Update from Phil Leadbetter

We made a brief reference to Phil Leadbetter on Monday, discussing the changes in Grasstowne over the past five years. We also mentioned that he was continuing cancer treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a diagnosis he received in March of this year.

Here is an update from Phil, with news about how his therapy is progressing.

“Well, I finished up my 6 rounds of chemo in early October and felt pretty optimistic that the cancer was in remission. The PET Scan I had on October 31st showed it wasn’t.

I got approved for a brand new drug that has been developed and FDA approved for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It’s the first drug exclusively for this cancer in over 35 years, and I am one of the very first people in the U.S to get it. I started this on November 15th and will get 3 doses of this drug, and then have another PET Scan to see how the cancer has responded.

In January, I will be entering a 6 week program in which 3 weeks will be spent in the hospital to undergo a stem cell transplant. This will be at the Thompson Cancer Center here in Knoxville, TN.

I met with the oncologist on October 14th who is a specialist in this field, and this seems to be the best course to take right now. The chemo I just came off in early October is the “standard” for this kind of cancer, with about a 80% response rate. I was in the 20% group that didn’t respond well.

The new medication I have started is used ONLY on those who are in the 20% group that didn’t respond. The success rate looks great for those 20% with this medicine. The bone marrow stem cell transplant is just another step they are wanting to use along with the new medicine in order to get me cured. These stem cells will be taken from my bone marrow.

Please keep us in your prayers. God bless!!!!”

Cards and well-wishes can be sent to:

Phil Leadbetter
PO Box 70713
Knoxville, TN 37938-0713

Medical expenses for Phil and his family are substantial, and he has been unable to ply his trade during treatment. A fund has been established for anyone who would like to contribute a little something. Details online at www.unclephilfund.com.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.