Sunday, September 13, 2009

Welcome, Midland Daily News readers.

What a great way to start our two week hiatus to Emerald Isle, NC prior to starting chemo treatment... with a magnificent win in the Big House by the Big Blue! I must admit that I was a little upset that while traveling through both Ohio and West Virginia there were little to no air waves carrying the Michigan game, but I guess that is to be expected.

Today my hometown news posted my story in the Sunday paper roughly 7 years after the article on the Washington kick. I have always appreciated the journalist who covered the story and this interview was delightful as I got to hear more of his life story, all of which was very encouraging to me.

As I hang low for the next two weeks, I am glad to see the news go public. For those who know me, fame and recognition are the last two things I seek out or even desire. I think what I do desire is for people to know that there is pain and suffering going on in this world and we need to continue to ask why and what can I do? I think seeking the perfect cocktail of chemo drugs to cure this disease in me is a wonderful thing, but why does a young man in his 20's stumble across such a disease as Multiple Myeloma?

So believe me, after we are done kicking this disease straight through the uprights there will be much celebration, but for me, the game will not be over, it will just have begun.

Addendum by Cassie: Phil has done a great job of taking over this blog for the last couple of weeks since I've been trying to get everything lined up for our vacation and for treatment. I just want to also welcome readers of the Midland Daily News and encourage you to leave a comment if you are coming here for the first time. Even if you're not sure what to say, a simple Hello goes a long way... we gain so much encouragement just knowing you're out there.


Mark said...

Phil (& Cassie)-

It was a setback of sorts to read the story in the Daily News--until I read your quotes and the posts on this blog. I still remember a thoughtful, energetic and humble kid in my English class who made those around him feel just as important as his close friends, despite the fact he was a star athlete. You'll get through this with God's grace, but I want you to know I'm praying for you and your family, very specifically this morning. (Besides Phil, if you can survey Western Lit.,...:)

Mark Pick

Linda said...

Phil and Cassie, I have followed your story for many months as my husband, Joe, age 47 was diagnosed in March with mm. You have done a great job and i thoroughly enjoy your blog. Have a great vacation and know that many are cheering you on in this fight. (even though we are domer fans-ouch!)

Coach Spencer said...


I just read your story in the MDN and it reminded me that you met my sister on one of your trips to The Walton Center. My sister was diagnosed 8 years ago or so, and she has had the same treatment that you are about to do. The process is truly amazing and the drugs that have appeared are showing great progress in slowing and ultimately stopping this disease.
My sister told me that she offered her "ear" if you ever needed to talk to her about treatments or just questions you may have. Contact me and I can give you her information again. She is a survivor and I know you will be too.

Good luck to you Phil. My families prayers are with you.

Coach Kevin Spencer

Allison said...


I just read your story when I was searching articles about Michigan football after witnessing last night's incredible victory. I have been a huge Michigan supporter since I was born with my dad being a former basketball player during the early 70s. I still remember your game winning kick against Washington---what an incredible moment. My mom's best friend is also battling mm and went up to Ann Arbor for her treatments. She is currently in remission. It sounds like you are also doing the right things. It is amazing that you are training for a race while you are undergoing your treatments. It truly speaks to your character...a true Michigan man. We are praying for you and hoping for a speedy recovery. Best wishes!

Allison Kantner

Paul Middleton said...

Phil and Cassie -
Thanks for sharing your story. I found this through Midland Daily News, found through a Google alert. I am a 44-year-old MM patient, diagnosed Aug'08, from MN, 4 children (8-17), treated in Little Rock. And 8 rounds of chemo later, God is faithful.

A Dr. in MI has statistics to rival Dr. B?!! I am surprised, but glad to hear that, as Dr. B has data showing cure for a percentage of low-risk patients. But it is a good thing if other doctors are catching up. And it is good to have God's guidance, which I suspect you do.

May the peace of God's presence and protection be with your whole family over the next months!

Paul Middleton

Heidi said...


My parents saw the article in MDN and called me about it. All that you have go through and all that you will go through is quite an endeavor, but I know you're up to the challenge. You were always brave, even way back at Woodcrest!

All of us are thinking of you and rooting for you. If there is anything I can ever do, you just let me know. I am only a few miles up the green and white way. A little rivalry never hurt anyone!

Take care of yourself and your family!

Heidi (Campbell) Purdy

Seth said...


You don't know me - I'm just a fellow Wolverine (class of '02) and cancer survivor (1995) letting you know that you are in my thoughts, for whatever that's worth. I still have very fond memories of that kick against Washington and tackling a friend of mine in celebration.

Wishing you the best of luck in your treatment. Looking forward to reading the progress of your recovery.

Seth Frankel

Adam said...

Phil- I just found out about your illness. I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties, and I admire your attitude. Have yourself a speedy recovery.

Nathan said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you guys. hopefully we can tailgate (thanks for letting the balazers and i crash your house btw...) when you guys get back from NC.

Cassie said...

Nate, we are thinking of you and your family also. Glad you guys were able to crash! Anytime, and we hope to see you guys when we get back.