Friday, February 25, 2011


I knew that there were going to be difficult periods during my YAV year. I thought that in preparing for this year I had considered all of the possible challenges that I might face. I was wrong.
About a month ago I went to the doctor because my stomach was giving me problems.  They started with a general exam, followed by a complete blood test, ultrasound and later an endoscopy. The ultrasound showed that my spleen was slightly enlarged but they told me to wait on it for a week or so to see if it got better. It didn't really. So then I went back and they conducted a CT scan which showed some irregularities, nothing too serious but enough to warrant and colonoscopy. The colonoscopy came back all normal apart from an ulcer in my upper colon which they have taken tissue from for a biopsy. The colonoscopy was done on Tuesday. Although they seem hopeful that it is nothing serious we will not know for sure until the end of next week. This has been a draining and nerve-racking process that has been made especially difficult by nature of the fact that I am so far away from my normal support group.
Having said that… everyone here has been extremely helpful and supportive. Thomas John was able to use his wide spread connections to get me appointments in, what must be, record time. Madison and Maggie have been by my side (often quite literally) through the whole process. And here at my site I have had the support and encouragement of my supervisor, Gigi Sir, and the students.
 All I ask is that you keep me in your thoughts and, for those so inclined, prayers. Take this opportunity not just to think about me but all of the people suffering around the world. I will be sure to update you on the situation when I know further details. I should be getting back the biopsy results towards the end of next week.
And for those of you who see my parents on a regular basis give them a big hug for me please. They have been incredible through-out all of this. I am truly blessed.


  1. Peace dear brother! You are courageous, brave, and thoughtful. Speak soon!

  2. Jim, praying for you during the wait for results. That can be the worst part, the waiting!!!
    Without family around makes it even more anxious.
    God is in control and we are trusting Him for all things.
    Hope you are feeling the peace we are asking for on your behalf!
    Take good care of yourself!
    Annette Filpi

  3. Love you very much have tried to phone this morning without success but I will keep trying Take care xx

  4. Bless your heart! Prayers from the heart go up for you. I will also put you on my Disciple class' prayer list. And as for the hugs for your parents - consider it done. Thinking of you! Sally

  5. Jim, you are in our prayers!! I know many members at OAPC will be thinking of you as well. Hugs will be given to your parents. Hugs to you as well!

    Harry & Delores