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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.

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 – February 27, 2015

Winter Update – February 27, 2015

Phil here…I'm just updating everyone on my progress during the winter season. I have neglected this CaringBridge but I have been thinking of all of you though this long cold winter! I hope you have each found some time to reflect, enjoy some solitude, joy and celebrations. It’s always a busy time but I pray that we each have found chances to be grateful for the blessings that we have.

I'm doing well and the recent MRI shows things are still stable in my temporal lobe, no additional brain tumor growth. Amazing!! But the treatments have been taking a lot out of me and traveling for treatments in Chicago every 2 weeks has been difficult. I have been continuing to participate in Language/Cognitive and Physical Therapies and I’m grateful for improvements in both. I will be making further treatment decisions in May as the experimental Clinical Trial will conclude with the U of Chicago. Your thoughts and prayers continue to lift up me and our family. Thank you!

My family is looking forward to; Hannah’s graduation from the U Wisconsin Grad School in May and her marriage to Zak in June, Emma’s graduation from Augsburg College in May, that will open so many opportunities, Rachel’s continuing development of her photography career and recent work in the Minneapolis Schools, and Noah’s continuing academic success and passion for basketball, as well as “hanging” with friends. Can you tell how proud I am of each? 

As I continue this journey, my family has been my joy and inspiration, especially Terri. All through the ups and downs she has continued to work as a highly valued Mentor to teachers while holding together our important family traditions. She puts up with my memory issues, fatigue, and financial matters. My love for her is endless. She is my angle on earth!

Be sure to surprise someone you love with a hug.


7 people hearted this



Jeri Rockett
Thanks so much for the good news update! We've been wondering how it was going and praying that all is well. You are blessed with an amazing spirit.
Jeri Rockett & the Hershey boys
Brad and Joanie Trahan
By Brad Trahan
My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family Phil! Peace my friend - take one mile at a time, one day at a time and remember to always keep believing. Sounds like you have an awesome family.
patti S
By John and Patti Shrake and family
Thank you Phil for sharing your journey with us. We are blessed to have you in our life! Prayers continuing for your whole family.
Linda Seifert
By Linda Seifert
Phil your post made me cry, I can tell you your family feels the same way about you! I watch Rachel light up when she talks about you. I love hearing her stories and I thank God everyday she is in our family. Thank you for the great family you have. Thinking and praying for you and your family.
Cathy Banks
By Cathy Banks
Phil I think of you often. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. Your attitude and strength are such an inspiration. God Bless.
Kathy Sebert
By Kathy and Gary Sebert
You and your family remain in our thoughts and prayers. Will also pray for guidance as you approach the completion of this course of treatment and choose the next step.
char ryan
Hi Phil and Terri

I think my intuition told me to check the site. I am so appreciative of you updating us. I think of you all the time and of your family. How wonderful that the treatment has kept the cancer at bay. And you have such a positive attitude and strength. My thoughts, prayers and support are always for yu and your family.
Deb Williamson
By Deb williamson
Thanks for continually reminding us, your friends, of all of the blessings we often forget to appreciate!