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Old 12-04-2013, 08:35 PM
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Default Fred West

Fred asked me to post here, to bring you up to speed on why he has been so quiet for the last few months.

As some of you have heard, a few weeks ago Fred went to his doctor to get an x-ray of a rib that was causing him a great deal of pain. And those of you who know Fred, know that "a great deal of pain" is saying something. When they did the x-ray, they discovered that his lungs were full of tumors. They quickly scheduled a CT scan, and found tumors on his liver and adrenal gland. Just last week they did more extensive scans, which he hopes to hear about tomorrow. On Friday he'll be going in for a biopsy - probably of his adrenal - so that they can find out for sure what they're dealing with.

Right now it looks like cancer, though they don't know what kind. It has clearly spread to several organs (making it "stage IV"). So far, in the absence of knowledge, there is no specific diagnosis or prognosis.

Fred has been in surprisingly good spirits, and is determined to fight whatever this is. His family and friends (and particularly one of his ex-wives) have immediately stepped up, and are helping him with dog care, and getting to and from doctor's appointments.

If Fred is going to have to go through chemotherapy, it will take a lot out of him. I've been thinking about organizing people to go to stay with him, to help with dogs, shopping, transportation, and emotional support. This could be a long-haul deal. If you're interested in helping out (I'm envisioning people coming to stay with him for a week at a time or so), please pop me an email. (pfranks at ucsd dot edu)

Fred has exhausted himself responding to everyone's supportive and sympathetic calls and emails. One of Fred's conditions causes him to pass out when he tries to type on the computer. He's just installed "Dragon Naturally Speaking" in the hopes that he'll be able to dictate emails, making communication more efficient. But please don't expect him to email you back. At least, not promptly.

And as much as Fred really, truly appreciates everyone's calls, he asks that people don't call before 10:30 am or after 8:00 pm Eastern time. This past week has worn him out, from all the sympathy!
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:42 PM
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Default re: Fred West

Do you have Paypal or anything setup that we could help fund a nurse of if someone is onsite they can use the funds for food, transportation or any other use?
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:11 PM
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Default re: Fred West

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Originally Posted by ShawnR View Post
Do you have Paypal or anything setup that we could help fund a nurse of if someone is onsite they can use the funds for food, transportation or any other use?
+1


[this text is here just to make the message long enough]
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default re: Fred West

Thanks Shawn and Ned. I don't think that money is going to be an issue (though I'll amend that if needed). I think the main issue will be time and attention: Fred may need people to physically (and emotionally) help him out in the coming months. Right now he has a good support team there, but I know that we can offer our time as well.

I'll keep updating this as Fred learns more, and has more detailed information about his needs. But if people wanted to use their frequent flier miles to spend a week in West Chester, I'm sure it would be appreciated. I'll let you know as things progress.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:24 AM
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Default re: Fred West

I'm so sorry for Fred and I know he will fight on with all his strength.
I'm too far to offer physical support and I'm so sorry for that, but I will send all the good vibes I can muster. I'm glad to hear Fred is keeping his good spirit up, belief is powerful.
Alternative healing is another option worth considering.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:01 AM
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Default re: Fred West

I am so sorry to hear all of this Peter. I wish Fred and his whole support team total success in beating this. Please keep us updated as the news flows in to you from Fred. Damn, a mighty oak has been stricken..
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:35 AM
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Default re: Fred West

Peter, this really cuts me up. I have spoken to Fred a few times about his condition and to hear the results of scans are as they are grieves me. I won't send an email to Fred, I understand his current energy levels and strength. I am not wealthy enough to either come to the US to help, nor to offer financial support, but my best wishes and spirit are with him. Both my wife and I will be thinking positive thoughts for him.

Regards,

Rob
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default re: Fred West

Wow! What a blow! I am hoping to be able to take some time off after the first of the year to be able to help.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default re: Fred West

I'm only a couple of hours away by car so I'm standing by.

My hat's off to you guys who are willing to travel great distance to help Fred.

Thanks in advance from all of Fred's friends.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:03 PM
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Default re: Fred West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post

Thanks Shawn and Ned. I don't think that money is going to be an issue (though I'll amend that if needed). I think the main issue will be time and attention: Fred may need people to physically (and emotionally) help him out in the coming months ...
Thanks for posting this, Peter.

I also don't think money is an issue, but physical help is likely to be.

Fred, Rutager, and I had planned a five day trip to Portland this week to visit BCTW and do some general sight seeing. Sadly, that trip had to be canceled due to Fred's condition. We were all very disappointed, but of course it is much more important that he get busy with whatever treatment may be necessary. We can do the trip later.

I have already told Fred that I will head for West Chester any time I'm needed, and stay as long as needed.

Those who know Fred well know that he has a heart as big as all outdoors. Just in the short five years since I met him I've seen him reach out to countless people in need of help. But ironically, he has some difficulty accepting help from others. So we may have to push him a little to accept ours. Whatever it takes.

.
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