October 2010


When the easy part of your day involves getting the results of your brain scan, you know that there’s something wrong with the modern medical system.  Oh, sure, I had to go through multiple offices, each creating their own set of drama.  But at the end of the day, I’ve still got ready access to the best care in the world.

OK, so as you’ve gathered, this was a really long day; my agenda was MRI in Bellingham, then scoot down to UW to find out what my images are revealing about that wacky tumor of mine, then head upstairs to poison the thing with some chemo.  After a bit of a hassle getting the first part out of the way (after some last minute kinks in the line), we were all set. and there I sat in the familiar exam room, going through the usual steps, wondering what this visit would reveal.

Getting the results themselves was quite an ordeal, as several hospital staff members could not get the imaging software to work (Windows issues pop up at the most inopportune times, don’t they?)

 Here are the basic findings: it’s not good, but it’s not necessarily all that bad.  My tumor is starting to grow again, despite several chemo treatments, indicating that my current regimen of carboplatin (chemo) isn’t working.  However, that opens the door for Plan B, Avastin, which is an alternate means of treatment that usually defers to the carboplatin regimen, based on the sheer numbers regarding effectiveness.  It’s not technically a chemo at all, but more works with the body to cut off the blood supply to the tumor, potentially keeping it from growing, and thus helping the body fight it off on its own.  Think cutting off the enemy’s supply line, rather than showering them with napalm.  This tactic is more along the lines that I was wanting to take my treatment anyway, so I’m not looking at it as a lost battle.  Rather, I’m seeing a welcomed redirection.

While it remains to be seen whether or not this new treatment, which I began today in lieu of the poisonous chemo, I’m seeing this as giving my body more of a fighting chance to take this darned thing down on its own, without having to rely on some toxic invading substance to do its fighting for it.  Will it be the best move?  Time, and more every-other-week-treatments, plus periodic scans, will be the judge.  But, really, was I ever in control of this carnival ride to start with?  I’m learning more and more about how God would have this story unfold with each non-devastating doctor appt., each encouraging conversation with loved ones, each burrito brought to the hospital by amazing friends (like Matt & Cori), and each day that goes by where I’m basically feeling good, and in control of most of my faculties.  So far, if one must have such a story at all, it’s an OK story

 Thanks all for your continued prayers, encouragement, practical support, telling me I look great when I really don’t want to hear one more person ask “how you doin’, Phil?”, and all the other ways you’re keeping me afloat during a tough time.  Some more specific prayer & support requests forthcoming.  But, for right now, it’s been a really long day…

Hi everyone-

As I’m writing this, I’m also watching the rescue of the Chilean Miners.  As such, my distraction level is high, and depth of thought is proportionally low.  However, it’s been awhile since I’ve given you a good, meaty update on my brain and such.  So, here we go… (more…)

(For latest health update, click here; it’s a couple weeks old, but not much has changed.  I’m still pretty much feeling OK, and have been overwhelmed by your sorely-needed prayers & encouragement of late.  Thanks!)

Today I bring you another non-brain related musing, from said brain…The other day, I was recalling back to when Seattle had a men’s pro basketball team named the Supersonics(more…)