This is why Bill Doyle has been off-air
As I write this, we are coming to the end of a third week without Bill Doyle on air with me. What's normally Deminski & Doyle has been Jeff & Joe during this time as our producer Joe Votruba has been filling in for Bill. At this point, more and more listeners are sending messages of concern and asking what's going on. Here's everything I can tell you.
As many of you already know, Bill was off for 5 weeks starting in late January to have major surgery for bladder cancer. The surgery is intense, and that alone would mean most people would need to take off more time but Bill was back on air just 5 weeks later.
Then it was discovered in post-op testing that the cancer had spread beyond the bladder they removed and into his lymph nodes. This meant four rounds of chemotherapy each spaced two weeks apart. That's why he was off one day every other week to have these infusions done at Fox Chase in Philadelphia.
While in a weakened state, he wanted to work to keep his mind off things and have his life stay as normal as possible and he got through those days after chemo treatments as best he could.
Then came Monday, May 8. His fourth and hopefully final chemo treatment had been completed a few days prior, and by that Monday he couldn't work, as he had been throwing up pretty much non-stop for 24 hours and was extremely weak. By the following day, his wife insisted he go to the emergency room at a local hospital because he was growing weaker still along with other symptoms.
The ER staff finding out he was extremely dehydrated they admitted him and put him on IV. Then they discovered he had a serious UTI (urinary tract infection). He spent many days in the hospital fighting the infection, trying to get his strength back, and dealing with even more.
Next, they found his red blood cell count to be way off; he'd become dangerously anemic. So dangerous that they needed to give him a blood transfusion. The following day more tests were done, and he needed a second blood transfusion.
He has battled one problem after another and has had to be seen by infectious disease doctors and neurologists and other specialists. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday, May 16, and told to rest at home. Two days later, on Thursday, May 18, Bill had grown too weak to even sit up in bed let alone walk and was getting violent tremors as well. He had to be rushed by ambulance back to the hospital where he was admitted again and various treatments resumed. He's still there as I write this. The good news is they now say things are looking up.
This whole thing breaks my heart. Bill has been my broadcast partner since January of '94. In addition to that, he's been my longest most consistent friend. To see him going through this and me not being able to do a damn thing about it destroys me. Anyone who's cared about someone going through cancer knows what I mean. I know Bill is still thinking about work, but he needs to think about only himself for a while and not try to come back until he's strong enough to. I hope our listeners of so many years will understand. Texting with his wife during this time and feeling the love she has for him and the pain she's going through, knowing how close he is to his children, I just want him to pull through this and be there for them above all else.
Please know all your emails asking about him have been forwarded to him when they've come in and eventually he'll see them. All your kind words said when calling in about whatever random subjects have been passed on to him through his wife. Please also know that while no one is having a harder time than Bill himself in this situation, it's also been hard for me going on with the daily show with my friend in the back of my mind and we at NJ 101.5 appreciate your patience during this difficult time.
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