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Posted 2016-09-29T16:20:06Z

9/29/16 - How Life Has Changed This Past Week

This past week I've learned so much. Much about myself, where I am in life, but mostly of all about my support system and how cared for my family and I are by all of you. This has been the most difficult week in our lives, but your support, prayers, messages, and love have made it as tolerable as possible for Sam, Caleb, and me, and for that we're grateful to you.

We've been so busy with visits from family and friends had had a few prayer services, that I can't help but feel that we're closer together than ever. From people reaching out whom I've never met, to others I haven't heard from in years, the amount of support is overwhelming, and I'm absolutely grateful. Though I'm terrible at responding, especially to private messages, know that I am thankful for the note and appreciate the sentiment! I guess that's one of the positives about going through something like this, is that it brings those who are involved closer together, and although I wish we didn't have to go through this, I'm glad to have strengthened my bonds with family and friends at this time.

How I Feel Mentally: I am at peace. I have accepted where I am in the fight, and although I know what the doctors have said regarding my prognosis, I know that is just their opinion, and it's up to me to continue to fight and prove them wrong to live as long as possible, as their opinions aren't necessarily fact. I'm not afraid of what is to come, I don't fear the unknown, I'll prepare as much as possible, and we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

How I Feel Physically: I still feel fine! Since hospice delivered oxygen tanks and concentrators to the house, I've been able to fill up on some O2 when I start to feel shortness of breath, so I've been able to avoid episodes like we saw last week. Energy wise, I'm also feeling fine and although I've been having a bit of difficulty sleeping at night due to having to go to the restroom because of all the fluids I'm drinking and some back pain, I'm feeling close to normal with regards to fatigue. The biggest physical difference you'll see in me at this point is that my eyes are a bit more yellow due to the jaundice, but aside from that, I'd say I look pretty normal.

Our Visit To Microsoft: Aside from having the hospice nurse come over to get things started, I visited work this past Monday where they had a lunch for me and many folks from the group stopped by to say hi and provide their greetings. Caleb enjoyed the cookies and giving high-fives to everyone, and it was a lovely get together and reminded me how blessed I am to have such a great support system through my job.

Microsoft allowed me to focus on the fight and to use my job as a nice distraction, keeping my mind sharp while balancing health. I'd like to especially thank, Anjali, Marilee, Dawn, and Melvin for all the support, keeping me focused on health first, while still making me feel like a positive contributor throughout. Although it took going through something as difficult as a fight with cancer to truly realize this, I hope everyone in our organization knows how special a group we really have. It really is an amazing set of brilliant, genuine, caring people, and I'm so glad and so proud to have been a part of Internal Audit at Microsoft.

Hospice Care: Evergreen Hospice is my hospice provider, and they've been nothing short of amazing. Everyone we've dealt with including the nurse, social worker, and medical director have exceeded my expectations, and they all have a compassionate and gentle persona that I would expect in a time like this. They will provide us guidance on how to handle various symptoms, and will give me everything I need to be comfortable. They also provide care and counseling to the family as needed. I couldn't be happier with my providers than I am with them.

In Conclusion: I've been asked a number of times by various individuals, especially my hospice nurse and the medical director, how I've been able to stay so positive during these times. My answer has always been the same. Now that I'm on hospice living out what may be my final weeks and months, I have two choices: I can sit and be depressed about the situation I'm in, worry and curl up in a ball; or I can enjoy my time together with my family, create memories, laughter, and smiles with them. I can enjoy my time with my son, and play doctor with him, and film little clips so he can see what his dad is like. I continue to choose to not let the cancer run my life and win, and will live the way I think is best given the circumstances.

