Thursday, November 8, 2012

Phil update – Thursday November 8th 2012

Phil’s condition has been upgraded from grave to cautiously optimistic. There are a number of tumors, the most serious of which continues to be the large mass in his pancreas and stomach. The growth of this tumor caused severe internal bleeding on Sunday and Monday. Because it is impossible to suture the stomach wall or the tumor itself, it is extremely difficult to stem blood loss. However doctors were able to get the bleeding stopped on Tuesday. Unfortunately Phil suffered severe blood loss again on Wednesday morning which doctors were able to limit with the use of a topical coagulant which seems to have held until now.

Late Wednesday, for the first time, doctors began a light round of chemotherapy. The challenge is to balance the potential for more internal bleeding caused by the way chemotherapy kills tumors, with the immediate need to begin killing tumors before they spread.

So the good news today is that the internal bleeding has stopped. Phil has responded well to the chemotherapy, and best of all – his bone marrow biopsy came back NEGATIVE!

Today he is being taken by ambulance to receive his first radiation therapy at a unit across the street. Phil has been incredibly strong, and is absolutely resolved to fight and win this battle. The bone marrow biopsy caused indescribable pain, and through it all he barely flinched. His soul mate Hollie has been a rock of support, and it is overwhelming to see the love they have for each other.

The congregation, led by a body of strong, compassionate elders, has been there every minute of every day with spiritual, emotional, and material support.

Adjacent to Kaiser Permanente is JW House. Yes, that’s actually the name of it.  For a small donation, they have provided Connie and I with a beautiful furnished suite, a fully stocked kitchen, and 3 meals a day during our stay in Santa Clara. When we came to the office to register, the manager April held our hands and said, “Welcome home.” Phil’s mom Kay is also staying with us, and it provides a 24-hr resting place right next to the hospital for Hollie and Hannah to catch some sleep, get a shower, and have some privacy when needed.

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of our friends and family for all of the prayers, thoughts, cards, letters, emails and gifts you have sent to support Phil and Hollie through this difficult time. Life is beautiful. Keep the faith.



Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update. Love to all. Ben and Kristy

Anonymous said...

Prayers from the Lowrie family!