Friday, June 15, 2012

The Day of Surgery

{JaNece Editor}  Mindy came this week from Alaska and has been helping our Dad feel better.  Jack had an appointment with Dr. Hill, a surgeon and he felt confident that he could do this surgery and fix the problem that was causing an infection.  After talking with Dr. Hill, Jack has decided to have a lapriscopic surgery to fix the leak in his colon in hopes that this infection will go away and Jack can regain some strength.  So today was the scheduled day of surgery.  He checked in at 8 and by 10 the surgeon came in the room saying, "GOOD NEWS!  No surgery.  After further labs and scans there is nothing to fix!  There is no leak in the colon and therefore he doesn't need the surgery."  We all sat there a little bit flabbergasted!  What great news!  He was on some pain pills that make him nauseous, and that is the battle we are currently fighting. Nothing tastes good and nothing stays down.  So our prayers are for his appetite to return.  We have witnessed yet another miracle.  We are so grateful!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Drain (Literal and Emotional)

{JaNece Editor} These past few weeks have been FULL of emotion from everyone here in the Marshall Family.  I realize I have been a horrible updater, but no news is good news.  So, unfortunately, I have news.  :(  Several weeks ago, my dad complained of his back hurting.  He has been diagnosed previously with spinal stenosis  (click for more info).  He was in a lot of pain and was finally able to get an epidural, which in the past, has been helpful at relieving some of the pain.  This time, however, it did nothing.  So the pain continued until he was unable to move (or be touched) without wincing in severe pain.  Eunice wasn't able to help him get to the car, so she called an ambulance.  The first responders came, which were EMT's from Woodland Hills who knew Jack.  It was comforting to have them there, and he was in good hands.  He made it to the emergency room and was transferred (for the 3rd time) to the 7th floor.  He had a leak or hole in his colon (fistula) which was causing an infection and the severe pain he was experiencing.  They were able to drain it, but he was kept in the hospital for almost a week.  The doctors concluded that it was most likely caused by his cancer medicine called Avastin.  If we were to continue his cancer treatment, his condition would worsen.  So Jack is off his cancer meds, which means he is no longer on the Trial Study.  (And he was the last man standing on the study...)  Surgery was mentioned, but quickly dismissed because it was too invasive and the risk of infection was too great.  He was sent home from the hospital with hospice and a drain from his colon.  Not to mention, we are emotionally drained.  We have heavy hearts as we enter this new phase.  We appreciate all the care and concern shown towards Jack and our family.  He has been home for about a week an a half and is still in pain and mostly bed-ridden.  A few days ago, Jack's doctor called and told us that there is a less invasive microscopic surgery that could fix the fistula and leak in his colon.  There is no guarantee that Jack's health will return or that he won't have another infection or that the cancer wouldn't return.  But it has been a glimmer of hope in our dark moment.  They haven't made a decision, but many prayers are being offered and petitioning to the Lord.  Mindy will be flying in on Tuesday and Jared (who is out of town) will return on Thursday.  We are happy to be able to be together to help in this decision.  Thank you again for your concern and your heartfelt prayers.  We feel them and we know they are answered.  We will update again soon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stay Positive

{JaNece Editor} Where do I start? Lots has been happening with Jack and so I'll just catch up in one post. Several months ago Jack had a visit with the Dr. The report said that his lymph nodes had enlarged by 20% which could mean several things: the cancer is spreading, or he is fighting an infection of some kind (cold or something). He hadn't been feeling well and has lost some more weight. We all thought the worst and things were looking down. However, he had a scan 6 weeks later that reveled that the cancer hadn't spread and actually SHRUNK!!! It was only .01%, but it shrunk!!! We were all thrilled and excited. It gave us new perspective and even more reason to stay positive. It's easy to get down, but after we have experienced yet another miracle we will not give up hope. Jack still gets up early every morning and goes to work for the city. He has a million projects he's working on and is as busy as ever. Prayer works and we are so happy that the news was good. This is a picture of Jack pointing to his name which was written in tar by his workers. Everyone loves him!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here's to HOPE

