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!
I'm so thankful to report that Mark is home and resting and ready to fully recover! We are so thankful to put this hospital stay behind us! It was a rough one and we're ready to leave it behind us and move on!
We are planning on heading to Hallelujah Acres on Sunday and are very excited about learning all we can about nutrition and getting on this healthy diet! Currently Mark cannot each much so we are just eating all organic veggies and fruit and taking his diet one day at a time.
We are blown away by the love people have shown us and are so thankful to the Lord for putting so many wonderful people in our lives!
We are so thankful that they removed the NG tube today and he is starting to feel SO much better! In fact, I helped him clean up, took a walk and now he's sitting here listening to praise music and looks 100% better!
Our hope is that tomorrow they will start him on clear liquids and maybe he can go home Monday - it could be Tuesday - we will wait and see!
We are looking forward to a good night's rest as we hardly got any last night - I think at 5:00 Mark had been asleep a total of about 30 minutes - he just couldn't get any relief from the tube so tonight is going to be good!!
There really isn't too much to update - Mark's condition remains about the same. He still has the NG tube in which is very painful - the doctor said he may be able to take it out tomorrow - I sure hope so!!
We don't know exactly how long we will be here - we have to wait until everything internally starts working again and they see that he can hold down his food.
We were talking (well, kind of talking since he can't talk) about how thankful we are that this didn't happen two weeks ago when Jessica was getting married! And how thankful we are that he has time to recover before Cameron's wedding.
Below is a picture of our crew at Jessica and Dennis' wedding.
We had to put Hallelujah Acres on hold for a couple of weeks but still intend to get there as soon as Mark feels up to it.
We are praying for a quick recovery and hope to get him home asap!
Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts - we are truly blessed to have friends and family who love us so!
Mark and Lee
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Mark just got out of surgery and is in recovery. The doctor said there was tons of scar tissue and they got it cleaned out really good - it was a total obstruction. He said the surgery was very intricate since this was his 6th surgery and they won't be able to do any more surgeries in that area.
He will probably be here at the hospital for 5-7 days. It will be a rough recovery - his last surgery was exactly 3 months ago and his muscles haven't completely recovered from that.
Thanks for all your prayers - we greatly appreciate it!
This morning they ran more tests and determined that the blockage is not moving and they will need to do surgery. We thought it was going to be right after lunch but they just took him back around 7:00.
Please pray with us as he endures his 6th abdominal surgery.
We certainly didn't think that we would at Kennestone this past week-end but here we are!
Saturday night when we were going to bed Mark felt like he had some sort of stomach bug or food poisoning. He took some Pepto and went to bed - twenty minutes later he was up with lots of pain. He waited until about 2:00 to wake me up and as soon as I saw him I could see the pain he was in!
After about an hour he conceded and we woke up Cameron and he drove us down to the ER where they did a CT scan and discovered he has some sort of obstruction in his intestines. They admitted him and he did get relief from the pain which I was so thankful for.
On Sunday afternoon after 4 tries they got an NG tube down his throat to drain his stomach and give him some relief.
Today, Monday, they have been doing tests to determine the exact spot of the obstruction and what is causing it and then hopefully what to do about it. We have done a lot of waiting today and we still don't have any answers - I will update when we find out what is going on.
In the meantime please pray that this may be something they can fix relatively simple and without surgery!
Until this happened he had been feeling wonderful! We are scheduled to be at Hallelujah Acres lifestyle center in North Carolina to learn all about our new diet - check them out at www.hacres.com
Thank you for your prayers -
Mark and Lee
P.S. We know just like everything that God is in control and has a plan, even in this. If we focus our eyes on Him then first of all He will guide us and secondly we don't notice all the "stuff" going on around us.
We claim the promise "in this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer! I have overcome the world!" (Lee's translation)
I apologize in my slacking off from the blog - I never dreamed a wedding would take up so much time!! Our daughter Jessica was married to Dennis Coyle this past Sunday - it was a beautiful wedding and we are very happy for them.
We found out good news that the blood tests they did for this cancer being genetic came back negative. Our kids will still have to start having colonoscopies when they are 30 but at least that gives them a little more time before beginning that! We are very thankful!
Mark had scans a few weeks ago and met with our oncologist a couple of weeks ago - we have been quiet about all of the findings until after the wedding as we didn't want anything taken away from Jessica and Dennis and their celebration of marriage!
I first of all want to apologize to anyone who asked about the scans and were misled – we just felt like it was the best thing for Jessica and even for us. I hope you understand.
A couple of weeks ago when Mark had his scans, his liver and colon WERE clear but they did find one small cancerous spot on his lungs and one in a lymph node attached to the lung.
