October 18, 2015

Mark Richardson is alive and visiting Alaska

Mark Richardson is alive and in Alaska getting some VA medical help

In January 2016 Mark will be 11 years out from a diagnosis of stage IV cancer (adenocarcinoma of esophagus with mets to liver). His prognosis of 3 months to live (or less) long outlived. He endured many months of traditional chemo without a port so being needle stuck many many times and lots of radiation. About 5 years ago he had a kidney tumor removed and it was not connected to his original cancer. He has peripheral neuropathy, frequent episodes of electrolytes off balance. His energy is low but he is alive and still has a fine tuned sense of humor which he springs on us frequently.

At the present time Mark and mom are in Alaska visiting Marks best friend Alan who works and lives in Alaska. We have celebrated Al's birthday in grand style camping out and cooking over the camp fire with friends and telling all the old stories.  The mountains and waters here are magnificent. We've seen the Mendenhall Glacier and it is quite a sight.

Mark is recovering from falling down the escalator in the airport and from injuries to his brain from being mugged and robbed in Thailand. He's been in the ER here in Juneau twice for medication reactions but we think his meds are ok now. We fly out today for 2 more days of fishing in Peterson, Alaska. Maybe we will catch some big ones.

In 2 weeks Mark will be back in Thailand looking forward to his next adventure.

April 09, 2015

Is it possible to live 10 years and more after a diagnosis of stage IV cancer and a prognosis of 3 months or less to live?

Is it possible to live 10 years and more after a diagnosis of stage IV cancer and a prognosis of 3 months or less to live? Yes it is. The middle picture is Mark at his sickest. Notice his hair is thin and white. He looked like my grandpa instead of my son. He was depressed that he might be dying and would never get to travel again so I arranged this trip to Amsterdam. He was very sick and I wasn't sure I would get him back to Thailand alive. We were in Amsterdam just 3 months after diagnosis. The top picture is Mark at Bumrumgrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand where he got most of his treatment which consisted of chemotherapy and radiation. This picture looks like he is getting better. His hair is darker and he looks better.  Mark did not have a port. It was a new needle stick for every IV and blood test. No matter how sick he felt he went to the hospital to get every treatment scheduled. He endured whatever came his way in order to live. In the bottom picture Mark is getting chemotherapy at the VA in Houston. He had a short course of treatment at the VA after about 2 and a half years of treatment in Thailand. The VA turned him loose to "get some quality of life" only to call him back for a small kidney cancer that was growing.  The kidney cancer was cored out using the DiVinci Arm. You can read all about Mark's battle with cancer in the following blogs. If you or one of your loved ones has stage IV esophageal cancer, Mark and I wish you success in your cancer battle.