Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all! First to JC, glad to have you back! I hope your trip was a good one!
Ho Ho's is like a Devil Dog with a chocolate cover. Not as good a Mallomars or Milano's. I love Susie Q's, but they stopped making them.
I have been asked how do I stay so positive? Well.... I don't really don't have a choice! I am very lucky to have a wife who is willing to overlook all my faults and stay with me through this. Second is my resolve never to give up. I have seen many people who have given up and there sickness just overtakes them. Third is all of you! You have given me so much hope and positive posts that it is easy to wake up and feel good!
Today is a good day. I normally watch MSNBC, but made a promise to myself to keep the news off until all this bashing between the candidates are over. It's just too negative. I rather watch Ninja Warrior. My dogs are on top of me for there morning treats, so I'll go take care of them now. Have a blessed day all! Peace and Love! Mark

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Morning

In case Craig sees this post, I love Hawaiian Coffee! Kona... whole bean. : )
I feel good today. A friend gave my wife a bottle of Tequila from her Mexico trip. We thank her!
I am trying to get out of my funk. You can't build on negative thoughts. So, I got one of my funny cigarettes and put on my "Essential" Lynyrd Skynyrd CD (volume on 10). I feel much better now. I think I'm going to make a 6 egg cheese omelet with a side of Ho-Ho's. Honey if your reading this, we are now out of eggs.
Cheech and Chong are getting back together! I hope they don't make another Corsican Brothers movie.
One last thing. A great sight if you like FREE movies: I saw Batman and Handcock the other day. Pretty cool. I thought about watching Mama Mia, but came to my senses in time.
Peace and Love to all! Mark

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Evening

Shhh - Mark is napping. He really wants to watch the show about Randy Pausch tonight, so he's taking a nap now. This means a great deal to him. Craig - we are so waiting to hear all about Hawaii (you lucky devil). Have a bite of pinapple for us both. Nancy, we worry about you and Mark asks me every day how you're doing. Mike, Carol and all our other friends - you have come to mean a great deal. I talked about fear the other night. I think I need to focus on strength. That brick wall bashing does build emotional muscle. Ha - that's the only muscle I can hope for. But seriously, I have been really focusing on mental and emotional exercise to make myself stronger for the challenges ahead. I want to go into this as well equipped as I can. So, I'll be reading and meditating a lot. Any and all suggestions for reading material well be greatly welcomed. Carol has made a couple of excellent suggestions. I'm open to all. I love you guys. NEVER GIVE UP!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning

Morning! If I may, there will be a program on tomorrow night on Randy Pausch Tuesday Night called "The Last Lecture'. I can't tell you how incredible this guy was in his lifetime. How he faced death and cancer is amazing. I hope you all watch it.
I must admit, I have been feeling sorry for myself lately. With the loss of another friend and Randy Pausch, it really blew me away this week. Looking down the road is not easy and very hard to stay positive. I try hard and read so many blogs over and over again for strength. I prey you all know how important you all are to me. Your support helps me everyday!
May the Lord love you all! Peace and Much Love! Mark

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Morning

Hi everybody. I had a good day yesterday but fell asleep early after watching the Yankees crush the Red Sox. Woo hoo! Today is a nice quite Sunday. Just watching the talking heads and trying to digest all the spin. Still sad and down about the loss of Jim, but realize he is free from the suffering now. Love and Peace to everybody. NEVER GIVE UP!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Evening Rambling

