Friday, December 31

Day 5 - DONE

We are home and all is well.  We had a wonderful supper from James' mom. 
Here's the rundown for next week:
  • Monday - Blood work and 1 Chemo treatment.  James  is on three chemo drugs and gets one every Monday.  Please pray for him as this is the drug that made him ill on Monday.
  • Wednesday - Appointment with Dr. Coscio
  • Beginning Monday, James' white blood cell counts will drop and won't rebound for a couple of days.  He will get at high risk for infection. 
We love and appreciate everyone reading this blog.  Here's to a happy and prosperous new year to you and yours.
God Bless,

Day 4 and Day 5

Wahoo!  We made it to Friday!  Day 5 and we are done for the week!  I am sorry for the lack of posts yesterday.  No news is good news!  We arrived downtown in true August Hill fashion.  We were exactly one hour early.  I thought the appt was for eight but it turns out it was for eight thirty- oops!
James is doing well.  No nausea and no fever.  He has been a bit more tired but that is to be expected.  For now, he's relaxing, eating Blue Bell Rainbow Sherbet and watching "Gunsmoke".
I will update sometime this weekend as I return to work tomorrow...ugh!
Happy New Year All!!!

Wednesday, December 29

Voice Of Truth - Casting Crowns

Day 3

We're back at the hospital for day 3 of chemo. James' blood counts were up this morning and his liver and kidneys are in good shape. The treatment is beginning to wear on him as he is already napping. This is a common chemo side effect: fatigue. We'll be here for our normal eight hour day today and tomorrow. On Friday, we will go downtown as our local MD Anderson office will be closed. Say a prayer for our trip to Houston because James is not a fan of my driving!


Tuesday, December 28

Day 2 Continued

We had an very uneventful day and we're so thankful for it! James had no temp and no nausea today. It looks like one of the chemo drugs is to blame for the rough night last night. The good news is he will only get that particular drug on Mondays so the rest of the week should be smooth sailing!
Tonight we have to give huge praise for Meme and Aunt Donna and the hard work they put in at our house while we were at chemo. We came home to a spotless house! What a wonderful help! So thankful for such a wonderful family!
Goodnight all,

Day 2

Day 2 is underway. James' fever broke somewhere around 3 AM and was normal when we came in today. He is doing well considering the rough night. He's a little less than half way done. Pray for an uneventful day!
Thanks for covering James and I in prayer!

Monday, December 27


In your prayers tonight, please thank God for Dr. Coscio. As I mentioned, I called regarding James' temp about an hour and a half ago. She just called back to check on James. She is the best! A real blessing in all of this!

Day 1

To start, thanks to all who prayed over James' fever. His temp was normal this morning so he started chemo as scheduled. Praise the Lord!!!
The day started in the lab where routine blood work was drawn then a long visit with Dr. Coscio. To sum it up, the team at MD Anderson is 90% sure James has a germ cell tumor. As a precaution because the diagnosis is not 100%, he will have scans run after his second chemo treatment to monitor how the tumor reacts. For now, he will receive meds, two chemo drugs and fluids over the course of 8 hours/day for 5 days/week every third week for four cycles of treatment. Day one is complete. James' treatments are very aggressive therefore there are lots of side effects.
Today, he experienced a bit of nausea. It was treated intravenously with meds and pretty much knocked him out for the evening. Since we've been home, he has started running a low grade fever accompanied with chills and sweats. Because this side effect was not mentioned today, I called the doctor. At this time, his blood pressure and pulse are normal but I will monitor all three components (temp, bp, and pulse) through the night. If is temp or bp drop, we will land ourselves in the hospital for the evening. Please pray for James.
I will do my best to keep everyone updated. I can not express how much the out pour of love, support and prayer means to us!
Praying for rest,

Sunday, December 26

Help for James and Amy

Hi all-

Most of you may already know me, but to introduce myself - I am James' sister, Lauren. I wanted to find a way to help my brother and Amy financially with some of the upcoming medical bills that they are facing. While they are blessed with good insurance, their out of pocket costs will be substantial, and James will be on short-term disability for anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

On the right side of the blog (underneath the followers), there is a "Donate" button to accept monetary donations. If you feel led to do so, please follow the button to PayPal to make a donation.

Thank you in advance for helping my brother and Amy in their time of need. Please continue to pray for them as James starts Chemo tomorrow at 8 a.m.

