June 21, 2013
Dear Loving Family & Friends,
Thank you for your continued prayers and concern for me. Your patience for me to post an update is most appreciated as I’ve waited for complete news to give you and have also wrestled with my feeling up to writing one.
I did indeed enjoy my time with Sarah Glover; however, I was, as I had warned her, unable to do much of anything other than lie on the couch. I did get to see many pictures of her service in PNG which was a sweet blessing.
I finished my rounds of radiation on Friday, May 24, and had finally started feeling some relief from the pain. That lasted for about a week, and then the pain came back full-force as if I had no treatment at all. Oh, how disappointed I was! The doctor worked on fine-tuning my meds which helped a small degree but not enough to make life livable. A CT was ordered for Friday, June 14, and I got the results the following Tuesday. Although we expected bad news, we were not expecting it to be as bad as it was. Here’s the lowdown:
- I have a few new cancer spots on my lungs, and the other ones have gotten bigger.
- The spots on my liver are growing.
- The tumor near my rectum is larger.
- The lymph nodes in the back of my abdomen are larger.
So, what’s the next step? To continue the chemo I was on would be fruitless. It wasn’t helping, so there’s no need to return to that form of treatment. I will start taking a set of 3 pills once a day. This would last for 3 weeks and then one week off and continue thusly. It is not considered chemo but is a treatment for cancer. It is called Stivarga which is a new treatment that was approved just 6 months ago. The side effects are fatigue, bowel problems, possible dehydration, mouth sores, redness of mouth, hands and feet. My liver will need to be watched closely (via blood tests) to make sure it does not get irritated. If it does, then we will have to take a break from the treatment for a while. They have never before treated someone so young with this pill, so they don’t know what the results will be, although it has been helpful to older patients. If this pill regimen doesn’t work, then I would be put on a clinical trial of some sort.
After the doctor gave us this news, I said, “I have one question to make sure I completely understand. This is bad news because I have now gone on to the next phase of treatment, so my options are getting smaller?” He nodded in agreement. Where has this left the Jackson family? Well, mom and I have shed many tears, and all my family seems to be greatly concerned over this turn of events. I’ll probably cry more easily for a long time. It’s just “da way tings is,” as they say. The Lord has brought a song to mind, though, that has been a great source of needed encouragement:
“God is always good, and God is always right,
No matter what He uses, no matter what He chooses
To place within our lives.
We may not always understand
The unfolding of His perfect plan;
But even through the darkest night,
God is always good, and God is always right.”
Again, thank you for your loving support. I’m in need of each of you!
* Order Joanna’s book The Abundant Single life here for $12.95.
* The Kindle edition is available for $6.50.
* If you wish to order her tract, “Peace That Passes Understanding and Joy Unspeakable,” with your information on the back, you may do so by contacting PulsePrint.
Please, pray for grace and Joanna’s healing.
Pastor Dan Parton
Timberline Baptist Church
Manitou Springs, Colorado
“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:128)