Five days per week, I spend about 3 hours daily with my friend Joyce - carpooling to and from our Washington, D.C. work places. During those commutes, the conversations are wide ranging, frequently funny, sometimes slightly insane but always provocative and deeply interesting. During the first 6 months of this commuting routine, Joyce frequently told hilarious stories on her husband Mark who is a West Virginia good old boy and a great deal more. Last January, however, the stories pretty much changed when Mark was diagnosed with a primary site brain tumor - a glioblastoma which is a particularly aggressive tumor. We've all heard a great deal about this type of cancer due to the subsequent diagnosis of the same tumor in Senator Edward Moore Kennedy.
At that time, Joyce was told that because it was a primary site tumor, complete removal of it was virtually impossible and that even removing as much as possible did have the risk of Mark losing his sight, his cognition or his ability to walk. As it happened, Mark came through the surgery fairly well (although he did tell the doctors in the Recovery Room that he had just had a hysterectomy - pure Mark humor to be sure) and has since been going the chemo and radiation route. He refers to his once-per-month chemo regimen as "taking my hormones" - do you see why he delights us?
Unfortunately, last Friday, Joyce and Mark received the news that the tumor had returned and now on January 20th Mark will be undergoing another brain surgery. He is not yet 60 years of age. He has 4 adult children who love him and a great many grandchildren who adore "Poppy" with good reason. His particular favorite is his eldest granddaughter, our beloved Jillian, who with her mother has lived with Joyce and Mark her entire 9 years on this planet!
Please pray that Mark comes through this approaching surgery with faculties intact so that he can enjoy whatever time remains to him with his wife of 38 years and his children and his grandchildren, as well as the assorted animals in the family - all of whom have unique relationships with him - and those of us who are "adopted" family and love him too. Of course I want Mark to have many more years of decent health but if that is not in his future, please pray that whatever time he has left will be free of pain and filled with love as long as possible.
I can and do say "God's will be done" but at the same time - I really hope for everyone's sake that the next year or more will be good ones for Joyce and Mark and their entire family.