What gave him strength was the tremendous support he had from my sister, Suzy. I saw a side of her this year I had not seen before. It was nothing short of heroic. She was absolutely relentless in her efforts to find clinical trials, conventional and alternative treatments, health and diet information. She took Jim to meet with many doctors and specialists.
Jim was on a very strict diet prescribed to him by a holistic center in Dallas. No sugar, all organic, high calorie (to make up for the weight loss from the cancer), no nightshades, dairy, soy, and of course no refined sugar or any flour at all--all the foods that could contribute to cancer or inflammation in any way. I can't say that I understand all the logic and details, but I do believe it did help for a time. Jim was able to gain weight, and enjoy life at various points this year. Plus I think just the knowledge that he was putting very healthy and nurturing food in his body was a comfort to him and my sister.
The funeral and shiva were a beautiful tribute to the multi-talented and exceptional person my brother-in-law was. Hundreds of people filled the synagogue where the service was, and the minyans have had a good hundred people every night. Jim was the fix-it man, the musician and singer, the sage sharing his wisdom, the financial planner, the husband, the father, the brother, the son, the friend. He always had a quiet humility and strength about him that made you feel like you were in good, capable hands. That you were safe.
Jim, we will miss you so much. You touched so many lives. It still doesn't seem possible that you are gone. But it was Hashem's (God's) plan, which you understood and accepted. We just hope and pray that you are on a peaceful, beautiful journey now, with Hashem, and that you will advocate for all of us in clal Yisrael for the final redemption, speedily in our days.