A Confession and Turning a Corner

Blog posts have been sporadic for 2-3 months.  I love writing in the blog.  I also hate it now.  It is a beautiful blessing to share my story, but most importantly to really reflect on and articulate what we are going through as a family.  But every blog post I write now is reminder the original plan was that I was supposed to be in remission right now and this was going to all be in the rear view mirror.  My story was different than God’s story and now it just about me developing more trust in His story.  I’m learning to surrender my story.

I have completed 9 weeks of chemo.  It was more challenging than I could have imagined.  Some days were absolute torture and other days were just fine.  Mostly I struggled emotionally to keep things together.  I’ve noticed things in my body that scare me.  I can’t bounce back like I used to.  Everything hurts most of the time.  I walk gingerly and like an old man, but for no reason I can tell.  I find myself curled up or hunched over for no reason.  I have felt closer to death than anytime since Jan 6th which was the day I was pretty sure I was going to die.

And in the same breath I can say that there have been times during the past two months that I’ve never felt more alive. I got involved in some disaster relief efforts for Puerto Rico which lit a fire in me that I was afraid may have been previously and permanently squashed by the disease.  For short stints I’ve been able to sprint hard on projects and feel so fulfilled and called to a cause.  It has been a beautiful thing.

The big SCAN NEWS came in two weeks ago.  9 weeks of chemo did exactly what it was supposed to do — made my tumors in the lungs smaller by an average of 25%.  That is a big deal.  Especially from where I’ve been.  It is the first scan I’ve had in a year that DID NOT show tumor progression.  This is the first time Dr. Chandramouli has called with good news.

I’ve mostly just tried to take it in stride and not get overly hyped up about it, but I think it’s okay to yell out a HECK YEAH! every once in a while.  I was able to take the last two weeks off from chemo and now I’m starting back up this Friday December 1st on 9 more weekly treatments.  It is a full repeat of what I went through already.  Makes me shake in my boots just thinking about it.  This treatment is in my head.

So while I’m going to enjoy my next 36 hours before this Friday’s poisoning, I’m ready for this next wave.  I’ve got a better sense of what it will be like and how I can manage the suffering.  More time in bed.  More anti-nausea and pain medication.  More time on my knees rekindling the desperate dependency on Christ that I felt more regularly during radiation.  More time with Camilla.  Less time with the five crazy kids that run around my house (just kidding, sort of).

Thank you for the faith and prayers and support.  This really has been a victory.  Our victory.



4 thoughts on “A Confession and Turning a Corner”

  1. And a BIG Hail Mary on your progression to beat this demon. Jarem you are an inspiration to all who know you. I have told you many times that you make me want to be a better person and I will say it again today. I am Proud to know you and you make this world a better place! Camilla is pretty darn special too. So good to spend time with you both last evening. Sending hugs and prayers for Friday.


  2. You’ve got this! You’re amazing and you and Camilla have the worlds cutest kids. You’re pretty lucky to have such sweet cheerleaders – I bet it makes the hard days better watching your littles run around. Thanks for your positive attitude and totally awe inspiring faith. You are such a light and example to my family and I and we’re praying for you to get better!!
    Hope to see you guys soon,
    Heather and Dave George


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