Pelosi lost his sense of taste; it hurt to swallow. During treatment, he shed about 35 pounds.
He kept most of his hair, but his face and neck broke out in a rash. Still, he kept returning to Newburyport for treatment and consultation.
“At about four or five weeks into treatment, you start getting depressed,” Pelosi said. “You don’t know what the future holds or what you might be doing.
“The team told me this would happen. Still, there were some low moments.”
As part of a plan to stay positive, Pelosi envisioned a summer vacation. “I thought I would make reservations for bike week (in New Hampshire); I ride (a motorcycle), and I thought this would be something to look forward to.”
As intense as his episode was, the inner life of Pelosi had been rocked by several other illnesses close to him.
His first wife, Janice, had been a cancer patient, but did not survive.
His second wife, Linda, has also battled cancer in recent years.
Linda has prevailed, and they live together on eight wooded acres marked by pine trees, bird feeders and lots of quiet.
Pelosi’s treatments in Newburyport went well, and his cancer began shrinking. Medical professionals say Pelosi might have been aided by a new drug called Erbitux.
“I was pleased to see the results, and I do feel this new medication helped him with this condition,” Fung said.
Pelosi completed his regimen of radiation and chemotherapy, and doctors declared his treatments were over. He was free to return to his normal activity.
Eradicating the cancer was the optimum outcome for all involved.
“I get satisfaction when we have a success like that of Frank,” Fung said. “It was a case where we were able to diagnose a condition, spend time explaining it to him and then begin a treatment process.