May 24, 2008
Addendum 6/5/08 to note below: Mark is still staying in Chonburi which is half way between Bangkok and Pattaya. This is the city where the tiger zoo is located. The zoo has many live tigers and you can pet an adolescent tiger while it sucks on a baby bottle. These young tigers are a challenge to hold and as soon as the bottle is finished you want the zoo keeper to be taking the young tiger away. This is the zoo where the tiger moms will nurse the baby pigs in tiger suits and the momma pigs nurse baby tigers. Mark is spending his days taking care of Jin in intensive care. Yes Jin is still in intensive care. Mark may delay his June 17 trip home but will come soon after that as he has to get a checkup at the veteran's hospital in Houston, Texas.
Mark's Friend and Caregiver for a long time is in the hospital - Jin (Yuwanit) cared for Mark when he was at his sickest. Now Mark is caring for her. Jin had a cold which progressed into pneumonia. She saw a doctor who comes to see patients at a nearby pharmacy. He prescribed an antibiotic. She got worse and Mark took her to a government hospital and she got a different antibiotic. Within a couple of days, she suddenly got very short of breath and ashen and looked near death's door. Mark took her to Bangkok Hospital in Pattaya where she was admitted to ICU. She spent a few days in ICU and then on the regular floor. Jin has been moved to a government hospital in Chonburi which is about one half way between Pattaya and Bangkok. This hospital has a pulmonologist. Had Mark left Jin at the first hospital anymore days, the cost of care would be astronomical at this point. Jin is on a ventilator (5/24/08) She could use a lot of prayers. Mark was riding a motorbike back to the guest house to sleep but since Jin was moved to Chonburi, he is staying in an inexpensive hotel in Chonburi. One friend told Jin it was lucky she had Mark looking after her or otherwise she would be dead. Perhaps it is good Karma.
While Mark has cancer of the liver metastasized from esophageal cancer, he has lived long enough to care for his caregiver. Who would have thought it three years ago when he first called home and said he had been given three months or less to live. He has good karma too and is building karma with more with good deeds and thoughts everyday.
The Thailand Border With Cambodia. Click on picture above to enlarge it.
Before Jin got so sick, Mark recently went on a one day trip to Cambodia to get his visa renewed. Mark described being lucky that the visa run van he went in was not full so he could be comfortable. When he was very sick and getting chemo and radiation, Bumrungrad hospital staff went to the embassy and made arrangements for Mark's visa to be extended when it was expiring. Now he leaves the country and comes back and he gets 30 more days. He can physically do this now. He could not when he was the sickest.
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May 06, 2008
Spiderbite - Mark has been worried about a spider bite under his arm. The bite resulted in a red area hanging down that was huge, went down ever so gradually and then was the size of a roll of dimes for like forever. Just as he was ready to go on the bus from Pattaya to Bangkok to see a specialist, it started going down again. Here is a picture of a really big spider outside my room when Mark, Jin, and I (Mark's mom) went to South Thailand to the beach.
It is raining everyday in Thailand. It is the rainy season. Mark's friend and former co-worker Alan will be in Thailand in late May for another adventure; this time to Koh Chang. Mark has himself on a strict budget so he can go to Koh Chang. He will be back in Austin June 17 thanks to air miles.
It isn't always about Mark - Mark is blessed with many prayers and he is doing well for now. There are many people today who have more difficulties than Mark and have a need for our prayers.
Mark's sister Stephanie relayed this request today from Mary Leonhart in Germany. Jen, who we ask you keep in your thoughts, is a peer of Stephanie's
Please keep Jen S in your prayers today. She is an outstanding German teacher at the middle school here, who found love late in life, married two years ago, and is scheduled to have labor induced today. At 4:30 this morning, her husband died; they think it was a massive coronary.Jen has been so happy with her husband and excited about baby Dane. She needs us to lift her up in prayer! I cannot even imagine having your greatest sadness and your greatest joy happen in one day.
Update: Jen gave birth to a healthy 9 lb. baby boy.