Andy Phillips couldn’t stop tearing up no matter how hard he tried. His eyes stayed wet throughout a game in April as he questioned his priorities.
Phillips had to be home with his sick wife, he kept thinking.
He had to hold Bethany’s hand as she fought cancer.
Phillips has traveled home on every day off since to be with his wife as she deals with the debilitating side effects of chemo, the fourth separate form of treatment she’s had and one the doctors explained was the last resort before surgery that would cost Bethany her fertility.
It was an emotional roller coaster, beginning with their first sonogram. After learning of the pregnancy the day after Christmas, Phillips was sitting in a doctor’s office the next week.
“When they saw the sonogram, they didn’t see the baby,” he said. “They saw a snowy picture, a snowy TV screen.”
That’s when the doctors knew what was wrong. It’s called gestational trophoblastic disease, which occurs when a tumor is formed in the uterus. It is typically cured with immediate surgery — four out of five surgeries are successful, Phillips was told — but Bethany’s surgery did not work. When she went to have her blood checked a week later, her hormone levels still were rising. Something wasn’t right.
The next step was shots of methotrexate for four weeks, which led up to spring training.
The good news now is that, according to the story, “she’s [now] cancer-free, healthy and still able to have children.”
I’m so sorry to hear about anyone going through something like this – and am glad to hear now that everything for the Phillips family is OK.
I’m sharing this story here with a request. It’s Father’s Day. Take something from what Phillips and his wife have gone through. If you’re a dad, go hug the mother of your children and tell her that you love her. And, then go do the same with your kids. Consider it, as Yogi would say, “Thanks for making this day necessary.”