Mark is always encouraging me to come on here and really let myself express what's inside. I guess that is tonight. I go through every day really rather numb. I am afraid to let anything penetrate the hard shell I have up, because I feel responsible for keeping everything going with no big road blocks. I heard a report tonight on NPR about the professor at the Pittsburgh university that wrote the book called "The Last Lecture" (I think that's it - I apologize if I have it wrong). He was diagnosed with cancer and gave a speech to his class that was later expanded into a book. He refused to discuss his cancer but instead, used the lecture to talk about life and how he learned from all his experiences. His hope was that those who read it or listen would do an inspection of their own lives and perhaps see things that they were grateful for or could change while they still had time. He used many examples. One was about the brick wall. He said that we weren't presented with brick walls to stop us. We were presented with brick walls to test just how badly we wanted to knock them down. Those who were stopped by brick walls didn't really want to defeat them very badly at all. I have a giant brick wall all around me. I keep bumping my forehead against. I can't yet see how do take out the bricks. I don't want to lose my husband. I don't want to keep having birthdays and getting older, because through his having to face his mortality, I am having to face mine. I am afraid. No, I don't think I'm afraid to be alone. I've been there. It's not a great place, but you find that you are much stronger than you think. I'm not afraid that I'll have no one to love me. I know better. I have a beautiful family and God has blessed me with a plethora of wonderful friends. I guess I am afraid I won't be needed anymore and that scares me. I have been fulfilled by being needed and I feel like I won't know what to do with myself.
Okay - that's enough. I almost hope you don't read all the way through this - but it was theraputic to actually write it all down. Maybe Mark was right. I guess I needed it.
He's watching TV- he's had a headache all day and I think he's having more vision problems than he really will admit to me. It's hard now for him to write on here, because I don't think he sees very well. He says he guesses he'll make "guest" appearance on occasion, even though this is his blog. Keep sending your prayers heavenward and keep your good thoughts flowing towards us. We can't have enough!

Friday Morning

Yesterday was a bit of a down day for us here. Mark is depressed by Jim's passing and I think he is internalizing his mortality. He really didn't want to discuss it much, but he was awfully quiet and seemed very sad. We both were exhausted and went to bed very early for us. Today will be a much better day. This has caused us both to contemplate just how valuable friendship is and once again, realize that all to often you take way to much for granted. To our friends - we love you dearly. Today, this morning, the sun is shining brightly and this WILL BE A GREAT DAY.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sad News

We received news this afternoon that Laurie's husband, Jim, has lost his battle with cancer. He died peacefully this morning. There will be no services, as he wished. He asks all his friends to donate to Hospice, if they want to do something in his rememberance. Our hearts go to Laurie. Remember her in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon

Hi everyone! Let me thank Mike Golch first for giving me an award on his blog! I am quite humbled and wish to thank you for the honor.
A bit of trivia: who was one of the first people to take experimental drugs which later became chemo? Babe Ruth!
In keeping with the tradition of the Bambino, I have given permission to Moffit Cancer to use my DNA and biopsy to match me to any World Wide experimental drug which they would like to try out on me. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but if my closing months can be used to help some other person when I'm gone..... maybe my own Son or Grandchild, it would be worth it. When I stand in front of my Maker and asked "What did I do to help Mankind?", I will have an answer that should put me over the Top!
We all feel good when we drop that money in the bucket for "Jerry's Kids", but this now pails in comparison. I am proud to help fight Cancer and be able to give back a little to something so very important.
I'm feeling good and I Will Never Give Up! Peace and Love to all! Mark

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Night

The doctor's visit went as we expected it would today. Dr. Moskowitz read the MRI report and confirmed that while the tumor hasn't grown, it also hasn't shrunk much, considering all the chemo Mark underwent. He agreed to suspend treatment; however, he did not recommend that we call in Hospice yet. He says we will take a two-month "holiday" from the treatment, get a new scan at the end of that time, and then make our decision. Mark had gained about 12 pounds since his lowest weight, he has good color, much improved energy and much better overall emotional health. So, we will just go for a while without the chemo and see how things progress.
Mark was able to completely finish the prime rib from last night's dinner, along with a couple of broccoli spears. He was very happy. Poor doggies - they got NONE of it. They were just sure they would be getting the goodies. Everybody who has prayed with and for us - it's working! Thank you so much. Help us keep up the vigil and NEVER GIVE UP!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prime Rib Night

Wow! Opted for the prime rib at dinner tonight. What a flavor treat. Couldn't finish much. I probably tried too soon but what I could eat was wonderful. I'll be eating on it for lunch tomorrow too. James, Marie, Courtney and Becca were wonderful dinner companions and we had a wonderful time. Thank you so very much. I'll let everybody know how tomorrow's doctor appointment goes. Love to you all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Evening

Hello to all - we're having a very quiet day and enjoying it very much. Had dinner and getting ready to watch a movie. My energy level is so much better. I'm going out tomoroow for steak. I sure hope I can do it proud. I am really looking forward to it. Everybody have a great rest of the weekend. NEVER GIVE UP!

