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5/28/2017 Latest post:
Many of you know that Jim is in a battle with pancreatic cancer. I, Joelle, am starting this site so that those of you who want to pray for us, follow Jim's progress or leave a word of encouragement can do so. For an unknown reason, he has lost his voice and it is very stressful for him to talk and be understood over the phone. This imposed journey we are on started late last summer when Jim was having stomach pains which defied diagnosis. After many doctors visits he was finally scheduled for a CT scan which revealed a mass in his pancreas as well as small areas in the peritoneal cavity of his abdomen. It was not possible to biopsy the pancreatic tumor but a biopsy of of one of the smaller tumors revealed the dreaded heartbreaking news of adenocarcinoma. The only treatment option for Jim was chemotherapy and we were thankful to start it on the first of November. After 8 weeks of therapy tests revealed that the first chemotherapy drugs were not effective so a second combination of drugs was ordered which Jim continued to have until the end of March, when the side effects of the treatment were overwhelming his system so he took a much needed a break. During April he was happy to feel "almost" normal and we enjoyed some time together as well as visits with family and friends. We met with Jim's oncologist at the end of April, and had planned to start another round of chemotherapy when a Phase 1 open trial for immunotherapy opened up and Jim was a potential candidate! Jim had to qualify for the trial and passed all the tests to do so. Last Wednesday he received the first infusions of two drugs. We spent ten hours at the hospital during the infusion while he was monitored very closely for any reaction or side effects he might but did not have. Immunotherapy has been used successfully on other types of solid tumor cancers but has not been tried on pancreatic tumors. This week Jim is still feeling pretty miserable with fatigue, pain and nausea being the biggest problems. The increase in pain and fatigue were anticipated with the trial medication and we are managing both the nausea and pain with medications but those also add to his sleepiness. Jim and I know that God is in control and therefore we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. We would appreciate your prayerful support and notes to Jim. He has many friends whom he cherishes and speaks of wanting to be able to see or talk with but says he just doesn't have the energy so if you leave a note I will be certain to read it to him. Thanks to each of you who are traveling this journey with us. With love and always hope...Joelle to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.