We have consulted with many doctors and feel very positive about attacking this thing.
Dr. Bergeron is our natural MD who is treating many cancer patients around the southeast – he does so much cancer research and he feels very optimistic about the protocol that he wants to put Mark on.
Instead of fighting this with chemo and making Mark sick and having lots of negative side effects and making his body weak and susceptible to more cancer we are going to build up his immune system and then fight this at a cellular level. I could write 3 pages explaining all that we are going to do but basically here is the outline.
1. Nutrition – we are going to go to Halleluiah acres for one week and be taught how to eat – they will put him on the Recovery Diet they have. Our diet will go from being balanced and eating mostly healthy to being vegan plus fish. If possible we are going to try to go sometime in May.
2. Supplements – too many to name – lots of great natural cancer fighting and immune building supplements.
3. Injections – Iscador and Thymus injections 5 times a week – this is to build up his good cells and fight the cancer cells.
4. Laser therapy – this is a laser he would like for us to get and use it 20 minutes a day pointed right at the cancer. There have been some amazing stories of cancer patients becoming tumor free just by this therapy alone.
5. We are also considering going to MD Anderson for another opinion from another oncologist who would specialize in colorectal cancer.
We covet your prayers – here is what you can do for us…
1. Pray for wisdom in all our decisions regarding treatment
2. Pray for complete healing
3. Pray for our finances as all of this is going to be very costly. The Lord has provided everything we’ve needed thus far and we know He will provide again!
4. Be positive!! We’re VERY positive and have given this to the Lord – join us in prayer but please don’t be down or feel badly because negativity is what the enemy can use against us…no “stinkin thinkin” allowedJ
We love you all very much and thank you for all the support you have been to use thru this whole journey – believe me – we wish we weren’t once again calling on your for support but this is where God has taken us and this is the path we are on. It is not ours to question why.
Thank you ahead of time for your love and prayers!
Mark and Lee
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
We just got home from our trip to Nashville to have a consultation with an oncologist at Vanderbilt Cancer Center.
We had a good visit with the doctor and really liked him. He threw a lot of information at us as far as research and studies that have been done - he definitely has a lot of knowledge.
In a nutshell he said that he would recommend 3 months of chemo but not strongly recommend because he can't guarantee that it would really do any good. He is going to take Mark's case before the board at Vandy next week and he will let us know what they came up with as a whole. We were very startled and excited that he stressed diet and nutrition and was very familiar with an integrative approach to cancer. I do believe he is the first doctor we have ever met with that has brought up nutrition as a way to treat the disease.
After finding out that we have 3 children he is going to do some genetic/mutation testing on Mark's blood to determine if our children have a high risk of getting colon cancer. If the test come back positive they will have to start having colonoscopies every other year.
To wrap it up he said that every single case is unique and what works for one person may not for another. We told him we understood and that we know and have faith that this is all in God's hands anyhow and that we are just trying to do what we can with the knowledge that God gives us.
We definitely felt like it was a worthwhile trip and enjoyed our visit as well as our time away together - it is a beautiful drive to Nashville and we had a very nice time.
We so appreciate the prayers and ask for continued prayers for healing as we know the ultimate healer and his name is Jesus! Pray that we will make the decisions that He leads us in and that it will be clear as to the paths we should take.
All for God's glory,
Mark and Lee
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Do you no know? Have yo not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
So sorry to have not updated in a while - Mark's incision is much better - it is still open but we wash it and pack it every day and it is getting better.
We were very thankful to be able to make the trip out to Kansas City for Realtime - a once every 3 year FCA convention for staff all over the US. We heard so many great speakers and got to fellowship with lots of other staff - it was a very real blessing to us. It also blew me away when I would meet someone from the Kansas City office and they would know who we were because they pray for Mark. Someone told us that they pray for Mark as much or more than any other staff member - wow!
Right before we left we had a visit with our oncologist - she took Mark's case in front of a board where they discuss the harder cases - she said basically the other 20 people on that board couldn't believe he was still around after hearing his history the past 3 years - she told them not only is he still around, he is healthy - she can never get over how healthy Mark is every time we go - his blood work is always good, he looks and feels good - sometimes it is really hard to believe he has cancer.
Since the cancer has returned 3 times and he has already had 6 months of chemo they are not exactly sure what direction to go in. Since the cancer keeps returning they fully expect it to return again - we told her that was totally up to God and that we would just trust Him!
We are scheduled to go to Vanderbilt on March 21 to see a specialist there so we are anxious to hear what they have to say.
