Saturday, September 13, 2008


Well, it looks like business as usual for the Costners. We seem to be getting back into some sort of NORMAL routine since our last positive visit with Dr. Bhatia. He suggested we get on with our lives and just breath a sigh of relief after each CT scan. There are still some residual masses in the abdominal area but for all we know they could be scar tissue or just dead cancer that may never leave his body. Because the tumor was so big, the Dr. said he might always show something on scans. As long as it doesn't grow we are OK.

Mark has jumped back into work much more quickly than I would have liked. He went from a low key stay at home atmosphere to full out travel mode. I can't say how wonderful Everpure has been through this whole surreal scenario. He has never been with a company that ever truly appreciated what he could bring to the table. I think I might have to write a thank you note!

We are headed to Crown Point this morning to celebrate a few birthdays. I can't believe I have a 16 year old. The kids are doing great in school and between swimming and cheerleading, there is not a lot of down time. I guess it is good to stay busy, huh?

My mom and sister Carrie were here last week and we had a great visit with lots of laughs. I am excited for my two girls weekends coming up in November. It will be great to catch up with friends and let some of the past 7 months go.

I need to thank you all once again for all of your notes, emails, blogs and well wishes. Someone said, "If you let people show you themselves... they really will." I have been shown many beautiful sides of many wonderful people lately and it makes my heart sing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.



Friday, September 12, 2008

Mark Costner Rocks On Water

Mark, thank you for your email last week. I've added your successful journey results to my own Blog thanking all the fans whom also let me know they were wishing you the most positive energy during your time of necessary additional strength. So, do as the Doctor ordered.....add the apple too for good measure...Jen should have some to spare from her students :-)...."carry on wayward son.......with your life"......Mark, if I can survive a catastrophic experience.....I knew damned well you could with your positive outlook and internal force for optimum results. Follow what your Dad said......when we have a gift through our words in our's a wonderful way to share it with those whom need or wish they had fingertip access to the knowledge from our experiences. Be Nike: Just Do It. You won't regret that experience at all; I promise. You could be a band member of the New Radicals "We only get we give, don't give've got a reason to live"

Peace and love to you

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Looking for something to do?

Well Mark, all of us are giving a collective sigh of relief and at the same time telling ourselves that we knew all along that you could beat this. Since you have such a gift for writing, perhaps you could write a short story about your journey and the thoughts along the way. There are many just beginning their own scary trip down that same lane and won't have the support that you had.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good thoughts for tomorrow

Good Luck Marky Mark!

We'll be with you in our thoughts tomorrow when you meet with your oncologist. 
I know everything will be great news.  We love you and here's to you and all that you have overcome in the past few months.  You are truly and inspiration....Love you,

Friday, August 29, 2008

You're victory dance!

Dear Uncle Mark,

 This is what I'll be doing while your getting your scan today....cheering on

your victory.  You crossed the finish line!  Yeahhhhhhh!



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mile Marker 26


I posted a short update in the column to the right. In short, I have a CT scan scheduled for Friday. On 9/3 we'll meet with my oncologist to look over the pictures and confirm that we've melted the tumors.

We're looking forward to sharing good news!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Found Heart and Home!

Dear Uncle Mark,
  Dorothy found her way home last night and I finally got my heart!  My friend the lion wanted to give you his courage, but I told him you didn't need it....your the bravest man I know!!!!!
The Tin Man (Danny)

Monday, August 11, 2008

And Their off!!

Good Morning,

Andy and Liv went back to school this morning and it is really weird having the house to myself. Mark is in Chicago meeting with McDonald's and returns tomorrow. He has finished his treatment and will have another scan in a few weeks. They gave him something called Neulasta after this last cycle. It is a one time injection given to stimulate white blood cells in his bone marrow. This will hopefully keep him out of the hospital this round. For the price ($8,000), it should also do my dishes.

We hope to gain some sort of normalcy and routine in the coming weeks. We are totally engrossed in the Olympics and watch every night. Now that Andy is a swimmer, it makes it much more exciting to watch. Go Phelps!



Friday, August 8, 2008

Missing you!

Hey guys,
  We sure did miss you on Saturday!  We even sang Jenny Jenny 867-5309.'ve graduated from Chemo Univ. and kicked it's butt!  I'm so happy for you.  It's done!  We love you and miss you,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, I have once again returned from incarcerating Marky back to the hospital. He spiked a fever of 102 and off we went. We knew the drill and it was pretty much the same as exactly 1 month ago when we were in. His white blood cells were at 0.7 so they immediately reserved us a room. We hope this stay won't be as long as the last (5 days). He is on the hard core IV antibiotics and is labeled neutropenic. Call me crazy, call me neutropenic, just don't call me late for happy hour. Queer.

