final daddy picMany people new to my blog may not know this. I’ve spent most of my career working for environmental groups. I’m used to fighting for the little guy, the underdog, and against the odds.

I’ve helped battle pipelines through wilderness, leaking nuclear power plants, and lead poisoned playgrounds. I know what its like to be battered and down. I am familiar with getting my ass kicked; to having the cards stacked against me. But I also know what it’s like to win. To win big. To beat incredible odds and to share that feeling with my co-workers and family.

I’ve studied the ways of resistance. To double down when others would walk away and give up. Right now is one of those times. Chemotherapy is not going well. I get terrible nausea and then about nine days straight of crippling constipation. The two combine to a level of pain I never knew possible. People want to come see me or call me. Most of the time is a bad time for me. I’m just in bad shape. I’m losing weight and the last time I had a liver scan it looked like I had a thriving tumor collection going inside me.

“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I am no stranger to odds like this. There is another medicine that my doctor has talked about adding to my chemo routine. He is hesitant because of the side effects that I am currently experiencing. I’m going to ask him to add it anyway. This medicine will greatly increase my side effect issues. It’s gonna be bad. But it also has the potential to double or triple the effectiveness of the other drugs. These are the crossroads that define us. Despite my fear. I have wedding aisles to walk down, and I have grandchildren to meet. I can’t let a one or two year death sentence cost me that.

Right now cancer is not my enemy. Cancer is simply my circumstance. My fear is my enemy. My desire every day to crawl into bed and pull the blankets over my head. My desire to go get an x-box and burn my brain out on games until I’m dead. Every fiber of my humanity wants to run away. To not build a foundation for my family. To not write or create bucket list memories with them. That is my demon. We all have them. In fact, most of us fight the wrong enemy. We hate our boss so we spend all day complaining about our boss. The boss isn’t the enemy of course. Just our series of choices that put us under his thumb is our enemy. The architecture of resistance is finding and fighting the true fight.

I am going to take what ever drastic and experimental measures that are required to remain in my loved one’s lives for just a few more hours. To see another Christmas. I will fight on all fronts. Sure, if I gave up, I’d have a much more comfortable road to death. If I fight like a maniac, I will suffer more, but die with a smile. I will go knowing that I never gave an inch to my fear. I never hesitated in the face of the enemy. Resistance must be constructed deliberately. Like building a house. The big choices must be made in advance and with a clear head.

My entire life has prepared me for this moment.

This is my Alamo.

With Fierce Hope,


PS. if you would like to stay up to date on my condition, just subscribe vie e-mail here

little jim

13 Thoughts on “The Architecture of Resistance

  1. Jamie Orr on December 5, 2014 at 3:51 am said:

    You are the definition of brave, Jim. I am proud to know you and your family and know that we are all fighting beside you, no matter how far away we may be.

  2. shelley on December 5, 2014 at 4:23 am said:

    chills. keep at it, Jim. You’ve GOT THIS!!!

  3. Jim, you inspire. Do your thing and win this!

  4. Mary Alice Acquaviva on December 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm said:

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are a strong person and I am praying you will overcome this.

  5. John Friedrich on December 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm said:

    Powerful words, brother, powerful words. Your bravery and fierce determination, fueled by the love of your family, are truly inspiring. Rooting for you from Tahoe.

  6. nancy jones on December 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm said:

    Jim, to the guy who always helped me get the stuff out of the top of my locker in high school, to Toad from Toad Hall, you’ve got this! I and soo many others are rooting for you, praying for you.Hoping they are wrong and your side effects will get better and not worse :)

  7. Nancie keegan on December 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm said:

    You are a most powerful inspiration! You put everyone’s nemesis into perspective! My favorite saying is you CAN, and I believe YOU CAN beat this demon that lurks in you! I am most definitely praying for that for you! God bless and never give up!

  8. Margaret Faiver on December 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm said:

    Jim, You are a warrior! Yes you are!

  9. Diana (Noyle) Jelski on December 6, 2014 at 4:56 am said:

    You amaze me….and inspire me. I have been reading your blog since I heard you were sick. My family prays for you everyday. Keep on fighting. You have many folks in your corner cheering you on. God bless you and your lovely family.

  10. Larry Walsh on December 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm said:

    We hope these new drugs will help. As always your in our prayers.
    Larry & Michelle

  11. Jeanne Yazinski on December 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm said:

    i’ve been reading your blog for a while – I’m a friend of Jen’s.You are inspirational to all who read your blog. All I can say is fight, fight, fight!. You can do this!

  12. Carolyn Phillips on December 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm said:

    All of Tahoe is pulling for you… Sending my strength as a parent who understands your fierce hope and would wish for the amazing grit I see in you!


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