Brief history of Janet’s battle with cancer

Janet Hancock, heroic fighter against cancer

A smile for her friends

Here is a brief history of mom’s battle with cancer.  Near the end of 2007, some routine tests came back with slightly abnormal values.  Upon further investigation, it was discovered that one of her kidneys had an intrusive growth near the connection with the ureter heading down to the bladder. Around January of 2008, the kidney was removed and the growth was diagnosed as transitional cell carcinoma.

This type of cancer most commonly shows up in the bladder.  In mom’s case, it had taken hold in the kidney.  This particular situation is quite rare and doesn’t have the benefit of much research.  The cancer was identified as class 3 (of 4), which means it was growing quite aggressively.  The doctors had every reason to believe the cancer was encapsulated and they had removed all of it.

There don’t seem to be any known environmental factors associated with the onset of this kind of cancer.  It is known, though, that transitional cell carcinoma is statistically more prevalent in Scotland.  Mom has strong ancestral connections with Scotland so it looks like she had a genetic vulnerabilty to this cancer.

Mom was clear of any detectable cancer for six months after her surgery.  Then it showed up in her liver and lymph nodes.  At that point she began treatments with chemotherapy and several natural remedies.  Initially, the results exceeded what her oncologists said was possible.  They had said that in her condition, the best that could happen was for the chemo to slow the growth of the cancer.  There was no likelihood of the chemo reducing the size or incidence of the cancer.  However, against all odds, the cancer activity disappeared from the lymph nodes and the spots on her liver shrunk and almost disappeared.  Mom was able to travel to Indonesia in January and February of 2009 for a mission trip.

Some months later, however, the cancer returned with a vengence   Mom resumed chemo treatments, but around May of 2010, they told her the treatments were no longer having any effect and that there was nothing more medically that could be done to help her.

The last scan (around the beginning of July, 2010) showed that her liver is now completely enclosed by the cancer.  All together there were two separate times when the cancer disappeared to the extent it was not visible on the PET scan.  Each time it came back some months later.

It appears the cancer is now affecting her body’s ability to regulate her sodium level and the production of hemoglobin.  Mom has been in and out of the hospital a couple of times but was discharged from the hospital yesterday (Monday, July 27) since her condition is not improving and there are no further treatments that can help.

If you know mom, please post her a comment on this blog somewhere so she can read an enjoy it in the time she has remaining.


Bob Jr.

7 Responses to “Brief history of Janet’s battle with cancer”

  • Melinda Hill Says:

    How wonderful that God has given you a positive testimony to share even when your life on earth is nearing it’s close. I know that Jesus will walk close beside you as you travel this path. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • David Grams Says:

    Hi Janet: I want to say, first and foremost, that your life of being a blessing to others is a shining testimony to the power of God in these “last and decadent” days!

    I want to include your precious husband, Bob, in this little letter as well. His kindness toward our family and his genuine Christian spirit is most appreciated!

    And now, Janet, regardless of what seems to be the current circumstances, may we all continue to pray and claim the incomparable comfort of the Holy Spirit in all our lives—but most markedly in your life!

    Your friend and fellow-believer,

    David Grams

  • Baqiyyah Conway Says:

    Hi Mrs. Hancock,
    I will always remember me for that one time you chose me for a very special job. Why you chose me, I don’t know, but you made me feel very special. Thanks for being a blessing to me and so many others. I am so sorry you are going through this, but I hope and am praying that God’s Holy Spirit is comforting you and surrounding you with an atmosphere of peace.
    Baqiyyah Conway

  • Denise Benner Says:

