Thursday, October 28, 2004

Everything is different now.

Next week, I'll turn 40.

I am a successful partner in a great law firm. I have a wonderful wife and three amazing kids. I'm in a band with a steady weekly gig, and a loyal, local following - we just released our first CD.
I live in a very cool 95 year old house in a great historic neighborhood. I belong to a wonderful church in the neighborhood. I get along great with my family. I get along great with my wife's family. My life is as good as it gets.

Except for one thing -

Yesterday, I learned I have esophogeal cancer.

My wife reminds me that we're not ancient Greeks, and that we don't believe that there are petty gods who get jealous and smite you, just because things are going well for you, but man, it's easy to see the appeal of that idea from where I am.

I don't really know how things are going to go. We'll meet with the oncologist tomorrow and get more of an idea. I'm scared as hell.

Here are some of the things I'm scared of:

  1. That I'll die.
  2. That the law practice I've cultivated for the last 14 years will evaporate, and even if I don't die, I'll lose my livelihood.
  3. That my disease or death will completely disrupt my kids' lives, screwing them up and keeping me from protecting and guiding them.
  4. That I won't be brave enough to help my wife through this.
  5. That I'll die after a protracted illness that will leave my family impoverished.

There's plenty more, but those are the top five.

There are lots people praying for me. That means a lot. If you read this, maybe you could say a prayer for me to. And for my wife and kids. Especially for them.


Blogger House Husband said...

Hi Bolan,

I really hope everything goes well for you.

Good Luck in beating this thing and with everything that you do from here on.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Dear Jim,

We love you so much! Please let us know if you need anything.

Jenn and John

8:40 PM  
Blogger Greg said...


Thanks for filling us in on everything that is going on. I was in Perko's office last week and he was filling me in on how things were going with you then. When he told me you would be having chemo, I told him I thought we should all get a buzz cut to show our support. Somehow I get the feeling that he didn't think I would be making the same statement that people like him would be - go figure. Hey, I'm willing to go down to a number one on the trimmer head.

Your attitude is great, that coupled with the prayers of so many people gives me confidence on the success of your fight with this cancer.

11:24 PM  
Blogger GSP87 said...

Jim & Judy, Greetings from Michigan. It was great to speak with you last week!

You should know that you have a lot of folks praying for you up here in the North Country.

I used one of your quotes this week on a friend who hadn't played his guitar in 'years'.

"A guitar is not a luxury it is a necessity" - JPG II - 1987 (shortly after purchasing an expensive Ovation...)

Love, The E's

7:45 PM  
Blogger CJ Fillmore said...

Hi Jim. You don't know me--I'm a friend of Pam Howard and saw the gig at the Richmond Scottish Fest with her a few weekends ago.

Wow. As a person who has been where you are now (I've done the cancer thing) my comments are directed more toward the people in your life who may be reading your blog.

So, to everyone who knows and loves Jim and his family:

Please don't back away from them because you feel uncomfortable and/or don't know what to say. Just being there is good, just giving hugs is good, just listening is good, just crying with them is good.

Don't feel like you have to come up with any incredible words of wisdom--there just aren't a whole lot of those for situations like this.

Don't minimize his (or the family's) concerns by telling him it will all work out, you can beat this, etc. That's the quickest way to shut down a person trying to express his or her feelings/fears/concerns.

Finally, remember that Jim is a person, not a disease. He still has a life that he wants to continue sharing with his family and friends.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. May God bless you all and comfort you.
CJ Fillmore

7:49 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Jim,
I have lived in Richmond for almost 4 years, and I always wondered if you and Judy were still in Richmond, and if I would ever run into you. Imagine my surprise, when I opened the paper to one of my favorite columns (Stacy Hawkins Adams), and there you were. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I have so many happy memories of your music, especially at my wedding. Someday I hope to come hear your band at Rare Olde Times. I am the mom of 3 beautiful, energetic boys, and I think frequently about your children, too, and everything you dream of for them. I will continue to pray for all of you.
Peggy (Marco) Bock

7:40 PM  
Blogger Olio said...

I remember when you went through that and praying you would come through. You are o r of the miracles I relate to others going along the same road you travelled. I thank God for your miracle which served to glorify God.

3:26 PM  

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