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June 2004

 

   May       Fred H.     August


Fred's Story

 

as told by his wife Pam

 

Fred passed away on Sunday July 18,2004. Our deepest sympathies to Pam and Jeremy and the rest of Fred's family.

 

Fred was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma/Leukemia - Stage 4 on January 24, 2003. Gosh, that was the worst day of our lives! Up until that day Fred had ALWAYS been very healthy. He has lived an incredibly healthy lifestyle and has always been very athletic! Fred used to body build, eat right, jet ski, and participate in all types of sports. Even his occupation as a Journeyman Plumber / Foreman was physical. He had more energy and vibrance than anyone I had ever met.....the very reason I fell in love with him! Fred did everything RIGHT! Now....15 months later, his once 6 foot, 230 lb muscular body has been put through the test. Because of the intense chemotherapy he has endured he barely weighs 180 lbs and simply doesn't have the strength physically or mentally to accomplish much of anything. I have watched my strong husband go from playing tackle football with our son, Jeremy, to not being able to lift his arm high enough to throw a football.

Through this adversity, Fred continues to be the best father any little boy could ever ask for. Even though Fred is in extreme pain and anemic most of the time, he still attends Jeremy's sporting events and practices whenever he is home and not hospitalized for his chemo or complications thereof. Throughout 2003, Fred received his chemo at a hospital over three hundred fifty miles away and was only home for a total six months out of the whole year. I felt so bad for both my husband and son because Jeremy was not allowed to visit Fred in the hospital at all since he was only 9 years old at the time. I used to camcorder each of them talking to the other and cart it back and forth with me from the hospital to home. Of course, they talked on the phone daily, but Jeremy just didn't understand why he couldn't go and just hug his daddy??!!! Since Fred's counts were so low all the time, the Doctor's couldn't allow it for risk of infection. Both their hearts were breaking...as!
was mine! :-(

On our 13 year anniversary, November 24, 2003....we were told that Fred was in remission and that was the best anniversary present I could have ever asked for!!! Unfortunately, Fred was hospitalized again just nine days later for extreme pain in his lung and back. He had relapsed! After spending the whole month of December 2003 and half of January 2004 (yes, he missed Christmas with out little Jeremy) the Doctor's sent Fred home and set him up for chemo with a local Doctor. The car trips back and forth to San Francisco were so hard on Fred and he would just sit there in pain holding his side the whole time. Needless to say, Fred has been receiving chemo locally for the past few months and had a CT Scan last week. As of May 2004, Fred still isn't in remission, but the cancer has been contained to a 2" mass in his lung and is now only on two of his lymphnodes. This is a huge improvement considering that when they found Fred's Lymphoma it was a very large mass sitting in!
his chest and was the size of a new born baby weighing over 7 lbs. That's actually how we were able to catch the cancer before it spread to his spine and bone marrow. Fred had worked for a whole week with one of his lungs FULL OF FLUID! I told you he was strong! :-)

The Doctor's say that because Fred relapsed so quickly the only hope we have for Fred is a bone marrow transplant. An unrelated donor search was performed in March 2004, however, that person has not been contacted because we have been waiting to see if Fred's cancer would respond to the chemo. We meet with the San Francisco Doctor's this Wednesday and hopefully they will tell us Fred can have the transplant.

Throughout everything, Fred has continued to keep his faith, as well as stay positive and focused. Unfortunately, the past couple of months have taken a toll on my poor husband. His eyes don't have that same glitter anymore and I can tell he wants to give up. I can't allow it and I continue to encourage him and assure him that WE WILL SURVIVE THIS!!! He continually tells me how much guilt he has in his heart because he can't be the father he used to be for our precious son, Jeremy. I love them both so very much and I know that if I can get him inspired to live again, he is strong enough to beat this. His body is just so tired and he says he feels like it just wants to stop and be at peace. I know in my heart, Fred's a fighter! It's so hard for him to listen to the Doctor's tell him he just needs 9 months of treatment and then he can get on with his life. Just to find out that those 9 months turned into 15 months and that those 15 months will turn into 24 months or ! more if, God willing, he can get the transplant. Fred tells me all the time how he just wants to go back to work and feel healthy again. Please help me, help him! I would appreciate it so much if you could send him inspirational cards that will remind him of all the things in this world worth living for.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2004 Feature


 

 

 

Name: Fred H.

Birthday:  

Diagnosis: T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Stage 4

Interests/Likes: Airplanes/board Games

 

Mailing Address:

 

Thank you for all the cards mailed to Fred.

 



 

 

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