Update on the last month of my life. From Phillips Facebook
At the end of June I was able to go to a conference at Mayo on PSC (my autoimmune liver condition), and see some of the leading specialist who study PSC. While there they performed a new type of MRI to test the elasticity of my liver. It showed that I have progressed and now have cirrhosis. They also did an ERCP. It showed that my previous ERCP’s incision on a sphincter leading to my bile ducts had scarred almost shut. Behind that I had developed 2 biliary stones and some sludge behind it. Mayo’s ERCP lengthened the initial incision and cleaned out the biliary stones and sludge. Since my liver enzymes and bilirubin have improved.
On July 3rd I checked into the hospital. I had a GI bleed. I had been taking Motrin since the end of February to treat hip pain I had been having.
Yesterday they found that the source of my hip pain is due to a tumor on my hip.
I have a lot of tests and doctor’s visits coming up soon. Specific prayer requests for the tumor to be localized at my hip, for it to be beneign, and decisions/treatments to be made quickly.
I have already received tremendous amounts of love and support from my family. I appreciate all the love and support that I will receive from everyone else too.
Thanks for sharing Phillips update with us. I’m glad that his doctors were able to clear up his blockages and bring relief to his enzyme levels. Be assured of my prayers for him especially with this most recent finding on his hip. I’m sure his hepatologist has told him by now, but any form of NSAID, ibuprofin included is not good for the patient with liver disease. Most physicians recommend Tylenol or equivalent and no more than 3000 mgs a day of that. I hope he finds relief soon.
Phillip was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma left hip one week ago. Monday was Phillip’s first day of chemotherapy. Phillip said, “It’s D-day everybody! The cancer in my pelvis is Normandy, and chemotherapy is the Allied Forces. We are ready to storm these beaches!” (Phillip has always had a sense of humor!) What a vivid word picture! My younger brother has just gone into battle. Would you commit to praying for him?
I cannot imagine what it must have been like to storm the beaches on D-day. There’s no doubt that those soldiers were full of fear and uncertainty, but even more so, bravery and courage. And that is exactly how I would describe Phillip and Ana. There have been many tears shed the last week or so. There is still fear and uncertainty, but even more so, there is bravery, courage, and faith. As Phillip and Ana go into battle, they have shared with me some specific ways that we can pray:
1. Pray that God would be glorified. Phillip and Ana want to share the love of Christ with everyone they meet on their journey.
2. Pray for the chemotherapy to be effective. Phillip will have 15 weeks of chemotherapy, a major surgery to remove the tumor, followed by another 15 weeks of chemotherapy.
3. Pray for minimal side effects. Phillip also has two auto-immune diseases. So pray especially that his liver and colon are protected.
4. Pray for Ana. When I went over to Phillip’s house the other day (which is literally right across the street), I asked Phillip how I could pray for him. His first response was to pray for his sweet wife, Ana. Just look at these two! The first picture below was taken about 5 years ago, and I secretly snapped the second photo the morning of Phillip’s biopsy.
GRACE IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES Thank you for your continued prayers! It means more than you know. Phillip and Ana have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. (Love and support from church, co-workers, family, and friends. Random text messages, letters in the mail, help with yard work, home cooked meals, financial support, and prayers— so many prayers.)
Phillip shared a sweet story with me the other day… Phillip said that when he and Ana were on their way home from Vanderbilt, Ana looked over at one point and Phillip had tears streaming down his face. Thinking Phillip was in pain, Ana asked, “What’s wrong”? Phillip responded, “Nothing. These are happy tears.” …Phillip has been through a lot the last month, but your prayers and support have been so uplifting. So, from this brother, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We’ll keep you updated as he continues to battle.