{JaNece- Editor} As you know, our Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer over a year ago. He is fighting it and getting treatments through a clinical study with the Huntsman Cancer Institute. We feel so blessed to have him in our lives and cherish our moments and memories with him. My awesome sister Mindy (who runs like a mad woman) is running a race for The Huntsman Cancer Institute to raise money for cancer research. Here's what she has to say:

{ Hello friends! I have an opportunity to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute which has helped my Dad fight his cancer. I'm running a race in August for the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the money I raise will go directly to cancer research. I'm so excited to give back to this amazing organization which has helped my family so much, and could someday help yours too! I hope you'll look the website and give - even if it's just a little. If each of you donate $5, I will meet my goal of $500. Thanks for considering! I know that this is not feasible for all of you, and I completely understand that. But I wanted you to have the opportunity. :) Thank you!!! Sincerely, Mindy Hymas }

Everyone is affected by cancer. Whether it is someone in your family or someone you know, we can all do a small thing to help fight it. Here is the link and here's to HOPE!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago doctors had some very bad news.
We didn't know what would happen.
We didn't know what to do.
We didn't know if there was anything we could do.
We were scared.
Yet what we didn't know was that 2 superheroes had emerged.
Out of the ordinary.
Two regular people who had superhero strength hiding inside of them
until the world needed their powers.

One year later, we're celebrating superhero mom and dad.
For their strength, and their hope, and their miracle.

MOM has become a cancer expert, food nutritionist, healer, and most important of all
hope guru.
When we had tears, she battled them with
hope we hadn't dared look for.
She took our fears and asked us to be stronger than that
and pray for a miracle.
Do we dare?
An ordinary family - ask for a miracle?
Superhero Mom said yes.
So we did.
And we got one.
Just because we dared ask.

My DAD is tough.
Not your ordinary "my dad can beat up your dad" tough,
but tougher.
He had to look death in the face.
He had to have the courage to say,
"Nope. Not me. Not yet."
And then he had to deal with that Every. Single. Day.
Even though his body had betrayed him.
Even though his mind knew the odds.
Even though it felt so unfair.
And he did that. Every day. And his body rebelled. He felt sick. He felt weak. He felt tired. Yet every day he got up. And maybe he went to bed early, but he got up. And continues to get up. Every. Single. Day. That takes superhero strength.

And so here we are a year later. All together because really my parents are superheroes.
They knew we had more memories to make.
And so we are.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yet again, a Miracle!!

{JaNece editor} I'm not very technical with medical terms, but to summarize ... Jack went in on Friday for his CT scan. The results came back on Monday and it seems that the cancer is still not spreading. It's not growing and the tumor that is there seems to be slightly shrinking. I know cancer is a nasty thing, but for now it's such a miracle and blessing that he is doing so well. He cut back on the dosage awhile ago (which has lessened his side effects) and it seems to still be working! He hasn't lost any more weight and is feeling pretty good. The doctor was very happy and it's great news!!!!!!!!!! So, thank goodness for clinical studies, time and miracles!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CT Scan Update

{JaNece Editor} Jack has continued to do his treatments, and they have actually cut the dosage down by 1/3. His latest CT scan says that the degenerative mass in the left upper lobe (lung) has not enlarged. In fact, it appears slightly smaller. WHAT GREAT NEWS!!! Due to the dosage being cut down, his side effects are not as severe. So, the treatments are still effective and working! We count our blessings every day for these wonderful miracles.
Jack has been as busy as ever, finishing (except for some detail work) a large gazebo in the front of the house. This was no small task, as you can see from the picture. We can't wait to enjoy it once the snow is gone.

Now he is working on a '76 CJ5 Jeep for Eunice to drive {personalized license plate and all}. Luckily he has everything he needs in his garage to accomplish such a task in the winter (heated floors, a bathroom, music and more tools than you can count).

He has continued serving in the Provo temple every Thursday with Eunice. They have been doing this for 3 years now.

We are so grateful for Jack's good attitude, determination and energy. And more than anything, we are thankful and hopeful.