Former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment beginning next week.
Kelly's physicians from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City released a statement Tuesday.
"Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will start chemotherapy and radiation treatments targeting cancer cells in his maxillary sinus and adjacent tissues next week," Peter D. Costantino, MD, executive director of Lenox Hill Hospital's New York Head & Neck Institute, said in the statement.
The statement said Kelly will be receiving a single dose of chemotherapy at Lenox Hill Hospital, along with concurrent daily radiation therapy treatments. The chemotherapy will be repeated as an outpatient in approximately three weeks and six weeks. The radiation therapy will be a six-week regimen carried out at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute's Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success, N.Y., which is home to a new $47 million, 30,000-square-foot radiation medicine facility that opened earlier this year.
"At the conclusion of chemotherapy and radiation, we will wait two to three months to determine the status of his cancer before deciding if surgery will be necessary," Dr. Costantino said.
Because Kelly hasn't previously been treated with chemotherapy or radiation, Dr. Costantino is confident that this treatment regimen has a good chance of successfully impacting the cancer.
"As I have stated previously, Jim Kelly's condition remains very treatable and potentially curable," he said. "Even if chemotherapy and radiation are not successful in eradicating the cancer, his skull-base tumor remains operable."
Last week, a day before Kelly was scheduled to have surgery to remove the cancer that he had fought off last year, his wife, Jill, wrote that the surgery had been canceled because "the cancer is in areas that surgery cannot successfully eradicate."
Over the weekend, Peter King of TheMMQB.com spoke with Kelly, who was lying in a hospital bed.
"There is no way I'd be here without my faith," Kelly said. "It's been such a roller coaster. So many things. The Super Bowl losses, the fabulous career, my son born sick, making the Hall of Fame, my son dying, two plates and 10 screws in my back after major surgery, one plate and six screws in my neck after another surgery, a double hernia, the cancer, surgery on my jaw, the cancer coming back, now what I'm facing."
Kelly, who was famous for his grit on the football field, said the pain has been overwhelming.
"I guarantee the normal person wouldn't have been able to take it," he told King. "Some days, I don't know how I did. I complained about my headaches for months, and for a while I thought it was just part of the healing process from such a serious surgery. But obviously it was more than that. I'd look up to the Lord and say, 'I give. Uncle. You got me.'"
After King read 15-20 get-well tweets to Kelly, the Hall of Famer said: "Humbling. Humbling. I had no idea. I mean, I don't do Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever. But they tell me about it. There's a lot of 'Get well, Jim Kelly,' out there, and I am so appreciative of that. I really don't know what to say."
Kelly's wife and daughters continue to provide updates. On Monday, they appeared on "CBS This Morning" along with former teammate Thurman Thomas and Jim's brother Dan to share some insight on his fight. Kelly also shared a video message from the hospital, thanking all for their continued prayers.
Kelly, 54, entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 after playing from the Bills from 1986 to 1996. He holds most of the franchise passing records
By The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: April 1, 2014 02:27:47 PM
Kelly to begin chemo, radiation next week
|All Times Eastern|