One more chemo treatment a week from tomorrow if it doesn't get pushed back. Keep the prayers comin. No, really, keep em comin.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Source of Strength!

Hey guys,
  Keep on leaning on each other for your source of strength!  Together you are a force to be reckoned with...don't ever forget that.
I love you,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


We are in the home stretch. Five chemo cycles complete and one more in three weeks. We just got home and I just set Marky Mark up with the king size bed and a king size Reeses blizzard. After talking with the oncologist today, we learn the tumors have indeed decreased in size by about 70%. After the final cycle on aug. 8th, they will do another CT scan. We are not really sure what we want to see then. If there is absolutely NO change, that could be a good thing. Meaning, the cancer was gone on the last scan and only dead cells or scar tissue remain. If it continues shrinking, that is good but means it is not completely gone. We hope these last two cycles kills the rest of the cancer cells. Basically, he told us the next 5 years will be uncertain because they will not call you cured until the 5 year mark. They will continue to do regular CT scans every few months and we will breath a sigh of relief after each one comes back unchanged. We continue to be optimistic and full of hope. The cumulative effects of chemo are quite harsh and Mark is a survivor. His glass remains half full. The kids continue to thrive and will head back to school on aug. 11th. I had a great visit with my sister Ali last weekend. She came to supply an arsenal of laughs and cosmos. I head to Boston at the end of the month for her husband's 40th bday celebration. Girl's weekend looks to be on in November in Des Moines. Our families continue to be a source of strength for us. Thank you all for your love and prayers.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dear Marky and Jennie,
  Thank you soooo much for such a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled weekend to Indy.  I can't tell you how great it was to see ALL of you....even Draky!  "Look, I'm a dog person"!  I'll be thinking of you Mark during your consult this week.  I know all will be as it should be.  The kids loved the notes you sent them...thank you!  Lots of love to you all and don't forget to ask the all-important question Jennie...."Does my fat a-- make my a-- look fat"?
Love you,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

On Melting and Speed Bumps

We got Great News and other news this week. I posted a few details in my column to the right. Independence Day weekend- happy 232nd!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

still in the hospital

well, now they want to keep him until saturday. He is still running a 101 fever and the antibiotics should kick in tomorrow. He is hot one minute and has chills the next. They are going to push back the 5th chemo treatment one week because his white blood cell count is just too low.(0.5) They did do a CT scan and we look forward to the results tomorrow. We ask for your prayers to include complete annihilation of the tumors, and for Mark's heart to remain healthy from one of the chemo drugs, which can do damage to the heart muscle.

I am off to bed and will do this all again tomorrow.


visiting the hospital

Well, i am home after 4 hours in the ER and hospital. Mark spiked a high fever and the protocol is IV antibiotics. We don't know what is causing the infection but hope to figure it out in the next day or two. He will probably spend 2 days there so they can monitor and give him the hard core IV antibiotics. I am going to catch some ZZzz's and head back to the hospital in the morning. Livie has an ingrown toenail that is on fire and Andy is well, Andy. Keep good thoughts comin our way and say a prayer for the fever and infection to go buh bye.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You're table awaits!

Dear Mark and Jennie,
  All that's missing from this picture is the two of you!  We miss you so much and when you get your results from the doctor that all is as it should be, I hope you will consider a relaxing visit out East.  We love you and can't wait to see you soon,
Dan, Ali, Danny Ellie and William

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cycle 4- Finishing the backstretch

Beauty and the Beast. I wrote an update in the column to the right (6/19/08). Feeling great about my progress. We'll take a CT scan on the 7th and review on the 9th- should confirm the doctor's and my expectation that the tumors are being killed. m

Wednesday, June 18, 2008







Monday, June 16, 2008

What's up?

