Getting Back Into the Swing

By Susan Phillips   

Until George pointed out that it’s been nine months since I posted here, I would’ve said a couple of months max. Lots has happened since I last posted from the hospital, the first week in August. Last summer just seems like one lost blur, ever since I was admitted to the hospital back in May.

If you saw me at Barber or at Indy during qualifying weekend, I was probably not a pretty sight. I could hardly walk without getting out of breath. Soon after we got back, things got so bad that George had to carry me to his car to take me to the Emergency Room. Things stabilized after a few days, but they insisted I be kept over Memorial Day weekend. George offered to stay behind, but I knew it would kill him to miss Indy. I insisted he go.

I never saw a doctor the whole holiday weekend and I think I was just kept to generate revenue. They could never figure out what was wrong, but they got my fever and electrolytes under control and released me in time for us to go to Road America. Thank God we had a golf cart, because walking was almost impossible. I spent most of Saturday at the track, sleeping in the back of the car. The day after we got back from Wisconsin, I saw the doctor for a follow-up. My fever returned and I never went home again until the end of August.

To shorten this up, we ended up changing doctors and hospitals. George is convinced that had we stayed where we were in July, I’d be dead by now. Vanderbilt Hospital is where they discovered the source of my problems instead of treating symptoms. The chemo I went through for my cancer caused an autoimmune disorder that was attacking my liver. I was having chronic liver infections that were causing liver toxins to build up, causing electrolytes to be out of whack. I couldn’t walk, had constant fever and was sometimes very confused. Vanderbilt finally got things under control and I went home the week before Labor Day. I hit a snag around Thanksgiving that put me back in the hospital for another week, but I’ve been on an upswing since.

This week we are heading back to Barber. This will be my first race since Road America and only my second race since Barber last year. Last season, I missed the Indy GP, the Indy 500, the Indy road course race with Nascar, Nashville and Gateway—all races we had planned to go to. George missed the double-header weekend because that was in probably my low-point of the summer.

I’m happy to say I’m back. Am I 100%? No, but I probably never will be—and I’m OK with that. I’m gaining weight and slowly getting my strength back. The best news is I had scans last week, and I am still cancer-free. Even better—the lesions on my liver have reduced. I am feeling better than I have in a long time and I am really looking forward to getting back to another race. There was a time last summer when I was fairly sure I would never go to another one.

It’s going to be good to see everyone that George says have been asking about me. I don’t get the thrill of smelling racing fumes that he does, but I do look forward to sitting on the hills at Barber and watching cars go by. I just hope the weather cooperates. If you see us, please come up and say hi.

My doctor said I need to pace myself and not do too much. That means George needs to be patient with me and not go at that breakneck pace he likes. I can still only do so much. But I am far better off than I was just a few months ago.

I plan to write and post from Barber. I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on, and I’m looking forward to being there. This weekend will give us an idea how I’ll do at Indy next month. It’s ambitious, but right now I am planning on going all three weekends at Indy. I just need to keep repeating…pace yourself…pace yourself…pace yourself…

16 Responses to “Getting Back Into the Swing”

  1. Susan, you are an inspiration for us all! Hope you have good and healthy race weekends! If you need George to slow down tell him the yellow caution is out. 😉

  2. Susan, YES, you are inspiring. We hope to see you to say hello either this weekend at BMP or at beautiful Road America in June.

  3. Wonderful news Susan. Thank you for posting. Very happy to hear you are getting stronger and feeling better. God bless you!

  4. northeastvista Says:

    Great news! Maybe we will see you at Road America or the restaurant near the railroad tracks. In the meantime, Stay Safe!

  5. Rick Herndon Says:

    Susan. Great to hear you are doing well. I am also a pancreatic cancer survivor (from Louisville) and can appreciate your strength and courage. Enjoy the races!


  6. Kessler Maurice Says:

    Great news. Second opinions can pay great dividends. May in Indy is a fantastic goal!😇

  7. billytheskink Says:

    Wonderful to hear from you, Susan! Safe travels and have fun at Barber.

  8. Denise Weltzin Says:

    All the best to you Susan! Go slow, take care of yourself & have a great time at Barber.

  9. Such wonderful news Susan! I’m glad to be reading a post from you and look forward to catching up at Indy in a few weeks. So thankful for answered prayers.

  10. James T Suel Says:

    Great to have you back and at the race track. All the best to you.

  11. I hope that on the slope outside Turn 2 you enjoy fair weather and watching and hearing cars. Cheers.

  12. Mark Wick Says:

    It’s good to hear directly from you again. Congratulations on not just surviving, but living life to the fullest you can. Enjoy the weekend at your pace.

  13. Can’t wait to see you this weekend. So glad you’re feeling better

  14. Great to hear from you and thanks for the post and I hope the weather is good for your weekend. Lots of vegetables !

  15. How marvelous to have a post from you, Susan! You comments, observations and especially photos have been missed. I look forward to you this weekend. Take care…

  16. It makes me happy to “hear” from you again. So happy that you’re on the upswing. Best wishes from Texas!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: