I don’t care who you are or how strong your resilience, when closing a door behind you to a hospital room within a Cancer/Leukemia ward holding the most precious of beings in your life! You cannot help but feel as though things are now permanently out of your control.

And you would be correct, for they are…

Three days ago Jacy and I got into our car. We had a relatively uneventful trip into the bay area, over two bridges, through San Francisco into beautiful Woodside ending on the famous Stanford campus. 19 months, 6 of those in treatment then remission and relapse all leading up to this moment. I cannot describe adequately to what end my brain continues to function. This moment, this very moment, where all I cherish is left in the skilled hands of others. Like knowing your final day on this planet, or being 18 and not quite comprehending that yes you too will one day be 50 then blinking only to recognize that day is tomorrow. It is more than I can handle.

13 years ago I promised to always take care of her, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse; to never leave her side no matter what. I am many things in this life, a jokester, a story-teller, a father, a coach, a teacher, sometimes even an asshole, but when I make a promise I do my very best to keep it! The ability to do so comes from having made hundreds of mistakes, letting numerous people down, lessons learned and realizing who and what you have become after living through personal tragedy and the suffering of others.

I promised her and I have always done my best. When we were trying to have children and nothing was working, I stood strong and promised her it would be alright, we laughed, we cried but I knew God would always provide for those with faith. We now have Parker and Jessica

I promised her that even though we would have no money for a long time we would make it after purchasing our ranch, because we knew it was where we wanted our children to grow up. We moved in with $250.00 dollars in the bank, we understood the payoff would never be monetary but would come from rewards reaped over time by our children. We are making it, it is a struggle at times but our children are amazing human beings, growing and thriving thanks to this place we etched out of the land; and they will forever know where home and family are to be found.

I promised her when we went to Haiti together I would let nothing happen to her or our group as we traversed a country still struggling with political power, corruption and strife. I did my best while on the island serving these beautiful people as local politics toyed with our mission. My promise was put to the test when our sail boat home tipped over in heavy wind and wave. Trying my hardest to hold as many as I could while remaining calm so others would be calm as well all while praying quietly, gripping those I love tightly and doing the best I could not to show my own personal fear I kept that promise.

I have promised her time and again. I have done my very best, but as I write this I am scared. Not something that is easy to admit. For I have promised her this will all work out, she is strong and it will be ok. But I am scared as hell. I am not sure how strong I can be this time. I am afraid of my own promises, that maybe they will be unattainable. My prayers feel unanswered, no calm has overcome my soul as in times past. I am tired of being tested by life, love and loss. I am growing weary and yet this is just the beginning. I feel as though my inner Betty needs a 5 month energy drink as opposed to 5 hour.

Closing this door to her room and walking away, leaving the one I love to modern science and medicine in hopes it will save her life is more than I feel I can handle. I pray she doesn’t suffer as others are currently suffering in the very wing she is assigned. I pray that God sees this woman for all she has accomplished in her life, knowing she has more to do here with people who need her smile, warmth and charm. I pray she heals with little side effects, becoming stronger day by day until she is the woman she chooses to become post-transplant.

I am praying all the time….

Jacy is currently on her 9th dose of chemotherapy in three days. She only has 11 more doses to go. Her spirits are up even though she hasn’t slept. As she puts it, I run to the bathroom, nap then an hour later run to the bathroom again. Her spirit is high, she is still feeling very positive, and I have no doubt she will show me the way as she has always done in the past through her amazing spirit. She is my wife, she is my best friend, and she is my life.

I promise……….


12 thoughts on “Promises

  1. Your honesty is raw and touching. The fear is understandable. You love is so strong. You are admired. Continued thoughts and prayers are with you and Jacy and the kids always.


  2. I don’t know you at all nor do I need to, but I will pray for you and yours…….I worked in the oncology unit years ago, and I will never forget this beautiful family that continued to come visit “their daddy” whom I took care of… It was more than heartbreaking, I took extra care of this man simply because I saw his strength, and love for his family and his courage to get through for his loving wife and four young boys.. I will never forget the day Scott got to leave the hospital, he came to me with a card and a key chain and hugged me and told me without me this never would have been possible and his family will forever love me and I will stay apart of his success story forever. It is such a reward, and blessing to be apart of the medical team that gets to bond with these wonderful patients whom we grow to love like our own. I wish you and your family the very best and I will continue to pray for your strong amazing unit..


    1. Thank you for the uplifting words. My wife has been constantly surrounded by the very kindest nurses! I feel the caring every time I am with her. Your story has helped me greatly! 😃


  3. Many many prayers for you and your entire family. I wish I at least had the 5 month energy drink to offer you. Beautiful picture of the two of you.


  4. Your Father and I are so proud of the Man you have become James, and we also pray daily to God that He keeps Jacy in His hands and watches over her to see her through all the pain
    ,To help her through it all to wellness on the other side.


  5. I think of you and your family often as I can relate to so much of what you are going through. My husband and I too, have been married 13 years. Although his battle with this disease just started in April, he is facing transplant in the next 4-6 weeks. I’m terrified but hopeful. I pray for Jacy and your family to find strength through all of this. It’s a long process back to health but that is what I hope and pray for your wife.


    1. Thank you so much for the prayers, I will also keep you and your husband in my prayers as well. It has been a long road and it seems to be getting steeper. But with faith all things are possible.


  6. Ted and I are continuing to keep Jacy, her medical team, your kids and yourself in our prayers. Our hearts are hurting for you as you go through this difficult path in life. It is times like this that I think of the poem Footprints. We may not feel God’s presence but it is times like this he is carrying you each step of the journey. Sending you hugs.
    Ted and Debbie ❤️


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