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!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

That was a short-lived celebration!  Counts are back down...however, the nurse said this is the normal road right after chemo.  At least we are getting away with no shots right now.  I asked if he needed them, since his counts were down again, but they said there you go!  Apparently his other blood counts are borderline, so he's getting a transfusion for a bonus!  He always feels better after a transfusion, so I don't mind as much as Jake does.  He is amazingly keeping a good attitude!  Love you Jake!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Half Way There!

Chemo week 20!  Some counts were down but his ANC was way, no more shots (this week) and he gets to go to Thanksgiving Dinner!  Yeah!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chemo: Week 19

Jake is telling me to quit taking pictures of him.

Well, it has been a long week...for me.  We were suppose to go in for chemo on Tuesday, but they asked us if we wanted to wait until Wednesday.  We had an appointment with the Radiology doc, which was not very productive. She made us very late for chemo.

Jake hates the overnight stays at the hospital so we inquired as to the possibility of him not having a hospital stay, but just getting chemo in the clinic.  We would have to stay all day, but that's a lot less time than staying over night.  They are going to try it on our next scheduled overnight stay.  We'll see how it goes!

The best news was that Jake gained a couple pounds!  He is really trying to eat more so he can heal faster!  He still has some color in his face from his last transfusion...oh maybe I didn't mention that.  Jake's counts were critically low a couple weeks ago.  His skin was so pale!  The nurse said he needed to come in for a transfusion on Friday, so since Dave was home, I let him have a turn doing the Jake-hospital bonding time.  They gave him 3 liters of blood instead of 2 and topped it off with a bolus of platelets.  Unfortunately, Jake spiked a fever while he was at the hospital so they made him stay overnight on a regimen of antibiotics.  Jake called me and begged me to get the doctors to release him to home.  He said he hated the food, so I made him a sandwich and some jello (his request) and made the 45 min. drive up the the hospital to comfort my poor Jakey.  I had to drive home in a big snow storm and only 2 hours sleep the night before, but Jake's worth it. 

 Here is Jake, who wasn't happy because he just threw up the yummy sandwich I had brought him from home.

Chemo continues to damage Jake's body.  He continues to have more numbness in his hands and feet and is losing a lot of strength. He's trying to stay upbeat, but the treatments are getting tiring for all of us. (sigh!)  The doctors and nurses keep encouraging us to stay strong and the prayers are really helping, so thank you, all!  

Next week will mark the half way mark of chemo treatments.  April 12, 2011, is the last schedule chemo treatment.  That will be my new favorite day! (Happy thoughts!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Letter to a friend...

Thanks Cathy!  It means a lot to me to not be forgotten.
Dave and I were talking today and I mentioned how blessed I felt that I was receiving some amazing strength from heaven.  I truly believe that people are praying for us from here and in heaven, and this gives us strength and extra blessings!

I had to give a funeral talk a few years ago.  It, in and of itself was an amazing experience.  The person that died actually came to me when I was writing the talk and told me what he wanted me to say.  He was shot and killed suddenly, so he didn’t have a chance to bid a proper good-bye to his family.  You know how the tears flow and I get choked up when I’m at the pulpit.  Well, I prayed for strength to get through that talk without blubbering, because it would have taken away the spirit I was hoping would rest upon the congregation.  I don’t know how to describe it, but it was like someone poured extra strength ability to speak without falling apart into my veins!  I was bound up with some kind of power beyond my own possibilities!  I know it was because of prayers in my behalf.

That is what I am feeling now…bound up with some kind of power beyond my own.  I feel an unbelievable amount of patience and peace.  The speed has increased in how fast principles of the gospel are being deeply rooted into my understanding and into my heart.  I am so amazed at the tender mercies I receive and I love how God points them out to me, and how he shows me over and over and over again, how much he loves me!  It’s like entering into a beautiful spring garden and he is showing me all the beautiful things he knows my heart will delight in.

Sometimes trial, tribulation and heart ache are the keys we need to use to get into these places of beauty, light and understanding, but especially love.  How interesting that these same keys open two doors…they can also open doors to despair, sorrow and hopelessness.  How awesome is it that we have the agency to choose which door we go through.

I was at a doctor’s office the other day and an older man mentioned that he wished he could go back and change his life.  I reflected on my life and what I had been through so far.  Repeat…No Thanks!  It was hard enough the first time!  I prefer Jesus’ plan…repent and start fresh…every day!  Fabulous!

When I think back on this challenging time, I don’t think I’m going to remember the worries and sad moments, or the heart wrenching moments watching Jake suffer through the cancer treatments, so much as I will remember the warm feelings, the testimony building moments, the blessings and the closer relationship I gained with my Savior and Heavenly Father.  Hard?   Yes!  Worth it?  Yes!  Would I want to do it again?  No…because I have already traveled this road and I would like to try something else…seriously!

My peace is, that no matter how hard or wretched the journey, the sweetness, love and amazing blessings are on the other end of the pendulum and are equal in strength and magnitude!

I didn’t mean to write a sermon!  It’s very therapeutic for me to write what’s in my heart.  It helps me to feel more grateful when I share, so thanks for listening. :)

Love you guys!