#Fifty (01/19/2014 Update)

It’s been a little while since my last update. And since I’ve had a few people ask how things are going I thought I should take a moment to provide you all with a quick post.

I am feeling Excellent!

The colon resection surgery on 12/2 was a success! I’m back to work full time and haven’t felt this good in quite a while. Not having chemo since September 26, 2013 certainly has a lot to do with this. A very successful surgery was also key. And spending time with my family and friends over a very beautiful Christmas and New Years was just the right medicine! Even the neuropathy in my feet (which I thought might be permanent) seems to be fading.

Dr. Regenbogen reported that the surgery was complicated. And he appeared exhausted as he gave my wife and sister a post-op update. And what an update. No ileostomy bag was needed. The tumor was removed with clear margins. The pain was very well managed. And the recovery was smooth sailing. The hundreds of prayers from all of you were definitely answered!

THANK YOU Jesus! THANK YOU Dr. Regenbogen and UMHS Staff! Praise be to God!

 And now my hope is that the Lord heal me completely from this cancer.

Whack-a-moleDr. Krauss, my oncologist at UMHS, described my case as analogous to playing a game of whack-a-mole. That every time we whack a mole another one seems to pop up. That is every time we surgically remove a tumor another tumor is found. And now that we’ve completed “level 5” with this fifth surgery we are hoping/praying that we have whacked the last mole. However, if another mole does pop up, well we’ll whack away again. We will continue fighting because that is what we do!

The last CEA test, done on January 2, was 3.0. As you all may recall, CEA is a protein that is in our blood.  Increasing CEA levels is commonly associated with colon cancer activity, so this is something we watch very closely from month to month.

While a CEA of 3.0 is within the normal range we were hoping that it would have been lower. The fact that it was up from the previous tests is somewhat concerning. Raises in CEA could indicate more tumor activity. And so we have scans scheduled for January 24, 2014. And the scan results will be reviewed on Thursday, January 30, 2014.

In addition to the follow-up on the colorectal cancer we also had follow-up completed for testicular cancer. Per an ultrasound done on December 12 a cystic focus was discovered on my left testicle. This could be nothing but this will need to be monitored. Another ultrasound will also be done on January 24 to check on this concern as well.

As I have reported in the past. One of the biggest issues with fighting cancer is the anxiety roller coaster. Anxiety slowly increasing as tests approach. Anxiety peaking as we wait to hear results from tests. And the lows if the results are not what we were hoping for…

My fiftieth birthday is on January 27 and I’m hoping for the best birthday present in my life… E.g. a lower than 3.0 CEA (go down NOT up) and CLEAR scans! When I arrive at my January 30th appointment I hope Dr. Krauss will have a package of good news wrapped in green ribbon with a beautiful bow. Lord, please give me some good news this year.

The bottom line is that God has a plan and I must trust in this plan. And I am so very grateful that all of you are part of this plan as well.

THANK YOU for your continued prayers and support. You are all amazing and beautiful people and I am so very lucky to have you in my life.

May the risen Lord bless you all and fill your hearts with his immeasurable Love!

Sincerely your brother in Christ,


50 Years Old


5 Comments on “#Fifty (01/19/2014 Update)”

  1. Carole MacKay says:

    Keep up the good work, cuz!

  2. Sarah says:

    You do look great at fifty! Love you! XO

  3. Scott says:

    Spectacular news!!!!

  4. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: Great news! And, I’m praying for continued good news at your appointment later this month. The Lord has certainly been carrying you and your family through this health concern. He is faithful!

  5. Lisa says:

    Thank you for the update and the hope that you provide. I will continue praying for your recovery

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