40 for 40: Jim Graham’s Story

What matters most to Jim?

“Staying busy.” Jim has never been one to sit still, and he is determined not to let an advanced illness change anything. Jim’s Capital Caring journey began in late 2016 with a diagnosis of Metastatic Kidney Cancer. His Social Worker remembers sitting with Jim in his living room as he smiled and shared a quote a friend shared with him: “You can get busy living or get busy dying.” Jim made the choice to get busy living, but he needed help with improving his quality of life, specifically pain management. Jim’s Capital Caring Case Manager worked with the team and Medical Director to develop a plan to get Jim’s pain under control. When his Social Worker visited for the second time within a couple weeks, she found him in the kitchen behind the skillet, with a big smile on his face, cooking up the biggest stack of pancakes you have ever seen! Cooking is something Jim enjoys, and it was obvious.

Jim’s pain was not at a zero but it was at a more tolerable level.  Then his wife’s fear became a reality and he sustained a pathological fracture to his left leg as a result of the Metastases to his bone.  Jim’s Nurse and Social Worker visited him in the hospital and he reported his pain was unbearable. He had surgery to place a rod in his leg to stabilize it with hopes he would be walking again in 6 weeks. Within a week, he was home and smiling again with a little help from his Capital Caring team and some adjustments to his pain management regimen. Despite the break, Jim was rating his pain lower than ever!  He was now more determined than ever to “get busy living” again. Within a couple weeks, Jim was on the move again with a walker/cane getting back to the many activities he loves! Almost two months later, he is still “getting busy living” in a number of ways — from going shopping with his best friend of 45 years, to making beautiful stain glass pieces, repairing/making furniture, and making shadow boxes with his beautiful photographs. Jim sings in not one but two choirs, and last but definitely first for Jim is spending time with the love of his life, Joan who he has been married to for 30 years.

An advanced illness has not limited Jim. Capital Caring is honored Jim is allowing us to be a part of this journey with him and are thankful our team is able to manage his pain, help to improve his appetite, and ultimately give him the quality of life he deserves.  We should all take Jim’s advice and Get Busy Living!

Reach out to one of our care experts today.