Hi Mark,
  Just sitting here getting my house back together.  Dan's folks were here visiting from Cheyenne and sitting the kids while Dan and I went to the Berkshires for the weekend.  I just realized you have your next treatment on Wed.  I wanted you to know I was thinking of you.  William and I are talking about you and having fun looking and laughing at old pics of the families together.  We all will be with you in spirit all this week as you get ready to pass your half way mark.  Only 2 more ...right?  We love you and miss you,
Ali and William

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day

Most of us know one or two really good guys. My dad's one of the best you'll ever meet. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

brick wall

Hi guys,

Today, Mark seems to have hit that cycle brick wall where the energy ends. I think he must have NO white blood cells so he becomes my little bubble boy. His outlook remains so positive and we head back in a week from today for round 4 and then take more pictures to see what shrinkage has happened to the beasts.

The kids finished school last Thursday and i am happy to report i have not heard the inevitable "I'm bored" yet. Liv has a steady babysitting gig next door and makes more money than all of us put together. Andy has started swimming again daily from 7-10 am at the Nat at school and is putting in applications at several potential employers. He is diligently working toward his Eagle scout and has a heavy load of summer reading for 2 classes in the fall so that starts this week. First with "Lord of the Flies" and then "Undaunted Courage -Lewis and Clark" This should be quite the challenge getting him to sit and read but my work is NEVER done!

Sure would love to hear from you all. My college roommate Theresa sent me some wonderful pictures of her wedding in Argentina and I miss her so much. I am catching up with High school friends (Jackie Tippman, Anne Casteen and Nancy Reed) and I Love it! Oh yes, I got a job at a recently opened funky gift shop and will probably be writing the owner a check every pay period instead of getting one.

Love to all of you,


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

007 For Your Eyes Only....& The World of Course

I give you these to see your gorgeous wife as she began.....we two were one in the same keeping awesome time together.

Blasting Past Jen Jen & Mel Mel

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ahoy there Uncle Mark

Hi Uncle Mark and Auntie Jen Jen,
  I just finished my last day of pre-school.  Kindergarten... here I come!  Think I'll leave this little number at home and wear something a little less cool.  I love you and am thinking good thoughts for you all the time!  

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Greatest Drive


For my initial foray into the Blogosphere (Blogland? BlogWorld?), I thought I would share a little story about a special moment I had last weekend.  

Charlie and I ducked out late Saturday afternoon to take in 9 holes of golf at the South Shore Country Club.  It was our first time out for the summer, and my game was a vivid illustration.  I couldn't hit a drive to save my life, even with my 3 wood, which I now rely upon far more often than the Big Bertha.  As you know, I've never learned to control that beast.  I'm talking sheer ugliness that day -- even to the point of hooking drives way left (which I rarely do), like a baseball player getting around way too early on a change-up.  Charlie, meanwhile, is steady as she goes.  Every shot sailed straight down the middle, which truthfully made me happier than if I had been playing well.

It was a beautiful afternoon.  The late afternoon sun illuminated the brilliant colors of the golf course as only can happen in the spring or fall.  We finished the 5th hole and stepped up to the 6th.  "Where's the hole, Dad?"  Charlie said.  You can't see the green from the tee on the 6th (it's where the kids go sledding in the winter).  

"Just over that hill," I replied, which suddenly made me think to myself, "Just beyond that rise..."  

I smiled to myself, looked out -- just beyond that rise -- and thought of you, wishing at that moment that our twosome was a threesome.  "I'm going to dedicate this drive to Mark," I thought to myself.  For some odd reason, I pulled out the Big Bertha for its maiden voyage of the day.  I stepped up, steadied the hands, and struck the ball.  Beautiful.  Majestic.  Long.  Very long.  And dead straight. Steadily rising higher and higher toward the puffy white clouds as the yards passed rapidly underneath.  Seeming like it would never come down.  I couldn't see the end result as it disappeared behind the hill, but I knew as soon as I hit it.  One of the all-time best. 

Why was I able to channel everything I had at that moment into hitting the perfect drive on the perfect afternoon over the perfect rise?  Of course, if I knew, I would quit my job tomorrow and join the tour.  But I like to think it was a sign -- a positive sign of the beauty of life and good things to come.  

The rest of the round was decidedly non-descript as far as my playing goes. But for one shot, one brief moment in time when you were there with me, all was just as it should be.   




Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well, round 3 is over and done. Everything went well. I can't believe we are at the mid point of the treatment. In 3 weeks we will have the fourth treatment and then they will do another CT scan to see what the size of the tumors are after chemo. The oncologist seems confident that there will be major shrinkage. ( not the George Costanza kind) 10 days ago was a rough 6 days for Mark. We ended up going in for fluids and BP issues. His white blood cell count got down to zero and we got a little nervous when he spiked a fever of 100. At 100.4 we have to take him into the hospital for IV antibiotics. It never got above 100 so we dodged that bullet. We think now that he has lost 20 lbs. he may no longer need his blood pressure medicine and that is what was making it so low and him so light headed. He got the OK to get off of it and hopefully that will fix the problem.

