I am pleased to report that Mark is doing very well and feels really good. Sometimes it's very surreal to think about the fact that he has cancer - it doesn't feel like it could be real as he looks and feels great.
The outpatient surgery went well. We had a huge blessing in that they sent out a nurse to the house to dress and change the wound daily - it made a tremendous change in helping us manage his recovery. We are so thankful for that!
He promises that he is being very careful but he is back to working out which really helps him to feel good.
He has started his IV therapies locally and we have sent his blood out to Seattle where they are currently working on his vaccine. We fly out October 14th and will be gone for one week. He will receive his first round of the blood vaccine there along with other therapies. We are excited as we've never been on the west coast before and we both love traveling and seeing new places. I came up with what I think was a great idea to fly back home from San Francisco instead of Seattle which would give us a chance to drive down the west coast and truly enjoy the beauty of it.
Mark has been very busy with ministry. We had our biggest fund raiser of the year last week for FCA in which God gave us perfect weather for our golf tournament. Along with FCA Mark has been given a message that he feels he needs to share with as many people as possible. He has been able to do a good bit of speaking and many people of had professions of faith. To read more about this ministry you can visit our web site at www.leaveamarknow.com - I could go on and on about the impact that this is making - it is very exciting to see God use Mark's cancer for the good.
We've been empty nesters now since June and do enjoy it - our kids have all been so supportive and are helping out tremendously with the Leave a Mark ministry so we get to see them all quite a bit which we love.
We LOVE being grandparents and consider little Camden such a huge blessing in our life Now since I've mentioned her I will just HAVE to share a picture....
We just happen to think she's the most beautiful baby around!!
Thanks for your continued prayers for healing for Mark as he daily fights the battle - we are continually encouraged by people praying for us and are convinced without a doubt that the prayers are the reason he is doing so well so we can't thank you enough!
Love and Prayers,
Mark and Lee
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever
things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of
good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think
on these things.
I apologize for taking so long to update this blog!! I just wanted to let you know how Mark is doing and where we are with treatment, etc.
We have spent many hours praying, researching and trying to know for certain with path we should go down in regards to Mark's treatment in light of what we found out at MD Anderson.
Our first commitment is to stay true to the diet we learned in the spring at Hallelujah Acres. We firmly believe in the process and know that God has created everything we need to heal our bodies from the inside out. Putting living food with enzymes into Mark's system can only be good for him. A side note about our diet......to be honest we were getting a bit discouraged with the time we needed to put in to juice and prepare all this fresh food - if I didn't work I would be full time trying to get this down just so but I do work so we didn't know what to do....our wonderful church family is always volunteering to help us in any way and so we asked them if they could come once a week to help us prep and juice...that was three weeks ago and it is amazing how HUGE of a help it has been to us! We are so grateful for the help - it's been fun so far too!
So, we decided to keep our diet steady but what else?? Our doctor here recommended a place in Seattle where they are doing a lot of research and are developing vaccines specifically formulated from a person's blood. To read about what they are doing their web site is http://www.hwicancerresearch.org - after literally looking all over the country and even out of the country we landed with this program and God has given us a real peace about it. They are currently working on Mark's vaccine and we will fly out Lord willing October 14th to spend a week while they give him the first round. After that all following rounds and treatment can be administered locally in Roswell. There are also IV treatments and other injections that will go along with this plan. It is an 18 month plan and very costly but we felt a real peace about stepping out in faith and doing this - if our medical fund runs dry then we stop the treatment - very simple and once again God gave us such a peace of knowing that He is in control and every breath we take, every step we take is in His control and we are just sitting back and trusting Him for the outcome.
Mark has been feeling very good with one exception. His incision from the May surgery just doesn't seem to want to heal. He has had many trips to the doctors office where they have tried and tried again to repair this but to no avail so we will be at Kennestone at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow for an outpatient surgery to repair this incision. He has also developed a hernia from all of the surgeries but currently they said they cannot worry about that until they get this taken care of. Honestly, we don't know if they can ever repair the hernia - after the last surgery they said they wouldn't be able to open his abdomen up again - it's just been opened too many times and that is one of the reasons why we're having such a hard time with this incision.
Thank you for your many prayer - I've said it before but we wouldn't be here without prayer - we have felt lifted and and strengthened and that comes as a result of prayer!!
Keep it up!
Mark and Lee
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the fiture, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
II Corinthians 6:16
For we are the temple of the living God.
II Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
We arrived in Houston Tuesday evening and started our experience at MD Anderson Wednesday morning. They are very thorough and very busy! They do scans here until 11:00 at night. The place is amazing - it is like a city - there are so many people here. You don't have to look far to see someone far worse off than we are - we have so much to praise the Lord for!
When we came out we asked some of you to pray that we could be finished by Friday because we had gotten an email that said to plan on being here thru Tuesday. Well, PTL, they were able to get all testing done and see us for our final consult.
We did not get the news we were hoping for. When the doctor saw us with the results of the scans he said that the tumor in the lung is the same size which is good news but that there is a small tumor in the liver and one near the colon where his last surgery was. They are both small which is good and he is not eaten up everywhere with cancer which is another praise.
They recommend chemo but they don't give us much hope of it being successful.
