Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Please visit often as I plan to give daily journal updates on Phil's condition as he progresses through surgery and recovery.
Lets first go back to the beginning to remind ourselves how Phil got to this point. In January of this year, Phil had a normal yearly physical exam where it was determined that he was anemic. The PA in his doctor's office tried multiple doses of iron to get his iron levels up to normal with no success. Fearing that he might be bleeding internally, she scheduled a routine colonoscopy and endoscopy to see if anything could be found that was causing the problem. Unfortunately for Phil, he had to prep for the colonoscopy on Super Bowl Sunday, which meant no pizza, wings or beer!!
While the colonoscopy came back with no problems, the endoscopy showed a bleeding hiatal hernia and unfortunately, his esophagus was full of Barretts Disease (caused by chronic acid reflux) and several spots of cancer. Our local doctor told us that not only did the cancer need to be removed, but the Barretts Disease would have to be removed as it is a pre-curser for cancer. If the disease was not dealt with, more cancer would form. The doctor made arrangements for Phil to be seen by a Barretts Disease expert at Indiana University/Purdue University (IUPUI) in Indianapolis as there were no local doctors who could deal with Phil's problem.
Phil had his first treatment to remove the cancer and begin the process of removing the Barretts Disease on February 15th. After that, we returned to IUPUI every 6 to 8 weeks for more treatments to remove the disease. Unfortunately, during a treatment on August 1st, more cancer was found and it was determined that it was aggressive in nature. It was determined after further testing that the cancer was Stage 1 and had not moved outside of the esophageal wall and had not infiltrated the lymph nodes. Surgery was recommended to remove 2/3 of his esophagus, 1/3 of his stomach and the hiatal hernia (which is part of the stomach). The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13 and will be an 8-10 hour surgery. Phil will need to stay in the hospital up to 10 days with a long 3 month recovery period at home.
Phil and I ask that you keep him in your prayers. We believe that God will get us through this. Feel free to leave message of encouragement for Phil as often as you like.