Mark is heading to his parents tomorrow for some pampering from his mom and dad. The kids are so excited because they each get to have kids overnight during the weekend. I have been like a dictator about having anyone in the house and this will be a nice reprieve for them. Since the basement is now finished, it's much more comfy down there. We will have seven 13 yr. old girls tomorrow night and seven 15 and 16 yr. olds saturday night at Casa de Costner. I guess I need to get more pancake mix.

Only 5 more days of school left this year. It has gone by quickly as usual. It is actually a break for me because I can let up on the homework and study nagging for 10 weeks. That gets exhausting. I hope you all have fun plans for the summer and thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hey guys,

Sitting here wondering how today went.  Although you know what to expect, it still doesn't make it any easier.  Just wanted you to know we are here, thinkin' bout you and praying.  Lots of lova from Beantown to Indy,

Car and Scott and crew

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lester Beats Cancer and throws no-hitter!

Mark, just thinking of you watching Jon Lester pitch last night. Lester, who beat non-hodgkins lymphoma about a year and a half ago, sealed the the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox, and then last night throw a no-hitter!! How is that for some inspiration ...

If you didn't catch the game here is the a piece of the story from the Boston Globe this morning:

"Jon Lester is 24 years old. He's a cancer survivor. He's the winner of the clinching game of the 2007 World Series. Now he's the first Sox lefty to throw a no-hitter since Mel Parnell turned the trick against the Chicago White Sox in 1956. It was the first complete game of Lester's major league career."

If you go to you can read all about it if you have not already. I was fortunate enough to turn on the game in the 8th inning and watch the ending --- what luck!

Let's get this cancer thing behind you and move on to bigger and better things!!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as always.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Better than Ambien

Try visualizing this possibility next time you can't sleep at 3:30am. Works every time for me! Mark (Click on the title "better than ambien")

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Hey guys,

Haven't blogged in a while. That doesn't sound right. Just returned from filling up my van to the tune of $74.00. ughh! I will be housebound for a while with those prices. Also went to the post office and we had a rate hike there too. man-o-man, it's scarey out there.

Marky mark is in an exhausted state right now and can hardly lift a limb. He says his legs feel like bricks. This happened on the last round also. It lasted about 3 days and then he began to gain some strength. We have to remember that the drugs are a cumulative thing in his system and that with each round, he will be weaker and weaker. He has been very conscious about shaking hands and getting too close to people. He can't afford to catch anything.

I have just popped homemade philly cheese steaks in the oven to melt. yum. Mark's appetite is ravenous with all those steroids in him. He has lost 20 pounds and looks great. I believe that is mostly due to the absence of ANY alcohol in the past 2 months. I, of course, have had to double up on my intake so my bloat is lookin good!

Thanks for keeping up with us. We appreciate the love and prayers. Can you add one more prayer to your list? Pray for my friend Terri. Just pray good thoughts.



Friday, May 9, 2008

Ellie agrees!

Hi Uncle Mark,
  I think Andy Man should shave his head.  It's far too long as you can see.  You do look like Dr. Evil...but in a good way.  Andy will make a great mini me.
  We are thinking of you lots and love you more!
Ellie Mae Clampett Monger

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New pics 5/7/08

5/7/08 Cycle 2, Day 1
Dr. Evil
"My dad's bald, nice."
Mark, Jen, Andyman and Livie,

Today is a big day.  Round two of the fight.  Our prayers continue fast and furiously, God is on speed dial in our house these days.  So many people ask for you and tell us they are praying.  

We will talk to you all soon but until then, chin up, shoulders back and forge ahead.


Carrie and Scott

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, another week has passed and we count down 7 more days until round 2 of chemo. mark still has his hair and looks good. His mornings are usually pretty good and around noon he starts to fade. He has been able to do some Everpure work and enjoys keeping up with his clients. His company has been terrific through all of this and really told him to focus on getting better and they would take care of the rest. We are grateful for that. Thanks Eddie.

I have been subbing a lot this week and will continue to as long as Mark stays strong. The kids received midterm reports today and they did great. I can't believe school is out in 5 weeks. Where has the year gone.

