There are some people in life who leave an indelible mark on our lives, even from the briefest of encounters. I'm sure you would agree, Jan is just that type of person.
Daughter, sister, devoted wife, dedicated mother, talented artist, author, Chaplain, missionary, and friend to all who meet her. Jan has touched the lives of countless people around the world, including mine. Jan and I met as volunteers at the Pregnancy Assistance Center North nearly 20 years ago. We had an instant connection and bond that has only been strengthened by the years. She is one of those rare friends whom you know in your heart of hearts is a forever friend regardless of where the circumstances of life take you.
Our dear friend has found herself facing a familiar path. Jan has been diagnosed with cancer. In early March Jan went for her annual physical at which time she shared about feeling something in her lower abdomen, possibly scar tissue from past surgeries? Upon further exploration, it was confirmed, cancer.
When I heard the official news yesterday, I asked if I may start this Caring Bridge site for her as I know all of you will want to follow along and support Jan, Philippe, and Paul throughout this journey. She gave me permission to proceed. She and Philippe are co-authors as well so I'm sure you will be hearing directly from them from time to time. However, as you can imagine, keeping up with the details of this diagnosis and all that comes with it takes a great deal of focus and strength, so I will do my best to share with you to help lighten their load.
Jan's text to me yesterday stated that the biopsy confirmed the mass in her lower abdomen was an aggressive form of cancer, but still contained. It will require surgery and perhaps radiation before that. She has a wonderful team being assembled by her dear friend, Dr. Pam Schlembach, at MD Anderson. I do not yet know the staging, nor the origination of the cancer.
I do however know that Jan's faith has not been shaken by this. This, from Jan, in a communication to her ministry prayer team:
"...However, unlike in times past when I would have been overcome with terror, the Holy Spirit washed over me with blessed assurance that Jesus my Healer was right there with me, experiencing all that I was experiencing and working on my behalf to bring new glory through these circumstances."
By God's good grace, Jan has maintained her peace and is standing firm on God's faithful promises. Please join me along this journey with our dear friend to support her (Philippe & Paul) through your words of encouragement, love, and, most especially, your prayers.
Lisa Maisano-Norman, fellow traveler