For those folks that have known Keith Frye or have felt the impact he has had on many of us in this world, please take the time to read the following.
This past winter, Keith found himself ill but was not expecting the extent of his illness. The following is his account of the past few months...
"A quick recap of the lead-up to January 21...
Keith started feeling ill about mid-November (probably before that but chalked it up to stress due to some family event). We thought it was all gastro-related...saw a specialist...the prescribed meds post-endoscopy didn't fix the issue...his PCP at a January appt saw he was jaundiced and his liver was enlarged....went to ER where he was admitted.
On January 21, he was diagnosed with cancer while at the ER. They said he had pancreatic cancer while in the ER. It was a shock...not only because it was cancer, but pancreatic cancer has such a poor prognosis. We both realized how much more living together we wanted. We have always loved each other and enjoyed doing things together. But such a prognosis made us "see" ourselves together in a new light...and we realized how precious we are to each other (yeah....sappy, I know).
That night I prayed harder than I ever did before. I knew I couldn't ask to take cancer away. But I begged for a better prognosis.
The next day he was visited by his new oncologist Dr. B. Dr. B said he reviewed the scans from the night before and he didn't believe it was pancreatic cancer...it wasn't acting like pancreatic cancer. But a biopsy would be needed to confirm his suspicion.
We had our first brief glimmer of hope.
The following Monday, Keith had his biopsy.
Tuesday, two great things happened. First, I was finally allowed to visit Keith in the hospital (it was "no visitors" before that - very hard to be apart given the uncertainty of the situation). And second, Dr. B appeared with preliminary results from the biopsy. Full results wouldn't arrive until the next day. But Dr. B's preliminary results followed his suspicions: it WAS cancer but NOT pancreatic cancer. SO HAPPY!
Wednesday, we met with Dr. B again. Dr. B said Keith has non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In general, a FAR better overall survival rate than pancreatic cancer. We were, and are, ecstatic. Yes, the path forward will still be bumpy, but we NOW have such a chance at many more years together...and that's worth the trek now.
So here's an overview of the chemotherapy treatment Keith is now going through. It is called R-CHOP. Each letter stands for a medication.
R = rituximab
C = cyclophosphamide
H = hydroxydaunorubicin hydrochloride
O = vincristine (previously called Oncovin)
P = prednisone
The treatment is done in a three-week cycle. On day one of the cycle, Keith has a 6-8 hour IV treatment where the cancer meds are delivered. On day two, Keith gets a set of injections under the skin. Day two is faster. Then for a set number of days after this (determined by his oncologist), Keith will take the oral med prednisone. Then he will "rest" for the next two weeks (which will include testing and, of course, dealing with any side effects that show up). He is set up for 6 rounds, but Dr. B will run a new series of tests part way through to see how the cancer is reacting to the chemo treatments. Dr. B is also guardedly optimistic about his ability to beat cancer.
Keith's first treatment was in the hospital, and it was a half dose to get his body accustomed to the chemo treatment.
Keith completed his second treatment round on Tuesday, February 22. It was a full IV delivery of the regulated medications (determined each time by his oncologist). He is in a positive mood and is looking forward to life after cancer.
More info can be found on the R-CHOP treatments here:
We are looking to raise $10,000.00 to cover out-of-pocket expenses, including trips to and from treatments and the myriad other costs tied to managing his illness.
Please help us help him, who has given much of himself to support and entertain thousands...
- Vaclav Ujcik
- Kevin Burgess
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Allison Park, PA
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