Friday, September 28, 2009
Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I last updated Mark's webpage. He doing so much better. I was reading some
of the entries from last year this time and amazing. Mark is in high school now. His older brothers have moved on to college.
Mark walks to all of his classes on his own and is taking a full load. He is still having some problems remembering things
and he's still trying to gain weight. He finally got his appetite back and doesn't have to rely on medicine to make him eat.
Speaking of medicine, he is not longer on any meds. His vision is still an issue but he will not wear his glasses. We've tried
contacts but they bother his eyes too mcuh. He's taller than me now and thinks he's grown (typical freshman). He still does
some form of physical therapy every day. Every day he works out in the weight room with his buddies during athletics. He's
also working on his golf swing hopefully he'll be able to participate in the spring. I'll try and catch up again soon. There
is so much that's changed for the better that I can't get it all down right now. We appreciate everyone's love and prayers
during these past two years.... yes it's been that long. God Bless!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Sorry for not updating more often. Getting back into the swing of work has been more hectic than I thought it would be
. Mark has thrived at school. He has loved being around his friends and although he only went to four classes first semester
he did very well. All of his visits to Houston in the first semester went very well. The only problem we've encountered is
Mark's enability to get his appetite back.
He was very excited about Christmas this year, being at home this year. After the boys got the tree up, Mark did most
of the decorating himself. He wrapped his gifts himself.
January 7 & 8 we were in Houston again for his 3 month check up. No one could believe how much hair he has. Mark has
regained his reflexes in most of his joints and is getting around better and better. His balance is still an issue however.
His MRI of his head and spine came back great and his blood work was perfect. It was the best results he's had in two years.
According to his doctors,his next visit will be the last lumbar puncture and he will have to go through the whole batter of
tests for the last time. Then from then on it will be MRI's of his head and blood work only. We were all very excited. His
doctors' assured us that he will continue to improve. God is Good.
Thanks to everyone who continue to keep our family in their prayers.
Sunday, Sept 7
Mark recently was honored at the Robertson County Relay for Life on August 23rd. He and fellow cancer survivor Sarah Lawrence
were named 2008 co-Honorary Chairmen of the Robertson Co. Relay for Life. Mark's Aunt Debbie spoke on our behalf and did a
great job. Mark, with the help of Justin made his survivor lap around the "track" laid out in the Pridgeon Community
Center in Franklin.
On Monday the 25th, Mark started back to school. I think I was more nervous than he was but he did great. He really enjoyed
being around all of his friends again. And his friends were really great with him. He has buddies that help him get to and
from all his classes, help him with his books and help him at lunch. After two full days of class, though, he was looking
pretty worn out and had lost two pounds. We did some rethinking about his schedule and met with his teachers and came up with
a re-vamped schedule until he gets his stamina back. This seems to be working out well.
He was able to attend his brothers' first football game in Thorndale on the 29th and their first home game of their senior
year vs. Groveton. We're scheduled to go back to Texas Children's in October for a full MRI and Lumbar Puncture on the 1st
and 6th of October. Thanks to everyone who has continued to keep our family in their prayers!
Wednesday, Aug. 20
Mark is doing great. He is going back to Houston next week to have to the eye doctor but otherwise he's doing really
well. He has been getting around on his own and has been getting ready to go back to school. He has been going up to the school,
spending time moving around campus with and without his walker and visiting with friends. School starts on Monday and although
he's a little nervous, we all are, we think he's ready. Ready and maybe just a little excited too. Thanks for all your prayers
and well wishes. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers as this next stage in his recovery begins.
Thursday, July 24
Sorry it took so long to post this next update. Mark's MRI and blood tests all came out great. Dr. Morali was very pleased
to see how well Mark was doing. Brian picked up a new walker for Mark when they were in Houston so he can really truck along.
