As regular readers are well aware, we have chronicled Phil Leadbetter’s aggressive battle against non-Hodgkins lymphoma this past few years, from the time of his first diagnosis in 2011, through his successful stem cell surgery in 2012, to the return of the cancer in 2014 and ongoing treatment.
Phil is among the most sincerely beloved personalities in bluegrass, both from his long years as a working musician, and his well-earned reputation as a jolly joker. As such, he has been inundated with requests for health updates from his many friends and fans.
To give him something of a break during this rough time of chemotherapy, Phil has set up a page on his web site where he will post regularly about his health status and the progress of his treatment.
The most recent was added yesterday…
“I just completed round 5 of my new chemo today. This new drug called Treanda is a 2-day process. I was hoping this might be my last chemo, but my oncologist told me today he wants me to get in 1 more round (a total of 6) and then have a PET scan followed by a followup to my Vanderbilt oncologist Dr. Nishita Reddy.
Dr Reddy was planning another stem cell transplant for me, but I’m hoping my scan will show really good results where I won’t have to have this proceedure again. It was very hard on me the first time, but I knew coming in that recovering from cancer wasn’t going to be an easy road.
I think I am very close to having this behind me. The Treanda has caused me quite a bit of hand numbness, but I feel that will go away. I’m hoping so due to my profession.
Doing really well so far after this round. I will be going back in tomorrow afternoon to receive a injection of a drug called Neulasta. This drug helps to rebuild white blood cells after damage from the chemo. White blood cells (or WBCs) are needed to fight infection. In cancer, most of the time it is infection that kills you (due to low immunity) rather than the cancer.
Anyway…..overall, a good day. Thanks for coming over and checking on me.”