Chemotherapy, round four and Q&A [+Video]

April 17, 2012 · 2 comments

There’s a very real chance that I have made it halfway through my chemotherapy treatment. In the video you’ll hear the doctor explain other treatment path possibilities, but as of right now, I’m cautiously optimistic — there was a smaller tumor at the base of my neck that neither myself or the doctor can feel anymore, which is a pretty good indication that the disease is receding.

The latest video update is below. If you’re unable to see the video embedded below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

And again, if you don’t mind, please be sure to “like” the video by clicking the thumbs-up while it’s paused. Thanks!

Additional, non-video updates

  • The Kickstarter campaign for our documentary has officially ended, and we wound up crushing our original goal of $7,500; the final tally is a staggering $10,410! As Nate said in today’s backer-only email: “Jake and I have a lot of work ahead of us, as a bunch more doors are opening for this project to make it even better, both monetarily (again thanks!) and production-wise.” E.g., I bet you didn’t know that we already have an incredible musician lined up to score the whole documentary, did you? Anyhoo. I’m totally convinced that this documentary is going to do amazing things, so one more time: Thank you. I suppose all that’s left to do is fully recover and, you know, make the actual documentary.
  • This Friday and Saturday, Libby and I are heading to a little farm in NE Iowa for some rest, relaxation, reading, and solitude. Our good friends Brandon and Abbey extended us an unbelievably gracious offer of hosting us for two days at their family’s farmhouse — cooking meals for us, etc., while we get some R&R. Brandon and I have been to this farmhouse several times on spiritual retreats — it’s a place with which I’ve fallen in love, and the location of several of my all-time favorite photographs. My plan for the two days is to eat, pray, converse, and read, though not necessarily in that order. Right now my reading list includes Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil and Every Riven Thing: Poems by Christian Wiman.
  • Speaking of Christian Wiman, if you have 30 minutes to spare, watch this Bill Moyers Interview with Christian Wiman on Poetry, Love, Faith, and Cancer. Wiman is a poet and terminally ill cancer patient, and this interview is nothing short of beautiful. E.g.:

    “One thing that sustained me was not those solitary moments, which I found conducive to despair. What sustained me was the company of other people who believed.”

    Wiman has an essay in The American Scholar from several years ago called Gazing into the Abyss which is also well worth your time.

  • While we’re still speaking of books (we are, aren’t we?), I just recently finished a book of essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan titled Pulphead. Not only did I absolutely love it, but it also happens to be the first book I’ve ever read start-to-finish in e-book form (via Kindle on iPad) — If nothing else, this year’s “Physical books read vs. e-books read” chart in the annual Books I Read post will be a little more interesting.1
  • Here’s the official medical chart with the list of all of the drugs that I receive during a chemotherapy treatment.

Q and A

As I mentioned in the video, I’ll be accepting any questions you might have about this whole cancer process and try to answer them in the next video (or perhaps I’ll create a separate video just for Q&A).

There are a number of ways you can participate: You may leave a comment on the video’s YouTube page; right here on this blog post; by @reply-ing me on Twitter; or by emailing me via this website’s contact form. Don’t be shy; the weirdest and/or most personal questions are probably the best ones.

Have at it.

  1. Particularly astute and/or moderately obsessive readers will recall these words from one month ago: “I’m committing myself to completing [Personae], making it my first start-to-finish cancer read.” Truth be told, I’m only 2/3 of the way through Personae; in addition to Hodgkin lymphoma, I have a condition known colloquially as “Reading ADD,” for which condition I do not apologize. []
  • Lori Gluckman

    I found it helpful during my Hodgkins treatment to take part in support groups for those with Hodgkins and Young Adults with cancer. Has anyone mentioned participation in these groups? Many are now virtual as well as in person. Cancer Care is one organization that runs these. It would be great for you to explore these as part of your experience and within the documentary to let others know about the support systems that exist.

    You’re doing so great! Keep moving forward!

  • debbie cisneros

    Your journey is helping so many and very helpful to all who care .I have noticed How great you look  Jake (BTW) and I hope feeling better.I sent you a private email with a question .my other Is  would some of the new foods be helpful for any auto-immune disorder? It sounds great I love how .
    you always ask your ‘loving wife” How you doing Libby & I do look forward to adventures of Klaus the Kat…….He is a star ,Who I find very entertaining ……………..again thank you for sharing
    your “journey ” your honeslty and open heart ! Love the cancer& Theology series.