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Scott and Jan's Challenge
Jan 29, 2016 Latest post:
Oct 8, 2018
Hello! Welcome to a website established to help Jan and Scott communicate a complicated medical situation to caring friends and family. A journal is maintained in an effort to avoid having to repeat the twists and turns of the story countless times to those who wish to remain informed. Scott writes the journals and tries to keep them both informative and entertaining.
First off, it's helpful to recognize that each and every one of us have challenges to deal with in our daily lives. Some are more complicated than others. These challenges are personal, frequently disruptive and require us to adapt to change. Scott's involves cancer - something that roughly 50% of the people of the world will personally experience during their lifetime. With cancer, each situation is unique. Sadly, too many cancer patients have complications that can't be overcome. Scott's battle to date has responded to the strategic plan he and Jan have chosen. That plan focuses on being prepared for life's challenges by making proactive personal Wellness choices (a disciplined diet, exercise, an outstanding social circle of support, maintaining a positive attitude, etc..) as opposed to being reactive to life's challenges hoping that bad things won't happen to them. Like millions of others, they have a journey that involves a story. Below is a short synopsis of Scott's Story. Jan is unfortunately intricately entwined in the story because she shares a life with her husband and embraces every success and set-back in an effort to be a supportive, loving partner. Scott apologizes to her often :-).
The story started on Tuesday January 19th, 2016 (they call it "Black Tuesday"). If you scan through the journal entries back to February 2016, you can read a detailed account. Scott was x-country skiing that day when, out of nowhere, he went down with a stroke ... that turned out to be the result of a bleed in the brain ... that turned out to be a brain tumor ... that was removed and turned out to be malignant (cancerous) ... that turned out to be the "bad" kind of brain cancer (Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiform). The stroke (left side) was more of an annoyance to get through while he and Jan focused on the cancer. That said, they fully recognize that the stroke likely saved Scott's life - due to the hidden cancer it revealed that was slowly growing and spreading inside of his brain.
The good news is that the chemotherapy drug Scott took had been very effective for the first year. They had a set-back in May 2017 with the recurrence of another smaller isolated tumor (despite his actively taking low-dose oral chemotherapy) located in his right temporal brain about 1.5" away from the original tumor that was removed through surgery on 5/25/2017. They then switched from his chemotherapy drug to an immunotherapy drug called Avastin that helps deter the spread of cancer cells through the blood stream. The every two week Avastin infusion therapy has been very effective. He gets MRIs every 2-3 months to verify effectiveness.
We had another set-back in March 2018 leading to a third brain surgery that very effectively removed yet another very small tumor discovered during a routine MRI. Successful recoveries after surgeries are nothing short of a sign that Scott has the resiliency to persevere through this cancer ordeal.
He continues to give his doctors 25% control of helping him with their Western Medicine approach (radiation/chemotherapy/immunotherapy) and, continues working with a Naturopath Doctor to embrace a more holistic lifestyle approach (the other 75%) that focuses on a careful diet, positive attitude, and exercise to help them do battle. The philosophy behind the approach is to empower Scott to be in control of cancer (instead of the other way around). So far, so good.
Thank you for finding this site. Please feel free to comment after each journal entry. Jan and Scott both enjoy reading your comments. Throughout the ordeal, Scott has maintained an attitude that "I may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me."