Treatment 8 & 9 (08/15/2013 Update)

Today is treatment nine of twelve.  The end of the chemo treatments is so close! My last treatment is scheduled for September 26.  I am so looking forward to that day. Well, maybe a week after that date (when the side effects of the treatment begin to become a fleeting memory).

It was nice to have a break from treatment for our summer vacation. I went from July 5th through August 1 without chemo and enjoyed a wonderful family vacation in the middle of this break. We spent a week in northern Michigan and had a great family get-away. And I was truly blessed to have had all my children and wife together during this time.

My first treatment after the break (August 1) went fine.  During the treatment I did experience difficulty in breathing.  That required stopping the treatment for a period of time and waiting for this symptom to pass. That also extended the time in Ann Arbor. Last treatment also included a doctor visit; so we left the house at 5:30am and didn’t return to the house until 6pm on August 1st.  I’m hoping that today’s treatment will not take as long. We left the house at 5:30am but expect to be home between 3:30pm and 4:00pm (assuming all goes well).

The rash from the Erbitux drug seemed to peak yesterday. But this morning it seemed to have lessened.  Just in time to begin another round. The rash is annoying but it is tolerable. The other challenges during the treatment continued as expected.  Fatigue is the most challenging side-affect.  It seems like I sleep a lot and then my sleep pattern is impacted as well.

Another bit of good news is that my CEA level continues to remain under 1.  I went four weeks between treatments (no drugs) and the CEA level remained low! That is a good sign that the cancer is in remission.  And these remaining treatments will hopefully eliminate any microscopy cancer and pave the way for a full remission.

Many of you have been very supportive throughout my battle with Colon Cancer. And I hope you know how grateful I am to have so much support from family, friends, and colleagues. I especially want to thank my colleagues at the Foundation.  I am so lucky to work in a wonderful organization with outstanding and supportive people.  Thank you all for your understanding, patience, prayers, and genuine concerns! You have truly empowered me to fight this cancer with all my ability and I am forever grateful to you all.

I’m looking forward to going to Promise Keepers in Battle Creek next week.  Our church has over 100 men going to this event. I’m planning on attending with my brothers from First Wes and my younger brother George. I hope to learn and grow in this retreat along with my fellow brothers. Please keep me in your prayers as I complete this treatment cycle and next week as I attend the Promise Keepers conference.

Father God, you are all mighty. The beauties of your creation are evidence of your vast awesome powers. You have created this planet as a paradise and allowed us to rule over this Earth. The more we learn about our home the more we can appreciate your perfection.  The eco systems you have created in nature are marvelous. Evolution is also your creation and this force is yet another sign of your living presence. The human body is a fascinating system that demonstrates your greatness.  And when we follow the path you have created for us we can live in harmony with each other and with your planet.

Lord I pray that you make your path clear to me and my brothers and sisters.  Show us the way.  Give us the wisdom and courage to choose your will over our own. And give us the strength to carry on your mission.

And Thank You Lord for this beautiful day. This truly is the day that YOU have made; Let us be Glad and Rejoice in it!

Peace and Love to you,


Family Vacation Picture:

Family Vacation 2013.png

3 Comments on “Treatment 8 & 9 (08/15/2013 Update)”

  1. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: Thanks for this update. How wonderful that your CEA level is under 1.
    I pray that you are truly blessed as you join other men at Promise Keepers.
    You and your family are in my prayers — God is good!

  2. Mary Salens says:

    Thank you Father Solanus Casey. Peace, Love and Joy to you! Love you!

  3. Karen says:

    Phil – it is wonderful to hear that your CEA level is staying down. You and your family have been through a great deal over the last year and we pray that nothing short of full remission is ahead of you! God is Good indeed! Prayers for you as you continue with treatments, for Connie as she progresses through school, for Bryce as he starts a new school year (and football season!) and prayers for the rest of your family as they all grow and go in their own directions in life!

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