Five years ago my wife found a lump in her breast and began a series of tests. It was determined to be invasive lobular carcinoma; breast cancer. She was hurried through surgery, then had two rounds of chemo, and finally a lengthy series of radiation therapy in an effort to eliminate the cancer. She had negative boundaries in her surgery and with the chemo and radiation everything looked positive. Her physicians were all confident that she was on the road to full recovery.

Each year she would go back for multiple exams and her energy levels began to return as her long, thick, curly hair began to grow out again. Two years ago she felt well enough to accompany our daughter Susy to the northwest and spent hours hiking the trails of Mount Rainier. Last summer she felt full of energy and planted her garden and worked in her flower beds. The physicians were pleased and began to back off on the frequency of her visits. As the five year mark approached, we thought we would soon have the good news that Jeanie was considered cancer free.

But only a few months shy of that important fifth anniversary she had a bad cold that left her without energy. She began to have pains that made her think she might have pulled a muscle. But when those pains seemed to be increasing and did not match the normal discomfort of a pulled muscle, she began to ask questions. The head of the cancer center at Summa Health Care felt it was a problem of some type of inflammation or infection not related to her cancer and sent her to our general practitioner. He felt it was a kidney infection and treated her for that. For two weeks she was pain free and it looked like that might have been the problem. Then the pains returned. She asked more questions and our general practitioner scheduled a CT scan.

About the time I was returning from Colombia, Jeanie went in for her CT scan. The results arrived just about the time I was to arrive home. They indicated areas of concern on her pelvic bone and a visit to the oncologist was scheduled. He read the results and said it could be explained by many things, such as osteoporosis or a bone infection, but given Jeanie’s history of breast cancer “we had to suspect the possibility of a metastasis of her cancer.” He scheduled a dizzying array of tests, including a CT scan, MRI, and bone scans. When those tests were pointing to a greater likelihood of cancer, he ordered a needle bone biopsy. A small hole was drilled into Jeanie’s pelvic bone and a core sample of bone was taken from an area of concern. Those results came back and we had our follow-up meeting with the oncologist on Tuesday, September 13th. He was grim faced as he walked in.

He informed us that the needle biopsy confirmed that her breast cancer had metastasized to her bones and was wide spread. It is stage four and not curable. There were some possible treatments that could only delay the inevitable but would bring many negative side effects. When we asked about prognosis he told us with treatment, maybe a few years, without treatment, maybe a few months. Jeanie is considering her options but is inclined to forego treatment because of the fact that they will significantly lower her quality of life for the time she has remaining. She will make that decision in the near future and I will support her and be there for her whatever she decides.

For the moment I will be taking no additional speaking dates as I want to dedicate myself to caring for my dear wife as she has dedicated herself to caring for me over these last 45 years. I will attempt to finish out the semester that I began teaching here at KCU before we knew of my wife’s situation. None of us can know what the future holds and we all live with the reality that “life is but a vapor, that appears for a short time then disappears.” But we know that we have a heavenly home that is much better than whatever we have here. We have a heavenly Father who is waiting to welcome us home. We ask for your prayers as we walk this difficult journey together.

6 thoughts on “Jeanie’s Battle with Cancer

  1. Cancer
    I am also a cancer surviver with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized to my bones throughout my body. I was told it doesn’t look good and I should get my affairs in order to prepare for the worst within just a few years. That was 15 years ago. I was told by 2 different doctors that I have certainly outlived my life expectancy. All the doctors I’ve seen are amazed at how I am doing. I’m currently visiting my daughter and her family in Japan. I would urge Jeanie to contact the National Cancer Institute at NIH in Bethesda to see if they are offering any clinical trials for her type of cancer. They pay for all treatment costs and transportation to and from the center. Hang in there. Don’t give up. There IS power in prayer. I’m sure you know that God may not give you what you think you need but will give you what is best for His glory. Remain faithful. We serve an awesome God. I will be praying for you. Richest blessings, Joel

  2. wife’s cancer
    My heart is breaking for you and Jeanie. Not because of the prospect of her death, we will all die, but, simply for the adjustment that will need to be made after loving each other for so long.

    You’ve been a great example to me and I have admired you. I’ve never met Jeanie, but I know how much a good wife means, as I have one also. We wil be praying for your strength and courage. I know that you will both glorify God even in this time of struggle.
    Dr. Max High

  3. Praying for wisdom and
    Praying for wisdom and discernment as decisions are made, and for opportunities for good memories.

  4. Jeanie
    So sorry to hear this- we will be praying for you and Jeanie during this time. We enjoy your visits to Lighthouse and hearing you speak. if there is anything we, and we as a church can do don’t hesitate to let us know

    Adam and Angie Granger

  5. the stage 4 cancer
    my wife went thru the exact thing she is going thru there were all kind of test but never found anything then in the ER. one day they took a C.T. scan and found the 4 cancer in her lungs liver and rib cage and didn’t last long prayers for you and your family we had been together 45yrs. too we are friends with Terry and Michael

  6. Prayer
    I am so sorry to hear of Jeanie’s cancer! I will be praying for you both.
    With love, Your CCCH sister. Michele

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