Thursday, March 4, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

We went to our oncologist (Dr. Gupta) yesterday, and had alot of questions answered. He was everything we wanted in a doctor (very intelligent, caring, and hilarious), and we could not have been given a better person to help us on our journey. I realize that there will be a ton of questions that people want to know, and we'll do our best to answer them as they come. But, to get us jump started, I'm going to answer a few now. If you have more, let us know in the comments section and we'll try to get you an answer.

What is Hodgkin's Lymphoma? Lymphoma is a type of cancer that spreads using the lymphatic sytem of the body. There are two types, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's. Although Jenny is very special, she has a common form of Hodgkin's, nodular schlerosis.

What is the survival rate for this type of cancer? While this is a question everyone thinks and doesn't want to ask, quite simply, we don't care. Hodgkin's is curable, and we have every reason to believe that Jenny will be completely cured. Our faith is our comfort, our support, and in this case, our ultimate faith is in our Healer.

How do you treat Hodgkin's? Depending on the stage of cancer, treatment varies. Our doctor thinks Jenny to be in Stage I or II. She will have to go through chemotherapy for a few months, and then finish up with radiation treatments after that. We are not sure of the exact treatment, but we will find out more on Wednesday of next week.

Will the chemotherapy make her sick? Many of you know that Jenny's ultimate fear is vomiting. Chemotherapy can make you get sick, but there are a ton of new drugs that help with nausea. We are praying, and ask you to pray, that her body reacts well to these drugs and keeps her nausea at bay.

What are other side effects of chemotherapy? Chemotherapy effects everyone different, but common side effects include nausea, weight loss, fatigue, and hair loss. Jenny will lose her hair, but since I married someone out of my league, a bald Jenny will still cause many people to wonder how in the world I managed to marry someone so beautiful. Go figure, I just can't win! :)

How long will it take for her to get better? Again, depending on what stage she's in, the treatment will vary. We are planning a birthday blowout, as we are planning on being cancer free by Jenny's birthday on August 15th.

Will Jenny have to quit her job, or will she be able to work? Dr. Gupta told us Jenny can work during treatment if she is able. This may mean she can work from home, because her immune system will be compromised. Her fatigue will be our main barometer, because we don't want her to get sick.

How can we pray for you? Please pray for complete healing, contagiously good attitudes, and a podium from which we can share our faith. We are not made to live a simple life, but through our actions and attitudes during the hard times we are made to live out and share our faith. Pray that we are able to live what we believe, and in doing so, that we grow closer to God, and closer to one another as a couple.

We thank you so much for all of your prayers and support so far. Your emails, texts, phone calls, and facebook posts have made this time very special for us. We are blessed to have family and friends who care so much. One last question may be "Why is your post labeled We Kicked Cancer's Butt? in the past tense?" I thought about the title for a while, and the past tense is intentional. No matter the outcome, no matter what happens, cancer and any other life-threatening disease has lost. We have a victory through Christ, and that is all that matters. So, in a sense, we already kicked cancer's butt. We love you, and we thank God for all of you. Until next time. --john


  1. Love you so much! Praying hard! I am so thankful that you know how to lean on the Lord. Mom

  2. I wanted you to know that the principal at Western Boone, Rob Ramey's wife goes to Dr. Gupta and has for awhile. She didn't get a very good diagnosis from her first oncologist and switched to Dr. Gupta. She is doing great under his care. She also has a blog:
    She is a very sweet person and although the cancer is different, the treatment may be similar and she would be glad to "walk" Jenny through the chemo experience. You are both constantly in my thoughts!!

  3. your strength and trust in God is so overwhelming and amazing! We love ya'll so much!

  4. What hard grateful for your strong, immovable faith! Our God has already won the victory! We are praying for your continued strength and God's will and that He will be gloried in your lives!
    Love you guys, Dan and Ava

  5. wow,
    your faith is already a testimony to how good God is and how trust in Him is what matters more than anything. This post, and your honesty, brought tears to my eyes. I know God is already changing lives because of the way you're choosing to walk this path.

    Much love always,
    Emily & Tim

  6. I told an Aunt that Jenny had this, and she said she had a friend at church who had that in the past, licked it, moved on with her life; she's married with a little boy now. Loved the past tense of it. Yep, Jenny is beautiful all the way through - that kind doesn't wear off (or fall out!).

    Love and prayers, Tracie Walker

  7. My wife fought a much more aggressive cancer a few years back. It was a time of great spiritual growth. God bless! If Jenny loses her hair, think about scarves! I shaved my head for my wife, but she looked beautiful in scarves.

  8. Jenny, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I learned of your diagnosis from my brother, Ryan. We sat, simply at a loss for words as we read your blog. Your faith during this difficult time is amazing! Let that light continue to shine as your travel through this journey. I will continue to read your blog and lift you, and your husband, up in prayer.
    Ashley (Hart) Hoppus

  9. Jenny and Big John, Wow, I didn't know you had Hodgkins. You are both strong because of where you place your faith. Our God is not a God of circumstamce and will love you through this for His perfect purpose. You are already a great witness to others and you will continue to be as you walk through this day after day. People you don't know will see Christ in you and someday they will walk up to you and thank you for being Light to them. Doug and Cathy