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For This Cancer Patient, Hope Comes Without Chemo

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
10/09/17  10:45 AM PST
Without Chemo

By Jeff Caplan for the Star-Telgram

Dennis Kothmann, TCU class of 1969, and his wife, Candy, followed his beloved Horned Frogs to the Rose Bowl and twice to the Fiesta Bowl. Making a trip to the Peach Bowl a couple of years ago was overtaken only by the birth of a grandson.

“That was a tossup,” Dennis said, he and Candy chuckling.

Two framed, team-autographed posters hang in the couple’s den, and a blanket with a giant TCU helmet is draped over the loveseat where they’re sitting. Glinting in the window, looking out to the quiet street of their sleepy Newark neighborhood 20 miles northwest of Fort Worth, is purple TCU stained glass.

“We actually have season tickets, which we renewed,” Candy said Thursday, on their 26th wedding anniversary, one that seems to conjure more reflection than most.

Because if the Kothmanns do attend TCU football games this fall, they say it will be nothing short of a medical miracle.

 A jovial 71-year-old mathematician who worked half his life for RadioShack, Dennis Kothmann is battling brain cancer by choosing an experimental treatment that, so far, is showing exciting signs of progress.

Following brain surgery to eliminate as much of the tumor as possible, Dennis was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a devilish tumor that sprouted in the back left quadrant of his brain. Glioblastoma is a death sentence accompanied by the standard treatment of debilitating rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, which most often buys time in months, not years.

The time frame is 14 to 15 months for half those diagnosed; for the other half, some die sooner, some live a little longer.

Yet here he is, seven months post-surgery and feeling, actually, hopeful. Dennis did six weeks of radiation, 30 treatments in all, but he has not had a single round of chemo. He flatly rejected the two options his initial oncologist provided after his Dec. 3 surgery: Do nothing and die within months, or undergo traditional radiation and chemo, and pray like heck.

Read the Full Article at the Star-Telegram.

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