Do you know how when you see someone every day, you don’t notice changes very quickly? Then when someone else who hasn’t seem them in a while comes up and points out a change, you realize it was right there and you hadn’t seen it? Or maybe like me you see a picture of yourself and think “have I really gained that much weight? Something must be wrong with that camera!”
This is what has happened with my tumor. After June’s course of chemotherapy we went into a monitoring mode. It didn’t look like the tumor was changing, and there was no probably benefit from continuing with chemotherapy from that point. The plan was to watch the tumor with MRIs every eight or so weeks, and move to radiation if and when it showed growth.
September’s MRI showed a new spot, but it wasn’t the kind of growth you’d expect from a tumor. It wasn’t visibly connected to the existing tumor. Because of this, we moved my next MRI up to see how this new spot would behave and to take a closer look. On October 17th I had this next MRI. The new spot was still there, so my doctors all took a closer look at the MRIs from the entire year. They reviewed the January through October MRIs and four doctors came to the same conclusion: over the course of 2016, my tumor has clearly grown. They all agreed that now would be a smart time to move to radiation treatment.
So that’s what I’m doing. My first treatment will be October 31st, and from there it will be five days a week for about six weeks. The treatments themselves will be short and painless, about 30 minutes from the time I walk in to the time I walk out. It will feel like getting an x-ray. The short-term side effects I should expect are fatigue and hair loss, with some minor skin irritation too. The fatigue and weakness should go away within a few months of the treatment ending.
The risk with radiation for me has always really been in the long-term effects. Because of the size and location of my tumor, there will be some permanent side effects with my memory and thinking ability. Those will take some more time to manifest (starting two months after treatment ends, and popping up anytime after that), and their severity is impossible to predict. It’s really these permanent side effects that I am most concerned with when it comes to the radiation. So if you are praying for me, please pray for them to be limited, and for me to trust God through them.
God has been doing a lot in me these last months that I want to share. I want to have the discipline to post a few of the things that have been going on in me, so hopefully I’ll do that soon. But I wanted to share this news publicly first, so here it is without any real reflection. What I can say shorthand right now is that I know that now, as ever, God is in control. He is using this and will use it for good purpose. He is good and does what is good, all the time. That has not changed and never will, whatever my health.
Thank you all for being on this journey with me!
My family and I continue to pray for His miraculous healing over you. We love you!
Thank you Jennifer!
Praying my friend. For healing and peace. God’s love can bridge all problems and issues. You are a faithful servant and an amazing man.
Praying with you Pastor Jackson.
You are an Almighty and Powerful God who is in control of everything. I pervently pray for my dear friend, Jackson, that you him peace about his health conditions right now. I pray for one of your miracles, dear God. We know that you have a better plan for him but Lord, give him comfort and love. I pray that the permanent side effect will be limited and painless. Be close to him, Lord, during the treatments. Give Jackson the strength and fighting spirit during all these. Let him know that he has families around him that love and care for him. I trust in you Lord and beg you to help my dear friend. Keep his family safe and comfort them. I thank you, Lord, for listening. I pray these in your precious name, AMEN!
Thank you so much Myrna, you are such an encouragement to me!
Praying for you Jackson. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you but I am so glad that you are a believer and that God is first and foremost in your life. God is good and He has you in the palm of His hand.
So sorry to hear this update Jackson. I am really sad for a moment. Next I am more determined then ever to keep holding you up in prayer. You and your lovely family. It seems that you have a very loving and supportive group of family and friends surrounding you. Take some comfort from that. Like you said God is good. ALWAYS. I will be praying Isaiah 41:10 ” Do not be afraid because I am your God I will make you strong and will help you. I will support you with my right hand that saves you. “
Thank you Karen. You’re right in that I am surrounded by love and support, I am ridiculously blessed. Thank you for your prayers!
Our family will continue to pray for you Jackson. We are keeping our faith and trust in the Lord that HE will get you through this. Stay strong.
Maribelle, David & Jacob Pinkham
We continue to pray for God’s hand to touch you and your family. Your faith inspires us. We will continue to pray that your complete health will be restored.
