September 24, 2007

If you could leave just one speech behind when you are gone, what would you want your everlasting words to be? Mark's sister, Stephanie, called us about a news piece she had seen on ABC Nightly News over the weekend. Randy Pausch, a professor who recently was given a "3 months to live" prognosis, delivered his "lecture of a lifetime" and ABC News has posted it to their website (click here to go to the page with the video). I watched it with Mark and we both felt that it is absolutely wonderful - Dr. Pausch delivers the lecture with humor and provides some powerful life lessons for all of us. Stephanie and I both left the link to this blog on the ABC website, and we hope you are passing it along, as well. Click on "comments" below this entry to leave your "last lessons" with us... or just to say hello.
Your thoughts and prayers did it again -Dr Eppner at the VA told Mark that his CAT SCAN was no worse than the last one and Chemo right now would be a mistake in his opinion. Mark had awakened me off and on for several nights basically worrying about what the doctor would say today. Last night he awoke me to talk him down which I did until he fell asleep. Once again we learn that Worry is almost as bad an enemy as cancer. Mark did a little irish jig like dance in the VA parking lot in joy over his good news. He has been told that only a small percentage of people with his diagnosis make it 5 years. He wants badly to be in that percentage in spite of pain and frequent total bottoming out on energy. The good moments and fun with friends and family are enough to sustain him.
7818 people from 67 countries have visited the blog. You are counted only the first time you visit so this is 7818 individuals. You are logged onto the map and shown each time you visit on the daily log. You can click on the map with yellow dots indicating where visitors have come from. After a scan you can click at the top under visitors in the last 24 hours and you will see the location of visitors. Last night we showed visitors from Trinidad and Tabago, the Netherlands, Japan, England and other places in Europe, Quatar, and various places in the USA. This morning some of those went off as their 24 hours were up and on came Serbia, Northern Marianas Islands and other places.

September 18, 2007

Mark and his friend Alan who lives and works in Reno-Tahoe area
Kiril (star of Gun 4 Hire), his friend Ginger, and film director Jerry Barett (right)

Mark makes the most of the energy he has in spite of cancer:

Mark's friend Alan has been visiting Mark. He and Mark worked together as respiratory therapists in Reno. They shared many adventures such as frequent skiing and fishing trips in the Reno-Tahoe-California area along with other guys they worked with. Alan came to visit on Saturday. Our friend Jerry who is directing a film wrote in a part for Alan. The scene was shot at night. Alan walks by the hit man, they pass in front of a lamp. It is only a matter of time until Mark and Alan are discovered by Hollywood. Mark got tired during the filming since Alan's part was filmed several times from different camera perspectivies. We looked for Mark and he was asleep in the flowerbed.

7517 People from 66 countries have logged onto the blog - New flag - Bahamas When asked to get the word out about the blog, nephew Ronnie's wife Judy sent the link to a fellow who gave or sold them their dog. Have you given the link out? Put your story in the comments and I will pick the best ones to put in the blog itself.

Four Hollywood hopefuls out filming at night: Alan, Mark, Barry Nowlin, and Kiril

Thursday Sept 19 Alan is back in Reno at work. James is in New Braunfels a few days while his brother, Billy is in Methodist Hospital in San Antonio recovering from surgery on his cervical vertebrae. James' main task is to drive his brother and sister-in-law's grandson to school and pick him up and watch him. Mark and I are "batching it." Yesterday I worked at the mental health center from 9 am to 8 pm with an hour off from 4:30 to 5:30 to run home to check on things. Mark has been tired and complaining of no energy and is in more pain without anything much to focus on right now. After another busy day beginning at 4 am this morning I went grocery shopping at 9 pm. I had a strange urge to lie down in the grocery aisle and take a nap, but instead I came home with the groceries to watch a science fiction movie with Mark and make some stew.

Friday Sept 20 Previous footage of the night poker game for the film Gun 4 Hire shot at our house had to be reshot for various reasons. All the original cast of guys made it except for Arturo who was coming from the night ball game he was playing in and got involved in an accident on IH 35. This was the third actual reshooting and the fourth or so reschedule of it. Hopefully Arturo is ok and maybe Jerry can find a spot for him in the few scenes left to shoot.

Saturday September 21 We head to Houston tomorrow. Mark gets a CBC and hears the results of his CAT scan on Monday at the VA in Houston. Mark is up at 1 am in pain, but going back to bed to pray, meditate, and eat some red licorice.

September 09, 2007

Mark and James visit the museum at Washington on the Brazos - Birthplace of Texas

Update section: Mark went to the movies with friend Bruce. They both enjoyed it. Mark returned home drained of energy, no color, sat on the sofa not moving, no expression, but he can't give up his small outings. Seeing friends, having an adventure, reading the blog and seeing that people have visited the blog are the glue that holds Mark together. When he has a good day, Mark says it is because people have prayed for him, visited him, or visited the blog. or are thinking of him. You are part of the glue holding him together. Last night Friday the 14th he went for a snack with friends Dave and Frank. He reported that a girl at Walgreens gave him the eye and that excited him and reved his engine. He was so happy that he can still be attractive to the opposite gender even though he has cancer. Tonight (sat. the 15th) his friend Allen comes from Reno for a visit.

Mark's Lucky Day -On Saturday (9-8-07) we left Austin for Houston. We arrived in Houston at the Veteran's Administration Hospital at 12:30 pm the exact minute we were due for Mark to drink the liquid 2 hours before the actual CAT Scan. We got an early check-in at the motel. Mark got a rest and was back for the CAT scan at 2:30 pm. The CAT scan technician called Mark within minutes and got into a vein with one stick which is very unusual; this was a vein Mark says he had not seen for years. He thinks all his recent days of pumping iron have helped strengthen his veins. We were told that last Sat. there was a five hour wait for a CAT Scan due to vets with head injuries coming into the emergency room. We were lucky that Mark got a CAT Scan this week instead of last week. Mark found two lucky pennies. He also believes that all of you were thinking of him and praying for him and that is why he had a lucky day.

Mark catches another armadillo or it catches him.

The only unlucky event was a trip to Goode and Co. Bar-b-que. The place was packed which means lots of people in Houston love this bar-b-que, but the ribs and brisket were terrible: no where near as good as Artz or the Iron Works or Rudy's in Austin. The bar-b-que sauce was like marinara sauce and the meat was tough. The only good thing was that there was a giant armadillo at Goode and Co. (See earlier blog with picture and story about Mark catching an armadillo.)

Sunday we headed back to Austin, driving a few extra miles to Washington on the Brazos State Park which has an excellent Texas history museum with amazing artifacts. Washington on the Brazos is the birthplace of Texas.

Bicyclist line the street in Chappel Hill (click to enlarge picture)
On the way to Washington on the Brazos, we saw what seemed like thousands of bicyclists at Chappel Hill, a beautiful little historic town. All over the countryside as well as in town, we saw bicyclists.

Will wonders never cease? When we got home, we saw someone from the small town of Chandlerville, Illinois, close to the Sangamon River, had been on the blog. Years ago we had a cabin on a bay off the river here. We had fun with kayaks and a home-made raft from styrofoam and wood and a five horse motor. My great-great grandfather and his descendants farmed here. My great Uncle managed a duck club near here that Al Capone frequented. My mother's first cousin was pastor of the Mount Olive Baptist Church near here for over fifty years. How exciting to find that someone from Chandlerville was on the blog...we don't know who it was. So far 7329 people from 65 countries have visited the blog.Mark thanks you for visiting his blog.