Dean Fritz, roving pharmacist for Southern and Western Substructure. PHOTO Supplied.

Surviving Cancer during Covid-19 pandemic

To see people’s conditions during my hospitalisations made me feel very humble and fortunate. It gave me a lot of hope and courage.

CAPE TOWN – At the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic, hospitals were required to de-escalate all non-essential clinical services to focus on Covid-19. 

 

The de-escalation of these services, meant that 30-year-old Dean Fabian Fritz, could not undergo the bone marrow transplant he was supposed to get.

 

“There was too much risk involved, as the transplant required more intensive chemotherapy, which would have weakened my entire immune system. We then commenced with maintenance therapy, which is a low dose of chemotherapy on a monthly basis and daily oral chemotherapy,”

 

“I am still busy with maintenance therapy at the moment, with the intention of doing the transplant after there is more clarity around the pandemic,” explained Fritz.

 

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According to Fritz, he managed quite well during this stage, except for the loss of hair, as only later the appetite disappeared and his muscle started to deteriorate. The consolidation phase consisted of more intensive chemotherapy.

 

“I ended up in the hospital a few times because of infections I picked up. To see people’s conditions during my hospitalisations made me feel very humble and fortunate. It gave me a lot of hope and courage. I’m focused on getting well so that I can serve people with severe chronic conditions in my role as pharmacist.”

 

Fritz, who works as a Pharmacist suffers from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a very aggressive form of blood cancer believes that this journey is preparing him to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

 

“Look after your body, eat healthy, get some exercise and also look after your mental wellbeing,” he said.

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