July 2010


(some of you might recognize that title line from the awful 80’s movie, “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” If you’ve arrived at this post by accident, make yourself comfortable and stick around for awhile.  But, be forewarned, there will be no further discussion of any more bad movies

So here’s the latest on Phil’s wacky brain: when last I left you, I had just  learned that my fairly beatable Astrocytoma III had become a snarling Glioblastoma.  This led to my first chemotherapy infusion treatment, which will continue every 4 weeks until we see this tumor good and dead.  As I had been forewarned, Day One was pretty smoothe, while Days Two & Three brought a bit more (yet manageable) nausea.  My physical therapy to regain left-side dexterity & strength were progressing nicely.  It looked like my near future was going to pretty smoothly, and that my chances of beating this thing were high. (more…)

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So, Wednesday, I had the chance to meet with my neuro-oncologist down at UW (he also works with SCCA).  (more…)

So, here’s where I’m at, as of Tuesday afternoon:  I know that my tumor has been reclassified (to what, I don’t know, but something more aggressive & active than previously thought).  I know that, by way of changing diagnosis, I’ve been excluded from both trial studies I previously had been invited to.  I know that I’m feeling just fine right now; still regaining strength after the last surgery, and still figuring out what temporary & permanent quirks I’ve developed as a result of that surgery.  And, I know that I’m heading back down to University of Washington tomorrow to meet with my neuro-oncologist to discuss “options.”  (I hate that word; it signifies no certainty that anything will really work)  (more…)

I’ve come to an unfortunate conclusion of late; here, just weeks short of hittin’ the big 3-5, I’ve found that I kinda like having a plan set in stone sometimes.  Not to say I don’t enjoy adventure and the unknown, but (for the big stuff, at least) I feel better having mapped out a general direction, moving forward on that, and making adjustments along the way. (more…)

Hi everyone – I hope you had a great Independence Day weekend (or Canada Day weekend, for my Canuck friends).

Here I am, just over a month out of my 4th brain surgery in 2 years, and just about a week away from starting my 2nd chemo cycle in that same time.  Wow.  Just when you think you know where life is headed…(finish that thought on your own).

Right now, I’m still very much on the mend from the surgery; my overall healing isn’t going as I’d like, but the basic recovery components seem to be running smoothly.  My left side strength and balance are getting back to normal, and I can do most things with my left hand again (still working on typing fast, and on guitar chords, but the rest is getting there).  I’m back to driving again, and don’t have too many limitations there (which is helpful, especially when you’re dating someone who lives almost an hour away, and when you’re tentatively planning a late-summer road trip of several hundred miles).  Otherwise, I’ve been having a range of other little concerns, which are hopefully just that, ranging from pain/discomfort in various areas, to lingering flu-like symptoms for much of the past few weeks.  Thankfully, the docs seem to have ruled out the big stuff (infection, organ failure, stuff like that), but that only makes me mentally feel better.  If you think of it, I’d appreciate some prayer for that junk to clear up, and soon.

Next week, the real fun begins; Wednesday, I’ll be travelling down to UW once again (they really need to get me my own parking space down there) to begin my 2 days, once a month, for 6 months chemo treatments.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have no idea how these will hit me, but I have to prepare for the worst (prepare for the worst, hope & pray for the best: that’s pretty much been my game plan thoughout this whole ride.  Usually, you get somewhere in between).

I’ll keep you posted as best I can around this treatment.  Thanks for your ongoing prayers, support,  & encouragements – they continue to lift me.  As does remembering the wonderful support system God’s placed around me.  May He bring you joy and peace this week, whatever you’re up to.

What is a friend? (more…)