Update 1/14/21

I have not done health update in some time, basically because there was nothing to update. I did mention a month ago (I think) that one of my labs hinted at a possible resurgence of my cancer, but others that did not.

This morning I received the results of my most recent lab tests, and now there is no question my cancer is surging again.

The good news in this is that there are still several treatments available. There could even be a cure here now, but there has not been enough time to prove that. But if not here now, within years. But can I last long enough to benefit? My immediate response is to schedule an appointment with the Cancer Care Alliance for establishing our next step.

The bad news, there’s a lot of bad news, but the most pertinent is that I have done so well on my present chemo, from a side effect perspective. It is an oral capsule and the side effects have been minimal. The next step will be weekly IV therapies.

I always feel guilty when I talk about feeling sad, etc. The comment that I give myself via self-talk, and others have said, “Oh, others have it much worse.” But those words have never consoled my soul. I even felt guilty about that. Then I heard a Ted Talk by a psychiatrist (I think it was about depression during COVID) who made the comment that the worst thing you can say to someone who is suffering is, “It could be worse,” or “Look at the people suffering in war of famine, you’re lucky in comparison.” The psychiatrist showed that such empty words are virtually saying, “Your sadness doesn’t matter.”

Before I got these lab results, I have been feeling depressed. Too convoluted to explain here. As the example of what not to say above, yes, I know that I’m not alone and some, even here, suffer from depression much worse.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12). In my case, and others may relate to, is that I’ve worked so hard to stay well and to get better. I cannot describe all the hard work I’ve done in study, diet, supplements, exercise, taking horrible drugs, and the list goes on and on. It feels like the reward . . . is becoming sicker. But I know that life is not fair. I wish that wasn’t true.

I wish that those who do horrible crimes go to prison and those falsely accused go free. I wish that those who were peace-loving poor people would not be swept up in horrible wars, incited by the rich and powerful. I wish that no one would have to suffer the ills of cancer . . . or any disease.

The emotion of sadness that comes with cancer, for me, is the loss of the future. Just six months ago, the word future was clear in my mind, expressed in years or perhaps decades. Like in the scene from Back to the Future, where Marty’s family is becoming translucent in a photo, times like this, the word future is fading and that breaks my heart.

Yes, I know about those less fortunate. I’ve seen the two-year-olds at SCCA who are in this same fight. Is that fair? I’ve worked with war refugees, where entire families were living in simple tents on soupy cold mud. Dinner, a plate full of vitamin enriched porridge twice a day and no medical care except what I could supply during a brief visit. I pity them as I should.

I ask for prayer that our next step would be clear and that my cancer would respond again. Pray for Denise and my kids. Thanks, Mike

Published by J. Michael Jones

J. Michael Jones is a writer and PA who lives in Anacortes, Washington. He is the father of five children, who are now grown and out discovering this wonderful world on their own. He has previously focused his writing on non-fiction including medical topics and issues of the philosophy of Christian thought. With the success of his last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, Michael is now moving into fiction with his first novel, The Waters of Bimini.

11 thoughts on “Update 1/14/21

  1. Sending love and prayers, and holding nonjudgmental/gentle space for your painful and challenging depression that has no need to be put on any kind of comparison scale! 💜💜🙏🙏

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  2. Prayers going out for you Mike. Margarets treatment plan has always been to push out the envelope since new treatments are being created as we go along. I hope the same goes for you. God bless you and Denise and family.

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  3. Mike, I’m sorry that there has been a resurgance of your cancer. I know it’s not easy to get that kind of news because I’ve experienced too. I definitely understand the battle of side effects-It’s not easy. I’ll be praying for you. If you or Denise would like to join in on our Cancer Companions suppprt group, please let me know. We are now virtual, meeting the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. I will need your email address(s) so I can email you the link.

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    1. Hi Mike:

      I always read your blogs. You are a very thoughtfull thinker and I appreciate your observations and insights. We wouldn’t always agree but agreement isn’t necessary.

      Most of all, we just want to say well done and well-doing for all that you have accomplished and will accomplish in your battle. Prayers!

      Kay & Keith Angier

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  4. I am so sorry to hear of the news! You are such a fighter, an inspiration to others! I am sending heartfelt prayers for the doctors to find a way forward for you, for strength and peace for you and your family!

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