Greetings From Louisville, Kentucky!

Greetings from downtown Louisville, KY! I will get to why we are in Louisville in a minute. It’s hard to believe, but we have already turned the calendar page into February. As we begin yet another month on, there are a couple of housekeeping notes that I wanted to make everyone aware of – one much more important than the other.

The less-important one regards the poll question at the bottom of most posts on this site. Since I started this site in May of 2009, I have always included a poll question at the bottom of the sight – unless my topic was about a death or a near fatality. Call me strange, but I just never thought it was appropriate to ask an opinion on someone passing away.

If you came here last Friday, you may have tried to vote on the poll question and noticed that neither your vote, nor anyone else’s was counted. Many of you were kind enough to let me know this via Twitter or e-mail, but I always check to see how the poll is trending when I wake up – so I had already noticed it.

This site is hosted by WordPress, and several months ago (or maybe even a couple of years) they changed poll vendors to some group called Crowdsignal, for their poll questions. I did not like a lot of things about the new vendor, including the way they had curtailed the options for the polls. I used to have it where you could choose more than one selection. That went away with the new vendor.

On Friday, I figured there must be some technical glitch on their end. I even went so far as to create another poll, with slightly different wording and delete the old one. It still didn’t work. I then checked my e-mail and saw where they were notifying me that I had reached my limit for free polls and that unless I paid them $15 a month – they would no longer allow any voting to take place.

A poll with no votes isn’t worth much, but a poll with votes is not worth $15 a month. So unless someone can point me in the direction of free polls so that the poll question tradition can continue – last week will be the last poll question for this site. That’s sad because I always enjoyed seeing how the polls would go. Those that only voted in the polls without commenting, will now have to comment to make your voice heard.

As serious as the longstanding tradition of poll questions on this site is, the second bit of housekeeping is a much more serious topic.

We are currently in Louisville, KY. We drove up yesterday and will be here for roughly the next two weeks for Susan’s surgery. The University of Louisville is one of the leading centers for NanoKnife technology, which is what they will be using on Susan. It also goes by the name Irreversible Electroporation (IRE). If you’re interested, you can click here to learn more about it. Scrolling down to the bottom of that page, there is even a fifteen-minute video of her surgeon (Dr. Robert Martin) performing the exact same technique on another pancreatic cancer patient.

We will be meeting with the surgeon today (Monday Feb 1) and then she will go through a battery of lab work and scans on Tuesday. Assuming the scans show no spreading of the cancer, which has (thankfully) not happened so far – she will undergo surgery on Thursday Feb 4. Following her surgery, she will be hospitalized for at least four nights before being discharged – hopefully by next Monday Feb 8. They want us to stay in Louisville for at least four more nights after she is released, just in case she has any complications. That way, we are already right here – just in case.

We have rented an Airbnb near the U of L Medical Center. It is essentially a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a full kitchen, that we have full run of, with no one else here. Surprisingly, it is less than half the cost of a standard hotel room.

We will hopefully return home to Nashville on Friday Feb12.

I cannot guarantee when I will be posting here over the next two weeks. There will most likely not be anything here on Wednesday Feb 3, and I can promise you that there will not be any post here on Friday – the day after her surgery. I will probably post something here on Monday Feb 8, but mostly about her surgery and how she is doing. If there is an IndyCar bombshell, I will discuss that as well. I will have a lot of down time, and I’m not sure how much they will allow me to hang around the hospital due to COVID – so I will probably have time to pound something out during the second week, but my posting here will be very sporadic over the next two weeks.

Susan will spend the remainder of February recovering. In March, they will put her on a very mild preventative chemo for two months – nothing like what she was on for the past six months. In May, she will begin radiation treatments for six weeks. If all goes well, she will be done with all treatment by mid-June – about three weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of her diagnosis (July 7). All that she’ll have to do after that is get scanned every three months for two years.

We know what we are up against, but there are a lot of good reports out there regarding NanoKnife when treating pancreatic cancer. One of Dr. Martin’s patients that had the NanoKnife procedure done in 2010, just celebrated ten years of being cancer-free last August; after being told she had less than a year to live during her initial diagnosis, so it is possible. We realize this most likely will not be an ultimate cure, but we are hopeful that this can make things go away for a few years and give her a normal life during that time. If the cancer returns, we will deal with it then. Then again, maybe Susan can be celebrating her ten years in a decade.