Friday, July 18, 2008

WooHoo - It's Friday!

Whew - what a week. Looking forward to the weekend. Mark is sleeping early this evening. He asked me to do a post for him. He wants me to try to think of a way to express his overwhelming emotion for the package he received today from Craig. I don't think saying words can explain the face of joy he had and the sound of his voice when he called me to tell what had just been delivered. Wild Alaskan Lox! He is in food heaven! You couldn't have done a more wonderful thing. Thank you - Thank you! This was a beautiful end to the week. Tomorrow will be the real feast. I'll go out early and get fresh bagels and he'll be set.
I'm going to go join him in sleep early. I am exhausted and it will be nice not to wake to go to work tomorrow. So to all of you - - have a great weekend and NEVER GIVE UP!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Evening

Well, another week is almost over. Mark and I mark every passing day now. It's hard to tell somebody who doesn't have our hourglass that making the most of every day is so very important. We love each other very much and we make sure we say it and show it every day. If that's not what you do, you really need to. We have some warning of peril - not everybody does. Don't waste the time you have thinking that tomorrow, you'll be sure to tell your loved ones you love them.
Mark has a really bad headache today. He woke with it this morning. I fear these headaches are really now going to be a daily occurrence. He tries so hard not to tell me about them, but in unguarded moments, I see his face and see him rub his forehead. I know. If I ask, he denies. But, I know.
We will see Dr. Moskowitz on Monday. I know he will support Mark's choice and I also know that he will do whatever he can to help us make the transition to Hospice. He is a Godsend to us and I am so grateful for him
I will close now. I am cooking dinner. I hope Mark will feel a little like eating something. I know my dogs are sniffing the air. You see, we are have Italian sausage and they know that smell means something better than their dry dogfood. My love to everybody. Until tomorrow - NEVER GIVE UP!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rebecca's Wednesday Morning Post

I just wanted to say something this morning. Mark and I have a dear friend, Laurie, whose husband is also fighting a battle with cancer. His battle, however, is almost over. I talked with her this morning and he is now unconscious most of the time, and when he is awake, he is agitated and irrational. My heart goes out to her and today's prayers are for her and Jim. Please add Jim to your prayer list too, and pray that Laurie keeps her strength through the end. She is a very dear lady who never asks anything from anybody, so I'm asking you for her to keep them in your thoughts. Laurie - we all love you both. REBECCA

Wednesday Morning

Good morning everyone! I wanted to write before the heavy rain starts. We got 5" of rain yesterday and expect more today. I wish I could give some of this wet weather to California!
I am feeling better today and had a nice breakfast. I have a thing about Salmon. Baked, steamed, smoked, BB-Q, it doesn't matter. Cut a few Bagels, add some Cream Cheese, I am in Heaven!
I hope everyone has a great day! Craig, have a nice trip to Hawaii! You deserve it.
Peace and Love to all! Mark

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon

I just got off the phone with Mark (I'm at work). He is feeling really down today. He says his headache is a little worse than usual. I think our horrible weather is adding to his problems. We have an uncharacteristically wet weather for five days in a row. It's been raining (sometimes really heavily) every day and all night long too. Just not normal for us. With no sunshine and the dampness, Mark is feeling the affect. We go back to our doctor here on the 21st. I think that appointment will be an important milestone in all this. Mark will make his final decision about continuing any kind of treatment, and frankly, I think that is also weighing on his mind. So, think good thoughts for us and keep up the prayers. NEVER GIVE UP! We aren't!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Morning

