Donations

Please send Skip a donation to help with his medical and household costs during his battle with cancer.  You can send a donation through his Paypal account or by sending a check to:

Shawn Philippon

181 Ruth Avenue

Syracuse, NY 13210

More donations info

A Benefit for Shawn "Skip" Philippon
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pictures...

If you have any questions about these pictures or want to ask Skip about them, feel free to send him an email.  Information about each image is below the picture. 

Pictures from Sterling and Skip's trip to Yankee Stadium, courtesy of Cazenovia Limousine and Tour Service, on 6/22/2008, are here.

Pictures from a visit with the Popkens to Green Lakes State Park on 8/25/2008 are here.

Pictures from Skip and Sterling's visit to Sanborton, NH from 8/26-28/2008 are here.

Pictures from Sterling and Skip's 28 mile bike ride on 10/11/2008 along the Old Erie Canal Trail are here.

Pictures from Sterling and Skip's Spring Break in April 2009 visiting Damo in Coxsackie NY, Flip in Littleton MA, and Ian in Newburyport MA can be reached by clicking on each location.

Sterling and I went to Lake George on 7/27/2009.  We met Dennis and Tricia MacElroy at their camp on the lake.  Some great pictures are here.

In July 2009, Sterling and his Grandma combined their duckets to buy a new snowboard.  We visited her in Jericho, VT over the Christmas 2009 holiday

A couple of pictures of the Valley Seniors 2010 Travel Baseball team.  These kids are 15-16 years old.  The travel is around the Syracuse metropolitan area.

Sterling and I took a trip to VT in July for 11 days in July 2010.  We visited many friends and family members.  Here are a few highlights.

 

Last updated 11/4/2011


             

      

It's been quite a transformation to say the least!  It's hard to believe it's been a little over a year since this all started.  My first surgery was on 11/19/2007.  Top left is a picture from January 2008.  The top middle one is from September 2008.  The picture on the top right is from January 2009.  The two pictures on the bottom are from August 2009.  The rest of pictures below here show a lot of detail about what happened in between. 

 

Just after the 11/19/2007 operation.  The big yellowish thing is called a "skin paddle".  It's an abdominal muscle placed in my left orbit.  After all the swelling goes down radiation and chemotherapy will follow.  After those treatments, the skin paddle will be cut down to size to allow for a prosthetic eye to be constructed.

 

Look at all that equipment!  There were a couple of scares during my week long stay in the surgical intensive care unit.  I partially coughed out my breathing tube and almost had to have emergency surgery to replace it.  Another day my blood pressure got so low they couldn't even find a vein to place an IV.

 

I left the hospital on 12/1/2007.  After the operation, the swelling was so extreme that my cheeks and face were even with my ears.  It's hard to say which face is uglier!

 

This picture shows a great view of the incision that went ear to ear over the top of my head.  The surgeons then "peeled" my face off in order to then saw off part of my skull.  At that point they were able to remove my left eye and access the huge tumor behind it.  You can also see what's left of my eyelids eyelids stretched around the skin paddle.

 

This is the top view of the incision made to peel my face off.  They incision is curved to make it much harder to see after the hair grows back.

 

The "skin paddle" in my eye is an abdominal muscle.  The surgeons also harvested muscle to support the skin paddle as Skip's cheek bone was removed as well.  Both my head and belly were held together with steel surgical staples.

 

I also have a cancerous lymph node on the left side of my neck.  It is scheduled to be removed 4/17/08.  The tumor in my neck damaged a main artery there, so the surgeons harvested a vein in my left leg and replaced the damaged artery in my neck with what is called a free flap procedure.

 

     

These pictures were from early January 2008.  Some swelling has gone down, but more is needed before the radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  You can see the tumor in the left part of my neck in the picture on the right.

 

This picture shows the staples in my neck after they removed 70+ lymph nodes and my sterno mastoid muscle.  You can also see the swelling in my eye is much lower and it looks far better than when I first left the hospital.  Note the hair loss due to the radiation.  This picture was taken on 4/24/2008.

 

This picture is also from 4/24/2008.  It shows more of the hair loss due to radiation.  Most of the radiation was focused on my left eye region, left cheek region, and left neck region.  The beams is very focused, so the radiation doesn't affect too large of an area.  My biggest problems with the radiation and chemotherapy were extreme dryness of mouth and nose as well as almost no energy to do more than eat and sleep.

 

This picture is from June 2008 just before Father's Day.  You can see the bandage on my neck.  I had a serious infection in my neck at the end of May.  I had to have an operation to allow the doctors to clean it out.  They kept me in the hospital for a few days, put me on heavy IV antibiotics and the such.  You can also see the left part of my stomach has a strange shape.  That's where the surgical hernia is.  It resulted from them using an abdominal muscle for my left orbit.  My stomach was them much weaker and subsequently developed a hernia.  It should be corrected with a surgery sometime in the future.

 

  

This is Sterling and me just before going out to eat for my 40th birthday in July 2008.  He took my picture and I took his.  We went to the Arad Evans Inn in Fayetteville, NY.