Thanks and love to each of you,


Friday, December 24

Thursday, December 23

Ready as we'll ever be...

James had his port put in today so we're ready as we'll ever be to start chemo. He's pretty sore so he's resting under some good pain meds. As it stands now, we'll go to MD Anderson- The Woodlands Monday morning at eight for lab work. He will see Dr. Coscio at eight thirty and start chemo after that.
Prayer request~
James' pain will ease and he'll be more comfortable.
His fever will stay down so he can start treatments as scheduled.
Thank God we have insurance! I saw today what a HUGE blessing insurance truly is when I picked up James' meds!

Goodnight all...

Wednesday, December 22

From me...

Thank you everyone for the support and prayers. Its a blessing to us.


Tuesday, December 21

The results are in...

James has been diagnosed with a "Germ-cell" tumor. We are waiting for the full pathology report but as it stands now, here's the course of action:

  • Thursday, December 23~ A port will be put in place to use for chemotherapy treatments. This procedure will take place at St. Luke's in The Woodlands and should be an out patient procedure. James will also have a complete lung function test. This test will serve as a baseline throughout chemo.

  • Monday, December 27~ James will begin chemotherapy treatments at MD Anderson Cancer Center in The Woodlands. He will have four chemo treatments four hours a day, five days a week, every three weeks. At the end of four chemo treatments, Dr. Coscio will check his response to chemo and determine if surgery is necessary.

James is still fighting a fever that is making him feel rundown and sluggish. Its not too high but will keep him from starting chemo if we can not get it down.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24 (thank you, ms. holly!)

We appreciate all the support through prayer!

Much love to you and yours!


Monday, December 20

Today's Report

Today began with paperwork to set James up as a patient at MD Anderson. We met with Dr. Coscio and she ordered the ultrasound and blood work. This is what we know:
  • James' cancer is not typical of GI or Testicular cancer.
  • MD Anderson has been working to diagnose the type of cancer. They are recreating some of the slides and stains from St. Luke's. We are hoping for a full pathology report from MD Anderson tomorrow or Wednesday.
  • The fever James has been running is due to inflammation around the tumor in his liver. We should not be alarmed at this time and should treat it with tylenol. (yes, tylenol is processed through the liver but its safe at this time because james' liver is functioning 100%)
  • Dr. Coscio is attending a Liver Conference tomorrow at MD Anderson on James' behalf. She will take all of his scans and labs and meet with liver specialists, pathologists and surgeons.
  • The Testicular Ultrasound taken today is normal.
  • We have to make a decision regarding children very soon. All fertility and sperm banking must be done before the treatment begins.

Pray and pray hard...

Sunday, December 19

Celebrating the season...

James and I celebrated Christmas with my grandparents and extended family yesterday and are getting ready to host celebrations at our house with my dad tonight. James has stayed pain free on his side but did have a headache and fever last night. Please pray for the following: 1. James remains fever free 2. Dr. Coscio will have some answers tomorrow morning 3. Family members will be at peace with James' doctors, treatment and diagnoses. We are so grateful for each person this blog reaches!

Friday, December 17

An update...

Just finished another phone meet with Dr. Coscio...
  • The St. Lukes Pathology Team will not diagnose James' cancer. They have sent his slides and stains to MD Anderson. MDA Pathology, if happy with the work St. Luke's has done, should be able to give a definite diagnoses by Tuesday.
  • The endoscopic procedure is no longer necessary at this time. The St. Luke's Pathology Team has almost ruled out this started in the stomach, though this is not a 100%.
  • What no one expected was for the tissue to pass a test leaning toward testicular cancer. This is both good and bad. It is rare for testicular cancer to lead to the liver so for it to be found is a bit of a miracle. Testicular cancer is very curable. Remember Lance Armstrong??? Chemotherapy could be the only treatment. Surgery may not be necessary. Take the good with the bad...If this is the case, James and I will be faced with some life changing decisions regarding children.
  • We will see Dr. Coscio Monday, December 20th at 8:30 AM. It is likely she will order an ultrasound of James' reproductive organs.
  • James has experienced mild discomfort on his right side today.

Ready for a relaxing weekend with family celebrating the Christmas season! Bring on the homemade donuts!!!

So grateful for each of you!!!


