"Friday night, 6/30 at 11:11pm, my dad walked through the gates of Heaven. My heart is so broken, but I am finding strength in knowing that he is at peace and in a state of grace. We witnessed the most beautiful sight out of his hospital window last night; the sun's rays were shining through the clouds and we knew God was taking him. Right around the time he passed, lightening struck and it started to rain. My mom is losing her best friend, but she knows she's gaining an angel. There have been so many signs of reassurance. I am resting in the fact that he would want us to celebrate his life, rather than feel sadness, and I know that he'd want us to take ourselves out for some ice cream. You better believe you'll catch the Janssen's at Flub's tonight.
Funeral Services will take place on Thursday, July 6th at 6pm at St. Peter in Chains Church in Hamilton, Ohio with a reception to follow. Family will receive friends from 5:30-6:00 at the church.
We are so grateful to anyone who is able to attend to celebrate my father's life. Thank you so much for your continued support, thoughts and prayers. I don't know how myself, Jimmy and my mom would ever get through any of this without them.
Lastly, if you have a loved one that is a doctor, a nurse or works in healthcare, hug them extra tight tonight. Their strength is immeasurable. I truly don't know how they do it, but I am so grateful. I'm going to love you forever, forever and ever, amen. Be at peace, papa."
Jim has been a fighter since day one of his cancer diagonosis, and his fight is not over. He has been surrounded by his beauitful wife, Anette, as well as his loving and caring kids, Kelly Ann and Jimmy. This is truly one of the strongest and sweetest families that I know, and I would like to help them in any way that I can. I hope that you will feel the same way. Any and all funds that are collected will be used for Jim's growing medical expenses. Jim has overcome many obstacles, but he needs our continued prayers and help.
Through loss and hardship, Jim and Anette have kept nothing but positive attitudes, words full of encouragement and strength. They both continually express that they are each other’s rock and best friend, and one doesn’t know what they would do without the other. Their story has undergone so many hurdles, but their example of love is unwavering.
In August, 2016, Jim was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He has lived an incredibly healthly life; never smoking, never consuming alcohol, exercising daily and eating whole foods. As the ‘C' word always does, this diagnosis came as a shock. After months of chemo-treatments, severe cellulitis, and a month stay at Bethesda North Hospital, he underwent a full cystectomy to remove his bladder on December 22, 2016. During surgery, the doctors also found prostate cancer, and removed his prostate as well. Doctors marveled at his resiliency, humor and positive outlook as they touted what could have only of been a miracle case. He was so excited to celebrate his “cancer free Christmas’. His nurses on the 4th floor became his BFFs. He could barely say good-bye to them at the end of their shifts because they grew so close. He was released from the hospital in late January. He began to recover well, began working out again and was expected to make a full recovery. He also loved having Anette teach him how to bake cookies so he could to bring them to his nurses and pop in to say hello on the weekends. Anette has been right by his side through every single moment, just as she has been for the last 45 years.
Three months after surgery in March 2017, Jim suffered a mild stroke caused by medication, from which he bravely made a full recovery. Then, in late May of this year, he was given the difficult news that the cancer had spread to both of his lungs. Doctors are unable to remove the tumors because of the high level of risk associated with that kind of procedure, meaning that more chemotherapy is necessary to continue his fight against cancer. Jim’s response was ‘fight on.’ “After I get through all of this, I can go help other people who are going through the same thing. I can give them hope, to know they can get through it, too.” His strength never wavers.
On June 10, 2017, Jim suffered a severe hemorrhage/brain bleed that once again placed him in Bethesda North Hospital. He is now stable, but is suffering from severe Aphasia and an altered mental state. Aphasia is an inability to use language to communicate after undergoing brain trauma. This is an extremely frustrating disability in that his mental intelligence is in-tact, but he unable to communicate his thoughts, act out normal daily tasks or recall words or people. Aphasia can leave can leave people feeling trapped inside. Those who know him can imagine how frustrating this is for him, being that he is typically the talker, the storyteller and the guy who has never met a stranger. Seeing him quiet and unable to communicate is extremely difficult, but he gave multiple sighs of disapproval when the Red’s lost their 7 run lead last weekend, letting us know he’s still the same ole' Jim.
Doctors are unsure of how this aphasia and amnesia will improve over time, but they are very hopeful that with therapy and hard work, he can begin to regain some normalcy. Signs of improvement have already reared their head and hope for the future is strong.
Jim begins immunotherapy this week to begin the courageous fight against his lung cancer, and we know that the words ‘ give up ’ have never crossed his mind.