Baushke expects to beat lymphoma
March 21, 2007
Diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in December, Douglas County Commissioner Jim Baushke is receiving a chemotherapy treatment that is expected to conquer the disease. Aside from fatigue caused by the treatments he is doing well, he said last week.
Baushke has the most advanced, or stage IV lymphoma, but doctors are optimistic about a cure. He may be receiving radiation therapy after his chemotherapy is completed in a few months, but he’s hoping to be back to normal by July.
“I’m lucky. My type of lymphoma is very treatable,” he said. “My doctor hopes to put my cancer in complete remission.”
Baushke is receiving the Stanford V type of chemotherapy, a combination of seven different chemotherapies and medications taken in four-week cycles. Baushke just started his second cycle and the first week is the toughest, he said.
“It will take about three months of treatment before the doctors will be able to tell whether I will be cured quickly,” he said. “A CT scan will be used to determine how I’m doing.”
According to information from the Lymphoma Information Network, 94 previously untreated patients with Hodgkin’s disease who received Stanford V chemotherapy for 12 weeks, with or without radiation therapy, had a 93 percent survival rate after six years.
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A 1997 study suggests people with stage III or IV Hodgkin’s that only achieve partial remission with chemotherapy can have a high remission success rate with follow-up radiation therapy, the Lymphoma Network said.
“It’s designer chemo. There are so many different treatments, depending on the type of cancer,” Baushke said. “Some people come in for chemotherapy once every two to three weeks, others come in daily.”
Since the onset of this disease, Baushke has attended most commission meetings. When too tired to attend, he has provided input via telephone.
“I’m not supposed to be around people too much because my immune system is on the low side due to the chemotherapy. I’m susceptible to infections,” he said. “But I’m at the regular meetings as much as I can and helping out in between meetings as much as I’m able.”
Baushke said the support from the community following his diagnosis has been overwhelming and he thanked everyone for the flood of cards, thoughts and emails.
“It has been wonderful,” he said. “This is a very caring community.”
Originally from Benton Harbor, Mich., Baushke moved here in 2000 after retiring from his job as a consultant for an engineering company in Pasadena.
He was appointed to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in 2004, replacing Steve Weissinger and served as board chairman for one year.
Susie Vasquez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 211.