On the Home Stretch

By Susan Phillips

It was so great to be back at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the GMR Grand Prix. We were not able to see everyone we wanted to see because walking long distances is hard for me. I’m in the home stretch of my treatment plan—I’m in single digits now of the last part of my treatment, chemo and radiation. I had about two months after surgery to gain my strength back for the next onslaught of treatment.

I’m in the “clean-up” phase after surgery—this phase is to get rid of any cancer cells that might be lurking around. At least the chemo is in pill form and the radiation does not take long. I admire people who get radiation above the shoulders—they mold a “cage” around your head and bolt it to the table—with you inside. Mine is just a mold of my head and my arms raised above my head. I’m sure that I will get to keep it as a souvenir after I’m done, but I think I will pass—I already have enough reminders.

I think the one thing that has really surprised me through all this is the kindness of people I know—and even those I have never met. It’s hard to have a serious illness during a world-wide pandemic. I can’t think of any other time in my life when I have needed hugs more—not to mention seeing smiling faces. I can’t wait until we can return to normal life again. It’s hard to tell who is who without seeing people’s faces. I try not to play “The Cancer Card,” but sometimes you just have to and people are so nice about helping you. In my case it is finding a place to stop and sit down and rest.

We did go to the main IMS gift shop on Sunday (and the sale shop located beside the concession stand beside the museum). They had copies of Paul Page’s book, “Hello I’m Paul Page ‘It’s Race Day in Indianapolis,’” which I bought for George as an Anniversary gift (yesterday, May 18). The program is really special this year. The cover is a painting by Johnny Rutherford. We ran into our friend, Patti Nolen and her family, and asked her to take a photo of us to have proof we were actually there last weekend.


We also made our usual stop at Long’s Bakery—of course we ate dinner on Friday night at Dawson’s on Main. We tried the new pizza place, Brozinni’s that is now where Sarah Fisher’s 1911 Grille had been. It was really good pizza, but the staff had a trial by fire the night before as the 500 Festival kicked off in Speedway. Our server said they opened just four days earlier, so they are still getting the hang of working during busy race weekends.

I will not be attending qualifying weekend, as I have a radiation treatment scheduled for Sunday—the radiology office is closed the Friday before Memorial Day, so they are moving everyone’s appointment up a day. Then I will truly be in the home stretch. All of my treatments end on June 3rd. All that will be left is following up with my surgeon, removing this cursed feeding tube that I’m not using, and having scans every three months for two years. I should be glowing in the dark any time now.

Thanks to everyone who have sent their prayers, their good thoughts and those that actually sent gifts. You have no idea how much they all helped. I’m hoping to be among the eight percent who beat this kind of cancer—I’m on the home stretch.

9 Responses to “On the Home Stretch”

  1. Talon De Brea Says:

    Susan gets to shop — an encouraging sign! I’m so glad you two had a good time in a favorite place. Thanks for the report.

  2. Leslie Bissell Says:

    You are really handling this whole situation like a champ. Your positive attitude is so uplifting and I know it is helping with your recovery. Continuing prayers for you.

  3. billytheskink Says:

    Glad to hear you all had fun in Indy and that you are improving, Susan. Prayers continue from the skink household.

  4. Jim Gray Says:

    Nice to see you out and enjoying the track again. You’re definitely on the home stretch and looking good as you wrap up this dreadful time of your life in style. I look forward to running into you and George again at some point.

  5. SkipinSC Says:

    Keep pushing down the home stretch. You have handled this time with
    grace, dignity, and a healthy dose of humor throughout. Hopefully by next May, Kathy and I can join you and George for dinner somewhere in Indy, if not at another race venue along the way.

  6. James T Suel Says:

    Glad you got to go up to the speedway. You are truly a trooper. Congrats on coming to the end of your treatment.

  7. Keith Kowalski Says:

    Love the shirt, Susan!

  8. Loved visiting with you both. Susan, you are amazing. Continued prayers.

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