Joseph Jacobs, 73, lives in Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb, where he's an accountant. Jacobs and his wife recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and have two daughters and four grandchildren.
I was diagnosed with colon cancer May 26, 2006, following a routine colonoscopy. The cancer had metastasized to the liver. I was considered inoperable, and my only option was ‘chemo for the rest of your life.’ I sought opinions at four hospitals in Chicago and one in New York, but they had the same response. I accepted my fate and prayed for a miracle.
A month later my son-in-law came across a study to demonstrate that aggressive surgery can significantly increase survival rates among patients with multiple liver tumors. They were seeing a 60% survivor rate at five years. My survival rate was at 10%.
After a couple weeks of screenings I found out that I was a candidate. Was this my miracle? In October 2006, I arrived in Houston for the first of several surgeries, and I have to admit I was scared. I told the airport driver that I was really sick and didn’t have long to live. His words took my breath away. He said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Jacobs, you’re going to be OK now. You’re going to MD Anderson.’
On my way to surgery check-in, I noticed a poster that read, ‘We cannot control the winds, but we can adjust the sails… MD Anderson: Making Cancer History®.' This became the beginning of my miracle.
There are no words that can describe this place called MD Anderson. I call it ‘God’s Little Workshop.’ Many of the volunteers are cancer survivors treated at MD Anderson. The doctors are skilled, superior, world-renowned, yet so modest and kind. The nurses never made a mistake, cared for me and literally nursed me back to health. With each surgery, I was safe and healed quickly.
Today, thanks to the skilled surgeons and MD Anderson’s aggressive approach, I’m still alive, and I’m cancer free. Thank you, MD Anderson, for giving me seven years of my life, and counting. Only angels disguised as humans can do what you do. God’s Little Workshop was my big miracle.
Do you promise? Tell us why you’re committed to Making Cancer History® by sending an email to Promise@mdanderson.org.