That shaking feeling you get in your chest before it bursts wide open and tears apart.

I went to post my blog posts today and I just couldn't get it done.  This morning on my family text thread we received a text from Jack my brother in law.  "Met with my oncologist this morning.  Besides the blood clot (in his lung), the CT scan showed growth in the abdominal wall cancer.  Also, new small cancer growth in the lungs and nearby lymph nodes.  I will start chemo next week.  I will also stay on blood thinners indefinitely." Jack has had stage 4 liver cancer he has been fighting for 2 years.   And more bloody noses then I'm sure he ever wanted to deal with in his life. The 5 year life expectancy for Stage 4 liver cancer once it spreads to other areas of the body is not good.  3%

We had thought it had been getting a little better.  We were of course hopeful.  There is no real cure for stage 4 liver cancer.  And the survival rate is not good.  But we tend to be a hopeful people and we believe in miracles.  Even after losing our precious Charlie to cancer a year ago, we are still hopeful and believers in miracles.  Some may call us crazy.  That's ok.  We have seen miracles happen before. Just not always the ones we expect or hope for.

Jack has been in my life - my whole life. He married my sister before I was even born.  He has always been a second father to me.  Someone I could go to with the hard questions, and someone who  always had amazing advice and a huge patient heart.  Oh man could he deal with grace during hard conversations.  I went to him in tears more times then I can count growing up, and always left uplifted and with direction.  He is just a part of me, just like my siblings, just like my mom, just like my dad.  I've known them all the same amount of time, fully immersed in my beginning. 

And I can't start crying because I know once it starts it's just not going to stop.  I feel that shaking in my chest.  The tight constriction, the shakiness that begins...right before it opens wide and everything comes out of you in one loud ground shaking sob.  Watching those you love suffer, and hurt, and go through day after day in pain, is so difficult.  

Look.  Jack is not one to act depressed in the open eye, or show much difficulty.  He lives on a lot of Faith and he works hard on staying upbeat.  But I'm pretty sure all this is taking it's toll on him.  He has constant bloody noses and a lot of pain that keeps him up some nights.  I can't even imagine all he goes through.  His life has been a devotion to his family.  He has worked, and even continued when his health is allowing him, to work to support his family.  It's a struggle most days.  Here is a little more about what he is going through and a way to help this wonderful family if you can.  Every little bit helps.  Cancer is expensive.  It takes it's toll in more then one way.

Love you Jack.  Hang in there.