CaringBridge Is Funded by People Like You

Make a donation to CaringBridge

Honor Phil with a tax-deductible contribution to CaringBridge today.

Click here to make your donation.

Phil’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Updated...January 2016

On January 13, 2014, Phil experienced sudden language, perceptional and motor difficulties on his way to work. He was taken to the United Hospital emergency room where he underwent a biopsy and brain surgery that revealed an aggressive brain tumor. About 95% of the brain tumor mass was removed from his left parietal lobe during surgery and he had good responsiveness after surgery. He received a diagnosis of Glioblastoma-multiforme,stage 4 brain cancer and was then treated with proton radiation, chemo therapies and undergone extensive rehabilitative therapies. He continued with Speech/Language,Cognitive/Memory and Physical Therapies with promising results. After participating in a yearlong clinical study with experimental treatments in Chicago, he continues to receive “stable” MRI brain scans every 8 weeks. He has been getting stronger, was able to retire and has been enjoying time with his family and friends. The family asks for your continued prayers, and thanks everyone for all the support. 

They feel truly blessed !


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Phil went into the hospital unexpectedly on Monday, January 13, 2014.  He had finished a physical therapy session that morning and had gone to his car, but returned to the office because he was having difficulty operating the car.  His speech was slurred and he was taken to a hospital emergency room.  On Tuesday, January 14th, he underwent surgery for a mass on his brain.  About 90% of the mass was removed during surgery.  He has shown good responsiveness after surgery. There are still far more questions than answers at this point as the results of the biopsy revealed an aggressive brain tumor.

Terri and their children, Noah, Emma, Rachel and Hannah have joined the family at Phil's bedside. Hannah’s boyfriend (Zak) and Rachel’s fiance (Gary) flew home from a work trip to join the family.  The family asks for your prayers and thank everyone for all the support.  They feel truly blessed by the immediate care he's been provided.  We will try to keep you posted as we learn more.

Latest Journal Update

Winter Update - January 2016

Winter updates…finding Joy and living in the moment

Phil here... I wanted you each to know that I am doing well and feel like I am still making more progress. I was able to conclude Speech/Language and Cognitive Therapies and I have been able to participate in more household projects. Since fall came to a slow conclusion, I was able to do a lot of yard work and gardening before the snow flew. I feel so good to have some more energy again! I have just passed the 2 year mark of the cancer diagnosis and feel more blessed each day. With winter upon us we all have time to reflect on so many gifts!

Terri is a jewel like no other; she has been taking great care of details and periodic memory issues that I have had. Her support and patience support me in so many ways. I will be visiting Hannah in Madison this month and I'm looking forward to more adventures in “Mad town”. Rachel’s career continues to bloom in photography and I always enjoy our times together. Noah made a college visit to the U of Colorado and has scheduled a visit at U of MN-Duluth. He is still enjoying basketball and time with his friends. Emma is completing her Scuba diving internship in Australia; she's been there since August. Since my health has been better and with the support of my Oncologist, I was cleared to travel to New Zealand with Terri and Noah to visit Emma. There are some new photos under the Caringbridge “Photo” tab above. What an adventurous trip!

I am still in a cycle of MRI brain scans scheduled every 2 months, with the next one to be done here in St Paul in mid February to monitor my status. I always get a little more nervous with each MRI/evaluation but I've been blessed with "stable" news each time. I thank God for each day and try to be present in every opportunity I have with each of you, my good friends and our family.   

Life is good... thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

Remember to give someone a hug each day!


Our family is so blessed.


13 people hearted this



Mike McKee
By Mike McKee
Dear Phil,
Great news on your health, travels and family. You are keeping busy. I wish you nothing but the best. Remember all of us who have looked up to you through our lives continue to do so.
laura putz
By Laura (Terri's cousin)
God is so good! You are on our prayer board in the kitchen. What wonderful news!
Patricia Kane
Hi Phil & Terri,
Great to hear you're feeling so good, Phil. Beautiful family photos from New Zealand!
Pat & Joel
Arlys Kendle
By Bill and Arlys
Thank you for bringing us up-to-date. I think of you and your family often and I am so happy to hear the good news. May God continue to bless all of you.
-Bill and Arlys
Kathy Gould
By Kathy Gould
Dear Phil and family - It is so wonderful to see this journal entry of continued good news. I am glad to see you are enjoying your travels and family. I think of you often, especially as APBS nears. Take good care, Kathy
Judy Zielinski
By Jim and Judy Zielinski

It is nice to hear such great news. Glad you were able to travel some and New Zealand is one place I would love to visit. Jessica was in Costa Rica for 9+ months and as Jim and I are now retired, we were able to go there; so it is nice when our children are traveling and we can take advantage of that.

I do remember fondly working with you and Terri at the XCEL and DOME for our children's important education. You take care and keep us in the loop on how you are doing. Jim and I are thinking of you and praying for your continued recovery. God DOES answer our prayers!!!!

Fred Fox
Hi Phil,
This is such great news! Actually, I was at a meeting last week with Tami and Macey and they said how helpful you were! I am envious of your travels to Australia ! I hope to get their some day. It sounds like your kids are doing very well...influenced by great parents. Say hi to Terri and only positive vibes are coming your way.
Warm regards, Ann Fox
Eileen Degnan
By Eileen Degnan
Dear Phil and family, we are thrilled that your health has remained stable. What a blessing! We are so glad you can enjoy family time with your growing family! We pray for another good report in February. Eileen and Mike Degnan
Theresa Zamora
Love! Love! Love!!! God is good! And YOU are so amazing and such an inspiration!!!!!!
1 person hearted this
patti S
Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Such a great witness and reminder of how precious life is!
Love, The Shrakes