Friday, June 6, 2014


I haven't written in here in some time but I have been regularly journaling in my private journal.  Some of this journey we've been on has felt too private to share but someday I hope to be able to share it all.

As anyone who has followed our family knows, last Fall Mark was diagnosed with Metastatic Ocular Melanoma.  It's stage 4 cancer.  With this type of melanoma there is no cure.  There were treatments offered but none that would cure it and the margin of possible life extension was slim, at best.

We chose to go the route of trusting God, seeking God, and living by faith throughout this.  He has been so gracious to us.  Mark has remained asymptomatic this whole time.  He remained faithful to his job and all his other commitments.  It wasn't until Easter weekend when we were visiting my family on the West side that he began to have severe headaches.  He saw a walk in clinic doctor in Edmonds who consulted with an opthamologist and an oncologist and decided to do nothing at the time, just advised Mark to take pain relievers like Tylenol and to go get an MRI when he got home.  Since it was time for his 3 month check up scans anyhow, he requested a brain scan, which hadn't been done to date.

When he went in to get that done the doctor called right away and said they found a mass in there.  Mark was at work at the time and couldn't really deal with that information.  The headaches increased so much he could not work within a couple days of that news.  He got a prescription from his oncologist for some steroids to reduce the brain swelling.  They have fortunately also reduced his headaches vastly!  We got in to see a radio oncologist right away, Dr. Cheo, a very nice fellow who told us that Mark probably only had 2 months to live with a tumor this size ( ball sized) and 3 months if he continued to take the steroids.  It was in the left side of his brain, centered in the part of his brain that controls his right side motor function.

The doctor did offer radiation therapy, which is gamma knife radio surgery...targeted gamma rays to the tumor only and not whole brain radiation.  It sounded somewhat promising until we heard the possible things that could go wrong and the fact that there is a 70% chance of new tumors forming after that one was possibly controlled, if they could get it controlled.  Ocular Melanoma is a form of cancer that is resistant to Chemo and Radiation so it is hard to control.  Ocular Melanomu, unlike the skin melanoma, metastisizes in the BLOOD STREAM, not in the lymph system, so it can take root anywhere at any time.

At the same time, we got the results of the latest CT scans.  He had 3 NEW tumors in his body.  A new one in his liver (that makes two in his liver now), one in his adrenal gland, one in his (I can't remember and will add later), and then the one in his lung.  The one in his lung is stable but the liver tumor has grown and then there are the three new ones.  NOT a good sign and they did say once it starts progressing like this it will go very quickly.

I cannot begin to tell you all how devestating this emotional it has been, the turmoil, tears, pain, worry, planning for our "future"...

THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING WE HAVE EVER FACED.  No one plans on this.  You cannot prepare for it.  It cannot even be comprehended.

We live each day...KNOWING, yes KNOWING, that it is a gift.  That, in and of it's self, is a GIFT.  Not many get to live with this perspective.  Everything is precious; every photo, every memory made, every moment.

I will write more later but I wanted to update my friends and family who read this blog and I want to have a record of this online.  I will add some of what's in my personal journal soon.  I so want to share all the good things that have come about because of this diagnosis/prognosis.  All is not terrible and lost but all is redeemed.  Things may not turn out the way we hope and pray...but we know we are in good hands when we put our anchor down into the love that Christ has for us.

Yes, we are feeling more love than ever before...from our God, from our family, and from our friends.  We are humbled and thankful.  Overwhelmed by the goodness of God and of people!!


On the left of this blog I have posted a link to a fundraising site that my sweet friends here made for our family.  Mark is no longer working and though we are not doing any extensive treatments we've already amassed extensive bills!  We are in the process of applying for short/long term disability but it is only a fraction of what our normal income was...especially with no on call pay or overtime.  So far we have been provided for abundantly.  If you feel led to give, we'd be truly blessed but mostly we value the prayers that you send up for healing and for our family.  I felt a bit weird posting this link to the blog but we do need some help and definitely we need more prayers!!!!

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