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, June 26, 2011

Cancer Journey with Jake - part 3

It has been a long, long journey with Jake and his cancer treatments.  Some call it a battle, but for Jake and me, it’s something we endured. 

I did not have to lie in bed at night, in so much pain that sleep was at a constant evader. 
I did not have to have my hair fall out and never feel to eat because the taste of food was no longer a pleasure to consume. 
I did not wrest in bed praying for a comfortable position that would ease the pain and let me sleep…and let me heal. 
I did not suffer through radiation burns on my stomach and raw skin from the constant rubbing because of the inflamed and swollen state of different parts of my uncooperative body. 
I did not feel constantly cold because I had no body fat to regulate my body temperature.  I did not often fall because my knees would buckle while doing a simple task as walking.  I did not endure the ridicule of thoughtless passers by.
I did not lose my stomach contents when saline was pushed into my veins.
I wasn’t imprisoned at home because of my body’s lack of immune system.
I didn’t get dizzy and have fainting spells.

I did care for this child…not a child in size, but my child…my Jake.
My discomfort was very minor compared to his.
My pain was more from a broken heart…wishing that this life lesson was not so painful for him.   Hoping that whatever Jake needs to learn from this…he learns.

God told me I would like the outcome. 
This is the hope He has given me. 
This is what I hold on to that gets me through.

Now we have come to the final treatment plan.  The tumor will be removed in 3 days.  My hope is that this is the end of this journey.  There is a guarantee of many more trials, much more learning, stretching…dross removal.  Yet, we are never left alone.  Always God is there!  He has sent angels to constantly watch over us.  Our ward family is always there to help us through this.  There have been shoulders to cry on, hugs of comfort, love and support.  Women have come into my life that share the same worries and have experienced the same heart wrenching care of their children.  A friend, Randy, came over at the very beginning and shared his experience with cancer.  Somehow, acknowledging our fears gave us comfort.  Helping us understand what to expect…somewhat, helped.  Asking questions of the doctors and having doctors that were willing to explain anything we were concerned about…they never gave us false hope…but knowing what we were dealing with was somehow more comforting than not knowing.

There is nothing like being on the receiving end of compassion to learn to have it for others.  Sometimes when you feel the lack of compassion from those who you feel should show it, is what teaches you the most.  When Randy was going through his cancer treatments, I did not make a lot of effort to show my support, not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t know how the best way to show it would be.  They were inundated with good wishes and love from the ward and I added mine to theirs.  For me, talking about what Jake was going through would make me re-live the pain, so I didn’t talk to them about what Randy was going through.  Now I’m afraid it looked like I didn’t care.  I did talk to Randy about it later and he was very understanding.  He has been a source of hope and strength to us, even though it wasn’t his plan to be.

I’m not sure what “gird up your loins” really means, but to me, it means don’t look back.  Take a deep breath, find all the strength you can muster, pray for help from God, and take a step into to muck…don’t look back, just keep trudging forward until you get through that deep patch!  Never give up!  Never doubt that you will make it through this!  Don’t waste your time wishing for something else, just go!  Don’t stop and feel sorry for yourself because the muck will engulf you and make it harder to move on.  There may be times when you feel you can’t make it by yourself, but if you reach out, God will be there and He will carry you for a while, then He will teach you how to get through the muck without getting bogged down…and when you really get the hang of it, you will reach out and help others walking the same path…and soon, your hands will be His hands.

When you get through that part…you feel stronger…and although there are more mountains to climb or more muck to go through, it’s never as hard as the first time.  You never have to make the journey alone and just as exercise and strength training makes your muscles stronger, exercise in faith and strength training by going and doing also makes you stronger…I’m just saying…

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