Surgery Tomorrow (04/18/2013 Update)

As last reported a few short weeks ago; the Folfiri and Erbitux treatment was extremely effective at reversing tumor activity. The latest CEA test came in at 3.7 (that’s the lowest since testing started). The follow-up MRI (done on Mar 21) was a much better image than the Jan 15 picture and showed that the two larger tumors in the liver had shrunk considerably.  Shadows on the earlier MRI (thought to be several smaller tumors) were not visible at the follow-up MRI.

Given these results the Tumor Board recommended 1) removing the two larger tumors as soon as possible and 2) doing an ultrasound on the liver to see if there were/are smaller tumors present (e.g. exploratory surgery).

As soon as possible was determined to April 19 at 9am (tomorrow) and therefore I had to wait several weeks as my body recovered from the effects of the Folfiri and Erbitux chemo treatments.  Ah chucks. No chemo? Time to enjoy life!

The last few weeks (sorry for the side bar)

The last few weeks (without chemo) have been awesome! I have felt better than I have in a long time calendarand so we decided to live it up a bit.  We managed to squeeze in a few activities.  Hum; let’s see…

Sarah came for a visit from Boston, We went to a Kid Rock Concert in Saginaw, a Detroit Tiger’s Baseball Game at Comerica Park, The Bob Seger Concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Bat Boy The Musical at Wayne State Bonstelle Theatre (Tony’s Play), and a few family dinners at various places in between.  Whew, I’m tired just thinking about this nice run we had!

Seriously, I am truly blessed to have had this time with my loved ones. It was truly a gift from above! Thank you Jesus for these fun-filled days with my family and friends!

Oh yah, surgery tomorrow at 9am!

Well, the possible outcomes from the surgery are summarized below:

  • Best Case Scenario: The ultrasound only shows the two tumors in the liver and these two tumors are removed with clear margin
  • Possible Scenario: The ultrasound shows additional tumors; however, the two larger tumors are surgically removed and the smaller tumors are either surgically removed or destroyed using ablation (e.g. ablation is a process by which the abnormal cells are killed without removing them surgically).
  • Worst Case Scenario: The ultrasound shows many smaller tumors scattered throughout the liver.  In this scenario the surgery would likely be aborted as removal of the larger tumors would not provide benefit.

                                 Prayers for a good outcome are hereby requested. Prayer


5K Walk/Run (scheduled for June 1, 2013)

As mentioned some time ago my friends Colette and Darrick are organizing a group to walk or run in the first annual “Colon Cancer Awareness 5K Run/Walk” in Battle Creek Michigan.  I am committed to walk in this event.  This will be a milestone in my post-surgery recovery!  I would love for as many of you to join Collette, Darrick, and myself in this fund raising opportunity. I think we have about 15 signed up so far.

The event is on Saturday June 1st (9am check in time).  And today is the last day for the $25 registration (goes up to $30 tomorrow).  Access the link below for more information and for the online registration form.

So much to be thankful for!

Thank You!

Thank you friends and family — For staying up to date on my battle with Cancer; for your prayers as we walk through this valley; for your encouraging words of support; and for your Love! You truly help me keep a positive and hopeful outlook!  I do pray that God will shower blessings on each of you!




14 Comments on “Surgery Tomorrow (04/18/2013 Update)”

  1. Cathy Duncan says:

    We will be thinking of you tomorrow Phil!! Good Luck and God Speed!!

    Cathy & Scott

  2. Carole MacKay says:

    It’s hard to keep up with your huge family, and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know which one of your sisters is married to Tony. They’ll be in my prayers, though. And you too, of course. Best of luck for the best outcome possible!

    • Phil says:

      Carole, Mary is married to Jim. They are pictured in the picture on the bottom of the collage. Going from right to left is George, Jim, Mary, Connie (my wife), me, and our friend Kathy

  3. Linda Sult says:


    You will definitely be in my prayers for your surgery tomorrow. I’m so glad that you had a brief break to enjoy some time with your family.

    God Bless You!!!

  4. Trina & John says:

    Dear Phil,
    You and Jim are in our thoughts and prayers – Praying for Jim’s continued speedy recovery and for the best outcome for your surgery tomorrow!
    Love you
    Trina & John

  5. M says:

    Phil – my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you, especially during this surgery and recovery. May your faith and strength be matched with the surgeon’s skill and rewarded by the best possible outcome!

    Big hug – Maureen

  6. Shelley says:

    Phil, so glad for the blog so we can keep track of your progress. Ill be saying a prayer for you throughout the day! We love you! The Cruz family

  7. diane says:

    Good luck tomorrow. Hope all goes well!

  8. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: Thanks for sharing your news! I’ll be praying for you tomorrow.

  9. Jerry Schmidt says:

    My prayers are for the BEST CASE SCENARIO! I will be thinking of you and praying for a great outcome.

  10. Sarah says:

    Hi Phil! I’m going to be praying that all goes well and the outcome is the best case scenario! Would love to make your family some chicken noodle casserole one of these days–let me know if you need food or other support!

    Hugs & Prayers!


  11. Paul says:

    Phil – positive thoughts and prayers to you!

  12. Colette Wilkey-DeRidder says:

    We love you Phil & your amazing family! Continuing to pray and and send positive thoughts for all the positive things to come!
    Colette, Darrick, Nicolas & Joshua

  13. Little Brother, Geo says:

    I’m so glad I got to visit you the day after surgery to share in the miracle. You’re a good example to us all in faithful persistence. I’m planning on the 5k walk, but will be a last minute registration.

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