Hi everyone! I slept like a rock last night! Thanks for all your support and kind words! I do feel bad with the passing of Tony Snow and Bobby Mercer yesterday. I may not agree with his politics, but Tony Snow was a good man as Bobby Mercer was. They are both in my prayers.
I ate last night. My good wife made pork chops and I gobbled them down! It's good to eat again and feel a bit more normal.
Never give up!
May Peace and Love be with all of you!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another Saturday Night

It was a dark and stormy night . . .sounds like the first line of the next great novel. Ha! Mark is resting, having had a doozey of a headache today. He ate really well though and I am grateful for that. Going to go fix some light supper and try to entice him to have a little more food. Nancy - tonight is pork chops, stuffing and applesauce. I have to tease you. Everybody have a wonderful rest of the weekend and I know Mark will feel better tomorrow. Love to all!

Friday, July 11, 2008


What a week! Yesterday was so draining on me! I am sorry I could not find the energy to post. Today I am taking it slow and will just lie in bed and keep using lotion on my hands to stop my skin from peeling off. It has now spread to my face, around my eyes and forehead. I feel like I'm melting or molting!
As Rebecca said, there is no change in my diagnosis. Something I knew in my heart before ever going up to Tampa. It is so hard to stay positive. Thank the Lord for such good friends I have on this blog! You all have an open invitation to visit anytime! All your prayers and positive statements have been a God send to me! Thank you all so very much!
Peace and Love to all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whew - What a Day

This was a long, long day. To all of you who I promised to call, it's just so late and we're exhausted. I will call you tomorrow or over the weekend. We had quite a lengthy visit with the specialist in Tampa today. He was rather non-committal, but did seem to concur with the onocologist here that the chemotherapy seemed rather too harsh for the results that showed on the MRI. While the tumor hasn't grown, it has shrunk much at all either. So, he said that Mark's decision to call a halt was "probably" a good one. He did suggest a maintenance course of Eribatux (I hope I spelled that right) to keep the pace of the tumor's growth slow. He said the side effects of that by itself are not very invasive at all. So, we will talk to the doctor about that when we see him on the 21st. Mark is very, very tired. He has a really bad headache and says he knows you'll all understand if he doesn't write himself tonight. This day-long trip takes a lot of him. I'll close for now. We love and cherish each of you. The prayers are definitely working!! NEVER GIVE UP!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Night Before the MRI

Well, tomorrow is the day we go to Tampa for the MRI. We are optimistic that the horrific round of chemo did at least some damage to the tumor. We have the MRI at 2:30 and then go right to the doctor's office to get the results. Everybody say an extra prayer tonight for us. Mark is have a really bad headache today, but he did eat a very nice supper and I think he will sleep well. I hope I do. I wake up a lot and look over, just to enjoy the sight of him beside me. Isn't a great plan for getting rest, but the psychological boost is better than sleep for me. My love to all of you. We'll up-date you tomorrow night, if it isn't too late when we get home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Hi everyone! Sorry I have been under the weather lately. My body does strange things and I try to cope with it the best I can. Thank you all for your prayers and comments. They mean so very, very much to myself and Rebecca. It was nice seeing Nancy again the other night. She always lifts my spirits. It's starting to thunder again. Typical Florida summer day. Rain and lighting. Thanks again for all your thoughts! Peace and Love to all. Mark

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Evening

I think the weather is really hard on Mark. Today, he has a really bad headache, and says he thinks the rainy, stormy weather is partly to blame. He just doesn't feel good. No attempt a eating tonight. He did have a nice breakfast this morning, but now feels queasy and doesn't want to try any supper. I'm encouraging him to go to sleep early and hopefully tomorrow, he'll be feeling a little better. He is also having an unusual occurrence - he has dry, peeling skin on his face and hands. Of course, the doctor advised this is all part of the chemo; but it seems to have materialized late in the game. Mark says his fingers are very sensitive in the areas where the skin is sloughing. Poor darling - I do so want him to have a good day tomorrow. Keep the thoughts and prayers coming! I know they are working. Our love to all of you!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Night

Hi all! Rebecca again. Mark is still having vision problems and asked that I do this for him again tonight. He will try in the morning. We had a great visit with Nancy. Had great food and great conversation. She is a joy as a guest. She did try, however, to kidnap my dog . . .gonna have to watch her. Mark was able to enjoy some of the alfredo pasta with chicken and a small salad. Little victories every day! My love to you all - Rebecca

