Jason ’s Story

Site created on August 31, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. About 2 months ago, Jason started experiencing digestive problems that progressively got worse. After appointments with various specialists, and many tests and procedures, we received confirmation that Jason has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This is not the diagnosis we were anticipating or hoping for, but we are ready to fight this with everything we have.  However, we can't do this without our loving family, friends, and community. We are using this site to streamline updates and communicate needs for our family during this time.  We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement, they mean the world to us. Love, Jason & the King Team

Newest Update

Journal entry by Sophie (Kari) King

Since coming home from ICU, we have been on a roller coaster! Here are the ups and downs:

*Came home from ICU, we had a great first night sleep in our new adjustable beds, not a hospital bed, as we did not want something so sterile and restrictive in our home. I also wanted to sleep next to the love of my life for the first time in a couple of months. Thanks to several friends (Tandi Potts who found a local place with these types of beds, went to the store for me to find the best one, and helped make the order for me and ensured it was delivered the same night we returned home.  Michelle Evens, and Debbie Stevens who also looked or were willing to look until we found something to meet our needs) we did just that. It made my heart so happy to be next to him and for him to rest so well that night.

*The next day we had some trouble flushing Jason's PIC line where his iv nutrition and pain meds go, so we wound up back in the ER. Jason's BP and HR were so out of whack, they had to give him some fluids and ran a couple of tests. Basically, we were told that they could do a few things to save his life for now, but he would need to be admitted to the ICU again...if that is what we wished. However, they could basically only put a band aid on a gushing wound. They also told us, that if we went home and his vitals remained how they were in the ER, he might not make it through the night. I wept and wept, especially in having to tell our children this. We had a long, hard, and also beautiful night of sharing in love, fear, sorrow, and faith with each other. The kiddos stayed home from school the next 2 days into the weekend to cherish time with their daddy, family, and friends that came to visit.

*Jason's brother, Shaun and his 2 oldest daughters came and spent time with us and the kiddos. It made me so happy to hear our kiddos laughing and having a good time with their cousins. Shaun was so helpful and kind, even in the midst of his heart breaking for his big brother, as well. He spent time and money making sure Josiah's new game system was set up with fast enough internet.  He helped me take care of Jason and the family.  His presence was calming and needed. We had some hard, necessary but heartbreaking conversations about Jason's wishes and preferences if he were to lose this fight.

*My friend and neighbor, Mary Claire, came over to take some photos of us being together and loving on each other in our favorite and happy place...our home.  At times it felt weird, but it was mostly beautiful and necessary to capture this journey no matter what the outcome.  I am so thankful for your willingness to provide such a beautiful gift to our family.  

*Garry and Abbie Abbott, our dear and long time friends from Glenns Valley youth group days, dropped everything, arranged for friends to watch their kiddos and came all the way from Orlando, FL to be with us, hug our necks, pray with us, serve us, and love on our kiddos. We listened to "Enter the Worship Circle" which brought back a flood of memories and all the good feelings, as we used to lead worship together during youth group (The Refuge).  We shared stories of those days and experiences we had together, which brought a smile to Jason's face.  We talked about our families, shared meals and hearts.  They cooked, cleaned our kitchen and went grocery shopping for us. It was a gift to have them with us. 

*Four of Jason's long-time friends (like, from t-ball and boy scouts, ya'll) came from NC, CA, and KY to visit with Jason and our family for the weekend.  They changed oil and windshield wiper fluid in our vehicles, cleared out drains in our bathroom, help me transfer Jason to the bathroom to get a shower for the first time in over a week and transfer him into bed both nights, purchased tools and groceries, made boozy popsicles, and just sat around watching football, drinking beer, and telling us all about their adventures and shared childhoods.  It was beautiful and hard.  Seeing these men serve Jason and our family was so humbling and made us feel so deeply loved and cared for.  Their presence was good for all of us, especially Jason.  They presented Jason with a beautiful blanket signed by dozens of his high school and Woodford County friends that says "Nobody Fights Alone".  They left yesterday morning, and we were all in tears.  Nobody wanted to leave, but they had to get back to their families and lives.  The moments with them will be cherished and appreciated forever!

*Broderick Santiago and Nikki Durr, our dear friends from Courageous Church days came by yesterday for prayer, hugs, and speaking truth into me.  There is so much doubt and guilt I carry.  Am I taking care of Jason well enough?  Why didn't I push him to go to the doctor sooner?  What if I mess something up?  Nikki, thank you for speaking truth into me and encouraging me from a place of true understanding having walked this path before yourself.  Broderick, thank you for loving our family and being willing to come multiple times to pray over my love!  

*Cara and John Creger stopped by the see Jason and share their love and prayers before they headed out of the country on a mission trip to Honduras....a place Jason really hoped to go to in the future.  We always enjoy your presence, guys! 

*Cara has also been coordinating a few blessings like arranging pest control service, working with Deb and Jerome Lubbe and Jenn and Patrick McEwen to get our flat/spare tire changed, and working with Jenn McEwen to schedule a housecleaning service today.  My house has never been so clean!  These are things that are so low on the priority list in the grand scheme of things, but things that if not taken care of would get out of hand.  Thank you all for making it your priority to take care of logistics and tangible needs like these that make us feel so deeply cared for and taken care of.

*There have been a few very scary moments while transferring Jason from one place to another within the house.  His body has gone limp and he becomes unresponsive.  Sometimes for what feels like a couple of minutes to just a couple of seconds.  I thought we lost him last night, honestly.  Thankfully, he came back to us and breath is still in his lungs today.  I am trying to cherish each moment with him by advocating for continuous and quality care through hospice, which I think we will have figured out today.  I will serve Jason and take care of all his medical needs until his last breath, but I would prefer someone else do that so that I can just lay next to him, listen to his heartbeat and lungs, scratch his arms, etc.  I have been in bed next to him this afternoon listening to our favorite loves songs, singing to him, getting HUGE smiles from him.  I am cherishing every form of communication at this point, as he is not able to talk much at all.  

*Elana Marlo Schmelzle has been here with me every step of the way the past almost 2 weeks.  She has cried with me, held my hand, held me up when my knees buckle from grief, made sure I was drinking water and eating at least a little something each day, made calls, advocated for us, arranged so many logistics, shared moments of care and love with both of our children, cooked meals, stayed up late watching over Jason for me so that I could try to sleep, rallying our friends and family to discuss arrangements for the possibility of Jason's passing, and so much more than I am listing.  I will never be able to repay her for her kindness and service to me and our entire family.  She has been a gift...an angel from the Lord!

*Michelle and Dion Evans stopped by today to visit, love on us, and just be with Kay (Jason's mom) and I.  Jason was worn out from the morning's activities, so he didn't feel up for visitors.  They were so understanding!  We appreciate all the ways you have shown love and care for our family in this difficult time!

* Jason's father figure, Jeff, came to visit him today from Florida.  It was a short and sweet visit.  Jason had not seen this man for 10 years, but I think it meant a lot to Jason that he came.  I was able to chat with Jeff for a bit and was sure to tell him all about what a great man, husband, and father Jason is!  He will be back tomorrow morning for another brief visit.

*Many other friends and family have continued to text, email, message, call, offer to help and visit, and reach out on FB to share their love, prayers, and appreciation for who Jason is and has been to them.  These words and offers are life giving and have kept us lifted!  Thank you!

I might be missing something, but that is it for now. Please continue to pray for a miracle. It is still possible.  It is also still possible, that we will not see the miracle we have all been praying so fervently for.  Regardless, our eyes are fixed on Jesus...on our faith. Jason is leading us all in that.  He is pointing us to the Lord, especially our children.  They struggle to understand why this is happening to their daddy....we are all struggling with that question.  I am still choosing to praise God for his presence, the gift of life with Jason He gives us, the blessings of our family and community, for peace that surpasses all understanding that comes in large waves to me, our family and more!  Thank you for your continued prayers and love!  
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