He doesn't like to use it much around the house but hopefully if he needs it he'll feel comfortable using it at school. His
physical therapist at St. Joe's is very pleased with his walking but is afraid that without a walker at school, a bump from
someone might result in a fall. Hopefully, his increased strength will keep something like that from happening. Our neighbor,
John, has volunteered to begin working on Mark's strength and conditioning as soon as Mark wants to begin... and therein lies
the problem. Mark want to be there, he just doesn't want to get there, kinda like his old mom here and her diet. Hopefully,
he'll get motivated real soon. He's been doing a lot of swimming, the pool, was a Godsend. Thanks for all the continued prayers
and support. We definitely appreciate it!
Monday, July 7
Mark is doing so much better. It's been hard to post updates because all has been going so well. Thursday, Mark will go
to Houston for his sixth month checkup, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He has only to visit his oncologist
for blood work and check up and then a MRI in the evening over at Texas Children's. He's been getting around the house by
himself a lot better than before. He is still a little uncomfortable being out around large groups of people but he's doing
better. He's doing a lot of swimming and he's finally starting to put on a little weight. Hopefully he'll be ready to go when
school starts in the fall. Thanks for all the continued prayers and support!
Thursday, June 12
Mark had a visit with a different eye doctor Tuesday and he's to wear his new prescription for a month and then go back
for another visit. Also he has started hydro or aqua therapy at St. Joseph's Rehap. once a week. We finally got his pool here
all set up and he's doing great, swimming laps and getting stronger. He's moving around the house more without help. He is
really enjoying having his brother's around more. Since I've started back to work-- teaching summer school-- Justin has become
Mark's side kick. He takes Mark to physical therapy and helps him out around the house. (Jordan has a job up at the school
so he's not around until the evenings.) Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and well wishes!
Tuesday, May 27
We had a great time in Hawaii but as many of you already know, Mark came down with shingles the second
day we were there. He and Brian spent the better part of an entire afternoon in the Honolulu emergency room. Because we caught
it early enough, it didn't get as bad as it could have gotten.
Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers as
well as as Jennifer Wilson Martinka a former student of mine from Franklin. She is a wife and mother now and is in a hospital
in Austin. I'm not sure exactly what her diagnosis is but it involves her brain and she is in a very precarious condition.
I know her family would appreciate your prayers as well.
Tuesday, May 13
As most of you know Mark's Make a Wish was to go to Hawaii. Well we arrived in Honolulu at 5:00
pm our time noon their time. I've posted a few pictures. This was Mark's first time to fly and he was very excited. Because
we didn't have enough room on this site I created a photo album at the link below, once at Mark's alternate web page, click on the Hawaii link and it will take
you to the Hawaii photo album.
Mark's Alternate Web Site
May 3, Saturday
Mark has had good days and bad days. He has had a couple of classes a week at school he's gone to
and it seems to have done him good. He actually agreed to invite a friend to go to the Regional Track Meet in Huntsville with
us. Tyler was able to go and spend the weekend with Mark, it did it Mark a world of good. Congratulations to the 200 x 4 relay
team for advancing to State. Check out the new pics of Mark and Tyler.
We also traveled to Franklin for the Robertson Co. Relay for Live but it was cancelled due to lighting. Mark's Aunt
Debbie was down form Houston prepared to give a speech for him and his Aunt Donna and Uncle Myron came from Gause for the
event as well.
This week Mark has started doing some walking on his own. It's been hard for me to look the other way and let him go but that
is what he needs. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
Tuesday, April 22
Today we went in to Dr. Edmond's office to get Mark's eyes checked again. She saw great improvement
in his overall vision. He is still, however, seeing double. Dr. Edmonds is afraid that even if we proceed with another corrective
surgery that he will still have problems with double vision. On a positive note, Mark's blood tests from last week came back
normal and his lumbar puncture came back clear of any cancer cells. We are very thankful.
Thursday, April 17
We got great news when we visited Dr. Morali this afternoon: Mark's preliminary
reading of his MRIs look great. No sign of any re-growth. He also came out of his hearing test with flying colors. Tomorrow
morning we go back to Dr. Morali for blood tests and an IV and then on to PACU for his lumbar Puncture; hopefully we'll be
on our way home before afternoon traffic gets bad.
