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Dec 7, 2017
I remember vividly the morning call. Only the day before had we taken Jacob in to have a follow up xray. He had fallen off the trampoline and complained about his lung hurting. He had sustained an injury from football that we were told was a bruised lung in September. The doctor took the usual precautionary xray to see what was happening inside our little 8 year old athlete. This was followed by him telling Katherine that we see a mass, and need to do a MRI now. It hit home the moment the doctor pulled Katherine into a room alone to discuss the outcome.... "Your son has a mass behind his kidney and a spot on his lung." "We need to do an emergency biopsy". We told ourselves it'll be nothing, and that Jacob would be ok. I prayed that night after getting the news. I continued to tell myself it will be ok, and don't think the worse. The next morning I called to get an update and see how Jacob was feeling. His step dad was in tears while talking to me on the phone. I remembered telling him to tell me it's not cancer! No!! It couldn't happen to this innocent little boy. Not my son! As we cried over the phone together I was 1500 mile away and four hours from burrying my best friend of 46 years. I fell to my knees and prayed in that hotel room. Unable to gain any composure, God gave me a lift, and for a moment I went into damage control. What is it? how severe? chemo? All of it had no answer. I was lost, afraid and truly crushed. Jacob's mom, Katherine, called me a few hours later to give me additional news. It now had a name ...Wilms Tumor stage 4. Please God..No! I remember feeling a sense of calm at the funeral for my best friend. He was such a man of Christ, and I could feel the love given to all those paying their respect. The next hours were fuzzy, but I got the first flight home. One two hour layover in Vegas turned in to a blessing. My good friend Kevin, a Chaplin for the Mets came to the airport to pray with me. I landed in Austin at 1:50am and drove like crazy to Scott and White Childrens in Temple. 2:45am and no sleep. There's my son sleeping. Katherine and Billy had done two nights in a row and needed some relief. They both are amazing parents to my son. After they went home to sleep I just prayed, cried, prayed and outright wept for my son. He had a four inch incision from the biopsy, and a port in his chest. IV's in both wrist and all the machines to monitor every vital sign. My heart ached on levels I had never known. I confirmed in my head once again that I'm powerless, and only God and the support of loved ones could get us to the end. And we have only just begun. Jacob came into the world so mellow. The doc gave him a little smack on the butt to kick start him and he came to life. He was such an easy baby and always happy. I remember him holding a baseball at age 1. It was obvious to this coach that I had my dream come true. A son that loved baseball! He took to the game early, but showed interest in roping steers and loving horses. 8 years in he still loves baseball and animals. He had his first season of little league and did so well. A quite boy that always comes to life in the dugout. His mom, step dad and I were always proud of what a young leader he's become. God blessed him with so much athletic ability. But now I must believe that God's chosen our Jacob for an even larger role in this life. I know the fight is early, and the real work is ahead of this family. God must have the perfect story in all this chaos. I know he has an amazing family surrounding him, and more prayer groups, prayer warriors, and people pulling for him than I knew possible. It has been so truly humbling, and I ask God to bless every person reading this. Hug your kids, don't sweat the small insignificant things that stress our daily lives. Be kind, smile and love those around you. God's got this, and he's brought you to this for Jacob Kanka. My son, our son. And I'm powerless with out each of you. Please help Jacob because he needs all of us in this fight. God bless #JacobStrong.