Update – Catchup

Correction: In my original post, I wrote I was released on Wednesday, June 10th. That was a mistake and evidence on how this experience was such a blur.

Hello my friends. Finally I have enough energy to write so it’s time to share my progress. I’m still digesting my 21 days in the hospital and I’ll share all the gory detail in the near future. One really important message to share right now is that the only reason I’m alive today is the lifestyle changes I started three years ago which prepared me to be physically fit heading into the surgery.

I was discharged on Thursday, June 11th. Janet and Meredith picked me up at the entrance to the Centennial Building. I sobbed when I saw them and soon we were on our way home.

Our dinning room on the main floor became our bedroom for a few days. Janet’s sister Debbie and her husband Greg arranged for the bed in the picture which has controls to raise the head and feet. For the rest of my life I need to sleep at an angle not less than 30 degrees. It will take a while to master not sliding down in my sleep but each night I’m getting a little better.

After being home a week, I’m just started to eat well. Up to this point, everything tasted miserable but thankfully I’m turning the corner and enjoying food again. My weight is at 79.4 kg (175 lbs). The last time I was that low was in grade 8. My arms are looking pretty gaunt but I’ll start working on that soon.

My surgeon is confident she got all the cancer so that is such great news.

My biggest challenge over the next three to six months is clearing the blood clots in my lungs. I will provide more details on that in a future post.

I have a procedure scheduled for Monday, June 22nd to remove the stent in my esophagus and then a barium swallow to ensure the joins continue to be leak free.

So I’m not back, but I’m headed in the right direction.

As always, thanks for the continued support. I’m so fortunate to have such good friends, a loving family and God holding my hand as I heal to become the best version of myself.

Let me close with a reminder that if you’ve been thinking about lifestyle changes, my decision to do so three years ago is why I’m here today looking forward to many wonderful years in the future. It is the only reason I survived the bilateral PEs (blood clots).

Peace, Love and Laughter


12 Replies to “Update – Catchup”

  1. Hey Phil what a journey. This Friday marks 2 months since my dad’s liver transplant, but it pails in comparison to what you have been through. Stay strong, this is just a season leading to many great ones ahead. All the best, Chad

  2. Phil – you must have sensed us talking about you yesterday as Grant, Shelda and I were putting plans in place for the AGM – we were wondering about your latest news, commenting on your delightful and tenacious enthusiasm, appreciation of life’s blessings, sense of humour and thoughtfulness. Unless we hear otherwise we’re assuming you will be continuing your Board engagement for at least another year but no pressure is being applied, if you choose another option. SO glad you’re home and continuing to heal. Take care, my friend – Virtual hugs to you and your family.

  3. your attitude and steadfast faith through all of this is both remarkable and inspiring- Keep up the good fight and continue to heal well –

  4. Thinking about you and all the Dartmouth O’Hara’s often and appreciating the updates. So amazed by your strength and openness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.