Today, Brian and I had a chance to stop by MD Anderson and visit with Garret Maliska of Bryan High, who is currently undergoing
treatment for an astrocystoma he had removed from his spine. He is doing well and his prognosis is good. Please keep he and
his familly in your prayers as well.
Monday, April 14
Mark decided not to show his goat in the Normangee Show this past weekend. Mainly because he can't walk
yet. We're trying to get a pool installed for him to do his therapy like he did when we were in Houston. We've had trouble
because the land we alloted for it is very unleveled and low. Brian and the boys have been working to remedy this all week
and have finally got it ready. So we're hoping this week sometime we'll have the pool installed and Mark can start work. We
go to Houston on Wednesday for his three month check up. I'll post the results as soon as I know them. Please continue to
keep Mark in your prayers. He is having a hard time dealing with the fact that it's taking longer than we all thought for
him to get back to normal. Just a reminder: Relay for Life in several counties, Colorado,Leon, and Robertson
Counties is coming up!
Friday, April 4
Great news today! Mark did the best walking he's done since this whole thing started. He walked from
one end of our basketball court to the other without help and without stumbling. The key it seems is confidence. Mark's ability
to keep a hand on you gives him confidence. Once your hands are off, his whole gait and stance changes. Today he walked like
he was walking all alone with support. Praise the Lord!
Sunday, March 30
Yesterday, Mark celebrated his 13th birthday. We made a trip to Houston
and brought another load of stuff home and had lunch with Debbie and Kathy. Today, we had family over to help us celebrate.
Mark had a great time and was thoroughly worn out when the last car pulled away. Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate Mark's
birthday with us. We feel very fortunate to have him here with us and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays.
Sunday, March 23 Happy Easter!
Mark had a good week. With the help of a little appetite stimulant and encouragement
Mark has started eating again. He had assessments again at physical therapy and is still improving. Endurance is what we need
to work on now. Midweek following rehab we headed back to Galveston. He had a very good time and actually wanted to do some
things. I'm hoping that he will continue to improve. We made it to Easter Services in Normangee today and it was great to
be back. Please continue to include Mark in your prayers.
Sunday, March 15
We've been battling Mark the past
week or so. He doesn't want to eat, go outside, walk; all he wants to do is sleep and sit on the couch. His doctors tell us
that depression after what he's gone thru is normal but we've been worried. Especially since he won't eat. We decided that
a trip to Aunt Debbie's place in Galveston might be just what Mark needed. So we loaded up and spent the past week there on
the beach. He did have a few moments where he didn't want to do anything but we were able to get him to get out do some things
with us. When we returned home Brian called Texas Children's to ask about his loss of appetite and they told him that Mark
would eat when he's ready.
I don't know how many of you remember that when Mark was in the hospital following his surgery that he asked for a monkey.
We laughed about this but he was very serious. We did finally talk him out of it. I mention this because today a neighbor
from down the road, Jason Clay, brought his pet monkey ( think Marcell on Friends) by for Mark to see and hold. Be sure to
look at the photo album for those new pictures.
Please continue your many prayers., they are greatly appreciated.
Wednesday, March 5
Mark is doing well. He has finally
gotten his appetite back and is slowly starting to put some of the weight he'd lost back on. He was very excited to get to
go to the Regional tournament in Austin. He enjoyed seeing people he had not seen in a while. He's been pretty tired and
sore lately because of the increase in physical and occupational therapies. The school's physical therapist came out to evaulate
him and she told him that he's going to have to exercise everyday, not just the days he has physical therapy.
HIs therapists and I can definately see improvements in some of his motor skills.
HIs hair is continuing to grow and Brian even had to trim his side burns! Isabel has said whenever he's ready she'll get her
Please continue to keep him in your prayers
Monday, February 25
Mark is doing much better. He is still not wanting to eat, so we've gone back to the appetite
stimulant. He had an assessment at physical therapy and his numbers showed improvement in strength. The Leon Co. PT and OT
came by to do assessments and told us what we had already guessed... Mark needs to work on his endurance. His eyebrows and
eyelashes have grown back and his hair is starting to come back in. He's pretty excited to finally be getting his hair back.