We are in the process of contacting a doctor in Germany who has had a lot of success with another type of therapy. We will first find out if they think Mark would be a could candidate for this therapy and then pray about whether or not we should go down that path. The process he is using is immunology - for those interested the web site is http://www.immunologyfoundation.org/
While we didn't get the news we wanted we know that God is sovereign and we trust Him completely. Ultimately we can go to 10 different countries and try many different therapies but God is our healer and He alone knows the number of our days and that alone is what gives us peace.
We covet your prayers as we seek God for what He wants us to do and what path we should go down. We also ask prayers for our children as this is hard on them and we just hate to see them going thru this.
Before we left I had asked God to give me a word and He gave me Psalm 112:7-8 (look it up in NIV) - it talks about us not being afraid of bad news - He does not want us to be afraid but to TRUST in Him.
We will be back in Atlanta Saturday evening. On Monday we will hit the ground running back in our regular life but also looking for what we are to do next.
We love you all and thank you ahead of time for your prayers on Mark's behalf.
Praying for Healing,
Mark and Lee
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
It's been awhile since I posted anything so I thought I'd better give everyone an update!
We got back from Hallelujah Acres and felt so blessed to be able to have spent a week there learning about nutrition and how God made our bodies to heal themselves. He gave us everything we need. Ultimately we know it is up to Him but He provides the natural remedies that we need!
The beginning of June was Cameron and Caitlin's wedding which was just beautiful! Picture above is of Mark and myself before the ceremony. We were just in awe of God's timing in that Mark had such a hard time in the hospital in May but he was able to not just be present but feeling healthy and good at both of our kids weddings that were only 6 weeks apart and the hospital stay was in between weddings!
Diet is going well - we are really getting used to it and
have learned to make many new dishes - we have had some great dishes and some
not-so-great!It is VERY time consuming
- we are doing most of the prep work together - Mark has been great to jump in we are having fun trying new recipes. The longer we stay on the diet the easier it is becoming - even the cravings for the old junk food are dissipating and we are honestly enjoying our new diet plan. We are trying to juice once a week and that is quite a process in an of itself - Mark is doing all green juices and I'm doing carrots.
We found a restaurant near the airport that is 100% raw
vegan which is exactly how we should be eating - we went there for our anniversary - it was awesome - we wish it were closer but at least we can go there for special occasions.
I'm finding that just as with my cooking before I enjoy making desserts the most!I made a
"cheesecake" this week-end for Mark and he loved it - he's had some
everyday!It is all raw - crust is
almonds, coconut and dates - filling is cashews, lemon, honey, vanilla and
water made into a liquid and you pour it over crust and freeze it - topping is
blackberries and dates - it is very good and very healthy - just an example of
what we are doing.
God is really doing a work in Mark - He gave him a
message and it is turning into something that is really touching lives.He has been able to speak to several groups
so far and it has been very impactful - he is working on a book and we are seeing many opportunities coming our way as a result. More on that later.
We are getting ready to go to MD Anderson in Houston next
week - they will put him thru a battery of tests, we will be there for 3 days
and on the last day they will give us the results of the testing and tell us
what they recommend.We know we could get great news that the
cancer has shrunk or is gone, that it is the same or that it has spread.We are praying for good news - we have
absolutely no idea, don't have an inkling of what it may be.In the past we may have had a suspicion that
it was back because of symptoms but right now Mark feels great!He still hasn't put on his weight from losing
it the last surgery but when you aren't eating meat, dairy or sugar it's kinda
hard to put weight on.
Thank you for your continued prayers - please pray specifically for faith for us both as we head to MD Anderson and get results of testing. Also that we will listen to the Holy Spirit and know which path to go down as far as treatment or anything He has for us. We are praying for great results and we know He can do it!
With much love and gratitude for who He is and what He has done for us,
Mark and Lee
I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be
dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up
with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk
and not become weary.
not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am
your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will
uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Well, we only have a half day left here at the Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center. Mark is doing great!! We are so thankful to be here - we originally had planned to be here last week but because of surgery we had to put it off a week. We know that like everything else God's timing and plan is perfect!
The people here have been wonderful and the group that we are with this week are terrific - below is a picture of our group with our leaders yesterday when we drove down to Hallelujah Acres in Shelby, NC. We have learned so much this week and are very excited to implement everything into our lives when we return home. When we came here I was worried that I would hate the food and always be hungry but I can say it is exactly the opposite! We have eaten delicious raw food every day and I even like the juicing. Mark has done more juicing than me and the difference in how he looks from Sunday night to now is actually pretty dramatic. We are both convinced that this is the path that God wants us on - the correlation to the nutrition plan here to the scriptures is awesome.
We both feel renewed and rejuvinated and couldn't be happier with our experience here. We highly recommend it to anyone!
Mark gets his staples out next week - he is still having some soreness in his abdomen but nothing out of the ordinary.
We're looking forward to a great Memorial Day week-end with all our kids and grandbaby in the North Georgia mountains.
Thank you again for all your love and prayers,
Mark and Lee
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
We arrived here this afternoon and have already had orientation, a couple of classes and dinner - so all I can say right now is that the food is amazing! If I can learn how to fix fresh veggies like they do we will be set! It is very exciting!
There are 7 other people here - a very good group - I know we are going to learn a lot!
We are so thankful for this opportunity and for God allowing us to come here.
We're very excited about the whole week!
Thanks for your prayers - you can specifically pray that Mark can regain some of the 14 pounds he lost after this last hospital stay - before we had our first meal I was worried about that but now not as much!
Gotta run - they want us to get plenty of rest - they keep us pretty busy!