Dell’s Story

Site created on July 24, 2019

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Dell Jensen

Dear family and friends-

First, I need to apologize that I have not made regular updates about my cancer and health. Through COVID protocols at work, the wonderful homeschooling community that Jill and I help manage, along with the typical chaos of a busy family, there was always something else that needed to get done and I fell behind in sharing these updates.

So, I will pick up where I left off and bring everyone up to date and share my latest situation. I finished radiation in Sept 2020 and my PSA continued to remain undetectable, so I returned to Dr. Morgans at Northwestern in Nov 2020.  We discussed treatment options including continuing and ending the ADT treatment and the possibility that the cancer was gone.  She explained that with metastasis to the lymph nodes it was unlikely that the cancer would be gone.  However, I was confident at that point that we had done all that could be done to treat the cancer, and the only way to know if the cancer was gone was to stop the ADT treatment and watch the PSA levels.  When I was diagnosed and started this journey, I put my life, my treatment, and my future in the hands of our Father God.  I knew that God works through all our prayers and planning.  So, with much prayer and discussions with Jill, I ended treatments in Dec 2020.  This was also the month that we (our family) caught COVID while on Christmas vacation to Missouri and we all recovered with no ill effects.  

As winter transitioned to spring, I started to feel more normal: my energy levels were returning, testosterone was rising, and my PSA remained at 0.0 through April 2021.  At the end of May, the PSA was reported as >0.1 with a T level that was nearly normal.  That was the first indication that maybe some PSA was detectable.  By mid-August my PSA had jumped to 0.5 with a normal T level.  This result meant that there was reoccurrence of prostate cancer. 

After a meeting with my local oncologist, he recommended that I start ADT treatment again.  Before I started, I wanted to return to Northwestern in the hopes to getting a recently FDA approved PMSA-PET scan that would be able to determine where and how much cancer that I have.  The PET scan was approved for Oct 15th and the results of the scan confirmed that the cancer is back and that it was widely dispersed in my chest and abdomen with 4-6 positive lymph nodes and one confirmed spot on the left 9th rib (bone metastasis), and a few other spots with some tracer uptake.  While the scan showed that cancer was dispersed, it also confirmed that the total volume of cancer was relatively low and that there was no cancer in any of the major organs.  

However, the due to the number of spots, the treatment options are limited and this means that I will return to ADT and a secondary drug (abiraterone) to block the uptake of testosterone by the cancer, and with it the return of all the side effect from before.  This treatment is meant to stop the progress of the cancer for the immediate future for the next 18-24 months. The long and the short of the discussions that I have had with both the GU oncologist (Dr Vanderweele) at Northwestern and my local oncologist (Dr Aggarwal) is that I will be living with cancer for the remainder of my life. 

I believe that our God is gracious and merciful and that He can heal and restore, this is my prayer and I know that many of you will continue to pray for healing for me.  I ask that you would also pray to minimize the side effects and that I can manage them well.  At the same time, I want to live in God’s will and follow His plan. I know that we are not promised healing in this life, but in the life to come, and that we live in a fallen world that Jesus Christ came to save.  

For now, as I continue to pray, I will live in the blessings that God has provided. I am strong and otherwise healthy (no comorbidities), and I will continue to improve my health (i.e. lose weight, exercise, eat healthy) to put up a strong fight and plan for the future as I will be around for many years to come.  I will also thank the Lord for all the many other blessings that I have; a loving and supportive wife, bright and capable children that know God, friends that continue to support and walk alongside me and my family, and a Christ-filled Church that lives out God’s call to reach, serve and bring the Gospel to others. 

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 

Blessing to you all, Dell

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