Thanks Gigi and Steve! I miss you guys and am shocked every time I see pictures of your grown-up kids!
Our MC is lifting you up and I am praying for you … that the God who heals you will be honored in all that transpires in your life. To Him be the glory.
Thanks Ben (and your MC)!
Thank you for sharing I know it must be difficult but your love for God is such an encouragement to me in my faith walk. As you said He is good all the time and that will never change.
He is using you in more lives than you know, in more ways than you know. God bless you and your beautiful family. So many of your brothers and sisters are praying for you.
Thank you Lynette! You are a blessing!
Thank you Norma, David, and Maribelle!
Jackson, Thanks for letting us join you in your journey. I echo Myrna’s prayer and Lynette’s encouragement to you that God has used you mightily in the lives of others in countless ways you could never see! Thank you for being there to support and guide the marriage & family ministry!! Thank you for bringing the truth and modeling vulnerability to us personally and to our congregation when you preach!! I will continue to ask God for your healing and strong support for you, Janelle and the girls!! I worship with you- God has your best in mind, all the time!!! Pun intended 😄
Thank you for being such an encouragement and blessing, Dee!
Hey Jackson. We are praying for you diligently…but nobody more diligent than Brennan! We love you for who you are now and who you will be after radiation, whether you are the same or not. We’re praying you will be even better! Thank you for the reminder that God is in control and that everything belongs to Him, even our personalities and abilities. I think He is using ALL of yours for His glory.
Thank you Jenni! I can’t express how grateful I am for every member of your family. I love Brennan’s questions to me every time we see each other.
Thank you for sharing your journey and updates. I will pray for you and continually keep you in my thoughts. God Bless you always.
Dear Pastor Jackson
Our prayers are constant for you. May the Lord place His mighty healing power upon you. We have not had the chance to personally meet you but we look forward to doing so. We have been hanging out at Resonate Hayward. Prayerfully Brian and Gina Owyoung
Thank you Brian and Gina! Pastor Will always talks glowingly about you! I look forward to meeting you too!
We will keep you and the family in our prayers Jackson!
Thank you Anthony!
Praise God for your steadfast Faith Jackson. Amen, Praying God will be glorified and shield you of any long term effects of the radiation treatment. And for you and your family to stay focused on him and continue to be used up by him in the process. Also Praying for his Perfect Peace (shalom, shalom) to cover you all. All our love, The Tucson’s
Thanks Rochelle! You inspire me!
Jackson, thank you for the update. I am praying for you and your family…specifically for there to be no side effects from this treatment, and also for a miraculous healing. Our God has the power to heal you, and this is how I’ll continue to pray!
Thank you Karen!
Miraculously, god took you through your first surgery with minimal side effects. We serve a mighty God and He is in control. There is a plan for you and He will see you through. Praying for His Peace during the weeks ahead. Peace for you AND the girls in your life. Love you, each and every one.
Thanks Aunt B!
Praying for Gods strength, wisdom for Dr.s. God give you faith to stay in the moment, knowing there is a greater plan for you. Gods protection from the side effects. Gods got this.
Thank you Diana!
Jackson, I am in awe of you. I think your calmness and your trust in God is a gift to your children and your wife, as well as, to all who know you! I continue to hold you in my heart.
Thanks so much Cheryl! I’m happy to see things appear to be going so well for you this Fall, too! Good luck next week!
Thanks for the update Jackson- I’ll pray more specifically- still asking for healing and a miracle that will glorify God & bring others to faith.., & praising God for how that’s been happening already as you’ve shared your journey with us!
Thank you Laura!
You bring me to tears. Every time I read a post from you I’m reminded to put on the armor of God as I struggle through trusting God to get me off dialysis. Bill and I have you in our prayers and put you on our church prayer list every Sumday. Much love to you and your family. Thank you for keeping everyone updated.
Thank you Deanna (and Bill) for your prayers! I didn’t know you were on dialysis. I’ll pray for you too.