Lots of reasons to Fly the W

A small sample of the “W’s” people have shared with me.  It’s been fun to surround myself with this symbolic reminder of finding small victories everyday.  

The radiation burned me a new hairline.  My hair stubble usually goes down another 3-4 inches (well below the bottom of my ear lobes).  I have no explanation for the “horshoe pattern” up on top šŸ˜œ

I am feeling better.  The progress is slow but it is noticeable and it is happening.  My body bounced back so quickly from surgery I was hoping I’d see the same thing with radiation and chemo.  That hasn’t been the case but I am moving in the right direction. I still can’t eat or drink so the feeding tube is my nutrition source.  My weight is bouncing around from 160-165 but is stable.  The other day Camilla said that I look like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.

I am a full TEN DAYS post radiation treatment.  My 33rd and final dose was last Tuesday.  I was told that coming out of radiation is like pulling a burrito out of the microwave — it’s going to stay hot for awhile after finishing its time in the cooker.  I have noticed some small improvements in my mouth and throat, but for the most part I am still cooking. The mouth sores haven’t cleared up but they are a little less painful. The most challenging part has been the thick mucus build up in the back of my throat that makes it difficult to talk and almost impossible to sleep.  I can typically get about 45-60 minutes of sleep before waking up needing to clean out my mouth and caugh up so gross loogie.  

Last radiation treatment, some of the family came to cheer me on.  You can kind of tell in this picture that the skin on my face around my mouth and lower cheeks is darker.  It looks like I was out skiing all day and got a really bad sunburn below my goggles.  If only!

I have my last round of chemo on April 12th.  A few weeks after that we will have a PET / CT scan to see how all this fire and poison has done at killing cancer.  

Last night I was kind of at my wits end — sleep deprived, mouth on fire, and on the front end of yet another sleepless night.  I just didn’t know how I could do another night like the past 2-3 weeks.  I offered a prayer that God has heard from me a hundred times.  Please, oh God, provide me strength to endure well and give me relief from I can no longer bear.

He answered.  

For me, it was a clear and personal and unmistakable answer to prayer.  I still woke up several times and still had to take my pain pill in the middle of the night, but I had two extended periods of sleep that were both about three hours long.  And best of all, when I woke up I felt like me.  I didn’t have to go through my morning routine of giving myself a pep talk and persuading my body to get out of bed and conquer the day.  I just woke up and it felt like a normal morning.  Normalcy has been what I crave and God knew it and he gave me a glimpse of it.  

Maybe a corner was turned and tonight and every night going forward will be easier.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I’ll gag my way through a rough night tonight.  Either way, I’m grateful for the answer to prayer last night and all the other countless blessings we have received.  We have never felt alone through this experience, especially when we’ve needed it most.  

Fly the W.

20 thoughts on “Lots of reasons to Fly the W”

  1. Go Jarem!! We think about you and pray for you every day. Thank you for sharing your experience with prayer; may you continue to receive comfort and healing.


  2. You are amazing Jarem! Hang in there! I pray for you daily and will pray especially that you can get some sleep! Everything seems worse when you are sleep deprived:/ So sorry to hear that you’ve had to go through that on top of everything else. So glad the Lord gave you a little relief and I pray he give you more of those moments.


  3. Moved me to tears again. Once more through the fiery veil of hopelessnessā€”where the fertile soil of grace can be found. You are now singed, consecrated, and sealed as His. Godspeed brother.

    Opening night in two days!


  4. Gracias por compartir. Tu Fe y perservarancia es UN tremendo ejemplo para mi. Doy gracias tambien por Haber hecho tu primer area de mision en gurabo Puerto Rico. Dios te bendiga mucho. Te amo UN chorro. Besos y abrazos.


  5. I can’t tell you how amazed I am of your strength through all of this. Your outlook and positivity on all of this is an insiration to all! I think of you all the time and I Hope and pray, with every ounce in me, that you are able to get more restless nights sleep. Keep going strong! We are rooting for you to be eating ice cream without pain soon!!


  6. Jarem!

    Lots of prayer and positive thoughts continued to come
    your way and to your loved ones for strength and healing.


  7. We love you Jarem. You have so many people rooting and praying for you along with angels beyond. You are such an example of the believers. Thank you for that. Fasting and praying for you and your sweet family !!


  8. We love you, Jarem and Camilla. Your strength is touching (ok, maybe a few tears here). I know the Lord is watching over you and I am grateful that you feel His influence. Blessings and love from all of your Dickson family.


  9. Great attitude. Consider a 50/50 oral suspension of Kaopectate and liquid Benadryl—swoosh for 30 to 60 seconds to get some relief from your oral ulcerations. Dr Athena Papas at Tufts University School of dental medicine also has a tafee recipe that you can make with “cayenne” pepper—seriously it’s works because I made it with her at TUSDM in Boston. We helped many oral cancer patients with palliative care. She is a wealth of resources.


  10. Thank you for continuing to share your experiences. They strengthen our testimonies while making us tearful. We pray for you and the family. You are a championā£


  11. We pray for you and your family every day. Your strength and courage never cease to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your journey.


  12. I had the same problem with my throat from the radiation. Could not sleep had to take album in my feeding tube. My next was also burned bright red an mouth pain an yeast infections. That all was 17 years ago. You will do well my friend hang in there thing will get better. Tell your mom an dad i said hi


  13. Good to hear about your journey. You are so positive keep looking for the silver lining. I started chemo again this week, missed seeing your smiling face. Just a thought, som


  14. oops hit wrong button. Something that worked for me was sleeping inclined so the gunk didn’t go to the back of my throat. Praying for you and your family.


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