This welcome progress report comes from Phil Leadbetter, noted resonator guitarist (J.D. Crowe, Wildfire, Grasstowne, The Whites), and everyone’s favorite Uncle Phil.
As many of you know, I was diagnosed in March 2011 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This is a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes throughout the body. I have received several different kinds of chemo since that time non-stop. Have had no real progress with the disease until yesterday.
I had a scan on Feb 20th that showed the cancer was really spreading fairly rapidly. At that time, my cancer doctor suggested that I go to Vanderbilt and speak to a specialist who only deals with Lymphomas. Her name was Dr. Reddy. She suggested a new chemo for me, and I started on that chemo here in Knoxville on April 2nd after having major surgery to make sure that the main affected lymph nodes were indeed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma ( she thought I may have a 2nd form of cancer since it hadn’t responded to previous chemotherapy).
Anyway…….this is some pretty tough chemo. Very hard to tolerate, but I have done good after two rounds of it. I had another scan on May 16, and the new scan shows that the cancer has really responded to this new chemo. I had active lymph nodes in my neck…they are gone. I had active nodes in my leg…..they are gone. The main nodes that have really been growing fast were in my pelvis. The new scan shows they have decreased by over 60%, and are almost dead ( which means they are no longer growing ). Plans are to give me 2 more rounds of this new chemo, and then another scan. They are hoping that this may put me into remission ( which means all the cancer will be gone ). If so, the next plan is to get me into a stem cell transplant program which will totally cure it.
For the first time since I was diagnosed, we have seen some progress. I would like to thank everyone for all the prayers for me and my family, and for all the donations to help with my medical bills. I’m hoping to be back out and playing in 2013. This is a year of healing and getting well. I sure miss each and every one of you all. God bless you and your families!!