At University Hospital Feb. 2011

At University Hospital Feb. 2011
February 11, 2011 at University of Utah Hospital

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We're back . . . coming to you from Blue Mountain Hospital

It has been so long since I posted that I have to refresh my memory how to even do this.  I made my last post just weeks before a very dear friend lost his battle with cancer.  I think I just wanted to distance myself from that reality.  

Today, sitting beside Phil in the hospital, there's no denying, no one is going to live forever, not even my resilient, optimistic, unflappable husband.  Here's what's happening.  

Saturday night around midnight I took Phil to the ER.  His temp at home was 104.  It was 102.7 at the ER.  His White Blood Cell count (the infection fighters) was 300—normal is 3-5,000.  He was admitted to the hospital in Blanding for 48 hours of continuous IV antibiotic. They said Phil would be released when his fever was normal and his White Blood Cell count had risen to 500.

1)  Since then Phil’s White Blood Cell count (granulocytes) dropped from 300 to 100. Right now visitors are discouraged.  He's like the "boy in the bubble."  His immune system has bottomed out.

2) Phil’s Red Blood Cell count has also dropped very low.  Last night he had to have a blood transfusion.  

3)  Monday night Phil spiked a fever of 103.7.  They tried a second antibiotic, but he still had a fever.  Last night (Tuesday night) they added a third and a fourth antibiotic.  Since then Phil’s temperature was normal until today at 2:00 p.m. when it rose to 100 degrees.  They gave him Motrin and his temp was 100.6 thirty minutes later. It's encouraging that four hours later, it was still only 100.7, but it needs to go back to normal--that's how they know they're getting on top of the infection.

4) Monday his blood pressure dropped to 87/44.  They gave him more fluids and it gradually came up.  His BP has remained pretty normal since then.  

All this is in addition to the "normal" (that's an oxymoron if there ever was one) side effects of chemo.  On April 10 we found out the cancer has spread to Phil's lungs.  So now in addition to the enormous tumor surrounding his colon, he has 11 tumors in his liver, a tumor on his rectum, and two lesions in his lungs.  His chemo regimen was changed from 5-FU with Avastin and Oxaliplatin, to Avastin plus Irinatecan (or "I run to the can" as patients have dubbed it). Yes. Phil has suffered the classic side-effect: persistent diarrhea (the least of our worries right now). 

These are the highlights (lowlights?).  They're watching Phil to see how he does on the new antibiotics.  If his fever spikes, he'll be transferred to the hospital at Huntsman.  If he's holding his own, they'll keep him here in Blue Mountain Hospital until his fever is gone and his granulocytes rise from 100 to at least 500. 

So no neatly tied package with a happy ending--hopefully I can write about a happy ending later.  I'll keep you posted.  Meanwhile, we appreciate your faith and prayers.  Thank you, friends.


  1. Phil is a miracle. Praying for comfort and healing for him and peace and comfort for you Lou. God is in charge and we must submit to him, have courage.

  2. We love you both Lou and are paying for you both as you weather this storm

  3. Praying....I have a few bucks if you want me to pay though. Not enough though. I have bad insurance. But I'm praying.

  4. I'm sure the love you have for Phil is such a strength. Along with prayer. You're an amazing woman Lou. I'll pray for comfort and strength.