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, May 29, 2011

Chemo: Week 45

Finally!  The last chemo treatment for Jake!  What a test of patience! 

The Aqua Chi treatments were helping to keep his platelet counts up, but not at the end.  I believe his body was just so worn out from trying to recover the first 42 weeks of chemo, it was just getting harder and harder for the cells to do their job!  Jake finally got in with a massage therapist that helped him learn to meditate on healing.  I believe this is what gave his body the final push it needed to be ready for that last chemo poison!

Can I tell you how it feels to not have to look forward to any more chemo?  Finally, he can heal!  How sad it was for me to see Jake start healing, only to have his energy and health zapped time and time again with the chemo. 

The people we met along the way...some had worse and longer treatments, some didn't have it so bad.  Some had to travel much further and rent an apartment in Salt Lake so they could stay near their sick children.  Others had babies they had to tote with them and nurse while they were caring for their hospitalized child.  I think God made sure I met these poor souls so that when I started getting on that pity train, I would know that it could be so much more worse than it is!

Many of you ask how I could deal with the challenges I have been given...having twins, having 5 ADD/ADHD boys, son with cancer...the list goes on.  The fact is, most of the time, you don't have a choice of whether you deal with challenges or not.  The choice you have... is the attitude you have about your challenges.  It is a constant challenge to hold on to the good attitude.  As I mentioned, it's so easy to buy into the "pity party" and often the challenge is to get off the train quickly.  I believe you have to acknowledge that what you are going through is hard (sad, challenging, hurts, etc.), but don't live there!

Where should you live?  Live in Hope and Faith.  There is one more key that saves me from getting stuck in depression...service.  Serving others is a sure cure for self involvement and self pity. 

It's important to cry and grieve and feel the feelings of disappointment and sorrow that you have.  It's part of the process.  No one is saying you have to be happy 24/7.  It's not realistic and it's not healthy to bury or deny your feelings that do not bring you joy.  It's also critical that you remember that the joy comes, the heart ache goes away...eventually, healing will happen...when you let it. 

So many times we have to go through stuff that we have no control over.  There is nothing we can do to fix it or change it.  It is those times we are blessed to use the atonement of Jesus Christ to heal us.  There are many times I have to just give my pain or challenge or broken heart to Him.  I have to remember that God knows the outcome, He knows what's best and everything happens for a reason.

The most important part of the journey is to look for the good stuff!  There is so much!  Sometimes it's one lone bloom in your flower bed that peeks out through the snow.  It might be a plate of goodies or a warm loaf of bread from a caring friend or neighbor.  It could be that all the lights are green on the way to the hospital when you are stressed to get there on time.  Sometimes it's as simple as being able to make it to the bathroom before someone made a mess!  The more complicated blessings are the ones you don't see or the ones that have been in the works for a long how your doctor studied about the exact symptoms you have, or came across an article or a new research that would cure your ailment.  Or how you "accidentally" meet someone who has been blessed with a gift to specifically help you through your challenges that day.  Often, what makes you feel better is not someone helping you, but you helping some one else.  Did you realize that when you lift the hands that hang down, you are lifting your own hands?

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