Everything is so green and I love it.

Thanks for thinking of us.


Praying for you!

  We missed you at Mom's 70th.  We thought and talked of you often.  We continue to pray for you as you come up to your second round of chemo next week.
  Love you,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hang in there!

Mark, I can't imagine what you are going through and how difficult it must be on so many levels.  I admire your strength and courage.  The medical and technology world is amazing though and to hopefully lighten your day here is a link to some truly amazing (and a bit bizarre) robotic technology being developed our here in Boston (and yes apparently the video is real). 

All my Best, Dan.

(hope this link works -- if not go to and search for Big Dog robot).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hang in there!

Hey guys,
  Hopefully Mark you are rebounding from your tough couple of days!  Glad to hear you are still able to get to Andy and Liv's activities.  Remember to rest as much as you can, your body will thank you by cooperating more.  Love you guys,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

tough day

Yesterday was a rough day. Mark was exhausted for most of the day. This stuff is really setting in and taking its toll. He managed to get to Andy's baseball game last night but went right home to bed. I have not seen him this morning but heard the shower going. This is hard for him because he is such a get up and go person and feels frustrated that he can't beat the exhaustion. I think he can count on this middle week to be his worst and then start to feel better again in the 3rd week. (just in time to go back in and do it all again) I got up and dragged a friend to the gym with me at 5:15. It was rough but we finished. My mom's birthday is sunday so don't forget to call and wish her at happy 70th. I love you mom.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Some good words

Hey Mark,
Just ran across a neat saying in a book I am reading. Made me think of you.

Humor is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles.

Sometimes you gotta laugh...and it is OK to cry.
Thinking of you and your family. Prayers coming long distance should be there soon.
Uncle Jeff and Cousin Renee

Monday, April 21, 2008

does boys ain't white

Hey Mark thanks for the laugh! That is some good medicine. Now that Livie is confirmed I think that means she is old enough to date...Let me know if you need a shot gun or some old dad advice. Yes boys are creeps! Good weather heading your way. Havent been fishing yet here in Colorado but going soon.

white men CAN dance

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Checking up on you

hey Mark,
Still thinking and praying about you. Livie congragulations on your confirmation. This blog thing is working good . Jen please keep up the good work keeping us informed. Let us know if there is anything you need.
Love you guys
Uncle Jeff and aunt Renee


After the first chemo treatment on wed., things have been pretty good except for Friday night. Mark is taking such massive doses of Prednisone (steroids) that he had some bad uncontrollable shaking and moving all night. The Doc on call told him he could take a benadryl but it did not help. I looked over at him when he finally fell asleep and he was twitching intensely. I guess your body has to eventually fall, doesn't it? He is still in a lot of pain from his latest surgery but gives in to the vicodene and that helps.

We had a great celebration today for Livie. She was confirmed at our church this afternoon. Mark's whole family came down from Crown Point to share the day with us. She looked so pretty. We had a picnic with fried chicken and all the fixings, yummo.

Andy had a doubleheader yesterday and had a double, a few singles and a walk. He is a great little ball player. He will also literally take you down when it comes to guitar hero!

I am going to start tackling the trim work in the basement. It has to be painted before the rest of the walls can be done. The new carpet will come on Friday. I think this basement thing is really going to happen. It will be a nice place to hang.

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and thoughtful words. They mean the world to us. We will always be grateful.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good Luck for the Long Haul

Hey Mark,
I am getting first hand information from the best sources in Crown Point, your mom and dad. As soon as I figure out how to blog better I will get better at this. Drop me a line anytime. Good luck with the procedures coming up.
the real Denny Crane

Friday, April 18, 2008

Group Support

We love you Uncle Mark!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keep on Bloging

Thanks for the update! When you mentioned that you would be sporting the Mr. Clean look did you mean like... an ear ring? If it is what I am thinking do you loose ALL your hair? (If you know what I mean) Pics would be appreciated...not really....Prayers still heading your way , followed by snow.
Snow bound in Co.
Uncle Jeff and Renee

Cycle 1 Day 1

Today we finally moved the life ball forward toward normal. I'm scheduled for six cycles of chemo, one every three weeks. The treatment process itself is very routine, but long (all day) in my case. The nurse spent the first couple hours installing the IV and administering a mix of pre-treatment drugs. That's followed by a couple hours dripping in Rituxin, the big killer. The last drugs are pushed in by the nurse, which took just 40 minutes.