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday During the Daily Storm

Well, it's 5:25 p.m., and as usual, the Florida skies have opened up! Its been a quiet, uneventful day but actually, that's nice. We had a wonderful visit from Cousin Steve and his lovely wife, Lea, yesterday. She cooked Mark a favorite dish and he really enjoyed it. Last night was not as bad as I had envisioned with the fireworks and the dogs. Maybe in their old age, they are tolerating more. Dixie did keep up the barking for quite a while, but the panic I usually see in the tree of them never materialized. Mark's eyes are really bothering him today - he has "floaters" in both of them now (from the radiation) and he asked me to do this for him today. Hopefully, tomorrow, he'll be able to give you a shout. Nancy is coming for dinner tomorrow and we're looking forward to that. Everybody have a great evening and NEVER GIVE UP!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Late Friday Night

It's late and so far, I can't sleep. Mark is sleeping but seems to be tossing and turning a lot. The "goobers" in our neighborhood have already started with the fireworks and my dogs are petrified. The golden retriever is a "barker" and she's trying to tell them to stop. The chocolate lab is crying (literally) and the German Shepard is hiding in the bathtub. Only our kitty is deaf to all the noise. What a family, huh? Mark had a really good day with food (isn't it something that what somebody eats in a day is banner headlines . . .). He had an omelette for breakfast, a small hamburger patty for lunch and about a cup of spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. I couldn't be happier. We are preparing for a visit from his cousin tomorrow. I know that will be good for us both. Well, I think I'll try to at least lay quietly for a while and who knows, I might actually fall asleep (if the fireworks stop). HAPPY 4TH AND NEVER GIVE UP! Rebecca

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday Night

Just a quick up-date . . .all your positive energy has come to fruition for us. I was able to get an appointment for the MRI scan for July 10th. The downside is that we must drive to Tampa to get it, but that's ok. We have an appointment immediately afterward with the doctor at Moffitt Cancer Center for the results. We'll then take those to the doctor here on July 21st. Between now and then, we will be content knowing we are doing all we can. Mark is slowly gaining some strength and is trying small bites of different "real" food. Some things he can now tolerate, and some it will take a bit longer. We wanted you all to know we are so grateful for the continuing prayers and good wishes. Who says people don't care about their fellow human beings anymore? We are certainly blessed to have all of you who read this and share our news with others who add us to their prayer lists. Thank you all so very much. Hopefully, Mark will feel up to a note tomorrow. He went to sleep early this evening. Even with more energy and some increasing stamina, the heat still wears him out. REBECCA

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Morning

I see my good wife Rebecca went on a rant. Well, it is very, very frustrating dealing with Medicaid. Last time I called to talk to my "advisor", she told me "I thought you were dead." Medicaid considers an MRI, to see how you are progressing in your chemo, as "unnecessary to my overall health."
We were told that Medicaid can help me more if: 1) I divorce my wife, move under a bridge and give away all my positions 2) commit a Federal Crime, and go to federal prison or 3) if I was an illegal alien or from Cuba everything would be paid for. This just makes me sick!
When I told them I was a Vietnam Vet, they said my widow can contact the VA's office and fill out papers to receive $300 in funeral death benefits.
There are times I want to chain myself to the front door of the Medicaid office, light up a joint and wait for the Feds to come take me away. At least I will have the same coverage as Charlie Manson.
We have gone through all our savings, selling everything we have and it means nothing, NOTHING to Medicaid! Lets face it. They couldn't care less. 10 Billion Dollars a week on an unjust war is OK, but lets not help our own U.S. Citizens. Keep in mind, it took this administration 10 days to get water to downtown New Orleans! It's sickening.
So, I apologize for my wife's rant and also mine. I prey that none of you good friends ever find yourself in my situation. It is bad enough going through the heartache of terminal cancer, but dealing with Government red tape idiots is a slap in the face.
Peace and Love to all Mark