Medical Miracle? Reno man's stage 4 cancer disappears

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- As we celebrate Thanksgiving, one Reno man has extra reason to give thanks this year. That's because he's alive.

Jim Hamers, 76, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer earlier this year. But along the way, something very surprising happened to Jim, and it may be nothing short of a miracle.

In February, Jim was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Doctors told Jim he likely had only had a few months live.

"Totally stunned," is how Jim described his reaction to the news.

He immediately started undergoing chemotherapy, and he did his best to keep up with his regular daily routine, including exercise.

Like anyone battling cancer, Jim had good days and bad. But he refused to let the cancer take over his daily life.

And then suddenly came the news neither he nor his wife Jari were expecting to hear.

Jim's stage-four cancer had disappeared.

"They did a CAT scan, and low and behold, they couldn't find any tumors," Jim told us.

That CAT scan was followed up by two more tests, including a PET scan, which captures detailed color images of organs and tumors. Again, no cancer was found.

For Jim and Jari, there's only one way to explain the turnaround.

"It's a miracle," Jari said.

And Jim agrees. "It's a miracle," he said during our interview. "I have a lot of support from friends and family. Especially my wife."

And there are those in the medical community who also agree.

We asked Denise Wiley, an oncology nurse navigator at Renown Medical Center, about Jim's story.

"I'd like to think that miracles can happen," Wiley said.

She said they do see more positive outcomes these days, even compared to just five years ago.

Wiley said advances in treatment, healthy lifestyles, and the positive support that Jim mentioned from family and friends, all play a part when it comes to making miracles happen.

"It can help with overall survival, things like emotional support, family support," she added.

Now Jim and Jari are actually able to find some humor when talking about his treatment and all those tests.

Jim explained, "Two more CAT scans, which have been positive."

But his wife was quick to clarify those tests were actually negative.

"Negative means good," Jim added with a laugh. "So anyway, here I am."

Jim is not out of the woods yet. He'll continue his chemotherapy and undergo more CAT scans, just in case the cancer does come back.

But he's alive and healthy, ready to enjoy what life has to offer, after almost having it snatched away. And for that, Jim and Jari are full of thanks this holiday season.

And all of us here at News 4 wish him well and continued good health.