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4 hours ago
God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. We need not fear even if the world blows up... (Psalm 46) We are looking to God even as our world has not blown up but definitely been turned upside down in the past few days. We are thankful for our family and friends who are joining us on this journey. We hope this site will be helpful in communicating with you. Some quick background info...Jim began having pain in his stomach that was irritated by eating over a week ago. He was told to rest and eat a bland diet but this wasn't the answer. Monday 8/9 he went for more tests and was sent to the ER for continued care. That evening he was admitted to Regions Hospital. Tuesday they performed a procedure (ERCP) where they inserted a tube into the esophagus and stomach. They found a tumor and took a biopsy. Wednesday we found out we were dealing with a 2cm tumor which was malignant. The fact the tumor was caught relatively early is a blessing (after 4cm they won't operate). Unfortunately the type of cancer (squamous) is more difficult to remove as it is soft, spreads easily and rapidly. Thursday Jim had a scan and we are praising God that it came back negative meaning the cancer has not spread through out his body. Thursday afternoon he had another ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram...just in case you were wondering!) to put a stint in his common bile duct to relieve the pressure and pain and to allow the affected organs-pancreas, liver, gallblader etc to begin to work and to heal . This is a temporary help and will be removed when surgery is performed to remove the tumor. Jim had a tough time after the procedure but began feeling better by Friday around noon. He was allowed to eat soup and you never saw anyone so happy about hospital soup:) He had been on IV feedings since Monday so he is a happy camper now as he is allowed to continue to increase his diet as tolerated. He was discharged and we spent most of last night eating mini meals:) They want him to regain his strength and get his system working before surgery. God has worked in incredible ways to allow surgery to be scheduled for next week with a well respected surgeon- Eric Jensen from the University of Minnesota. We will meet with him on Monday and we were told the surgery will be Wednesday or Friday (they are working on finding an open operating room and will let us know Monday). The surgery is called a whipple procedure which is very complicated and expected to be around 6 hours in length. We will find out the complete story but the information we've been given says that this procedure removes part of the pancreas, the duodenum, the gall bladder, part of the jejunum, stomach bile duct and lymph nodes near the pancreas. They won't know how much needs to be done until they actually are operating. After this they attach the remaining bile duct to the small intestine to allow the bile from the liver to continue entering the small intestine. Sooo that's the "short" update. We will do our best to keep you up to date and want to thank you in advance for your prayers and for joining us on this journey. We are blessed by you and by our faith in a BIG God!