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Oncology 24.0

During this current admission I had a CT scan (that I mentioned in a the previous post) to assess where things are at with regards to my bowel obstruction and the current issue of obstructive Jaundice.

What I didn’t mention is what it found with regards to my cancer, and unfortunately, its not good.

There is significant progression of the liver disease over a very short period of time. The dominant large lesion is in segment 7 of the liver has doubled in size and there are multiple new lesions in the 0.5-1cm range throughout the liver, with existing lesions also increasing in size. There is also further development in the lymphadenopathy around the renal arteries and in the general retro-peritoneal area, including increasing lymphadenopathy around the hilum of the liver. The infiltrative disease around the liver could well be responsible for the biliary obstruction that I have, and may have been responsible for the duodenal obstruction as well.

Basically its pretty bad. I have missed three rounds of chemotherapy now due to the complications and hospital admissions over the past month, and that is likely to be a big contributor as to why my disease has progressed. However, it is of such rapid disease progression that my oncologist tends to think that it may have starting progressing under chemo, even thought my last scan was stable (and relatively recent).

So what does all this mean???

Well, basically it means I need to get back on to chemotherapy as quick as possible in the hope we can slow down the growth. If in fact regrowth was beginning to happen whilst on chemo, it suggests that chemo is losing its efficacy, and that means i’m starting to run out of options.

In the mean time I have to get past the current main issue,  which is my biliary obstruction.

On Thursday I had my ERCP under a general anaesthetic and it unfortunately it wasn’t successful as they couldn’t get access to the ampulla at all due to the duodenal stent being in the way. This means that I have had to go for a PTC drain insertion best described in the video below rather than by me.

This procedure was due to go ahead on Thursday afternoon until I spiked a fever of 39.0 degrees. It was deferred and I was started on IV antibiotics in case this was choleangitis. Choleangitis is an infection of the biliary system and can be a very rapid onset sepsis and can lead to septic shock. The fever I had was absolutely miserable with rigors and lasting for about 5 hours. I haven’t had one since thankfully, and the thinking now is that instead of choleangitis, it was probably a septic shower as result of manipulation around the biliary system in the failed ERCP. Fortunately the latter as a diagnosis is much better than choleangitis.

On Friday I went for my PTC insertion under light sedation and they got as far as getting the drain into the duodenum via my liver. It was a difficult access just because of the location of the left lobe of my liver relative to my ribcage, so they weren’t able to get the stent in. The plan is to go back under general anaesthetic and put the stent in so that I have internal and external biliary drainage. I am currently biding my time in hospital until that can happen early next week and then all things going to plan start chemotherapy the week after that.

So as you can see, there has been a lot happening over the past few days, both in terms of medical management and developments, as well as the processing of the CT report and what that actually means. What it really means is that I am getting down the last ditch therapies now for treating this cancer, and it has established that if you give it an inch, it will take a few dozen miles with that liberty. What treatments are left as options are really speculative, and whether or not I will get response is equally as speculative. Hannah and I have processed this and understand that it means I am unlikely to make Christmas this year, and my time could be up sooner rather later as the decision to go palliative is getting closer and closer.

In someways this hasn’t been as hard to process as you might think, and I think that is in large part due to the fact that I have had the better part of 5 1/2 years with this illness to do this processing. It is however, a brutal shock back to the reality I face, as it has seemed like the past 6  months has been a holiday, as we have seen Elise’s first few months of adventures in this world. It has been an awesome escape from reality as we watch new life blossom…

But now the holiday is now over, and I have to get back to the business of dying. I plan to do that the best way possible, as not everyone has the privilege of anticipating their own end. So often people’s end times are full of regrets and catching up with bucket lists. I don’t have either of those, I am grateful for the life I have lived, I have been given extraordinary opportunities to embrace it in all its beauty, God has blessed me enormously. I plan to enjoy every last moment, savour its delight and its low times. It’s all part of the package.

Until next time..

  1. Sharon Sharp
    July 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Jared you are amazing and so so brave. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Matt Tan
    July 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Hey Jared. Sorry to hear this news… Elise and I are thinking of you guys.

