July 06, 2011

Mark Is Encouraging Others With Esophageal Cancer By Staying Alive and Well

People with cancer, especially esophageal cancer with metastasis e-mail periodically and relate how Mark's story has given them hope and encouragement in their battle against cancer. Mark loves the idea that his story can encourage others. I think back to when Mark was so sick that we thought he could die any day. When we traveled we never knew if he would make it back alive. Sometimes when traveling with Mark, I thought about my friend who took her mother to Europe on a fun vacation. Her mother was sick for a month and died unexpectedly in Europe. My friend brought mother's ashes back in the overhead bin and later talked about how strange and heartbreaking that was, but she did it. Her sharing this story impressed me with the idea that we all do difficult things when we have to. We arise to the occasion.

Mark is now in Thailand again
. The food there is less fattening than here and he is walking more so he has lost down to a healthy weight. His weight has been up and down for the past 6 years so he has a small wardrobe of currently fitting clothes. Mark's friend and former co-worker Alan is going to visit him in September and Mark has some fishing plans for himself and Alan.

Thai politics are heating up. You may recall the demonstrations last year in Thailand by the red shirt party (Peua Thai party) with the airport taken over and closed for awhile and the Democratic party soldiers in the streets of Bangkok with tanks and yet helping old ladies across the street. Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is of the Peua Thai party which is considered the people's party in a battle of haves and have nots. Somehow Thaksin is a billionaire and one of the haves which raises some questions. He was accused of corruption and ousted in a military coup in 2006. He is in exile in Dubai. It is of interest that Sunday, his sister Yingluck Shinawatra, a US educated business woman was elected Thailand's first female prime minister. Will she be a puppet of her brother or not? The Peua Thai party holds 264 of 500 seats in the Thai parliament and the rest are held by the Democratic party. The Democratic party is the party associated with the royal family and the military. They have been steadily loosing power and seats in Parliament. Is there a similarity to the US?