Health Update – May 2016

Health Updates, Miscellaneous

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, and many people have asked how I’m doing. In general I haven’t posted any updates because nothing much has changed. But as someone told me, even that information is an update. So here is the latest about my cancer treatment and what’s coming next.

I have been on chemotherapy since December, taking it every month. Every two months I get an MRI to see how the tumor is doing. My last MRI was this past Monday, May 23rd. That MRI looked the same as the March and January ones. The tumor is stable, and not growing. We’d prefer to see it shrinking, but not growing is better than growing. An MRI can’t differentiate between living and dead tumor cells, so we don’t know how much of the tumor is dead, and there’s no way to know.

This week I am doing my seventh round of chemo, and I will do my eighth in June. My next MRI will come in July. If the tumor starts to grow, we will immediately start radiation. If the tumor is stable, I have a few options, but I’ll just share the most likely scenario.

The most likely scenario is that if the tumor is still stable in July, I will take a break from chemo and not start radiation. We’ll probably avoid radiation because of the size (big) and location (temporal lobe) of my tumor. The temporal lobe is involved in memory, language, emotion, processing audio/visual input…lots of important stuff. The amount of radiation required to treat my tumor will almost certainly damage my temporal lobe and result in significant impairment of some kind. So we want to avoid that.

If July’s MRI is clean we will probably move to monitoring the tumor with every-two-month MRIs. When it starts to grow again (which is certain, barring a miracle), we will resume some kind of treatment. That treatment will depend on how long the tumor was stable. It could start growing in a couple months, or it could take years (possibly as many as 10) for it to start growing again. It would be great if in the interim some new treatments become available, because as of now they are limited to chemo and radiation, and existing chemo has taken its best shot, while existing radiation will probably have the effects listed above.

That’s all there is to report. Thank you so much to the many of you who are so faithfully praying for me and caring for my family. This would be a completely different journey without the love of God being shown to us through you.

25 comments… add one
  • Aileen Alvarado Link Reply Avatar

    Thank you so much for your health update. It is so good to hear that the tumor has not grown and is stable. Eddie and I were so glad to see you on Saturday at the marriage conference. We will continue to pray for you and pray that God will create a miracle that the tumor will shrink and eventually be gone. His love never fails and will never give up on you! What an amazing love He has for us!
    Much love and aloha,
    Take care,
    Aileen

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thank you Aileen! It was good to see you both there last weekend too.

  • Thank you for this up date. I too, was wondering how you were doing. My Heart goes out to you + your family. May my prayers be helpful to comfort your journey at this time…God,,, I ask you please, heal him, protect his Spirit, and raise his attitude to be glorifying to you. He is my brother, who needs your strength. May he honor you through his action of survival in this challenge in his journey. Only to you Father God, I ask for this. In Jesus Christ Name * Amen. Mike + Catherine Johnston. Peace be with you.

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thanks Mike and Catherine! I really appreciate your prayers.

  • Vicki Steele Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson, although I havent seen you and your family in years, you have an indelible place in my heart. I am thankful to God that he is watching over your health and your family,and that the tumor is not growing. You are in my prayers.

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      So good to hear from you Vicki! Thanks for the prayers, and I hope you’re well!

  • Dwayne Link Reply Avatar

    I am praying for you and your family. I cannot imagine what it is like to be in your shoes. I’m inspired by your faith, grace, and courage as you walk through this. Love ya, dp

  • Christine szeto Link Reply Avatar

    Praying for that miracle!! Appreciate the updates. You and your family have been such an example of strength and stamina through this very trying time. I love that your wit has remained unaffected. 🙂

  • Gayle Link Reply Avatar

    Thank you for the update Jackson! Praying for you and your family still. It’s such an encouragement to see how your faith has grown massively throughout this journey. God is good always!

  • Daniel Link Reply Avatar

    I don’t know you, but I love you brother just the same and will pray for you and your family. My wife is battling breast cancer right now, so I have a small sense for what your going through. But what don’t kill us only makes us stronger, right? Whatever happens, just remember that none of us are meant for this world. Only through death can we ever hope to rise with Jesus. Stay positive. Miracles still happen every day.

    Yours in Christ,
    Daniel

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Daniel, thanks so much for your encouraging words and prayer. I’ll pray for you and your wife, too.

  • Suzanne Link Reply Avatar

    Thanks for the update. I am praying for you daily. I believe in power of prayers and that God will lead you and give you and your family the strength!

    Philippians 4:6. Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything….🙏🙏🙏

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thank you so much Suzanne!

  • Candi Comandao Link Reply Avatar

    Hi Jackson,
    Thank you for the update! You and your family have been in my mind, and prayers. I’m trusting the Lord will make a way for you. Don’t forget how much we Love and miss you!!!
    Love Candi

  • Marla Link Reply Avatar

    I appreciate the update, Jackson. I pray for you, Janelle and the girls daily. From my perspective, nothing quite rocks our world like a health crisis. It forces us to realize how “not in control” we are and that is an uncomfortable reality. The truth is none of us are in control as much as we would want to think we are. It can be kind of a scary thought too. I can honestly say nothing has brought me closer to the Lord than my own health crisis. It has made me realize if I am going to live in peace with this disease, I need the Lord’s help in doing so. I need to feel His love for me and I need to trust Him on a daily basis knowing that I am in His ultimate loving care. No matter what the outcome is, I trust that it will be His outcome for me. One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. We are blessed that we don’t have to handle our crisis alone. We are cared for by a gracious and loving God.

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thank you Marla! I hope you’re well!

  • Barb Link Reply Avatar

    We do have an awesome God!! He is able to do so much more than we can comprehend. What a testament you have been to us all thus far! Whatever the outcome HE is in control and you are giving HIM all the glory. I continue to keep you ALL in my prayers.

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thanks Aunt B! We hope we get to see you sometime soon.

  • Myrna Link Reply Avatar

    Hi Jackson,
    Thank you for your health update. It was good to see you and Janelle at the conference. It is a tough journey not knowing the unknown. Trust in God’s sacrificial love to cast out all our fears. He is an Almighty, all Powerful God who loves us and will do anything possible. You and your family are always in our prayers (praying for healing, courage, wisdom and strength). We, the church, love you and your family. Please feel free to call on us for anything. We love you!!!

  • Michele Johnson Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson,
    My prayers continue for you. I know as you do that God is bigger than this and has a great plan. I’m so happy to hear it is “stable” at this point.

    • Jackson Link Reply Jackson

      Thanks Michele! Good to hear from you.

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