October 03, 2009

A Miracle Cure?

Mark's doctor at the Veteran's Hospital called me this week. He said he was thinking that Mark might have gotten "a miracle cure." A lot of you, from all over the world, were praying for him, so maybe so. The oncologist reminded me that Mark's Pet Scan was good. He suggested that cancer could come back as a new cancer or the old cancer could pop up again, but he wanted to focus on the possibility of a miracle cure and begin to screen Mark for any other health problems that we might have been ignoring as we focused on the esophageal and liver cancer and the strange suspicious spot on his kidney. Of course that makes sense.

I'm writing an instructor's manual for a text book about to be published and one of the chapters is on Cancer. What do the authors say? For starters that the experience of cancer is a disruptive and life-threatening experience. This is certainly true. Mark left his dream job on the island of Saipan. I left the Rotary GSE team that I had worked with for a year preparing to study violence on the Mexican border. Mark headed to Thailand for treatment and his sister and I followed. I cannot convey how difficult the next two years of treatment were for Mark and how much he appreciates all the support he got from friends, family, his doctors and nurses, medical personnel, and strangers.

It is initially hard for Mark and I to wrap our minds around "a miracle cure" after his various dire prognoses from medical personnel,after all he has gone through, and with the effects of cancer and chemotherapy and radiation still very much with him.

Should we embrace this cure with all our energies and hopes or move with caution knowing the cancer can come back or another cancer pop up like the chest wall tumor that came out of nowhere, was radiated and is gone? I suppose the answer is that Mark and even his sister and I will go on squeezing everything we can out of every day and living life to the fullest to the best of our abilities and we will deal with whatever comes our way.

I'll keep you posted on Mark. He is still having adventures in Thailand.