T minus one (02-11-2016 Update)


Today is a beautiful day!

So here I am today. Getting the second from last infusion of ERBITUX® (cetuximab). My last treatment will be on February 25, 2016. And today my CEA is once again “< 1.0” (under one). Which, as the veteran readers know, IS VERY GOOD! Under one means no sign of cancer!

On Friday March 18, I will receive CT and MRI scans and on the following Thursday, March 24, I will receive another CEA test and meet with Dr. Krauss to review results. As long as results are clear I will then begin monthly CEA blood tests and scans every three months (aka monitoring / surveillance). If I can make it five years through monitoring / surveillance I then would be labeled “cancer-free.” And believe me that is a label I will celebrate!

No matter what the future holds I am very grateful for today and for this past year! No evidence of cancer for over a year is a very good thing. No surgeries for an entire year is awesome. I consider myself extremely blessed. This has been a huge blessing. And there is not a single ounce of doubt in my mind – this blessing is a direct result of all your prayers. The power of prayer is very real. And I am so fortunate to have an awesome army of prayer warriors raising up my case to our Lord. Our prayers have been granted thus far. And I am so grateful. Thank you Jesus. And thank you prayer warriors.

I’m so looking forward to NO MORE CHEMO and NO MORE RASH. Wow, I won’t know how to act!

The doctor surprised us today with some other news. He reported that the latest research is coming in and supporting a long-time theory that Vitamin D can help prevent colon cancer. And he has asked me to start taking vitamin D immediately. The following are a couple of the many articles and resources available on this topic. No doubt that I will start a Vitamin D supplement tonight and I will be consciously planning to weave more vitamin D foods into my diet in the coming weeks.


Vitamin D may boost colon cancer survival

Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

So tonight I ask that you all echo my thanks for this past year of cancer free living. And ask the Lord for his continued grace as we transition off of ERBITUX and into the monitoring / surveillance process.

God is good!

Thank you all.



PS.  Tim, you mentioned that you wanted to see a chart. Well, check out my CEA History page on my blog.  And don’t forget to click on the image.  This will take you to a Tableau public version of the chart. While it may not seem like “all that much” it is a single graphic that summarizes my entire cancer battle.  Shows CEA level changing over time, various periods of chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, and other notes (if you select other notes in the annotation menu). I shared this with my  doctor and hope they  may add something like this to the UMHS health portal. He did mention that his is looking for a single chart that summarizes treatments.

PSS. Everyone, if you have time please watch this wonderful you tube video (link). I think it is so well done and the message really needs to be heard by everyone!

9 Comments on “T minus one (02-11-2016 Update)”

  1. Maureen Myers says:

    Such great news, Phil! Yes, you have many friends and colleagues praying for you and celebrating with you, including me!

  2. Connie says:

    I hope this means we will be traveling to some sunny locations several times a year to get our much needed Vitamin D boost. 🙂 XOXO, Wife

  3. Debbie Pearsall says:

    Great news Phil! So happy for you! (Deb)

  4. Tim Dechant says:

    LOVE the interactive graphic!!! Of course, I am impressed with the complex made so simple and easy to understand. It really tells the story! But more importantly, it is the DATA that is behind the graphic. Zero is a very good number…or all numbers three or less! 🙂

  5. Mary Salens says:

    Thank you to Jesus and all those heavenly spirits that help us each day. I am truly grateful and so very happy to get to this point. Oh what a roller coaster ride life is. Celebrate each day as if it’s your last and do one little thing each day to make the world a better place. Peace and love! Your Big Sister.

  6. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: I rejoice with you and your family over this great news! God is good all the time!

  7. Frankie says:

    Please let me know how you are doing now. Yours is the only blog I have found with good news! I have just been rediagnosed and had my first cycle of ertibux with Folfiri. Need some positivity as I am feeling very scared about the future! Xxx

    • Phil says:

      I’m doing very well. Still feel some wear from the whole ordeal but I’m happy to report that I’m feeling good and able to keep up with work, home, and family. Thanks be to God!

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