Please continue to pray for him as he continues to battle his double vision and physical problems.
Mark is still not feeling well. We've had to take him in to St. Joe's for a ct scan. Everything has come out fine but
we're concerned that he's still feeling nauseous. We've decided that if he's not doing better by tomorrow, we probably need
to take him to Houston. He's only gotten sick once but the he's not eating. He's lost all the weight he'd gained since he's
been home. Please continue to pray for him. My grandfather who was ill during Mark's therapy passed away Saturday. Keep our
family in your prayers as well during this difficult time.
Wednesday, Feb 12
Mark is slowly recovering from his eye surgery. His eye is looking better everyday. Unfortunately,
he is still seeing double. We are praying that he will be able to "fix" this problem himself and not have to undergo another
surgery. He has been under the weather this week as well. I took him to see Dr. Ransom yesterday and he thinks that its one
of the many bugs going around. Please keep him in your prayers as his immune system is not 100 % and this could drag on longer
Thursday, Feb. 7
returned from Houston. Mark's eye is healing well. He is still in a lot of pain though. After Brian called Dr. Edmonds yesterday,
she told us he had 3 muscles worked on and we needed to give him more than tylenol for pain. Each day the swelling has gone
down more and today he was able to somewhat open his eye. Dr. Edmond is very happy with his recovery. On the downside, while
his eyes appear to be lined up correctly they are still a litte off... causing him to continue to see double. However, instead
of seeing double out of his left eye, he can see perfectly out of each eye, but sees double while using both eyes. The dr.
wants to give Mark a chance to correct this himself, working on controlling and focusing. As a last resort we would be looking
at another round of surgery if the double vision doesn't correct itself. Thank you for your continued prayers, please continue
to pray for Mark's full recovery.
Monday, Feb. 4
Well we made it home okay. Mark is in quite a bit of pain but his doctor said all went well. We will know
something more tomorrow when he's able to open his eye for an extended period of time. Please continue to keep him your prayers.
Please include family friend, Dillon Fulton, whose hands, arms, and face were burned yesterday, in your prayers as well.
Friday, Feb 1
We finally got a time for Mark's eye surgery on Monday. We are scheduled for 1:00. Please keep
Mark in your prayers as he undergoes this delicate operation. We picked up Mark's new glasses yesterday after physical therapy.
He was amazed at how much better he can see. We got home and he dove right into The Hobbit, he's been trying to read it for some time and was getting nauseous every time he tried.
Monday, Jan. 28
our appointment at Texas Children's this morning at 5:45. By 9, Mark was central line free and doing well. He's sore but very
excited to have that thing out. He's already talking about when he can go swimming. We are now counting down the days until
his eye surgery. Not all has been rosy though, Mark has had a couple of bouts of depression, hopefully this surgery will be
a positive for him. Thanks for all the prayers..keep em coming
Friday, Jan. 25
Great news this week. Mark's counts are up, not enough to return to school but they're inching that way.
I got a call this morning from Texas Children's and Mark is scheduled for his central line removal Monday morning. We all
very thrilled. Mark also started physical therapy this week at St. Joseph's Rehap. I started back to work this week as well.
Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers.
Thursday, Jan 17
We had our eye appointment this morning. Mark's left eye has not
changed since Sept. Because it hasn't changed, Dr. Edmond recommended we go ahead with the eye muscle surgery we had talked
about before. Mark has been scheduled for surgery for Monday Feb. 4, my birthday. I told him that him being able to see would
be a wonderful birthday present for me. We also saw Dr. Moralie, his oncologist. Everything looks great and he said we should
be able to see advancements in Mark's physical progress. Everything takes time. Yes, we are learning how to be patient.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we enter this new phases in Mark's recovery.
Wednesday, January 16
Monday Mark had his lumbar puncture, all went well. We won't find out the results until Thursday.
He also had his final visit to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. His counts are still low but are coming up on their own. Today
we went to St. Joseph's Rehap Center for a physical therapy evaluation. He will be starting out slow, 2 days a weeks for an
hour and a half. We have an eye exam first thing in the morning and then back to see Dr. Morali, our oncologist, at Texas
Childrens. Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers as he begins a very rigorous schedule to improve his balance and sight.
