July 16, 2010

Mark just back from an 11 day trip to Lake Tahoe, Reno, and California
Mark went camping, fishing, and seafood-eating with Alan and Mike, guys he used to work with in Nevada. They had a lot of fun, caught a lot of fish and saw a white whale. Mark needs days of fun to help him deal with fighting off cancer. At the present time he is 5 years and 5 months out from his diagnosis of esophageal cancer with metastasis to the liver. Does he have cancer now? Is it in his kidney or lurking somewhere else?

Although Mark's recent pet scan was clean, his MRI showed that his small kidney tumors have doubled in size in the last year. He will see the urologist/nephrologist this coming Tuesday and he will see his new oncologist at the VA the next day. Mark is staying positive. He's ready to head to Thailand and has a ticket for August 11, but could end up staying longer for kidney work.

We'll miss Mark when he heads to Thailand. We really enjoy having him close by - he is good company, keeps the pool clean (having brought it back from green to beautiful blue), keeps the grass mowed, the kitchen clean, cooks, and is upbeat and positive. We've all seen what a tough battle he wages against this cancer, and it's both impressive and especially nice to see him in such good spirits.

In the meantime, Marks sister, Stephanie, has taken a transfer of sorts with her job and moved to Okinawa, Japan, with her ancient cat, PingPong, in tow. This means she will be much closer geographically to Mark and I will be able to potentially stop in to see her both on the way to/from Thailand. We're waiting to hear her first impressions of Okinawa, and perhaps both Mark and I will be able to visit her while she's there.

I'll put some more cultural information about Thailand on the blog soon.