Going beyond standard treatment
Mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat, but Jim had one thing going for him: his cancer had been caught early. He became his own advocate, seeking out the top mesothelioma specialists in the country.
At the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, expert surgeons removed his spleen, gall bladder, parts of his colon and several inches of his intestines, before rinsing out his whole abdominal cavity with a heated chemotherapy drug cocktail during a grueling 14-hour surgery.
Years later, Jim returned to Pittsburgh for a nine-hour pleurectomy/decortication procedure, in which surgeons scraped the cancer cells off his lung and removed the diseased lining around it.
To supplement his regular chemotherapy treatments, Jim also went to the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville to enroll in clinical trials for experimental immunotherapy treatments. To this day, Jim continues to seek out innovative cancer specialists, leaving no scientific stone unturned.