Friday, January 11
Thursday's MRI came back negative. No sign of tumors or recurrent tumor. We all have big smiles on our faces. Mark did
the lung/breathing test today and did great. He also had what will hopefully be his last EKG and ECHO for a very long time.
This weekend we're hoping to visit with my sister Michelle and her husband, Chris. They have a new bundle of joy we all want
to get our hands on! Thank you for your continued prayers.
Wednesday, January 9
Mark's audiogram Monday went well. He does have some hearing loss in the higher tones but nothing that would affect his
everday hearing. Our weekly visit at the BMT also went well. His counts are all starting to come back up. He was very excited
to hear that he no longer has to wear his mask everytime goes out in public. He only needs to wear it when entering the doctor's
office or hospitals.
Today we were suppose to go in for a physical therapy evaluation at St. Joseph's rehap center. Mark started complaining
about hip pain last night and it still caused him considerable pain today so we rescheduled the evaluation for next week.
His doctors did want us to bring him in to Houston but after Brian talked with them they agreed to let us go to Scott and
White and do the xrays there. Nothing was seen in the pictures so it's assumed he just pulled something.
Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers!
Wednesday, Jan 2
We're home and very excited to be here. He got the the thumbs up at his appointment today. We go
back on Monday for a checkup and the beginning of a weeks worth of tests. We found out when we got home that his eye doctor's
appointment for the 15th had been cancelled, so we'll have to reschedule. This appointment is very important because we hope
to schedule the surgery to correct Mark's double vision. Please continue to keep him your prayers as he struggles with balance
issues on his road to recovery. Happy Newy Year!
Saturday, Dec 29
Mark needed platelets again yesterday
and may need blood and platelets again on Monday. This means that we will be here in Houston for New Year's Day. Even though
he's needing platelets etc. Mark is doing really well. He has gained an average of a pound a day since Monday. We are giving
him medicine to increase his appetite and it appears to be working. He's getting stronger and stronger. Please continue to
pray for Mark as we enter the new year and he must try to get back to pre-surgery health.
Thursday, Dec. 27
Brian and the boys left last night because the basketball team is playing in a tournament in Lovelady
starting today. Mark and I are sitting at Texas Childrens Hospital and he is getting a whole blood infusion. His counts are
up a little but not enough for us to come home for the weekend. We will be coming back tomorrow because the platelets he got
yesterday may not be enough to get him through the weekend. Hopefully his nutrifill count will be up enough Sunday and Monday
where we can come home sometime next week.
Wednesday, Dec. 26
We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We sure did. It was wonderful
having the boys and Brian here in Houston with us. Mark was very excited when they arrived on Saturday. Jordan gave
platelets on Saturday and Justin is, today, giving what will hopefully be his last direct donation for Mark. I took
Mark in for his appointment on Monday and his platelet count wasn't quite low enough for an infusion, but his white count
was extremely low. Today Brian is taking him back in and he is expected to get Jordan's donated platelets. Hopefully by the
end of the week his counts will be up enough for us to go home for New Year's. Thanks for all the cards and gifts, we really
appreciate them. We especially appreciate everyone's continued prayers for Mark's recovery. We have seen first hand that God
does indeed answer prayers.
Thursday, Dec 20
Mark got his last infusion of stem cells on Tuesday without incident and we were discharged later that
afternoon. It's hard to believe all of that is behind us. We still have the usual post - chemo appointments and transfusions.
As a matter of fact, we went today for a CBC (blood tests) and received a platelet infusion. Hopefully Jordan will be well
enough to keep his appointment Saturday to donate platelets for Monday's infusion. Once Mark's counts come back up in a couple
of weeks we'll hopefully be able to come home for a few days before we come back for follow up tests, MRI and Lumbar puncture.
Also because Mark is still seeing double, we have an appointment to get his eye taken care of in January. Thanks for all the
well wishes and prayers we greatly appreciate them. Merry Christmas to all!
