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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 10/21/2013 2:20:50 PM

Jim Mylander cant wait to get back to officiating high school football, basketball and baseball games. His 15-year MSHSL officiating career has been put on hold while he deals with cancer, but he will be back.

The Bloomington resident, who graduated from high school in Ellsworth, Wis., in 1979, was diagnosed with liver cancer in the spring of 2012. After mysteriously losing nearly 30 pounds and feeling fatigued, tests revealed that his hemoglobin was low and he was losing blood. Cancer was discovered in his colon, which had moved to his liver in the form of four tumors. By this past July he had undergone 27 rounds of chemotherapy.

He hasnt suffered from many serious side effects with the chemo, and he has been able to officiate some youth sporting events. While not officiating high school games, he often watches games from the sidelines and spends time with his officiating buddies before and after games, as well as at halftime.

I have a ton of friends who do multiple sports, he said. They always let me join them at halftime. They ask me about what I saw and how they were doing.

Mylander, who works as an inventory controls specialist at United Bankers' Bank in Bloomington, was a three-sport athlete in high school and became an official as a way to remain involved in athletics. He began working youth football games in 1991 and has been an MSHSL official since 1999.

I wanted the continuation of high school sports, and above all the kids keep me young, he said. I enjoy it.

Surgery to remove part of his liver was originally scheduled for early September, but doctors discovered that tumors were dangerously close to vital blood vessels. So instead of surgery he has undergone one round of radioactive embolization, a process in which a catheter is used to inject small radioactive beads into the arteries near the tumors. That procedure will be repeated in early November. If all goes well the tumors will be gone and he will be given a clean bill of health.

Jim and his family wife Natalie and daughter Emily have been posting regular updates on his CaringBridge website. The most recent update said

Good Morning to all...
Jim had his first radiation treatment yesterday. We were at the hospital a good part of the day, but all went well. Praise God!! He is home resting today. His next treatment will be the beginning of November. Then we leave it all in God's hands. We pray this works to reduce or get rid of the tumors. Thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and support. We cannot tell you how much this means to Jim, Em and myself. Jim's dads favorite line was "GOD IS GOOD" and we are certainly experiencing this through our difficult journey.
God Bless you all,
The Mylanders

When Jim and I talked, he said, I have been blessed because the main effect has been being overly tired sometimes. I never had any nausea; only a couple reactions to chemo last August put me in the hospital for two nights. I have had so much support from officiating colleagues, CaringBridge, Facebook and all the MSHSL people.

Both of Jims parents died of cancer in the 1990s. When I asked him if his own experience with cancer had changed him, he said. Its given me a new perspective on taking care of myself better and not taking each day for granted. Because you can never know what can happen.

I miss being out on the field, because I enjoy it. It keeps me young.

BY THE NUMBERS

*Schools/teams John has visited: 81
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 4,153
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



 


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