This is Jake's Story...

Jake is a 20-year-old twin who has been diagnosed with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. Going through a vigorous daily radiation treatment and weekly Chemo treatments make him extremely tired, weak and sometimes nauseous.

Jake is otherwise a normal teenage kid. He likes playing computer games, paintball, swimming and golfing. He loves hanging out with his four brothers, 4 wheeling, camping, and ruining his mom's laundry baskets while making home videos. He hopes to someday become a computer programmer.

This blog was started to keep his family and friends updated on his status.

Addendum: Jake became cured of cancer, free of pain and everything this world brings on September 29, 2010. He continues his journey in Heaven. He is doing awesome! Hope you're doing the same!

His family thanks you for your generosity in donations, love and service. God has shown us many tender mercies!
Thanks for being one of them!

Monday, July 12, 2010

First Chemo Treatment

Well, that wasn't so scary!  Jake is still getting his first round of chemo.  They had an Xbox in his room, which kept him busy.  He didn't really want to pay attention to what the nurse was doing because he was too busy playing a game (silly boy!).  Well, whatever keeps his mind off serious stuff.

Many people have asked us why we can keep such a positive attitude about having to deal with cancer.  Some confess that they would be asking "why me" or be really upset about their lot in life.  One doctor asked how I could be so patient in waiting for test results.

The facts are, there is cancer in Jake's body and we have to deal with it.  We aren't being punished for something, we don't have a lack of faith, and we are not bad people.  It's not fun, it's not easy, it's not something we would choose to do or have, but it is what it is.  We have free agency and we can choose how we deal with our challenges.  If we get mad, sad, angry or withdrawn, will that make the cancer go away?  Will the test come back the way we want them to or any faster?  No.  If we chose to have a positive outlook, to have hope and appreciation for those who love and care for us with that change the outcome?  No, but the journey will be much more peaceful and less stressful and filled with loving a caring people.  It's much easier to see God's tender mercies when your not mad at Him.

If your child falls off their bike when they are learning to ride it, you comfort them, then you hope they will brush themselves off and get back on the bike and learn to ride it without falling.  Then someday soon, they will have the joy of riding their bikes all around and feeling the wind on their faces and feel the freedom and joy of riding a bike perfectly.  Wouldn't your child be grateful at that point, that you gave them the bike and you were patient enough to help them learn to ride it?

God didn't tell us it would be easy to learn to "ride this bike".  But He did promise that He would be there with us every step of the way.  And when we fall off, He would be there the wash off the scrapes, give us a hug and help us try again.  And someday soon, we will say, "Look Father!  You don't have to hold on to the seat anymore!"  And we will be grateful that He was patient enough to help us learn to ride this bike.  And He will be proud of us, that we learned to do hard things.

God knows each of us.  He knows the challenges that we face and how it will help us grow into the potential He sees in us.  Just like I want the best for my boys, God wants the best for us.  Even though it's not the easiest or most fun way to get there, it is the best way.  For me it's a no brainer:  Wouldn't you want the Being that knows how it's all going to turn out be in charge?  That is where I find my strength and my peace.  He gave me friends, family and neighbors to help me bare my burdens.  He gave me awesome doctors and nurses who spent time learning about this cancer so that when we brought Jake to them, they would know how to treat it.  He gave us other hospital staff that would see to Jake's every need and help him feel comfort from pain.  He put angels in my life to take care of my needs and my families needs, plus a little more.  He gave me experiences so that I could have the right kind of compassion for others who suffer.  He has kept me safe from all harm and accident.  He has surrounded me with many of His Holy Houses so that I may go there just about any day to feel of His love, comfort and guidance.  He reminds me all the time that I'm not alone, and I can ride this bike!

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