Something old, something new

Health Updates

After two years of silence on this page, I’m back! I’ve got another update on my health for those of you who are keeping track. A lot has happened over the past two years that I haven’t written about, but the recent developments are significant enough for me to share more about. I can’t help but be a bit too wordy but I’ll do my best to be concise.

I learned recently that my most recent MRI shows that my tumor is growing again. A quick review…back in 2019 after almost two years of not growing, the tumor started growing again. We tried a round of chemo in early 2019 but stopped after one cycle and opted to do a not-too-invasive biopsy surgery to get a clearer picture of the tumor. Through that we learned the tumor had progressed to Grade 3 (fast growing) from Grade 2 (slow growing). I spent part of 2019 and most of 2020 on chemotherapy. I also got IV infusions of Avastin every three weeks to try to treat the tumor. I’m still on Avastin and have been getting MRIs every 2-3 months to monitor the tumor.

My April MRI compared to my January MRI clearly shows the tumor growing. A group of doctors reviewed it and agreed the aggressive growth warranted quick and aggressive treatment. They estimated that if I were to stop all treatment immediately, I’d likely have 4-6 months to live. I’ll be starting radiation treatment sometime next week, and that will be followed either by chemotherapy or immunotherapy depending on how things go. Our goal is to stop the tumor’s growth again.

Obviously this is pretty hard to hear. Personally I feel much more like I’m on a countdown timer than I did before. There’s a lot of processing yet to be done. I still firmly believe God is ultimately in control, and that He is working everything together for my good. His timeline isn’t the timeline I would want, but I am trying and learning to trust Him. Some days it’s easier than others, but I know God is meeting Janelle and I, and walking with us through this. We are still getting a deeper understanding of what it means for Him to be good and to be present with us.

I have said from the start that my greatest need isn’t healing, it’s Jesus. I have gotten more of Him, and am getting more still now. It hurts, and it’s in my pain that I’m finding more of Him. I hope, over the next several months, to write more about that. For today I’ll just say I am finding encouragement, strength, and comfort in 1 Peter 4:19, which says:

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” – 1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)

For those of you that pray, please continue to pray for my family. So many of you have been much more faithful in prayer for me than I have. It’s incredible, and yet another way God shows me how I am loved, and not alone. This is very hard on Janelle and my children. They’ve had to deal with so much, and this is yet another hit for them. Please pray for their precious hearts to find comfort in Jesus and to somehow know it’s from Him. Janelle carries such a burden. Please pray for her to know Jesus is with her, too, and that our future is in His capable hands. For me, I want to be healed, but more than that I want to be faithful to His call and purpose for my life. He’s giving me more assurance that He is with me and loves me in ways I never imagined could be true. I’m so grateful for that. I also want to see how I can be faithful, trust myself and my family to Him, and do good, right now.

24 comments… add one
  • Scott Vorie Link Reply Avatar

    Praying for your family and you

    • Dwayne Link Reply Avatar

      Praying for you and your family!

  • Ruth Kish Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson: although this is not the news anyone wants to hear, I am praying that you are only overwhelmed by God’s mercy and grace. I’m praying for you, Janelle, and kidlets that the love of God is recognized in this time and in your hearts. Much love as you endure the days ahead. 💕🙏🏼💕🙏🏼💕

  • David H. Pinkham Link Reply Avatar

    Difficult news my friend. My family and I will continue to pray for you and your beautiful family. You are an inspiration in how your faith has expressed itself throughout this hard chapter in your life. I too have been diagnosed with kidney cancer. I can relate is some sense with what you are dealing with daily. Although my diagnosis is much less critical at this juncture, it is still life altering to say the least. If you need a sympathetic ear or anything at all I am here. God truly is in control, especially when we are not and need Him most.

  • SUSAN J BENNETT Link Reply Avatar

    Thanks for the update. Since we are not attending Resonate we don’t see you but think of you and wonder how you are doing. Sorry the news isn’t more positive but as you’ve said and I also believe that God is always in control. Having gone through cancer treatment I know and have felt some of the things you are feeling and while mine wasn’t as life-threatening as yours has been we all come to a place where we realize that there’s nothing we can do except trust God and his unchanging word. If we believe we are counting on it for our eternal existence then we can surely trust it for our worldly one. One of he songs that spoke to me was Casting Crowns Just Hold On.
    I’ve copied the lyrics for you and I hope they minister to you. We Will Be PRAYING FOR YOU! Will also put you on several prayer ministries. Be Blessed & Be A Blessing, Susan
    Lyrics
    Hold it all together
    Everybody needs you strong
    But life hits you out of nowhere
    And barely leaves you holding on

    And when you’re tired of fighting
    Chained by your control
    Theres freedom in surrender
    Lay it down and let it go

    So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
    You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
    Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
    Im on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
    Just be held, just be held

    If your eyes are on the storm
    You’ll wonder if I love you still
    But if your eyes are on the cross
    You’ll know I always have and I always will

    And not a tear is wasted
    In time, you’ll understand
    Im painting beauty with the ashes
    Your life is in My hands