If you're interested, here's the recipe for my R-CHOP cocktail:






You can scramble these words ten ways to spell the word "toxic."

Price tag for today's cocktail: $9,300. Pre-treatment and nursing care additional. Thank you.

I feel fine but I'm told to expect considerable fatigue within a couple days. Nausea will be controlled by Phenergan tablets if and when needed.

Within three weeks I'll proudly sport the Mr. Clean look.

Jen continues as my advocate, keeping everyone in line. She reviewed my files today (until confronted by my nurse) and tells me I'm categorized as a "pleasant 47 year old male patient." Outstanding. The files weren't spotted the rest of the day.

With You Today

Oh Jen and Mark.................what a day this will prove to be for both of you, and the kids. I have been praying constantly today and can't shake the feeling that everything will be okay with the treatments. I can't imagine how scary it is to ask how the chemo will affect you and be told "it depends on you and your body". Yeah, bite me. If I kick you in the kahunas, how will you feel? Bet he would have an answer for that! We love the both of you and are right next door to provide anything you need and will expect that you will call on us when it's necessary! Pick up kids? No problem. Sour Cream? Got it. Surgery gloves? Yep (don't ask why I have the stupid things).............Clorox Wipes, you know I do!! We love you both. I am off to Florida tomorrow and will be back on Monday night. I will be checking the blog to keep informed.

Maria and Kevin

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Here we Go

Wow! We feel so special to have so many people praying for us. Thank you Stacie. Tomorrow we come face to face with the Devil. Chemo is not our idea of a good day. But we are ready and geared up to melt this thing away. It is hard for mark to swallow solid food now and the oncologist believes he will notice an easier time after the first treatment. We are praying for no horrible reactions to the drugs tomorrow so that we can complete the cycle and check off week one. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and sharing a little bit of your lives with us. It really is a wonderful distraction and much appreciated. See ya manana.

Hey cousin in law

Hey mark,
Just figured out this blog stuff. Would like to wish you the very best on your treatment tomorrow. You are in our prayers and we have been thinking of you constantley.
A qwick toast to the person who influenced us the most to change from Catholic to Lutheran (and you did not even know it) ...Keep a careful watch ...the Pope is in town and he is pissed!
Uncle Jeff and aunt Renee

Never alone

Mark and Jennie,
  Now that Mom's gone home it will seem harder at first.  You have sooooo many people who love and cherish you. I can be on a plane in a moments notice to hold your hand, say a prayer, wash a dish, do some laundry or simply to be another person to sit with.  You are NEVER alone!  Love you,

Monday, April 14, 2008

now what?

I think I am using this blog more for me than mark. Well, my parents left to go back to virginia this morning and I find myself saying, "now what?" Just having my mom here for a month gave me a sense of having a net and I feel a little now like I am suddenly supposed to fly solo. Thank heaven for our family and friends. I don't at all feel alone but maybe a little less sure of what is to come. Wed. we begin the treatments and the rest is in God's hands. Please pray for us. Pray that Mark tolerates this poison and isn't out of commission for long after each treatment. Also please pray that his heart is not compromised by the adriamyacin in the chemo. We sure would love to hear from you all. Sign up for a google account and let us know what's going on with you.
Thanks for your prayers,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

touched lives

I wonder if you have any idea of the lives you've touched. So many people today at church have told me they are following your progress via this blog and are praying for you. Friends in other circles of our lives have told me the same thing. Some of these have health and personal issues of their own they are dealing with but they have time to care about you.

Support like this does not come by accident. To have a friend you must be a friend so the way that you have conducted your life speaks volumes about your character.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

come on Phil

As we watch the Masters on tv it is raining steadily outside, Liv is babysitting, andy is at a movie and mom, dad, marky and I are enjoying a day of golf thru the boob tube. The chops are ready to go on the grill and i am on my first cosmo. Jack is in da hoouuuse! Phil Mickelson is making a move and the lefty is comin on strong. Mark slept thru the night (me too,(no surprise)) and he had a good morning nap. His war wounds are healing and his lungs expanding from the collapse of the right one on tuesday. God is so good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

praise God

Mark and I just spoke with the oncologist. Marks second biopsy showed exactly what Dr. Bhatia (our oncologist) anticipated all along. Diffused Large B cell lymphoma. 80% curable and treatable. There were no surprises with this second biopsy. We are so humbled and so blessed by God. We have felt the prayers and good wishes of all of our friends and family. Thank you to all of you. Mark is recuperating well and trying to enjoy the masters tournament. another great result was that there was no cancer found in the bone marrow. He has stage 3 lymphoma and we can deal with that. After the first round on wed., the fist size tumor around his trachea and esophagus should melt away. Please continue to pray for strength during the next 6 months of chemo. there is no radiation scheduled with this protocol. Please pray that his discomfort is not horrible and his strength resilient. What a wonderful Life!

