The first thing Janet would tell you is that she loves the Lord. Second, she would proudly mention that she has been married to her college sweetheart, Robbie Franklin, for over 51 years. Through their marriage, God blessed them with three daughters - Robin, Wendy, and Kelly. As she beams with pride, Janet would divulge that she has 12 grandsons, and 1 granddaughter. Finally, Janet would confess that, beyond immediate family, she and Robbie have incredible friends and extended. People who undergird her in challenging times with their prayers, support, and encouragement.
Janet has entered the ring to battle cancer numerous times. In 1992 she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After chemotherapy treatments, and an initial clean scan, the cancer returned with a vengeance within a few months. After much prayer, Janet felt led to have an autologous bone marrow transplant when it was still a newer uncommon procedure in the beginning of 1993. The bone marrow transplant required total body radiation which scalded her body with second degree burns inside and out. The chemotherapy after the procedure was just as horrific leaving her with a near zero white blood cell count. Months of healing and recovery were endured in an isolation unit at Vanderbilt Hospital. However, thanks to God's graciousness, an enormous amount of prayer, and Janet's determination, she left the hospital the day before Wendy, her daughter, graduated from ETSU. It was a miracle! The doctors performing her bone marrow transplant promised her 20 good years. She had them, plus a few more.
However in 2016, Janet learned she had colon cancer. Again, she rose up to fight this ugly disease with the support of so many people and her faith in the great God Almighty. Half of her colon was surgically removed. After weeks of recovery, the chemotherapy began. It proved to be tolerable, and, to her surprise helped her shed some pounds so she had her figure of the high school beauty queen from the 1960s. Her chemo treatments for the colon cancer ended in January of 2018.
In May, Janet noticed a strange place in her mouth. "What is it?" she wondered. Sadly, numerous tests and biopsies verified the one word she never expected to hear again. Cancer. Mouth Cancer - Stage Four. And, it is in the bone.
On option for Janet was to "do nothing." To Janet, this meant giving up. So, this was not an option.
The final decision resulted in opting to undergo a massive surgery. The surgeons explained the plan to remove her left jawbone including teeth, then bone graft part of her fibula bone into the hole. Multiple blood vessels and veins would also be grafted from the leg to the mouth to keep the grafted bone alive. A neck dissection would be performed to remove a section of lymph nodes from her neck to her collarbone. A drain would be inserted into her neck to drain the blood and fluid to prevent it from collecting. Finally, skin would be grafted from her wrist and leg onto her face and neck as needed.
On July 16, 2018 - Janet had this surgery. Voluminous people were praying for the Lord to carry her through. Across America, in Africa, in Costa Rica, and many places, prayers were being lifted on her behalf. Everything went exactly as previously described, except, thankfully, no skin grafting was needed. Stitches close the two long incisions on her neck.
This is where Janet's story pick up....the day of surgery...and the days after....
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give glory, for the sake of thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness!" Psalm 115:1
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