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Comments (26)

  • joyce naoe
    joyce naoe

    =) May God continue to Bless you and your family. Peace be with you

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Charity Miller
    Charity Miller

    Just like you, instead of feeling depressed about her prognosis, the fantastic lady chose to live up the last days of her life. People like you and her remind me how precious life is and to enjoy every moment!!!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Greg Hunter
    Greg Hunter

    Jerome I admire everything you are doing to keep your head up! Thanks again for keeping us all updated!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Lesli D Holcomb
    Lesli D Holcomb

    You're truly an inspiration! I am so glad to hear that your Microsoft family has been so good to you. We had some good times at TMO. I think about you and your family often, and you're in my prayers.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Aaron Suoja
    Aaron Suoja

    You are an amazing person, thank you for sharing.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Yvette del Fierro
    Yvette del Fierro

    We are fighting and praying with you, Sam and Caleb. You are an inspiration to us all, and a God's gift to us. We need reminders of what our time on Earth is really about. I'm happy you have Peace❤️❤️ Sending my best thoughts to you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Marissa Scroggins
    Marissa Scroggins

    #proveemwrong #f&@$cancer but if this is your hand you are playing it to the absolute best of your ability. You are teaching us all so much about how to live, be humble, grateful, focus on what matters, ... once again thank you for your candor and bravery. We love you

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Omar Espinosa
    Omar Espinosa

    I don't think we have personally met and maybe we crossed paths along the way. I know we have tons of mutual friends. I came across this as tons of loving family and friends had shared your journal. I am touched by your courage, faith, and strength. We might have not shared anything in the past but you have shared this story to me and the masses. I will personally continue to pray for your fight. Coming from a father just like you. God speed. - Omar

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Terri Schwan
    Terri Schwan

    Jerome, you are an inspiration on how to live. Thank you for sharing with so many.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Molly Akers
    Molly Akers

    You, your family and your legacy will never be forgotten. Prayers will continue for you eternally! You are quite an inspiration Jerome. Molly

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Ray and June Johnson
    Ray and June Johnson

    Ray and June Johnson You are an amazing example to us all and we applaud your spirit to fight on. As you said, "opinions are just opinions." Hope should never be overlooked or excluded! Our thoughts and prayers, for you and your loved ones, continue as you remain in our hearts with love. God bless, Ray and June Johnson.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Johanna Abafo
    Johanna Abafo

    You are a true survivor and such a great example of an amazing human being. If we had more people even remotely simalar to you our world would be an amazing place! I admire your strength and humility through out this whole process. I pray that you cont to have the strength and courage needed to get you through your tough nights. I pray that God continue to bless you and your family always and hold you all so close in his ever lasting love and comfort. You are a true warrior! God bless you always and may He keep you safe in his arms and care. Continue to do you and celebrate life! Hugs to you all! Again if i can help you with anything please dont hesitate to ask. <3

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Joanne Cates
    Joanne Cates

    Jerome thank you for you wonderful update. You have a amazing family and they in you have an amazing role model. Peace and prayers be with you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Justin Naoe
    Justin Naoe

    Very inspiring. Keep fighting, Jerome! God Bless you and your family.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Patrick Alfonso
    Patrick Alfonso

    Jerome, you are a true warrior! Reading all your posts, it shows how humble and strong, both mentally and physically you are. I continue to pray for you and your family and for God to keep giving you strength each day. God bless bro! -Pat

    4 years ago · Reply
  • John Park
    John Park

    Jerome, It is Ralph Emerson who said, "It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life that matters." By that definition, your life matters to hundreds, thousands and millions of people both now and in the future. You may not realize this now but you are a guiding light for many to follow. Therefore, walk strong and walk straight, brother. God bless.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • mel cantos
    mel cantos

    We love you Jerome! You are in our thoughts and we are praying for you. Thank you for inspiring us.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Luisa Naval Amoranto
    Luisa Naval Amoranto

    Jerome, we talked in St. Stephen's Church after your initial diagnosis. I am Johanna Abafo's Mom. I have prayed for you and my daughter as you both courageously faced the side effects of chemo's. I continue to pray for you asking God for a miracle. It looks like you are having one. We praise and continue to trust Him. You are an amazing, positive, spiritual warrior. There is no need to respond to all of us. We know you appreciate and care for us as we continue to be part of your prayer brigade. Take care! May God continue to embrace you and your family. Keep the faith!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Dawn Liburd
    Dawn Liburd

    Jerome, your incredible doctors have done an amazing job but you are absolutely right, all they can do is give their best opinion. God is not done and you are not done touching each of our lives. We are with you every step of the way as you continue this fight and as you continue to inspire us to live every day to its fullest. Blessings to you, Sam and Caleb! Always...