Praise the Lord, we're through with chemotherapy! Mark finished up his last dose yesterday and except
for running a fever ,did great. Today was his rest day and they've already started getting him ready for his stem cells tomorrow.
If everything goes well we'll be discharged tomorrow evening some time. Thank you for all the prayers.
Friday, Dec 14
Mark was admitted yesterday into Texas Children's for his last round of chemotherapy despite
the fact that he had a mild sore throat. As I write this he has just finished the worst of the chemo with very little side
effects. He is a little loopy from the anti nausea medicines but at least they worked. Please keep him in your prayers as
we start day 2 of chemo tomorrow around lunch time.
Monday, Dec 10
We've gotten to spend this past week at
home and it's been great. Bro. Larry Blackmon, pastor at FBC in Hearne, held a special Christmas Eve service especially for
Mark and our family Sunday eveing. Mark has attended the Christmas Eve service since he was a baby. We really appreciate our
church family from Hearne for doing this for us. Afterward we went to Brian's mom's house for our traditional Christmas Eve
get together and let the kids open presents. Mark's doctor visits Monday the 3rd and today went well. His counts are slowly
but surely coming up. He's scheduled to enter Texas Children's on Thursday providing all his counts cooperate. This will be
his last round of chemotherapy. Because of the timing of this round, we probably will not be in Wheelock for Christmas but
in Houston instead. Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers.
Sunday, Dec 2
We've been home since Tuesday and Mark is doing great. We are going in tomorrow morning for his standard
tests before his last round of chemo. Hopefully all will go well tomorrow and we will get to come right back. Please continue
to keep Mark in your prayers.
Monday, Nov. 26
Mark went back in Friday and his counts were up but not high enough for us to go home. My mom,
sister Cindy, and Mark's Aunt Deb all offered to stay with him so I could come to the game. He specifically asked me to
stay with him so I decided it was best to stay here. I hate that I missed the game but I had several people keeping us posted
via cell phone. Mark and I are very proud of our Panthers and Coaches. You all did a great job.
We went back in to the doctor's again today and his counts are way up. This means that his stem cells are kicking
in to overdrive. We will go back tomorrow and if everything still looks good we will get to come home for a few days this
week. We appreciate all the well wishes and prayers. Please continue to keep Mark in your prayers.
Thursday, Nov 22
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We are especially thankful to
have Mark with us and on the road to recovery. We are also thankful for all our family and friends. Brian and the boys arrived
today after practice. I had, I'm embarrassed to admit, my first hand at baking a turkey. Luckily all went well.
Yesterday my brother Christopher went with us to our doctor's visit. Mark had gotten up with a throbbing headache so we weren't
surprised to find out his red count was low. So Mark received platelets and red cells while I went do to Gulf Coast Blood
center and gave platelets for backup use over the holiday weekend. Hopefully this will be the boost Mark needs to get his
stem cells into gear.
Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes.
Monday, November 19
We just got back from our doctor visit. Mark's counts are really low, so we are planning on another
platelet infusion on Wednesday and an appointment on Friday. It's looking like we will be spending Thanksgiving here in Houston.
Brian and the boys will come down sometime after football practice on Thursday. Hopefully Mark's counts will be up enough
for us to travel home Friday afternoon. Happy Thanksgiving to all and thanks again for all the support and prayers.
Thursday, Nov 15
Mark got discharged
Tuesday afternoon after receiving his stem cells. He did great. We went in yesterday for an appointment and other than his
potassium being a little low, his counts are where the doctors expect them to be. Because Jordan's platelets expire today,
we went back in to today and had Mark get those platelets. The doctors are hoping that they'll do until Monday when we have
Justin's platelets ready. Please continue to pray for Mark's physical recovery to the tumor and surgery.
Monday, Nov 12
after Mark's first dose of chemo he started getting severe stomache cramps. The doctors gave him morphine and that helped.