Thursday, December 16

Just a few thoughts

I realize tonight just how great and powerful is the God we serve. There are people in this state, country, continent, and world praying for James that we do not and may never know. That is pretty big. From the smallest towns in Alabama to the cold temps in Ohio and Kentucky to the small congregation in Mixon, Texas to the beaches of Florida to the jungle of Gabon, Africa to Lucca, Italy people are praying to one God. Name above all names, worthy of all praise, my heart will sing... How great is our God! Thank you.


The latest...

Just had a phone meeting with Dr. Coscio and here's where we stand:
  • They are still testing the tissue from the biopsy to determine what type of liver cancer.
  • This could have started in the stomach. It is likely James will have a endoscopic procedure to see the inside of the stomach to determine if the cancer started in the stomach.
  • Our course of treatment has changed and is unknown. We could be looking at chemotherapy before surgery.
  • Dr. Coscio is sending the tissue from the biopsy to MD Anderson Pathology for a second opinion.
  • James was cleared by Dr. Coscio to hunt tomorrow morning as it may be his last hunt of the season.

Prayer request

  • James continues to be pain free.
  • The pathologist will determine what type of cancer.
  • James will have a successful hunt tomorrow.


  • Thank God for Dr. Coscio. She is working hard and exploring all options to see that James is treated properly with the best of care.

We should have some more answers tomorrow. Thanks again for love and support through prayer!!!



Got to give credit where credit is due...Praise the Lord for the following:
1.) James has no pain today!
2.) We both rested well at home last night.
3.) We have Tate, our 10 wk old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, to keep us smiling!

We should hear from the oncologist this afternoon and we'll know where we're going from there.
Stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 15

Where it all began...

I've never considered a blog but considering my attempt to share information with so many people for the past three days, I have decided this will be easiest. James was diagnosed with liver cancer today at age 27 and here's the story...
7:00 AM - James says to me that his side hurts. He's not much of a complainer so I knew it must hurt pretty bad for him to say something. I tell him he's likely pulled a muscle or is just sore from pushing the boat out of the mud over the weekend.
4:00 PM - James sends me a message saying he's in a lot of pain and thinks he's running a fever.
6:45 PM - James is home from work and in pain. I am thinking its time to see a doc. The pain is on his right side about mid-abdomen so I am thinking appendicitis. Makes sense right?
8:00 PM - We arrive at St. Luke's Emergency Clinic. James is checked in, seen by a doctor, blood work and x-rays are ordered.
9:00 PM - Blood work and x-rays are normal. Doctor orders an abdominal CT scan. By now you are thinking this is pretty impressive for an emergency room. It was amazing!!!
11:45 PM - The CT scan is complete.
12:25 AM - The emergency room doctor delivers shocking results of the CT scan. The scan revealed a 10 cm mass on the liver.
2:20 AM - James is taken by ambulance to the hospital.
3:15 AM - We are in a room and ready for rest that just won't come. I guess knowing prayer had began we fall asleep around 4:45 AM
Its still Tuesday...
7:00 AM - We meet Dr. Angela Coscio, MD. General Oncology. oncologist is a cancer doctor. It becomes very real what this could be.
10:00 AM - James goes for a needle biopsy of this mass.
2:45 PM - Dr. Coscio is treating James for liver cancer. We don't have the results of the biopsy but based on her experience, she unofficially diagnoses him. A full body MRI is ordered along with a CT scan of the chest. James' pain has eased a bit.
8:00 PM - Results are back and the MRI and CT scan show no signs of cancer anywhere other than the liver. Praise the Lord!
9:45 PM - The Abells call it a day...a very long day! James is in no pain.
There is not much of a time line to the day. We waited, waited and waited some more.
3:00 - Dr. Coscio delivers the preliminary results of the biopsy. It is liver cancer. It is isolated to one lobe of the liver. It is curable with surgery. Chemo is should not be necessary. And the best news...we can go home.

As of right now, James went to bed with a little pain. He is sleeping comfortably and is at peace with the diagnoses and prognoses. We will meet with Dr. Coscio on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning to discuss the full pathology report. Hopefully, we will see a liver specialist at MD Anderson Downtown by the end of the week or early part of next week. The details of surgery will be discussed at that appointment and I will pass that information on.

Please know that all posts will not be so great in length but I just wanted to catch everyone up~
James and I thank you for love and prayers.


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:10-13