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Peter Chong
    Peter Chong

    jerome you are truly one of the most inspiring individuals i know, and the bravest. thank you for sharing, you and your family will always be in my prayers

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Mitchele Beaver
    Mitchele Beaver

    Be strong & courageous. Rejoice & again I say rejoice. In your weakness He is made strong. You are walking out the world of God through your pain. It is amazing to hear your story. Your family is blessed to have you. Your son is blessed to have a father that sets such an amazing example of choosing to love life and live it to the fullest. And through recording your story, you are influencing and encouraging countless lives. God bless you. I am praying for you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Nerissa Ong
    Nerissa Ong

    Hello Jerome, I'm your mom's high school classmate in UST Manila based here in Seattle. I want to say you left quite an impression when I first saw and met you at your sister Angela's debut, leading and hosting the program, politely calling out some inattentive guests to listen, I said to myself, GO BOY, teach the old folks to behave and listen, haha. But seriously now, I've followed your blog through your sister Steph, who is my FB friend and I've been inspired by your strength, courage, patience, determination and perseverance as you trek in this journey. I, together with my family lift you up in prayer, may the Lord Jesus Christ cover you with his precious blood, deliver you from the bondage of this disease, heal you, restore you to good health, grant you wisdom, comfort, joy, peace and love that surpasses all understanding, we ask God's mercies for hope, perseverance, safety, protection and provision for you, Sam and Caleb, and your family, in Jesus name, we pray, Amen. May you find peace in this verse: Psalm 23:1-6 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. You're awesome, keep up the positive attitude, trust in the Lord, he has a purpose for each of us, he listens and answers our prayers, he promised in his word in 2 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind, and God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Keep your head up high, GO Jerome, Sam and Caleb! Praying with you, (Tita) Nerissa Ong

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Stacey A
    Stacey A

    I recently moved from Seattle to Hawaii, though we've never met it seems we have the same connection of good people in our lives. You are sharing your heart with the world and for that your legacy will remain. Good for you. Laugh hard, smile big and know that you are making a huge difference in this life by your strength and grace. Sitting on my porch-As the night sky glimmers, I look up and see the stars shining even brighter because of you. Even across the Pacific, complete strangers but not-your words have moved me. I will say a prayer for you and your family. God bless you and keep you. With aloha, Stacey

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Meera Venkatesh
    Meera Venkatesh

    Jerome, thank you again for continuing to be the best real-time, authentic inspirers of all times in our lives!!! happiness and peace for you and your family always!!!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Debbie Williams
    Debbie Williams

    Jerome , I pray for God's love and bounty to surround you and your family. It is only by the grace of God that we are here for whatever time we have. I love to see that you are living in the moment creating those very important memories with your family, as they are priceless. My prayers are with you all. Deb Williams, (a friend of Johanna's)

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Kathleen Nitchoff
    Kathleen Nitchoff

    Jerome, you don't know me, I work with your friend Jeffrey. I wanted you to know that I have been praying for God to wrap His arms around you and your family. I admire your strength and courage to share what you are going through and want you to know your life is impacting more people than you know...thank you for impacting mine. Because of this, you will always be with all of us. I will continue to pray for God's eternally good purposes and for you and your whole family to feel His presence. I look forward to the day we can finally meet. I believe we will. Kathy Nitchoff

    4 years ago · Reply