    Dearest Mother, I am going to remind you now of all the ways you’ve shown me love. My first memories are of sitting on your lap as you read me the story of “Jungle Thorn”. I distinctly remember standing in our dinning room at UNAI while you pinned a dishtowel around me neck for a cape and placed a folded paper Nursing cap on my head. You see, I wanted to be a nurse, just like you. You would help me collect empty pill bottles and needle-less plastic syringes from the hospital pharmacy in Bandung when ever we went there. When we moved back to the states in 1971, you started your Master’s in Public Health and we got to see all the educational videos like “Water,Water,Water” and “The Great Grain Robbery”, the one about Sugar and one about exercise. You always fed us healthy food anyway. The only time we got sweets were for dessert on Sabbath. No sugary cereal, no juice (at least not much that I remember), just healthy food. BUT one time, you bought me something special. It was my first time to go to summer camp. Lorene was working at Camp Cedar Falls that summer so you let me go for one week. You gave me money for the camp store and you bought me “Zippity Do Dahs” juice bags for my trip up there on the bus. I was so excited! When we returned to Indonesia and as I watched you put into practice all that you had worked hard to learn, I admired you so much. I would go out to the villages with you sometimes and watch you teach the mothers, weighing the babies and charting the progress. They were all so grateful for the food supplements. I remember long, hot trips to Jakarta while you went to the UNICEF headquarters and embassy doing business for the grants for your program. No wonder there are so many of your students today who love and admire you. When I went to Singapore for school, your letters kept me close. In my last year of high school, you stopped in Singapore on you way back home from visiting Lorene and checking out her new “man”. You had remembered that I had a banquet coming up and had bought me the most beautiful maroon taffeta dress. It had a shockingly low crossover neckline but you showed me how that could easily be remedied. You have always had the greatest fashion sense. You have always looked so beautiful. Through my college years at home, you taught me valuable life lessons. I remember clearly your explanation to me that sometimes we must forgive and then, forgive again. You explained that in our human condition, we tend to hold onto our hurts and must ask God for the gift of forgiveness which he gives to us so we can give it to others. Then, the process may sometimes have to be repeated. You taught me about the importance of letting our bitterness go and giving it to God, that we must depend on Him and Him alone for our spiritual life and growth. We can not look to even our closest relationship for that, but cling to Jesus.
    when I married and we had our children, you would drop everything and come out to support me. When you would have to leave, you would still write me letters of encouragement and send me “epistles”, messages of love, telling me that the job I was doing as a mother was the highest calling on earth. You found all the most positive quotes from Ellen G. White to mothers about their mission. I know, without a doubt,that the good that my children have seen is because of the legacy of love you have handed down to me. And then, there are your prayers. Again, I know I have been sustained and supported in countless ways because of your intercession on my behalf with our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful that you have put into writing the promises of Love and the great character of God in your Book. Your light will continue to shine, long after you’re no longer with us. I will see you soon, in that golden morning! What a glorious day that will be!!

  • Herb Douglass Says:

    Norma and I learned of Jan’s passing just hours after she went to sleep. What a valiant pal for many years, many of them on the staff of Weimar Institute. She organized what was called “Weimar Weikends” wherein many programs were sponsored,filling up Weimar Inn on each occasion Her nursing skills were frequently called on. She and Bob for 49 years were a tremendous model for all their students, a constant inspiration for the rest of us. What makes all this easier to bear is that Bob and Janet lived forward, never looking back. They were consumed with the Adventist hope–a hope that grows brighter by the day. Not long, now, dear friends. Cheers in the Lord, Herb/Norma Douglass

  • Adink Sudrajat Says:

    Hi, Pastor Hancock, It was so good that we have a chances to meet you and Mrs Hancock last year in Indonesia. I received a warm hug from Mrs Hancock expressing her love as if a mother to a son. and an earnest pray she offered for me, my brother and bu Mien. she would also give a strengthening advise for my mother in law that suffer from a light stroke. I didn’t realize that it would be the last change meeting her. But then it come a comport that it that couldn’t the last change meeting her as we have the same great hope on the resurrection day where our beloved ones who clung to Jesus saving grace would meet together in the un-picturing moment. Oo I’m longing for that moment. I pray for the reality of that special day. Pastor Hancock, Sherly, Lorene, Bobby Denise thank you guys for all you guys have done to me personally and to my other rest of my family. you were so special during yr stay in our country. Mrs Hancock had contributed so much love and attention to our family. Thank you guys, thank You Lord for giving us many good thing from the Hancocks, please take good care of them Lord we love this family. Amen

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