Luva Luva

So happy you're home...There's no place like it you know.  Yankees-Red Sox 7pm, be there.  I'll take care of having the cold one for you honey, you take care of the rest.  Can't wait to see you one of these days.  I say Heal Bay-be!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

grammy loves you

grammy loves you

Home at Last

Home at last baby!!!

So glad that you are home Marky! Bet the family is too. As you know Kevin and I are hoping and praying for a quick recovery but more importantly a sense of peace and the strength to know that you have already beat this damn thing if only by your pure will and determination, you add the chemo into the mix and this disease doens't have a chance. We are here for you and the kids and of course; Auntie Jen-Jen as we love you all so much!

Love, Maria and Kevin

home sweet home

We are finally home. Mark just popped 2 vicodin and is resting comfortably. The pain is pretty much concentrated where the chest tube was inserted. My mom had our bed changed and made and ready for slumber. The laundry is completely done and my freezer is stocked for a month with meals. She is amazing. My dad should arrive from charlottesville around 5ish. We are expecting BIG storms tonight so we will batten down the hatches and hang on to each other. Our experience at Methodist hospital in Indy was wonderful. I have a new understanding of how hard nurses work for us. We had 6 nurses in 2 days (3 in icu and 3 in the regular room) and they were ALL angels in disguise. Thank you to all of them. Keep us in your prayers for chemo could possibly start Monday as opposed to wed. I'll keep you all updated.

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

Smooth Sailing!

Hi Mark and Jen,
  Here's to a smooth transition home today from the hospital!  Mark, our prayers are with you for a speedy healing of your incisions...keep resting!  Love you,

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

out of intensive care

Hi guys,

Mark has been moved out of ICU and into a regular room. they took out his chest tube which was really uncomfortable for him and continues to hurt. The morphine drip helps and lets him sleep. I left him an hour ago to get some lunch and just checked on him and he is still sleeping. I thought I could update the blog. He actually said he was in no rush to leave today so we will probably stay one more night. We certainly feel all of the love and prayers from all of you. We had the chaplain come say a prayer over us last night when things were rougher and it was so calming for both of us. Mark repeated himself so much yesterday because of all the drugs but seems to remember some of what was said. When he called me this morning on my way to the hospital he said, "did you know I am in intensive care?" funny. Not anymore baby, we are on the mend.


I know this will be a hard recovery for Mark over the next few days.  I'm so glad you and Mom have each other to lean on so you can be the best help to Mark when he gets home!  I have been thinking about him so much, even called his floor to try and send him flowers....not allowed in ICU!  Please tell him the Mongers love him and continue to pray!
Love you,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

a tough day

My mom and I are finally home after 14 hrs at the hospital. Mark had a rough day but I believe he is on the mend. they were unable to go thru the front of his neck so they ended up going in on his upper right side with 3 incisions to get the tumor sample. The surgeon was able to get 15-20 chunks of the bastard. He was and is still in intensive care with a drainage tube in his side because they had to collapse his right lung in order to get to the tumor. He is heavily sedated and groggy still from the spinal they gave him with morphine when he was in surgery. He needs to sleep and sleep and sleep. I love him so much. My mom was my eternal rock today. I am so happy she was here with me and made it possible for me to get thru the day. We will head back tomorrow early in the morning. For now, I must lay my head down. Thank you to all of my wonderful family and friends for everything.


Talked to Jen this PM, The try through the throat didn't work so the surgeon went through Mark's left side. He'll be in the hospital overnight and probably tomorrw night also.
What a horrible day for him.

