This was my son:
He was a high school graduate from Eastwood High School in El Paso, Texas. He played the saxophone and was in the marching band all 4 years. A week after his graduation from U.T.E.P. (University of Texas in El Paso), my son was on his way to Atlanta City to work for the Golden Key National Honor Society. James was an honor top 10 graduate and had been the President of the Golden Key National Honor Society as a student. After a few years, there was an opportunity for a position as Director of Asia Pacific & South African Operations for the Golden Key International Honor Society in Sydney, Australia. He worked for the Golden Key National Honor society for 8 years, June 1995-May 2003. After his resignation from the Golden Key Honor Society, he acquired permission to stay in Australia and married his wife in 2007. They moved to Adelaide where his wife’s parents lived, to buy a home and plan for a family.
He had various jobs and he excelled in all of them:
GM Marketing & Development (Nerl Sachse Foundation); Certified Practicing Marketer Australian Marketing Institute, Australia, U.S.A., New Zealand, South Africa, and Malaysia, National Dealer Marketing Specialist at Renault Australia; Brand Strategist and Principal Consultant Adelaide, Australia; Director of Marketing & External Relations-Australia; News LTD, Account Manager, and General Manager-Bespoke Marketing (Rolls Royce, BMW, Minni…) Trivett Group in Sydney, Australia.
After a visit to El Paso, Texas, for my Mother’s Day surprise (he felt ill) he left to work in Canada where he felt a lump in his abdomen (extend and retrieve) when he coughed. He called his wife in Australia, and upon his arrival, he had a doctor’s appointment and was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma. Surgery was scheduled and so was my trip to Australia, within the week. He was given all the worst and best results that could happen and his operation was performed. An 8-10 pound tumor was removed and divided among various hospitals and research agencies, associations, etc., in Australia. I returned to the USA and made arrangements to be in Australia for a while.
Six months was his sentence, so my younger son and I traveled to Australia for approximately six and a half months. We stayed in Adelaide with her parents, and my son and his wife in their home. My son volunteered for trials of treatments that were offered, as he wanted a cure or medications that could provide longer life for himself and others. We returned home in February 18. He lived 3 years and 5 months total from his first surgery until his time of almost two weeks in hospice. The biggest present that God provided was a child, a little girl, which he was able to hold and know for 6 months.
He also worked for Carnegie Mellon University. While his last day of actual work was in early 2011, CMU generously kept him employed until 2012 (6 months) – but were understandably unable to maintain him indefinitely. In January, it also became clear that he was unable to resume rigorous international travel to developing countries for recruitment and business development, which was a major facet of his role. Therefore, he and CMU agreed to terminate his employment because he was unable to commit to a return date or execute the responsibilities of his role. His departure was on the very best of terms.
James was born on February 1, 1971 and passed away on February 16, 2015, in Adelaide, Australia, at the age of 44. The following is a letter that James wrote to us, his family and friends:
Friends and Family … it is not easy to put into words what the CT Scan results showed as it is never a black and white process. In summary, the scan was not as bad as I thought it might be given I haven’t had treatment for the cancer in over 3 months. But it clearly showed growth – on average about 10 percent from the previous scan six weeks ago.
However, combined with blood tests also taken today, it is clear that my liver and kidneys have taken a beating and are starting to show signs of failure. When you add that to my weak heart, it does not paint a pretty picture. In short, there is a very narrow window where the very last type of chemo is available for me to try.
But it is like standing at the edge of a precipice in many ways. A reaction to the chemo could cause a downward spiral of reactions that I could not recover from … and yet in some singular cases with my specific cancer, it has shown promising signs of holding back the cancer’s growth. Doing nothing is also an option – and the safest option as it does no harm. The cancer is not growing at an alarming rate, nor is it currently growing in areas that would cause a life threatening scenario. So this too is an option – and the recommended option on paper.
You can see that my wife and I have a lot of thinking to do over the next several days – and I have a lot of praying to do, too. I ask all of you to keep us in prayer that we might be given the wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to make the right decision for my wife, child, and I.
Either way, we are at a point where this careful balance will someday tip in one direction, causing a domino effect that will lead to the inevitable.
God has granted me more wishes and dreams to come true than may of you will ever know. But to see my baby’s first Christmas was a big one – and thank God I WILL get to experience that with my wife and child. I hope to make it to her first birthday, but that is as everything – in God’s hands.
Ultimately, the choice is not really mine to make – but I need to ensure that the choice is one that my wife and I are both prepared for either way. If we choose chemo, it would be given overnight on the 22nd, with me coming out of the hospital on the 23rd of December. If there are to be any severe consequences, they would be known immediately on the 22nd. And putting off the chemo further than that is not an option, unfortunately.
So again, I ask you for your prayers, your positive thoughts and energy as we make what seems like the most significant decision in our lives in regards to my treatment at this point in time.
I still believe in miracles. I am one. My gorgeous daughter is one. And I married a woman I don’t deserve but could not do this without. Miracles are all around me … how can I not believe that they are still possible?
In God’s hands, anything this possible. But it is in His plan that I have to trust … and I trust that I will continue to be blessed by miracles.
And if you look around, I think you’ll find some of your own. Believe.