In the meantime we were encouraged by some FCA friends who are in a very similar situation to be aggressive in treating this naturally. They follow a very strict protocol which includes daily shots, supplements and of course diet. I believe that is just what we needed to hear - they are 2.5 years cancer free. They have shared all their research with us and we are fired up and ready to go!
We have an appointment tomorrow with a local doctor that practices an integrated approach to cancer and can help us tremendously with prescribing the shots and supplements we need.
Prayer requests - 1. Clear direction and confirmation of approach to treatment when meeting with doctor tomorrow. 2. Visit to Vanderbilt will go well and shed some light on direction 3. Currently Mark has a terrible cold and is feeling very weak from that plus recent surgery I'm sure - please pray healing
Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf - we are grateful!
Mark and Lee
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally...and it shall be given him.
Psalm 41:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord: and He...heard my cry. He brought me up..out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Well, we've been home over a week now and Mark continues to rest and recuperate. He got his staples out on Tuesday of this week. He has a slight infection that they put him on antibiotics for. The bottom part of his wound has opened up a bit and so we are trying to treat that at home - we thought we were going to end up in the ER on Tuesday night as the wound kept bleeding but praise God it finally stopped and he got some rest.
Right now about all he needs to do is lay flat on his back. Sitting or walking really seems to aggravate the wound. The nurse is trying to get us an appointment to take him in tomorrow so they can take a look and make sure everything is ok - we have some concerns so it would be a good to see a professional. I've learned a lot these past three years and done a lot of things I wouldn't have thought I could but changing the dressing on this wound almost took me down Tuesday night! Afterwards all I could think of is, that is all we need - for me to pass out with Mark laying there with his wound open - we'd be quite a sight!! I thank the Lord for humor - He has definitely allowed us to laugh a lot - at ourselves, other things, etc. It's always good to laugh!!
As you are faithful in your prayers for Mark please pray that this infection will clear up and his wound will heal quickly. We are slated to go to Kansas City for FCA conference the end of next week. This only happens every 3 years and is a highlight for all staff - please pray that Mark will be able to go and will feel good.
Mark and Lee
Psalm 20:1-5 – “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.”
We are looking forward to shouting that victory cry and giving God all the honor and glory for all that HE had done in our lives!!
I know this is the same picture from the last post but I loved it so much I couldn't not use it!
It is Sunday morning and the doctor already came by to see Mark. He had really good news for us - the pathology report came back and everything looked good!! Then he said that Mark was doing so well that he may let us go home tomorrow!! He also said that Mark can start on clear liquids today - this is very exciting since he hasn't had a bite of food since Monday evening - ice chips just weren't getting it - he's pretty excited to get that tray of clear liquids! (perspective is everything!)
I'm so happy I almost ran down the hall as I went to get something to eat - how I praise the Lord for this great news!!
The next step is to do a follow up visit with our surgeon and then will go to our oncologist to see what type of treatment they recommend.
Thank you for your prayers - please join us in thanking the Lord for the great results that He gave us!
The next time you go to the Lord in prayer please lift up the Simonds family - their precious 14 year old daughter who was only diagnosed in January with Lukemia went home to be with the Lord on Thursday this week. This is so tragic and we have been lifting this family up since we got the news - please pray for them when the Lord brings them to mind.
We are looking forward to getting home tomorrow and to a full recovery soon - I will just have to make sure that Mark doesn't push it and if you know Mark then you know I have a really hard job!!
We are so grateful for all the prayers and thank you with all our hearts!
Oh give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him: Talk of all His wondrous works! Gory In His holy name: Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength: Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders and the judgments of His mouth.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be addd to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
For God so loved the world the He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words - so I though I'd let you see for yourself - Mark doesn't even look like he had major surgery 3 days ago!! This is by far his favorite visitor, our first grandchild Camden Grace Tidwell born 5 weeks ago!
His recovery is going great and we give God all the honor and glory for this!
He is still only on ice chips and hasn't had a bite of food since Monday evening - I'm sure we will have to put some weight back on him after we get home.
The doctor is still saying probably Tuesday at least before he can go home - we are hoping maybe Monday but we will see - he is getting rest here and probably best to stay as long as possible for his own sake. It is very cold today here in Kennesaw and we can hear the wind outside - thankful to be in a warm hospital rom.
Our next step is to get the pathology report back - we probably won't hear anything until Tuesday. After that we will get the recommendations of how they would like for us to proceed. This will be a matter of prayer for us as we decide what next steps to take.
The texts and emails have been very encouraging for Mark as I sit here and read them to him. The days are going by very quickly so far - he is up walking the halls every couple of hours - and with visitors in between it makes the days go by quick which is good.
