June 2010


Hi everyone –

I’ll keep this one pretty short & businesslike today.  Basically, health-wise, I’m getting better day by day, not nearly as fast as I’d like, but I’ll take it.  From all I can gather, I’m well ahead of the curve for recovery on this kind of thing, and I can’t do much but thank many, many prayers for that.

Some encouraging developments have been: getting more strength in my left hand (had been significantly weakened by surgery on right frontal lobe of brain), to the point where I can button buttons and tie my shoes again (small victories, but victories nonetheless!); plus, after nearly 2 mos of having others drive me around everywhere, I finally got to the point where myself and my docs all felt it was fine for me to be driving again!  I’ve got to admit, it feels pretty darn good to be “back in the saddle again,” and able to do what I want when I want, without having to coordinate schedules with a long list of very well-meaning, but very busy people who had offered to give me rides “anytime.”  Yeah, learning humily is good, but independence is even better; am I right, or am I right?  Plus, it’s been amazing to see all the people that have selflessly brought meals by, something I used to feel awkward about asking for, but now greatly appreciate (both as an energy-saver for me, and a chance to let others feel involved.  Not to mention the amazing food that’s coming my way!)

(A minor discouragement or two: my body’s been fighting off lots of random little bugs & ailments during this recovery time, so I’ve never really felt great (hopefully, just little stuff).  OK, just the one thing; God’s been really good these past couple months…)

Coming up: my docs and I have all decided to go with a trial study for a new form of chemotherapy (a pre-existing drug, now being tested on recurrent anaplastic glioma tumors like mine).  I’m feeling positive that a new option of treatment exists, aside from the one I did the first time (and we all see how well that one took, yes?).  What that means is, starting sometime in August, I’ll be down in Seattle two days a month, once a month, for a six-month treatment cycle; these treatments will be infusion-based (through an IV), and I’m expecting they’ll hit me harder that the previous, pill-based treatments did. 

*Also, I’ll most likely be needing a place to stay in the greater Seattle area overnight b/t these treatments; I’m thinking I won’t be up for couch-crashing (given the state I’ll be in), so if any of you in that general area have a guest bedroom to offer a quiet, occasionally-puking grad-school student for one Friday night a month, all offers will be heard, and all will be greatly appreciated.

I continue to be grateful for all the prayers, encouragement, and support so many of you have passed along during a tough time.

Hi, everyone.  Here in my post-surgery, “resting-up” time (which should cover much of June), I’m finding myself a bit stunted for substantial creative thought.  As such, I pass along a Phil update, along with other miscellaneous tidbits that survived the operating table, and have grown into little interesting nuggets of thought: (more…)

Hi everyone –

This is a Phil again – a huge round of applause for my amazing big sister Ruth, who, alongside being a homeschooling mom & running down to Seattle two days in a row to watch me groan and lie limp, still did a great job keeping you all up-to-date on my status. 

Well, everyone, after  days in the hospital, followed by 3 days at the house of my just as amazing parents’, I finally get to write to you from my own living room.While I’m still taking a lot of pain meds, and am typing this w/ about 7 working fingers, and am bringing all my other systems “back online,” so to speak, I’m prgressing nicely in my recovery for what  (despite having become somewhat routine for me) was a pretty major surgery.  There’s really no timeline for these kinds of things, but more benchmarks along the way; I’m hitting some nicely (like living independently, and being able to give a thumbs-up with my gimpy hand), and can look forward to others in the near future (like driving, typing fast, and playing guitar).

As for next steps, the word yesterday from UW is that my tumor type was the same as before (anything else would have been bad news, so this was good to hear), and some follow-up chemo options are being discussed at this time.  Nothing very soon, though,. 

Now, I look forward to regaining normal sleep patterns, watching how England does in the World Cup, and getting to touch base w/ many of you to thank you personally for all you love, prayers, support, and encouragement.

Just a quick update to let everyone know that Phil was able to leave UW Medical Center and go to our parent’s house  today.  He’ll be relaxing and recovering there for at least a few days.  Knowing Phil, he’ll be asking for his computer back pretty soon, so the next update will probably be from him.  Take care everyone, and thanks again for your prayers.

Ruth

HI,

Phil had planned to go home today (Sunday), but will be staying another night and hopefully going home tomorrow.  He is doing well overall, but has developed a small fever and they just want to keep an eye on him another night.  He’s in good spirits and has been joking around with the nurses, and even doing a little walking up and down the hallway outside of his room.  After he’s discharged from UW Medical Center, he will spend a few days at our parent’s home, with the hope that he can be back at his place by the end of the week.  Thanks to everyone who has checked this blog to see how he’s doing.   He looks forward to updating it himself soon. We are so thankful for everyone’s concern, and we value your prayers.  

Ruth

I’m sorry to not have written this better in my earlier post, but to clarify….the tumor is gone now, and any residual tumor cells hiding out in the vastness of Phil’s incredible mind 🙂 will hopefully be “zapped” with either radiation or chemo treatment– to be determined at a later date.  For now, we’re thankful surgery was completed as well as hoped.

Ruth

Hi Everyone,

Phil’s surgery went well today, and the UW Drs were able to remove all of the visible part of his tumor.  Phil’s parents are at the hospital and will be able to see him mid-afternoon today (Thursday).  We will post another update on how Phil’s doing,  after we get a chance to talk to him again.   Thank you for your prayers.

Ruth (Phil’s sister)