    So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
    You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
    Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
    Im on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
    Just be held, just be held

    Lift your hands, lift your eyes
    In the storm is where you’ll find Me
    And where you are, Ill hold your heart
    Ill hold your heart
    Come to Me, find your rest
    In the arms of the God who wont let go

    So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
    You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
    Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
    Im on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
    Just be held, just be held

    Songwriters: Bernie Herms, John Mark Hall, Matthew Joseph West
    For non-commercial use only.
    Data From: Musixmatch

  • Claudine Dentoni Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson….this news is so difficult, and I thank you for your courage and trust to share it. Just your willingness to let us in is so incredibly gracious, and we are grateful for your transparency. Your strength and your steadfast faith is such a testament to the amazing man of God that you are. I cannot begin to imagine the impact on Janelle and the girls. My prayers will continue for all of you.
    My strength and my refuge…my strength and my refuge, my strength and my refuge….I pray that the Lord continues to be your strength and your refuge, and that through your darkest hours, you feel His light. We love you, appreciate you, and pray for healing, restoration, clarity, comfort and so much love Jackson…

  • Myrna & Antonio Marquez Link Reply Avatar

    Our dearest Jackson & Family,
    Our God is good, loving, caring and kind. He is writing your story right now and He is with you always.
    Father, help Jackson to see Your open, welcome arms regardless of his situation. Father, thank You for empowering us to ride the waves of life with courageous faith, anchored in Your proven faithfulness. God, Your love will never leave me. When I feel spent and without hope, remind me of Your mercies and compassion. In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen

  • Kim M Link Reply Avatar

    Just happen to see this. I rarely open facebook. Praying.

  • Janice Dickinson Link Reply Avatar

    Lord I lift up Jackson and his beautiful family to You . Lord May each step they take draw them closer to You. May you give them Your strength and courage when they most need it . Surround them in Your love and with people who be Your arms and feet . Lord we pray that Your healing touch will stop this tumors growth. We pray all this in Christ name.

  • Jacquie Debity Link Reply Avatar

    Prayers going up for you Janelle and the children.

  • Karen Allan Link Reply Avatar

    So sorry to hear this news Jackson. God is always good even when it seems like He isn’t. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Michie Link Reply Avatar

    I have been consistently praying for you and your family. I am inspired by your friendship and leadership. Thanks for being family and sharing, so that we all can root for you, ground you in love with both words and deeds and be examples of Christ followers for others.

  • Millie Burkett Link Reply Avatar

    Although I read this with tears in my eyes, my heart reads it with joy. So thankful for your life in many ways. Extra prayer for your precious family.

  • Millie Burkett Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson, as I read this there are tears in my eyes but my heart reads it with joy. I am thankful for your life in so many ways. Extra prayers for your precious family. ❤️

  • Yvonne Denison Link Reply Avatar

    Father God, I put Jackson and his family at the foot of your cost Lord.
    I pray that they feel the Holy Spirit, the peace and contentment and only comes from you Lord.
    I pray for an army of angels to surround them and minister to them during this time and going forward.
    I pray for all provisions in your mighty name Jesus, amen.

  • John J Dutra Link Reply Avatar

    I have been praying for you constantly since I heard you were fighting this again. I am sorry for your struggle with this disease, but I know you are more worried for Janelle and the girls. I will continue in prayer but please know that Ann and I are available to help with whatever your family needs. With blessings always, John

  • Connie and Rob Handlin Link Reply Avatar

    We love you and your family. We are praying with you for more of Jesus, for healing and for God to be ever present in your whole family’s hearts and lives in an undeniable way. Also praying that you may rest in the comfort and peace only He can give. Big hugs to you all.

  • Sandy Link Reply Avatar

    I’m so sorry cousin. I wish this was better news. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!

  • Marla Castagnolo Link Reply Avatar

    I am praying for you, Janelle and the girls. God’s blessings be with you all.

  • Ann Kunich Link Reply Avatar

    Holding you up in prayer. You are such an encouragement to me! I also pray I am able to say along with you not my will but Thine be done. ❤🙏

  • Angel An Link Reply Avatar

    I will be praying for healing for you, and for God to grant peace to you and your family, Pastor Jackson.
    Imelda shared your post with me. I used to go to Resonate before I got married, and I used to teach you girls at Sunday school. They are so precious.
    Thank you for the reminder of 1 Peter 4:19. I love how in you suffering, you are encouraging others to look to God!
    You will be in my payers.

  • Myrna Link Reply Avatar

    WE LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. PRAYING 🙏🏼!!!

  • Michie Link Reply Avatar

    Jackson you sound like Paul to me! In Colossians 1:24-27 he talks about his suffering for the church. You are not in prison like he was, but your focus is on the family of God. What a ministry you have and what glory for the Gospel you are! I am inspired by you! I am praying for you and your family. I am thanking God that I have the privilege of knowing you. Press on for the prize.

  • John J Dutra Link Reply Avatar

    I have been praying daily for you and your family, Jackson and will continue to do so.

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