In November of 2008, after having some irritating symptoms such as hot flushes, Jim decided to finally go to the doctor. Blood tests were concerning, and he was immediately sent for a colonoscopy. It was then that he first heard the dreaded word "cancer." Within a few days our state of shock deepened as tests confirmed the cancer involved the lymph nodes, which had carried it to the liver.
After an intense round of chemotherapy to shrink the tumors as much as possible, Jim was scheduled for surgery the following March. A section of his colon was removed, as well as a third of his liver. The amazing healing power of his body and faith brought his strength back quickly and he was able to attend our son's wedding in April of that year. Scans every three months brought the good news that he was cancer free.
However, about a year later the scans began to evidence abnormal cell growth again. Chemotherapy was started and took him down a long path of chemical combinations. He underwent another surgery in 2010 to remove the cancer that had spread to his lungs. As cancer does, it mutated quickly to outrun the effects of the chemotherapy. After 99 treatments the chemicals became ineffective, his body had weakened from treatment and there were no good options left.
I am amazed at the grace with which Jim was able to continue on his journey. He is at peace during this period of comfort care. He has never lost his incredible sense of humor and never misses a chance to tease the hospice staff. Many old friends have stopped in for a visit, giving him renewed spurts of appreciative energy. Jim is sustained daily by the love and caring from our church family and friends and his companionship with God.