New Year – New Adventure

You probably know that old saying, “If you want to hear God laugh, make a plan.”

I don’t write about everything in my life, but writing is how I usually process the big stuff. This is big stuff.

We had an exciting plan for 2017. Dempsey can retire this year, and my online course is about ready to launch. My new book is due to be published late February. I was putting together a promotional tour to share it with as many people as possible.

Life had settled down. The election was over, and we were maxed out on politics. Our kids and grandkids were doing well. The plan was to work hard toward our dream for 2018, when we would put everything in storage and travel for a while.

The Universe had another plan.

January 10th, my husband was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He had a lump in his neck, which we assumed was an infected lymph node. When an antibiotic failed to resolve it, he had a needle biopsy.

The surgeon thought the tissue she removed looked like a salivary gland tumor, which are usually benign. It could also have been lymphoma, but of all the possibilities, it turned out to be the worst. The lump is a metastasis from another, yet undetermined site.

It’s a dangerous cancer, but many thousands of people survive it. We’ve been fortunate to talk with several long term survivors.

If you’ve faced something like this, you can imagine how we are feeling. We’re reeling with shock, and terrified. We’re essentially crazy. In the midst of that, we’re researching, dealing with insurance companies, and selecting healthcare providers.

Tomorrow we fly to Phoenix to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. We’ll be there a week for tests to assess how far this has gotten, and to get treatment recommendations. CTCA offers a two-track approach of both conventional and complementary medicine.

We’ve also found an excellent team at M.D. Anderson in Houston, if we decide to go there. We’re feeling our way.

Dempsey is 12 years younger than I am, but of course cancer is no respecter of age. Ironically, he feels fine. He’s been working double time to get a little ahead, financially. This is going to be expensive.

Our current adventure is certainly not the one we had planned, but we’re embarking on it together. Although we would never have consciously chosen this, we are surrendering and moving forward in faith. We know we will grow through this as individuals, and in our relationship.

I was the person who told Dempsey, after the doctor told me over the phone. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He said, “I wanted another 20 years with you.”

That’s our mantra now: Another 20 years. Please see that for us.



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20 thoughts on “New Year – New Adventure

  1. Dear friends. You know our prayers are with you every day. Know your strong faith and positive outlooks will sustain you. Know we always have your back. Must feel freeing to be able to share this.

  2. God bless you in your journey. Several members of my family have battled cancer and kept it at bay. I expect nothing less from Dempsey. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  3. Oh honey what disruptive news! I feel for you! I hope you’ll do a lot of tapping, and use the law of attraction to transform the dread and fear and make this a joyous journey back to health, rather than a discouraging painful one. if you ever need an ear –

  4. Dear Jill,

    I was just thinking about you yesterday and remembering it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. I’m so sorry you’re both going through this and don’t have the words to properly express it but I’m going to focus on another 20 years for you. Or, as our friend Joe would add, “… or something better.”

  5. Jillian, saying that I am sorry just isn’t enough. I will instead say that when I read your words I felt fear as if it were my own. I know life doesn’t end well for any of us. I am hoping that this news ends up being only a nasty hiccup for you both. I will pray for you and send thoughts of peace, healing fearlessness to you both. Past that initial survival fear is true healing no matter what seems to be happening. Love you, Linds

  6. What a reminder to live each day and not “wait” for whatever.

    Hold on to the successes and the survivors. Stay strong, even in your darkest moments. Believe in another 20 years.

    As Diane said, we’ve got your back.

  7. Jill, we (Dean& I) are so sorry to hear this news about Dempsey.
    We are praying for complete recovery by God ‘s Grace & Goodness.
    As you navigate through this rough time, try to focus on what is good in the present putting one foot in front of the other in expectation of a great future together….never look back.
    Know that many who love you will keep you in their thoughts and prayers!
    Keep us posted!
    Barbara & Dean Holbein

  8. First, putting you both on the Unity Prayer list, second I will be praying too. Every single breath is a new beginning, each thought a prayer; keep hour thoughts lifted in the faith of whatever you believe. Finally, faith may move mountains but LOVE can bring them down and clear a path for a new journey. Keep writing your beautiful love story. Love and hugs!

  9. may God continue to keep and bless you Jullian! i will keeping you in prayer. i have a friend that i suggested cc in phoenix, her husband was diagnosed a week after she was! they are really enjoying the all around treatment there. tique

  10. Dear Jillian and Dempsey, SOOOOO hard to “hear” your news! If I had a magic wand, I’d be waving it in earnest for this all to go away. I am waving my word wand: “Thank you, Divine, for the miraculous complete healing that leaves Dempsey’s docs astounded! And all who love him ecstatic!”

  11. Thanks so much, Tique. I’m keeping your family in my prayers, as well. Yes, I think this is a really good place. Perhaps we’ll run into your friend – there is quite a feeling of connection here among patients, as well as with staff.

  12. Beautiful response, Patrice! Thank you so much and as you know, I am a big fan of the Unity Prayer list.

  13. Thanks to you both, Barb and Dean. We appreciate your prayers – and I will be updating here on the blog.

  14. It is quite a reminder, Peg. Life is uncertain, so dessert it is! Thank you for your friendship and support.

  15. Thanks so much, Linda. The fear is lessening, and we are feeling more peaceful. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride, of course. We appreciate your prayers so much.

  16. Di, it’s so good to have a few days with you and Tom. Your friendship always sustains us.

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