Since then he has not suffered from any more pain. Saturday Brian and the boys came down. I took Jordan to the Gulf Coast
Blood Bank to give platelets. There is a possibility that Mark may need them at the end of the week. Brian , Justin and Jordan
took Mark to the activity room to box Saturday evening. Mark packs quite a punch, just ask the boys. Everything went smoothly
with Saturday and Sunday's chemotherapy infusions, Mark didn't even know when they started or when they were through. Today
is his "rest" day and tomorrow he'll get his stem cells. If everything goes well, we will be on our way back to the condo
tomorrow evening. Thank you everyone for your continued prayers... they are definitely working!
Friday, Nov. 9
Mark has just ended his first day of chemo. We started at 10:30 this morning and it's 5:00 now. He did better this
time than last month, only getting sick one time. Please continue to keep him in your prayers as we continue his treatment
Sunday, Nov 4
Mark is doing pretty good. It really does him a world of good to come home and be around family and friends.
We got the final results of the MRI and everything looks good. As for the tests from Thursday, the only change was on his
audiogram. The doctors said that it's not anything that would affect everyday hearing but we're keeping an eye on it. Mark
was excited about getting to participate in the game Friday night. We all thought the guys did an awesome job. Tomorrow morning
we're scheduled for a lumbar puncture where they check for cancer cells in his spinal fluid. We've been very fortunate in
the past, it's been clear. We're praying for the same tomorrow. Thank you to all the family and friends who've donated blood
for and in Mark's name. We appreciate it.
Tuesday, Oct. 30
We've gotten the preliminary results back from the MRI
Mark had last night and, praise the Lord, it came back normal. We go in tomorrow for an afternoon of tests: hearing, breathing,
and heart tests. Mark's occupational therapist says he is getting stronger but he's still pretty weak. He's starting to get
frustrated when he can't do things he use to, like play guitar, walk, write, etc. Please continue to pray for him and our
Thursday, October 25
were all up on Monday, so he was able to discontinue all the meds he'd been on during the past two weeks. Tuesday after physical
therapy we loaded up and headed home to Wheelock for the rest of the week. Mark is very glad to be home with Brian and the
boys and we're looking forward to seeing the ball game on Friday. Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers.
Sunday, Oct 21
We went into the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) unit at Texas Childrens today for a noon appointment.
God answered our prayers and Mark's counts were all up. God willing, tomorrow his counts will still be high. If this happens
he'll be able to discontinue the shots he has been having to take and maybe we can go home sometime this week. Thanks for
all the extra prayers this weekend.
Friday, Oct 19
Thanks CoCo for the play by play tonight. We don't know what we'd do without you! Way to go Panthers!
I noticed last night that Mark had bruise marks on his arms where he's been having to take shots the last week. Mark hardly
ever bruises so that was a warning flag. Yesterday he started complaining about his head throbbing everytime he got up or
moved around. I assumed it was allergies. Today we found out its due to his counts being very low. His platelets were actually
lower than Tuesday and his hemoglobin was very low. The doctor even agreed to redraw blood and run it thru again it was so
bizarre for his count to be so low after getting Jordan's platelets on Tuesday. They all came back low again. Unfortunately
we didn't have any direct doner platelets or whole blood ready because we weren't expecting to need it today. They eventually
found the hemoglobin but only a 1/6 of what's needed of platelets. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center agreed to take me after
hours to get platelets for Sunday. Justin is schedule to give tomorrow and his will be used first if Mark's counts go up enough
to wait for a transfusion on Monday. The pastor and church family from Columbus are getting together doners for whole blood
later this month. Please continue to keep Mark in your Prayers.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
Mark is still weak from his last round of chemo however he
is doing better than after the first round. He is not experiencing any nausea but because his body is not use to low counts
in his blood, he's extremely weak. He had chemo yesterday, his small shot of vincristine and got a platelet infusion donated
by Jordan. Justin has an appointment on Saturday in case Mark needs another dose of platelets next week. Mark's doctors are
expecting that he will need a whole blood infusion sometime before being admitted again in November. Either my mom or I will
donate for that particular transfusion. We would like to thank my cousin Eddie Hernandez from Tivoli and his co-workers for
their blood drive on Mark's behalf earlier this month. We greatly appreciate your help.
little boy who had the same type of surgery as Mark (3 days before) and is undergoing the same treatment plan is very ill.
