Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Over and over I meant to sit down and update everyone, but even more than that I wanted to wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I was going to post updated pictures of all of us, especially since getting around to Christmas cards was not on the top of my list this year. We did love getting pictures and updates from all of you.

It's been a tough couple of weeks. It has not gone as wonderfully as we had hoped. We've tried many different variations on the medications to help Mark be as comfortable as possible, but it still isn't great. Unfortunately, it might not ever be real great again, and that is very disheartening for all of us. However, that's not to say he hasn't had some okay days. It's definitely different every single day, but the fact that some good is mixed in helps a lot. His feet and ankles have been swollen for about a week. They told us that the kidneys are having trouble moving everything through now. He tries to keep them elevated, but one of the other side effects of either the medicine or the cancer itself is restlessness. He feels anxious and can't get comfortable, so he's up an moving here and there through the house. He is taking something now to try and help the swelling. He's able to sleep pretty good at night and he does sleep on and off through the day.

Mark was given a beautiful blessing on Christmas Eve that the desires of his heart (to enjoy Christmas morning with the kids) would be realized. We witnessed yet another miracle. For it was indeed a miracle. He was able to be awake and enjoy, with very little pain, the thrill and joy that is Christmas morning. I realize that as I sit here typing this I need to make sure our children are aware of this and the many other miracles that have taken place through this trial we are enduring.

I feel like there's more I need to say, but I'm so tired. I'm not feeling clear enough to write more. I continue to thank all of you for your words, thoughts and prayers. We do feel them. They do raise our spirits. I also thank our Heavenly Father for his love and constant care. I testify to you that I know our Heavenly Father "knows" each of us individually and loves us unconditionally. If nothing else I have learned this truth.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sometimes...

...the load is so heavy, even when Heavenly Father is carrying most of it.

I can't sleep. I'm so tired, but sleep won't come. Forgive me if this post becomes long. Mark's Grandma Clements passed away this night. I am so sad. She was the sweetest grandma. She never forgot one birthday, anniversary or Christmas. Her card was always the first to arrive. Even over these last few weeks when she was rapidly declining, she still made sure that through Aunt Diane, Mark and Chase got their birthday cards. Only two days ago we received a manilla envelope filled with four Christmas cards, one for each of the children. But the thing that made me smile the most was the sandwich bag with its shiny content of the most current "state quarter." That was the sweetest gift of all. She loved others so much. We love you Grandma!

As far as our story, I'm sorry to keep you all wondering. Mark actually came home from the hospital last Friday the 8th. He definitely had a bad infection. We had to continue the antibiotic (IV) two times a day until this morning. They put in a pic line so we could do it at home. This past week Mark has had very little awake time. His stomach has become very distended which means it has become very painful. We actually went to the clinic on Tuesday. I could tell the doctors didn't like what they were seeing. Even though Mark hadn't lost any weight, the doctor was concerned at how skinny Mark looked. The doctor had only two suggestions. There was one more chemo we could try, but it would only be for palliative purposes (possibly helping ease the pain - not a cure.) The other was hospice, for help in making Mark as comfortable as possible. Mark was still wanting to get feeling better before making any decisions, but I was getting nervous about what I was happening. I talked with him yesterday morning, and told him that felt it was time for hospice. It was a long hard day for both of us. This does not mean we have given up hope. I am praying with every ounce of strength I have left that the doctors and nurses can help him feel comfortable, so we can have some quality time.

I try not to ask for specific things on here to often, but if you could please pray for the new medications to help relieve Marks pain so he can enjoy the holidays with us, I would be so grateful.

I also need to witness to the fact that angels are among us. They do come in many forms and they come in time of need. I'm talking about the living and breathing angels that help through prayer, service and actions. I will never be able to thank all the angels that have blessed us, so I hope that by writing this I will remember to be an angel for someone else in their time of need.

Love each other. Cherish the time you have. Don't worry about all the "have to's." You'll never regret that you left your laundry in piles on the floor, but you will regret that you didn't let the ones you love know that THEY are the most important "have to's" in the world.

We love you! Thank you and bless you for touching our lives and making us who we are individually and as a family.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy 40th Sweetheart!

I just can't go to bed without telling Mark Happy Birthday one more time. It's been the worst birthday you could have had, but hopefully you won't remember too much of it.

To all who so sweetly and regularly check our site, yesterday we headed to the emergency room at 6:00pm with Mark's temperature at 102.7. There were times it hit 103.3 and possibly even higher. They decided the culprit was an infected port. We were finally admitted to a hospital room at 3:00am. They still spent another hour or two taking more blood, vitals, administering meds, taking history, etc until about 5:00am. At that time we tried to sleep the best we could. Today at 11:00am they removed his port and cleaned it out. He pretty much slept most of the day (although that's difficult when they have to come take his vitals every 15 minutes.) The kids came up to wish him a happy birthday, and then I came home with them to try and get some sleep, so we can face another day. Hopefully he'll get a good sleep tonight too. They don't know when they'll send him home, but if his fever can subside and he can start eating it should be tomorrow or the next day. He'll still need some antibiotics for a few mor days, but that should kick it.

To Mark: I love you honey. I have to put it in writing today, this minute, so you know when you read this that I was so sorry that you had to go through this on your birthday, and that I love you with everything I have to offer. You are my soulmate and I promise we'll celebrate in style when you are back to normal. Love ya, me