Phil Leadbetter checks in with a very encouraging report on his medical treatment.
This cancer attacks the lymph nodes throughout the body. I have been receiving almost non-stop chemotherapy since that time. This condition and treatments basically took me away from music. I have spent alot of time in the hospital, as well as many days in the infusion lab receiving my chemotherapy.
In February, I went to see Dr. Grapski (who is a stem cell specialist), following a PET scan. I had been to him a few months earlier, and he thought I needed a little more chemo before I was ready to receive a stem cell transplant. Anyway, in February, I was hoping my scan would show improvement…..it was the total opposite.
My cancer had became very aggressive, and had moved to new areas of my body. My regular oncologist suggested I get a 2nd opinion to see if there was something else out there that could be done. It wasn’t looking real good.
So, I went to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, and met with Dr. Reddy, who is a specialist in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She suggested a different and more potent regimen of chemotherapy. After 2 rounds, my PET scan showed a huge improvement. I completed 4 rounds of this chemo in June, and had another PET scan.
My oncologist sent me back to talk again with the stem cell surgeon. I had been turned down twice before for stem cell because my cancer wasn’t stable. Yesterday, I met with Dr. Grapski again, and he accepted me to the program, and agreed that I am now ready for this stem cell proceedure.
I just can’t tell you how happy I was to hear this!!! Finally, it looked like I may be getting a second chance at life. It looks like I will be starting the program around mid-August, and will include 21 (or more) days in the hospital. Dr. Grapski thinks I have an excellent chance of being completely cured with the stem cell. He also told me that he thinks I will be doing well before Thanksgiving.
So………..I’m starting to think about playing again. Hoping I can be back out next year in 2013 with a new CD, and playing again on the road. I have really missed it, and have missed everyone. My family and I can’t thank you all enough for all the love, prayers and support you have shown us through this difficult time.
For the first time in over a year and a half, I am excited again!!!! God Bless you all!!