Constitutional rights. Those who disagree with any aspect of the administration are branded as traitors and must be silenced. I thought the previous administration was bad because of the amorality. This is far worse.
There is a famous poem about the Nazis of Germany - first they came for one group, then another, but the writer did not speak up. And then they came for the writer and there was no one left to speak up. The administration is acting like the Nazis. I will not be quiet. I agree with Congressman Jones that we should ask the administration the tough questions and that we should begin to withdraw.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice