Jim’s Story

Site created on March 25, 2007

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about Jim.

To see more pictures of Jim, both in and out of the water,  and singing at Luther,(check out the music resources/links) visit our family's webshots page set up by Maren. Click on the links. Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.  


What began in October as a football injury actually was something much worse. During the swim season the injury did not get any better, in fact the hemotoma (original diagnosis) started to get bigger. He still swam throughout the swim season and the team had a great year. As a followup, however, we took Jim for a CT scan so that this (what was thought to be a calcified hemotoma) could be clearly identified and then removed. What was actually found, however, was believed to be a rare type of cancer found in the soft tissue. His tumor was about the size of a grapefruit. So in less than a week we went from Northfield to the Mayo Clinic to meet with an Oncologist. It was then that more tests were performed, more pokings and prodings, and the final dianosis was in. Jim has what is known as Ewing Sarcoma which is a rare type of cancer that occurs typically in the age group of 10-20. The bad news is that it had spread to his lungs but the GOOD NEWS is that the bone marrow biopsy came back negative. So now the treatment begins.

He is just now finishing up his first of 14 such chemo treatments. It is an agressive treatment as this is an agressive cancer. He receives these treatments at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester and this is where his treatments will continue. His treatments require him to be hospitalized for three days at a time with each treatment beginning approximately 18 days after a treatment session ends. He is fighter and ready for this battle! He loves hearing from his friends and family. He appreciates all your prayers, it is what keeps him going.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007. We are heading back to the Mayo. Not long after we got home last night, Jim complained of a pounding headache. He got no relief from tylenol. The headache continued through the night and this morning. The doctor said the headaches are not normal, so we are going back today for a complete blood count (CBC) and possibly a head scan. Jim really does not want to make another trip back to the Mayo, but ...

Thank you, everyone, for all of your prayers. PLEASE keep praying. Please pray for Jim. He needs to keep fighting and to be completely forthcoming with all symptoms. Please pray for strength for Cathy and Mark. Pray for a healing.



Newest Update

Journal entry by Cathy Penning

Jim continues to be cancer free, or as the doctors put it, NED-no evidence of disease.
it was an exciting summer.  Jim married Stephanie Drewes, another Luther grad and fellow swimmer.  The wedding was held at a vineyard outside of Decorah, Iowa on July 11th with many family and friends in attendance!  It was a beautiful ceremony, lovely day spent with many wonderful people!  Thank you for all the cards, notes and gifts for the couple.  They live about a mile from Rigley Field.  Jim commutes to downtown Chicago, still working for KCura, a software company. 


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