Fever postpones Jim Kelly's cancer treatments until next week
By Tim Graham
Monday, March 31, 2014 9:23 PM
Jim Kelly never has been accused of being delicate.
Kelly's health, however, is fragile enough that a fever delayed his cancer treatments until next week.
Five days after Kelly learned surgery wasn't a current option to treat the cancer spreading inside his head, today's scheduled start for chemotherapy was postponed.
Doctors decided to push back Kelly's treatments because the legendary Buffalo Bills quarterback's temperature was up, and he needed an antibiotic.
"He's had a couple setbacks," his brother, Dan Kelly, told me tonight. "It's always this or that. We have to make sure Jim doesn't get sick leading into this."
Dan Kelly said Jim is now "locked and loaded" for treatments to begin next Monday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. Dan Kelly added the accelerated regimen of intense radiation and chemotherapy will last seven weeks.
"They have his pain pretty much under control," Dan Kelly said, "and that's been hurting all of us, just seeing him in so much pain.
"They have some of the best pain-management doctors here I've ever seen. Jim is comfortable now, and that's the most important thing."
When recurrence occurs in oral cancers which include bone, it is not unusual that necrotic (dead) tissue creates an infected draining wound. Since the tissue is not alive and thus by definition does not have blood supply to the area, natural antibodies cannot reach the infected tissue to fight the source of the infection........nor can antibiotics. So, the infection tends to spread throughout the body through surrounding blood supply that is still intact to the rest of the body...........causing fever. This systemic
spread of bacteria must be controlled , as this overtly infected tissue if left unchecked will continue to deliver even more concentrated loads of bacteria to the rest of the body, very possibly leading to overwhelming infection, septic shock and death. Kelly doctors are trying to control the systemic effects of the bacteria now, in preparation of the anticipated chemotherapy and radiation therapy, because both of these therapies can be expected to severely depress the body's own natural immunologic protections which must be functioning effectively to even allow antibiotics to work effectively.........Not controlling the infection in addition to subsequently further severely compromising the immune system is a formula that would inevitably lead to overwhelming infection, septic shock and death.
You would normally want to surgically remove the infection source of nonviable bone and other tissues, but in this case, surgery would most likely further spread the infection and cancer when cut through, and very likely leading to a wound which would be unlikely to ever heal........making this a total non-option.
Not that he couldn't overcome these very difficult challenges, but Kelly's situation is not very promising.....much less so with this recent turn of events, since it delays his definitive cancer treatment for a cancer that would already afford a short-term survival.