 

 

These two pictures were from 8/7/2008.  I had been home only a day or so after the 8/5/2008 surgery.  The yellow pad is where they took out excess tissue to make a cavity for my prosthetic.  The side view shows where they did the brow lift.  You can't see the staples very well as the antibacterial ointment is so shiny.  I had to keep it like this for a week before the staples could come out.  I couldn't shower either.

 

 

These pictures were taken after the bandages were removed and I was able to clean up.  I believe the date was 8/23/2008.  On the left you can see a great view of the cavity and the remaining pieces of eyelids.  These will need to be removed to make it easier to keep the area clean as well as make it easier to construct and place the prosthetic.  On the right you can see that my face is far more symmetrical.  There still is some swelling that should go down further, but the brow lift and removal of excess tissue all around made a big difference.  Since they had to go through my mouth again to remove some excess tissue near my (missing) cheek bone, I lost some more control of the muscles on that side of my mouth and face.

 

 

These pictures were taken at a friend's house on 9/14/2008.  You can see my new glasses in both pictures.  You can also see the swelling has reduced and the left side of my mouth is rather droopy.  When I have the shades on it's hard to notice so much has been done, although you can see the ridge in my forehead where the skull overlaps.  I cut my hair short again to try and get the area where they did the brow lift closer in length to the rest of my hair.  I certainly look a "lot less scary" as my ex-wife Jacki put it.

 

 

These pictures are from right after the 12/29/2008 surgery to remove excess eyelid tissue.  They were taken1/4/2009.  This should make it easier for me to keep the area clean.  Before there were folds of eyelids that still secreted mucous.  They had to be kept moist all the time (by putting ointment on them 2-3 times per day) in order to keep them free of dirt and to help keep the mucous membrane healthy.  There is still a little swelling on the left side of my head as well.

 

 

They made a long incision along the old incision when they repaired my hernia.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but they did shrink my belly quite a bit.  The picture on the right is from December 2007 when I first got home from the original surgery.  There was a lot of scar tissue from the original surgery.  The horizontal scar is now much shorter than it was.  I also looked like I had three belly buttons before.  I'm hoping after recovery that I will be able to work on the strength of my core at the gym.  This surgery was far more involved than the surgeon originally thought, so I am not holding out any expectations at this point.

 

  

The staples were taken out a couple of weeks after I got out of the hospital.  These pictures are from 2/25/2009.  I lost some weight from the procedure as well.  In fact, the left side used to be very bulged out and it now is smaller than the right side.  I'm hoping I can lose the fat and strengthen the muscles when I get back to the gym.  I am cleared to try some cardio work at this point.  The doctor said to stop if it hurts, but not to overdo it if it doesn't.  I decided to take a few more days off and may go back to the gym on 3/1/2009.

 

  

On 8/26/2009 I had my port removed.  It was installed in February 2008.  The main reason was to make it easier to administer the chemotherapy drugs.  I was attached to IVs for about 5 hours once per week for seven weeks in February/March 2008.  you can see the bump on the left.  The port is put on top of my ribs and the tube was run over my clavicle and into my aorta.  It was about one inch away from my heart.  You can also see the tube under my skin, and going over my clavicle, up by my neck.

 

  

These are from the scans I had done in August 2009.  You can see my left eye missing (and right eye still intact) very clearly in the black and white image.  You can also see all the "filler" tissue they harvested from my abdomen to fill in everything they had to remove in the left orbit and back to my brain.  My nose is also curved to the left, but it is much better after the reconstructive stuff they did in August and December 2008.

 

The scan on the left is from July 2010.  It looks very similar to the scan from August 2009.  In fact, like they said in August 2009, I am still cancer free!  I will get a new scan every year to make sure the cancer isn't coming back.  It was beyond "stage" classification, so they did not have any idea if they could get it all, or if it would come back.  I feel pretty good, still get tired easy, but I am very happy to be alive!

 

Summer 2009 scan on the right, summer 2010 in the middle, summer 2011 on the left.  Again I am cancer free after my early August 2011 PET and CT scans!  Now to deal with my belly.  The repair (done in February 2009) of my huge surgical hernia has failed.  Surgery is scheduled for 9/28/2011.

 

   

In early August 2011, I experienced severe and sharp pains in my belly.  I knew the hernia repair from 2009 must have failed.  I saw the surgeon who did the original repair on 8/13/2011.  He could tell by looking and feeling (and my description of the pain) there was a problem.  I could not get a CT scan to locate the problem(s) until 9/13/2011.  After those scans, it was clear there were two tears in my belly located at and near my original belly button.  Surgery was scheduled for 9/28/2011.  I came home from the hospital on 9/30/2011.  The picture on the left is from 10/1/2011.  This was the first time I took off the bandages to clean the wound and put on fresh bandages.  The large black and blue mark is where a drain was inserted.  The drain was to take extra fluid out of my belly as it healed after the surgery.  The tube was inside me about 5-6 inches.  The center picture was taken 10/13/2011 after the staples were removed.  They decided to leave the sutures in for another week.  The picture on the right shows the sutures removed on 10/20/2011.  There were a total of 19 staples and 8 sutures.