Liv & Mel $ Drake on shakes

Drake Marks The Spot

Smart people

Physics 201

Thoughts and Prayers

Hi Mark,
  Good luck today!  You and Jennie will be in my thoughts every second throughout the day.  Have faith in the doctors to do the right thing.  Hold on to each other tight and put the rest in God's hands....He always seems to know what to do!  Danny, Ellie and William send a BIG squeeze and kiss.  Love you all soooo much,

Monday, April 7, 2008

please pray

Hi guys,

Tomorrow's surgery will be much scarier and riskier than last weeks. The surgeon will attempt to go through mark's front neck area to the trachea and then push the trachea to the side about a half and inch and go behind and under it to get to the tumor. There is a 50/50 chance this will work. If he can't get directly to it he will not risk it and he will stitch him up there and turn him on his side and go under his armpit area with 3 incisions and try to get it that way. The tumor is sitting between the trachea and esophagus. If that won't work, they will just open him up thru the chest to get the sample. Please pray specifically for steady hands with our surgeon and for no major arteries to be hit while going thru the neck. I am nervous but have faith in God and our doctors. My mom will go with us so she will be my second set of ears with the doctors. Thanks to all of you for your continued support and prayers. We feel them and feel blessed to know all of you. I am rambling now and need to go to bed.


This cancer thing sucks. Its one thing to be hurting or sick yourself but quite another to be watching someone you love go through it. Its good to see how upbeat you are son, and that sure helps those around you.

the gym

5:15 am Well, I finally got up and made it to the gym after a month of trying to beat this influenza A. Still navigating a nasty cough but feel better after some weights and the treadmill. god, I hate to exercise, but love the feeling when I am done. Am having coffee with a friend this morning and then to the Doc with Marky. My dad comes back on Thurs and my parents leave on mon. (boo)

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Hi Mark, welcome to the surreal world of bloggerying around. Nope, don't think it's a word, but it will be. You have opened a wonderful passage way for your family and friends and yourself....I hear we get by with a little help from them...isn't it truly fantastic to see and feel this support? Your strength is inspiring Mark. This is a shot of Andy & Me as if you don't know this, but 'newbies' might need the hint. I am looking for the pic of Drake, Liv and moi. You'll's cute. Car, congratulations on your Bloggeration. Another word that does not exist...yet. You passed and you'll never receive any bad marks for your efforts. All A's from here.

we love our friends and family

man o man we are truly blessed! Mark and I have the most wonderful family and friends anyone could ask for.

That's all,

Saturday, April 5, 2008


From what I can see so far, I think it's going to be easier to navigate cancer than it is the world of blog.  I've finally entered "the Site".  I think I'm posting now.  I definitely have blogophobia (fear of all things related to a blog, blogging, etc).  Does everybody read this?  

Scott and I both agree you look mahvelous in your bio pic, very rugged, manly.  
Definitely, magazine cover material.  You should consider that pic for the jacket cover on the book.  

It's Saturday, the sun just came out and we are home from the Big Apple Circus.  Scott's on his way to join Charlie at Camp Squanto for the rest of the weekend.  Charlie left Friday after school, 43 degrees and raining...hard.  They went down to do some service work on the trails, in the rain. Charlie was also in charge of leading the campfire program.   He decided to wait until an hour before he was supposed to go to start packing.  I wasn't going to bail him out of this one.  So, he packs and I drop him off.  As you can guess, the phone rings 20 minutes later.  "Mom...I forgot my hiking boots...and I forgot my papers for the campfire program."  And you would like---me---to---?  He follows up with, "could you read me the skits over the phone and I'll copy them down?"  Oh sure son, you use 20 minutes on someone's cell phone while writing down word for word some skit.  "Sorry Charlie, you are on your own, pal."  Scott is listening in the background, screaming, "I told you specifically not to forget your campfire program!!!  Yeah, it wasn't pretty.  

That's more than enough blogging for my first time.  Was I supposed to ask how you're doing?

Love you all.  Stay strong.


Message from William

Hope you feel better.  Rock on dude! Love William.

Thinking of You

I love you both so much.  I'm so proud to be your sister and am awed every day of your strength and spirit while handling this new journey you are about to embark on.

Mark, please know I am always here for you and am looking forward to this Fall when we can run together for the cause and fight against this bastard called cancer.



I got a lot of mail telling me the blog was restricted, so I changed some settings allowing anyone to post a comment. Great day in central Indiana- first sign of the sun in about a week. I kill time by reading my new library of cancer stuff and finishing a basement project. Today I'm out to clean up the yard. Final Four tourney tonight.

and we wait.

we will meet with the thoracic surgeon mon. and hopefully have biopsy done on tues. The waiting is so hard but we remain sooo hopeful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From Mark & Jen

Glad you took the time to get an update on my cancer treatment and schedule. Jennie and I will do our best to make weekly posts and respond to any questions.