We are very grateful for all of the support we’ve received from the IndyCar community – especially the regular readers of this site. Susan has seen every comment and they have kept her spirits high. After the initial devastation we both felt last July, we have both kept a very positive attitude – especially Susan. I knew she was tough, but I wasn’t aware just how tough she was until this whole ordeal started.

Susan is understandably nervous about undergoing major surgery this week, but she also knows that this is her best shot to take back her life with some normalcy and to possibly beat this thing long-term. Her surgeon says that she should be able to attend the IndyCar race at Barber on April 18. That’s a goal worth shooting for.

So keep Susan in your prayers as we go through the next couple of weeks. And if I don’t post much in that time, I should be back in full swing here by Monday Feb 15 – assuming all goes well.

George Phillips

20 Responses to “Greetings From Louisville, Kentucky!”

  1. Brandon Wright Says:

    Good luck Susan! We’re all pulling for you and hope you cross the finish line a champion!

  2. Keeping you both in my thoughts. This sounds very promising.

  3. Wishing you all the best. I’ll keep sending positive thoughts. Regarding the polls. You could post the poll question and let us “vote” using our comments. Someone could tally them as they go.

  4. Doug Benefiel Says:

    You and Susan will be in my thoughts. Hopping for the best possible results.

  5. George and Susan, thank you so much for keeping us updated on your journey. Susan, you have got this. I’m praying extra hard this week. So thankful for skilled doctors.
    George- I wondered about the poll. I’m unaware of other options. I’ve always enjoyed them and seeing how others felt. Disappointing.

  6. billytheskink Says:

    Thank you for keeping us in the loop one everything, George. I am still praying constantly for Susan and for you, and now for her doctors and surgeons and nurses this week. Patience, peace, and (especially) strength for the both of you, and guidance and wisdom for the medical professionals.

  7. George, you and Susan remain in our prayers. Kathy and I would like nothing better than to share a celebratory dinner in Indy in May.

    Susan, keep that precious positive attitude and smile. Cancer sucks, but outlook is everything and if anyone has the power to overcome, you do.

  8. Leslie Bissell Says:

    My prayers are with you both. Susan is very strong and her attitude says it all. Looking forward to your attendance at Barber!

  9. You’ve got this Susan!!!!!! And we’re all thinking about you and wishing/hoping/praying for a great, successful surgery this week! Godspeed!!!!

  10. Denise Weltzin Says:

    All the best Susan and George! Sounds like you are in the hands of some of the best docs, so positive days are ahead. May is coming…:)

  11. George and Susan; I have been, and will continue to pray for both of you until you have this challenge conquered. I look forward to viewing Oil Pressure every time you publish. I look forward to seeing you at Road America in June. Keep the faith. Hug Susan every chance you get.

  12. Praying for you George and Susan. We continue our post cancer surgery follow up today. I’m sure Susan really appreciates the support you have given her. Going through this I felt like I couldn’t do enough compared to what she was going through. So far we are cancer free and I feel like I have learned through your experience how to keep being positive.

  13. James T Suel Says:

    George and Susan you will be in our prayers. Louisville is my home ,and we will take good care of Susan. I do not have any experience with your doctor , however everyone I’ve talked to says he and this procedure is the best.

  14. George = Don’t worry about polls or IndyCar. They can wait until you return. We are all here for you both and wish Susan a successful surgery and a quick recovery. I think of you both every day and am with you in spirit.

  15. Mark Wick Says:

    I will post poll questions here, and vote.
    –Susan will have successful surgery and never deal with cancer again.
    –Susan will have successful surgery and will have many more years of a healthy life.
    –Susan will have successful surgery and a good prognosis will follow.
    There are no other acceptable options.
    I am voting for the first one.

    I will look forward to the next Oilpressure when ever you want to write and post it George.

  16. I tried to vote for all 3 of Mark’s poll questions but it would only let me pick one. Stupid polls. I vote for all three anyway. Stay strong Susan, thinking of you.

  17. Get well soon Mrs. Oilpressure! Here’s wishing Susan a full recovery.

  18. Continuing my prayers for both of you! So thankful you have been given the opportunity to see this Doctor. Stay strong and keep fighting Susan!

  19. Godspeed George and Susan. You both continue in our prayers. Susan’s strength and courage is inspiring. Thank you for including updates in your posts.

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