Jaren Sternard Jaren's Cancer Fight

First post: Apr 12, 2018 Latest post: Aug 24, 2019
Late in January, Jaren came home from basketball saying that he had a really hard time catching his breath and had developed a cough. As the days progressed, Jaren got more sick.  He developed a continual fever that would only subside with medicine, was lethargic, and had a terrible cough. We figured it was this year's rough case of influenza and that it had to run its course through his body.  Weeks passed, and his symptoms didn't seem to subside. On the night of March 13, Jaren and I were laying in bed. We were discussing that we had felt distant from the Lord. Jaren quickly reminded me that we always go through peaks and valleys in our relationship with Him, but the most important thing that we can do is recognize those valleys and do whatever necessary to get right with Him. Little did we know, God was gently preparing our hearts for the mountain that we were about to climb. He was about to answer our prayers to experience Him in a manner far more powerful and beautiful than we could’ve imagined.

The next morning, Jaren decided that he needed to visit a doctor.  Something wasn’t right, and we were just hoping they’d give him some cough medicine to help him sleep at night.  After checking all of his vitals, the doctor saw nothing wrong with him. She was about to let him walk, and at the last second decided to just do lab work to make sure. For that decision, we are forever grateful.  After the lab work results came in, they revealed that he had an elevated white blood cell count. She immediately had him come back in to do an oxygen level test and perform a chest x-ray. She put Jaren on antibiotics and we were thankful to finally get some medicine.  A little later that night, we got a call saying that the chest x-ray came back abnormal. They noticed a large, unknown mass in his chest cavity. They wanted him to come in for a CT scan to get a better look at the mass. We weren’t concerned, because we figured it was just a severe case of pneumonia.  He had all of the symptoms, and we were looking forward to the antibiotics being able to finally fight the infection However, they said that even if the antibiotics were working, they still wanted to do the CT scan, because they were concerned about cancerous activity. Still, we weren't all too concerned. On Friday, he went in for the CT Scan. We were told that they would call immediately if they found anything concerning. 4:00 came and went, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, no call.  We thought we were in the clear.

Our world was flipped upside down Monday morning when Jaren received a call saying that they had discovered a 12.6 cm mass in his chest cavity, multiple masses on his lungs, and enlarged lymph nodes. The doctors suspected it to be Hodgkin's lymphoma. Two biopsies later, that diagnosis was confirmed. Jaren will undergo chemo treatments every other week for the next six months. We feel very blessed, as this is a highly treatable and curable form of cancer. The chemo drugs that he will be receiving are intense, but are proven effective when fighting the disease. Although this has been a very difficult time, we are already seeing so many blessings from the diagnosis. We are also blessed by the incredible support system we have around us, and have been truly blown away by people's generosity and love.  We also want to thank so many of you who have been praying for us and continue to pray, because I can assure you that the prayers are working. Jaren and I are at such peace knowing that God is in control of all of this and have been able to find a lot of joy amidst the hardships. We know that God is writing a beautiful story.  God is bigger than all of this, and we can't wait to see how He is glorified through this journey.  We will be updating this page with how Jaren is doing and the progress he's making towards becoming victorious over his battle against cancer. We love you all and are so blessed to have you as apart of our story!

Lastly, many of you have asked how you can be help.  The greatest way we need your help is through your prayer.  In each post, we will share specifically how you can be praying for us.  Some of the major prayer requests we have is for wisdom for the doctors as they treat Jaren and that Jaren's body would respond well to treatment.  The other way you can help is financially.  As much as I hate to admit it, this has become one expensive story. We are facing many doctor bills and Jaren is unable to work during some of the treatment. All of this has put financial strain on our family.  A Go Fund Me Page has been set up on our behalf if you do wish to bless us financially. https://www.gofundme.com/jaren-and-megan039s-cancer-journey  (https://www.gofundme.com/jaren-and-megan039s-cancer-journey ) Thank you so much!