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.