family shotMy wife Amy spent all day with me on Friday at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, just so I could get a special CAT scan done on my liver. While I sat in the waiting room, I started to think about how my hope is like a grand mansion. It is supported by so many important people. It provides a foundation under my feet and a shelter over my head.

Amy’s life over the past several months has been a whirlwind of medical offices and journeys to cancer centers. She gets out of bed early to arrange all of my medications for the day.  She handles all of the medical bill calls (no fun) and even lines up my complex set of appointments. My wife has shined despite all the pressure on her. I can’t imagine undergoing any of this without her. And she continues to take our kids to and from school, keeps them on track with homework and after school activities, and just generally keeps their lives normal.

But much like any great structure, my house of hope has multiple support beams. My sister Jen has also given me hope for the future. She made a storm of calls to both the National Institutes of Health, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and several other places tracking down any procedure that may help prolong my life a little longer. The good news is, she may have succeeded. Thanks to Jen’s efforts, I have a consultation with a surgeon next week for the Isolated Hepatic Perfusion (IHP) procedure. This operation involves isolating my liver and pumping it with warm chemotherapy drugs in an effort to slow tumor growth. Not to mention the hundred+ hats Jen has made as a unique fundraiser at FierceHope.com.

The medical work is picking up steam now for me because my chest x-ray finally showed no infection, just scar tissue so I am finally off of antibiotics. This put everything back on track for getting my palliative chemotherapy treatments started.

Another support structure that’s delivered hope has been my brother-in-law, Tom who found a cutting edge tumor test that may just be a “game changer” in my war against this illness. I sit here tonight so full of gratitude for everything that people are doing for me.

I wanted to note that I can’t always reply to everyone’s blog comments of encouragement, but I read them all (multiple times) and in many ways these serve as the walls and windows in this dwelling I refer to.

I live in this house of hope.  It is my refuge and I just can’t shake the feeling that I will score some significant victories in this fight. Even if I only find a way to seize extra weeks or months of life, I will take everything I can get. The best part of all, I have all of you standing with me and I can’t wait to have some good news to share!

 

with Fierce Hope

Jim

little jim

6 Thoughts on “The Pillars of Hope

  1. Shelley on November 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm said:

    LOVE THIS!
    You continue to inspire. You and Amy both. Much Love to you all!

  2. Bravo, Jim, for looking for all the medical possibilities and being willing to try. I pray that the one you are calling a game changer is just that!

  3. Larry Walsh on November 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm said:

    Always in our thoughts and prayers Jim. God Bless

  4. Margaret Faiver on November 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm said:

    Jim, You are such an amazing man and an inspiration to so many people. I am not surprised that Amy is a reflection of your hope, strength, optimism, and courage. You both amaze me. Blessings.

  5. Jim – Your last sentence took a completely different meaning for me. I DO hope that your news is good! As a follower of your story and reading your posts, EVERY thing you write is good news, filled with love and amazement. How very blessed you are, in spite of your illness. Your courage, your attitude, and your words fill even MY life with hope. Good Bless and God speed your recovery and health.

  6. Marie Frable on November 5, 2014 at 2:18 am said:

    Jim I just wanted to say that you are an inspiration as well as your family. God Bless you all! If we could all follow your example. Thoughts and prayers.

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