Terminally ill John Franke competes with podcast for population screening for lung cancer

From chemo to guinea pig and back to chemo

In the 2.5 years that Franke has now lived with lung cancer, he has traveled a special path. The first chemos at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) made him sick. “In October 2020 I was out of treatment, there was nothing left of me,” says Franke. De Zuidlaarder was referred back to the GP, but in the meantime looked for alternatives. He eventually found it, in the form of experiments. “I was able to participate in a study by the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. That study was a success. I was very lucky with that.”

A new trial, in which Franke received an injection in both armpits, did not counteract the tumor in his body enough. Brutal as he is, Franke called around his network looking for an alternative. 3.5 weeks ago he started chemotherapy again. “It was a good success in itself, because the tumor responded to it,” he says. Franke’s kidneys just send out a different signal. “The values ​​are not good, they have to go down. The chemo I was supposed to have last week has therefore been postponed. The values ​​have to be good, otherwise you can’t get chemo. I now drink some more water, in the hope that it will gets better and I can get chemo next week. Then the values ​​​​have to get better.”

Franke runs the risk of kidney failure if he does receive chemotherapy while his values ​​are not in order. “On the other hand, stopping the chemo would mean that the tumor has free rein in your body. Then you have to choose between two evils. So I hope the values ​​of my kidneys get better soon.”

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