Follow up testing has been positive — the bones are fusing as they’re supposed to. I just need to rebuild my stamina.
I deeply appreciate everyone’s prayers. They matter.
On a very different note, my youngest son (of four sons), Philip, age 24, was diagnosed with colon cancer 10 days ago. It’s been surgically removed, and the cancer had not penetrated the outside of his intestine. The cancer had not spread to any other organs. But they found involvement in two out of 21 sampled lymph nodes. We’ll meet with an oncologist on Tuesday to discuss his treatment. He’ll need some sort of chemo-therapy. We don’t yet have any details.
It’s unheard of for any 24-year old to have colon cancer, and even less so when there’s no family history at all of this kind of cancer (adenocarcinoma) on either family side. Any cancer diagnosis is shocking, but this one has been much more than that.
Fortunately, cancer treatment has advanced greatly in the last few years, and they caught this one early. We are optimistic, but we crave your prayers as we go through this. We have friends who’ve been through this — recently and many years ago. We’ve seen how much treatment, remission rates, and side effects have improved over just the last few years.
I can’t speak too highly of the power of having a strong support system, as we have, during times like these. Church, friends, family, my co-workers, and the Tuscaloosa medical community have all been an incredible source of strength and encouragement. There’s no denying this is tough to go through, but I can’t imagine how anyone lives through something like this without a strong network of friends centered on Christian faith and prayer. I don’t know how I’d get through the day not knowing hundreds of people are in constant prayer for Philip and the rest of us.
(In retrospect, I wish I’d posted on this sooner, for lots of reasons. But I just couldn’t write about it until today.)
I think it’s important that you know something about my son. Philip is our entrepreneur. He was a programmer at Sony Online Entertainment and doing very well. He’s quite the expert in sophisticated graphics programming (largely self-taught) — so much so that once a week he hosts an Internet class where programmers from around the world tune in to watch him write computer code — as he explains what he’s doing.
He quit Sony a few months ago to develop game software independently. He is building his own 3D gaming engine for MMO (massively multiplayer online) games. (If that doesn’t mean anything to you, just know that it’s really impressive.)
Very fortunately, just a few weeks ago, he decided to move back home to Tuscaloosa from San Diego, we put him on our family Blue Cross policy, and he’s in a position to receive the medical care and support he needs. Yes, it’s really better to be a cancer patient here in Tuscaloosa than in San Diego. The insurance here is better, and our local hospital, just two miles from our house, has recently become a satellite campus of MD Anderson, meaning we live 5 minutes from a world-class cancer treatment facility. And, of course, this town is filled with friends and family.
Everyone keeps asking what they can do us. For most, the answer is simple: Pray and keep on praying. Nothing matters more.