He has been in ICU for the past week and the doctors don't know what's wrong. Please include him in your prayers as well.
Friday, Oct. 12
We just heard the great news that we beat Chilton 40 to 6 for Homecoming. Way to go Panthers! We would have liked to have
been there but we needed to stay close to the hospital. We did have a doctor's visit today and Mark's counts look good. She
said they will start falling over the weekend. Sooo, Jordan is giving platelets tomorrow in case we need them next week. Over
all Mark is looking and feeling so much better than this time last month. Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and
Sunday, Oct. 7
Well Mark made it through the chemo. After the first day he
did a lot better. The only problem we ran into was a fever. Friday night he ran a 103.4 and has been running a low grade fever
ever since. They did a blood culture but we won't know if he has an infection until 48 hours have passed. That's how long
it takes for all the cultures to grow. Right now we're still looking clear. Tomorrow is a rest day for Mark and then he'll
get a portion of his harvested stem cells back on Tuesday. Mark's Aunt Debbie, who has helped us so much, is in the hospital
in Galveston with a kidney stone. Please include her in your prayers as well.
Friday, Oct 5
Our first day of chemo has been a long one. They started the meds at 9:30 this morning and didn't finish until 5. Unlike last
month, Mark didn't sleep thru the whole thing. Oh, he tried but for whatever reason they halved the dosage of anti -nausea
medicine and he was sick several times during the day. He was unable to eat anything sold the entire day. We're hoping tomorrow
will be a better day for him.
We did manage to follow the came via text message thanks to Coco Woodard. Thanks so much for keeping us in the loop.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers
Thursday, Oct. 4
We have been admitted for Mark's second round of chemo. All of his counts looked real good when we had our check up earlier
today. They have started him on fluids tonight and will start the first dose of chemo in the morning. Please remember to keep
him in your prayers this weekend.
Friday, September 28
Mark was able to be at his first football game tonight. His dad set up his truck on the track so that he could see the field
clearly. The Panthers really put on a show for him. He enjoyed seeing all of his friends and had a good time. This is the
first time, with the exception of doctor visits, that he has really been "out". It did him a lot of good. We are scheduled
to enter the hospital on Thursday, the 4th, to begin his second round of chemo. Thanks to everyone who made Mark's homecoming
special. (Check out his picture with the boys after the game!)
Sunday, Sept. 23
Mark is doing really well. We went home
to visit for a few days and now we are back in Houston. We have heart, lung, and hearing tests this week. Mark will have these
tests before each cycle of chemo. We also start physical therapy again but this time they are coming to the condo. If everything
goes well this week we plan on being at the game Friday night to cheer the boys on to victory. Please continue to keep us
in your prayers.
Monday, September 17
Great news! Mark didn't need another platlet infusion. All of
his counts are up. He is off all his medication until after the next round of chemo (scheduled for Oct 4). God does indeed
answer prayers! Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and support.
Saturday, September, 15
We just want to send a "shout out" to those Normangee Panthers!
And a special thanks to Coco Woodard for keeping us posted on all the scoring!!! We missed being there and hopefully next
home game we can make it. We went to the doctor's office again today for the other half of the infusion of platlets (it's
a long story) but praise the Lord, he didn't need them. His white cells are way up as well. Justin will be giving platelets
tomorrow for Monday and hopefully that will do it for this round. Thanks again for all the prayers.
Friday, September 14
Monday we went in for a follow up visit. Everything looks great.
As expected, Mark's counts are starting to fall and our Dr. anticipated he will need platelets on Wednesday. So I rushed to
the Gulf Coast Blood Center, (yest the same people who came to the high school last year) and gave. Because of Mark's blood
type only Rh Negative type platelets can be used. My brother Christopher also shares the negative RH factor and is scheduled
to give platelets on Thursday morning. Hopefully all will be successful tomorrow. We hear once he gets the infusion of platelets
he'll begin to feel better. In addition to keeping us in your prayers please include my cousin, Rusty Salinas' family as well.
He was killed in a freak accident Monday morning here in Houston. God Bless,