Thanks for all the encouragement and the prayers - we love you all!
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
So here we are on day 1 toward recovery in room 116 at the purple tower of Kennestone in "short stay" - wish that meant that we wouldn't be here long but what that really means is they were out of beds and had to put us here! The doctor said we are still looking at a week's stay.
He has had some side effects from the epidural block so he hasn't been up yet - his leg is numb so they changed the meds and we are waiting to see if it works so we can get him up and walking.
He looks really good, not like someone who had major surgery yesterday! He still cannot drink or even have ice chips but he's in great spirits and has been enjoying me reading him emails, texts and posts from Facebook.
Thank you for all the love and support - we definitely feel it!
We don't have good cell coverage in our room so if you call or text and do not get a timely response that is why.
Praising the Lord,
Mark and Lee
Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
THANK YOU so much for your prayers - we just spoke with the doctor and everything went very well! He got all the cancer out with good margins and was able to reattach the colon - he said everything else looked good - now we are just waiting to go back to recovery to see him.
I am so thankful that he didn't have to have a colostomy - he will be so relieved!
I will update more tomorrow and post how he is doing.
Thanks again for all the messages and prayers - we are truly blessed with good friends and with many many prayer warriors -
I've been told it is hard to leave a message on this blog - if you want to send Mark a message you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will read it to him. You can also text me at 678-778-7254.
Thru what we feel is divine intervention we have met with a new surgeon who is a surgical oncologist and feel like it is the right move to have him perform Mark's surgery.
Originally we had a surgery date for today and then the 25th and now we don't know - we were just able to meet with new doctor yesterday and they told us it could be up to 3 weeks to get on the surgery schedule.
Thankfully, this cancer is slow growing so there isn't an urgency to get it done this week - we do, however want to get it done as soon as possible.
We are praying that we could possibly get a date for next week or the first week in February.
We have such a peace about this change and after we made the decision got a couple more confirmations that this indeed was the way to go.
I will post as soon as I have a surgery date.
Thanks so much for your prayers - we feel them - we are encouraged by them and we covet them.
Mark and Lee
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Wow! It's been a long time since I've been on this blog but it is encouraging to look back and see all the things that we learned and how God was with us each step of the way.
For my first post I am just going to paste from the email that Mark sent out - so below are his words about our current situation.
I had scans done about 3 wks ago and no sign of cancer was seen. In the meantime, I had been having some similar symptoms experienced w/the initial diagnosis over 2 ½ years ago. This lead to a colonoscopy last Thursday and more cancer was detected in the colon…the CT’s don’t always reveal this. The good news is that it was smaller than the original spot. The “bad” news is that there are more complications this time. Surgery is a must and this will make the 5th time in the abdominal area. Scar tissue will be an issue, as well as the previous hernia procedure, along w/uncertainty of enough margins in the colon to save it…the cancer is very low in the colon and it may be a precarious issue.
The good news: God was not surprised by this…we were, but hey, what’s new?:) Our take is that He is not done w/me yet, but has some more things to reveal through all this. We have known all along that He is not done w/me…Phil. 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” We claim that and encourage you as well with whatever your life holds.
Surgery will be slated for either the 17th or 26th; we are asking for the 26th now so that a number of things can be done between now and then…both in our family’s lives and the FCA ministry. Among other items…we are getting ready to be proud G-parents (awkward for me to say “grand”) this week of a baby girl.
How you can help: 1. Pray like never before…we are asking for there to be total healing…how about they open me up and…nothing? 2. Pray for the very best scenario if there is cancer 3. Prayer for speedy recovery 4. Pray for the ministry of FCA; I am virtually alone (1 other part-time) as a staff member in our area and naturally, things normally accomplished will potentially fall behind; also, though, I want to realize God is in charge and runs it, not me…but wewill need others’ help in carrying on. 5. As I am out, I fear the support of the ministry will tend to go in neutral. We need help and are in the midst of bringing on new staff and getting funding, so naturally, I worry about the time lost in moving forward with this. Pray for my “trusting Him”issues. 6. Pray for my family…especially Lee; she works fulltime coupled w/normal household affairs, along w/a new grandbaby, wedding planning for our daughter in April and a wedding for our son in June. I am more concerned with the heavy weight on her shoulders. She has also been experiencing a slipped disc and sciatic issues. She has been quite a warrior and will continue to be…but the pressure will, at times, feel very unbearable I know. My heart and love go out to her.
Thank you for your friendship and support. We covet your blanket of prayer during these days. We look forward to the next step in the journey.