  3. July 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Jared you are a truly amazing human being. There really are no words that do you justice. My thoughts and prayers are with you always

  4. Nicole
    July 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Dear Jared,

    Thank you again so much for your post tonight and your amazing willingness to share all the hard hard twists and turns of this horrendous battle you’ve been fighting with cancer, for the last 5 1/2 years. Your spirit of courage and humility is truly incredible, and your gratitude to God for all that he has given so beautiful, and especially so… in light of all that you’ve faced and are facing. You (& Hannah too) are such an amazing encouragement to all who read your blog :-). I hope that Phillipians 1:21-23 will be of great comfort to you right now and in the days ahead; and Paul’s loving reminder in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, of keeping the most important thing in this life the main thing… The gospel of Jesus! The great great news that gives us the sure place to stand and real hope to cling to as we each face our own mortality. Thank you for being such a courageous example :-). Praying for you and Hannah and Elise, Nicole

  5. Jan
    July 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey, I”m sorry to hear the news is not good, you are truly a courageous person, and each time you post an update, I am taken back with your strength and courage. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family

  6. Jenny Beekmans
    July 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Sorry to hear this news Jared your processing of this is amazing and our thoughts are with you Hannah and,,Elise..Good luck and strength in your next stage of life.Thanks for uodates.
    We were in chemo together.

  7. Theresa
    July 27, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I’m thrilled you know there is more to this life & heaven really & truly is real but filled with sadness for as you say this life on earth is pretty special with eyes to see it, and your family will miss you so. Kai Kaha & prayers for strength & less pain/fever/complications.

  8. Belinda
    July 27, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Hi Jared, I don’t know you but I saw you on 20/20 a wee while back and have been reading your blogs for the last few months. I don’t really know what to write or to say to you that others have not. I just thank you for sharing your journey with me. I lost a loved one to cancer almost 2 years ago now. He passed unexpectedly 2 days post diagnosis and I never got to have, plan or say those things for the future, for closure. We have 2 amazing children together,who are now my life and I guess in some way your journey is reminding me of how precious our lives are and how we should treasure each day. I truly wish you the best time of your life for the time you have left.

  9. Debbie Aitcheson
    July 27, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Dear Jared, Hannah and Elise
    Im gutted to hear that tings are not going so good, but happy that you are so accepting of what God has in store for you. Make as many new memories as you can so that your wife and family will have lots of happy times to remember. Elise will know how brave her dad was and how much he fought to bring her into this world and was the start of her life journey
    Take lots of care,
    Debbie xox

  10. Janice Roseingrave
    July 27, 2014 at 12:45 am

    My thoughts are with you Jared & your family. I am sorry that the news isn’t good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are a true inspiration.

  11. Meg
    July 27, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Dear Jared, I have being reading your blog for quite some time but never left a message. I just wanted to say that I think you are a courageous lovely man and I send my best wishes to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all. I will pray for you and hope that the next treatments makes you more comfortable. Kind regards, Megan

  12. deb prouting
    July 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Your courage, determination, honesty and grit is inspirational and forces one to examine their own attitudes under the spotlight. I continue to pray for you and your beautiful family. You have touched the hearts of many, many people with your honest account of battling this disease. I for one have taken your colonoscopy advice!!! Thank you. God bless you. May you know that you are never alone and are surrounded by the love and thoughts of all who have journeyed with you thus far. More importantly by the God who created you.
    Thank you for the man that you are and the way that you have turned the most awful experiences into something for us all to learn from. “Until next time…” : )

  13. Linda Marriott
    July 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    What amazing courage – Praise God. We will continually be praying for you and the family. xo

  14. Ctz
    July 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    So sad Jared to hear this recent health news. Your honesty with this journey with cancer taught me so much about my Mom’s cancer…Please know that I will continue to pray for a miracle and Jesus’ unending grace. Carol/Vancouver/Canada

  15. Dyana Parore-Connell
    July 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the update,sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you and Hannah. God Bless

  16. Jude Murdoch
    July 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Jared, your courage, candour and ‘eternal’ perspective on what has been a long and painful season are such a credit to you as a Christian. Thoughts and prayers with you and the family – you are running the race so well.

  17. Shiree Stone
    July 28, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Hey Jared I am kirsty’s cousin on the Harkness side. I have followed a bit of your storey over the time and am inspired by your positive attitude, bravery, your sheer determination to do what you could to give yourself time, and your complete faith in God. I pray Gods rest and peace over you and Hannah and your beautiful daughter. Your crown in Gods house will have many jewels for your faithfulness. God Bless😊

  18. Giota
    July 29, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Truly hoping that there is a way to reverse this development. Thank you for being so honest.

  19. Sarah Free
    July 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Jared, I have been following your blog for a while, and have been impressed by your faith and courage. Will be continuing to pray for you

  20. July 30, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Jared. I have been following your blog and journey and my thoughts and prayers have been with you often. You have a significant influence on so many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  21. Maree
    August 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Jared, Hannah and Elise, I’m so sorry to hear this news, please know you are in our thoughts and our home-group are continuing to pray for you, Much love, Maree xxx

  22. sarah
    August 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Jared, so sorry to read this latest update. Thinking of you and all the family and praying for you.

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