sleeping fierce hopeYes, a morbid title, but I realized with fierce hope that today was the 6 month mark since my diagnosis and it is also the amount of time that medical professionals said I would live without chemotherapy. A lot of people in my situation opt-out of chemo. The reason being that Dr.’s tell us that I have a 0% chance of it curing me. People figure, “if I’m a goner anyway, why suffer?” This line of thinking was pretty appealing to me. The idea of pumping yourself full of poison just to live a little longer does seem kind of silly.

However, when I look back at my health condition when I started chemo, there is no way I would have made it even three months. I was in awful shape. My tumors were exploding in number and size at the time. I was VERY sick.

So here I am, six months later and lots of chemo has been pumped into me. I’ve gained almost 20 pounds, kept all my hair, and feel much better save a few days a month where I feel terrible due to the chemo. Maybe this stuff is working. The real test will be in March when I have another scan. If by some miracle they switch my status from “non-surgical” to “surgical” I am going to be one happy dude. Surgery won’t mean I can be cured, but it will add up to more time alive. Like they say in the film “The Big Lebowski” until then “the dude abides.”

How lucky am I to even be walking around like this? It’s amazing to me. But it also makes me greedy for more. I want more time, more items off my bucket list and more meaningful projects completed, and of course, more time with my family. I want it all. I am hungry for life. I want to experience everything before its too late.

My senses are sharpened. I am seeing the world in high definition for the first time. I’m noticing things I never noticed before. I feel like some kind of cancer patient superhero. Having this happen to me has caused me to wake up to the world that’s been around me all this time. I thought I was aware of it, but I was missing all of it. I’m not just talking about the trips to Disney World or family visits. I’m talking about the little things every day. Even the pain, nausea, and discomfort are better than being dead and gone. Give me life any day.

In fact, in honor of reaching my “death day,” I’ve decided to clean up my bucket list a bit. I enjoy ranking all the things I want to do. It gives me purpose and causes me to make deliberate choices. Thank you to everyone who helped me check off so many items with well-wishes, donations, prayers, love and gift cards. We are making meaningful memories and thanks are the best we can do.


PS: Special thanks to all of you who have been sharing my latest posts on Facebook and twitter. It’s really helped this blog reach a massive readership. (almost 2000 subscribers in just a few months)

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with Fierce Hope


little jim

6 Thoughts on “Happy Death Day!

  1. Angela Burgess Valvano on February 23, 2015 at 1:06 am said:

    You are a true inspiration!

  2. Judy Schoonover on February 23, 2015 at 1:42 am said:

    Jim, you have become my hero…I am not in the fight for my life but I often do need to reminded to stop and smell the flowers and see the beauty that is all around me…the small things bring me huge pleasure…
    Keep on keeping on…praying for you and your family….
    You are looking fantastic !!!!!!!!!! and Jim…YOU ROCK :)

  3. Helen M. Byrnes on February 23, 2015 at 2:48 am said:

    I think you can, I think you can. I believe everything happens for a reason and with the way you are dealing with all of this may be the thing someone else needs to read. It would have been my choice not to do the Chemo but you have made me see it in a different light. God bless you Jim and may He choose to give you a long life because I know you will be helping others face what you have faced.

  4. D Vierra on February 24, 2015 at 3:58 am said:

    This post was just what I needed to see – Thank you and God Bless!

  5. Leslie Amato on February 24, 2015 at 5:42 am said:

    Hi Jim, While I don’t believe I even got the chance to meet you, I did meet Madelyn (in Christopher’s class) and saw the girls in their classes and I am truly drawn to your family story and battle that you and Amy are going through. I am happy to share your posts and your blog is very inspiring. Your death day post, I have just learned has made a difference in a childhood friend’s boyfriends’ decision (whose cancer has returned) and he was not going to do anything and was not going to go through chemo/radiation and now after reading your blog he is going to do something about it! Thank you for your strength and your honesty! God Bless

  6. Hi, Jim,
    A friend of mine that lives in your neck of the woods just posted this on FB so I thought I’d respond.

    I’ve had cancer 3 times and didn’t do medicine the 2nd and 3rd and did much better and healed very quickly. I won’t bore you with the details but I will pass onto some information you might be interested in, should you decide to check into other non polluting options.

    I used a frequency base remedy that shrank my tumor in one month. This might be bold of me…but I don’t care. If one other person gets healed the way I did without the pain and suffering the bold I shall be.

    2nd time was quite miraculous and it won’t help anyone because the woman who healed me is no longer alive. Her name was Hanna Kroeger. She’s online if it piques your interest.

    One other thing…in the 30 years I’ve been helping people heal from all kinds of things i find there is ALWAYS an emotional component to every illness. When we find out what the emotions/thoughts/beliefs are that sit inside the body and work through those…we begin to heal. Pretty amazing and pretty simple.

    I am glad you are doing well. I will hold you in my thoughts as a very healthy human being.

    Great blessings my friend,
    Love, Ria

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