Walsh in Intensive Care, Stable

Maine head coach Shawn Walsh, battling kidney cancer since last summer, is in stable condition after being admitted to the intensive care unit of a Bangor hospital. Walsh, 45, checked himself into the hospital Monday because he was having trouble breathing.

According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, Walsh’s condition is improving, despite the setback.

“He is responding to the antibiotics,” said Lynne Walsh, his wife, to the Daily News. “He had a CAT scan on his lower abdomen this afternoon [Wednesday] and everything was fine. We’ve been in contact with NIH [National Institutes of Health] and they have been very positive.”

Following two rounds of rigorous immunotherapy treatments and a stem cell transplant courtesy of his brother, Kevin, Walsh then went through four straight months of taking immunosuppressive drugs. The drugs are intended to allow the stem cells to attack the cancerous cells, but it also shuts down the immune system, making you susceptible to infection.

Two weeks ago, nearing the end of his immunosuppresant drug treatment, Walsh said he was beginning to wear down.

“It’s been tougher than I thought. It’s day 107 and it’s been a grind,” he said in late August. “The last 40 days I’ve had a real lack of energy. Not enough to keep me out of the office, but it’s tiring going up steps.

“But that’s good. It means the stems cells that are attacking my body so hard are attacking the cancer.

“I was on chemo for 100 days. That beats you up, but I’m off it now. But now my body is having to adjust to being off the chemo.”

Walsh was diagnosed with kidney cancer 15 months ago and has had his left kidney and left lung removed.