Sunday, May 30, 2010


I forgot to mention that this Friday we were surprised to wake up and find an article about my dad in the paper. It was a really nice article that he would have really enjoyed. If you haven't read it you might want to get your hands on one. We weren't able to find it online or I'd link you to it. Also, today his obituary will be in the paper. You can also find it online at I believe his obituary will also be in the Tuesday paper.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thank you Forever Yours Florist

While making arrangements this morning we found out most/all of the local florist would not be able to deliver flowers for my dad's funeral. I never realized florists took several days off in a row for a holiday weekend. We weren't sure what to do and Forever Yours Florist stepped up and offered to help. Thanks for helping us out in our time of need!!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Picture Hunt

If you happen to have any pictures of my dad playing the drums, doing aikido or just hanging out feel free to email them to me at We are trying to gather photos for a slide show. Thanks a bunch!

Official Funeral Arrangements

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 2:00p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2010, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, in Beaumont with burial to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park under the direction of Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin, Beaumont. A gathering of his family and friends will be Monday, May 31, 2010 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a Christian Vigil at 7:00 p.m. at Broussard's.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The end and the beginning

Tonight around 10p my dad was welcomed into heaven. He went peacefully and is no longer in pain. I will keep you posted on all of the funeral arrangements as the week progresses. Thanks for the continued prayer.

One thing my dad always mentioned is he didn't want his funeral to be sad, but wanted it to be a celebration. With that in mind, feel free to leave a comment of your favorite memory with him.

Although my brain isn't functioning enough to remember a specific memory from my life, I will say that my 4 year old son will always remember his dates with Pappy. Every time we came into town my dad would take O to eat and to bounce zone. Even though O is still young I have no doubt that he will always treasure those memories.

The Latest

I've been sitting here for about an hour debating on the appropriateness of this particular post. I know that some of you are my dad's close friends and want an update, but the truth is the update isn't good. We found out today that he can no longer live without life support. His organs are failing and his body is septic which means poison has taken over. As far as I know he will remain in an induced coma until the end. I'm not sure how long they plan on keeping him on life support, but I do know that many of us (myself included) are trying to get there to say good bye. I will not have my computer with me and won't be able to post for a couple of days. I suspect the next post will be after the fact. Although this is saddening news I feel so thankful that he is no longer in pain. The past month or two has been terrible and I know he is going to a much better place. He will be able to leave this world in a peaceful manner and join his parents in heaven. We will all have a new angel watching over us. Thanks again for your continued prayer because I know my family will need it.

ICU day 2

We still haven't spoken to a doctor, but the nurse says he's about the same. Last night when he entered ICU he needed 100% help with breathing and now he's down to 50%. That seems to be a good improvement. Other than that he is still in a drug induced coma. I'll keep you posted if there is any change or if we speak to a doctor.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ICU Update

My mother still hasn't spoken to a doctor, but the ICU nurse was awesome and gave her a quick update.

1. Most importantly he FINALLY feels no pain, or at least we don't think so. He is heavily sedated and his body is finally resting. Mom said his color is good and he looks like he is sleeping (which he is I guess).

2. He is on a ventilator. Wikipedia defines the ventilator as a machine designed to mechanically move breathable air into and out of the lungs, to provide the mechanism of breathing for a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently. Although I haven't spoken to a doctor I assume he is on the vent because he isn't breathing sufficiently. My friend who is a respiratory therapist said that after patients aspirate it is usually hard to keep their O2 level up. I would think he is breathing some on his own.

3. They stuck a tube down his throat that goes into his stomach. Bile and fluid are now steadily flowing out of his stomach. Finally, it's getting drained!

4. They have placed "lines" into main arteries throughout the body. From my understanding each have a different purpose. For one, they needed more IV access than just his port. Also, one of the lines will continuously monitor his blood pressure and vitals. His blood pressure has been low tonight.

5. As a reminder, he is type 1 diabetic. A normal sugar level would be low to mid 100s (don't quote me on that). Right now his sugar level is approaching 400. They have him on an insulin drip and intend to check his sugar every hour.

I'll let you know when we hear from a doctor and how his night goes. Thanks for the prayers.


Well, after radiation my dad went into the recovery room. While there he vomited and aspirated, meaning the fluid went into his lungs. We know he stopped breathing for a bit, but aren't sure if his heart actually stopped. Luckily my mom was sitting next to him and realized he wasn't breathing. She was able to call for help and he was quickly assisted. He is now in ICU. From my understanding he is stable but heavily sedated. My mom hasn't spoken to a doctor to find out what exactly is going on or what they plan to do for him. I'll let you know when I find something out.

Patient Advocate

Well, today was another frustrating day.

1. My parents have been told that once he gets his stomach drained it will improve many things. First, his nutrition level. Hopefully he'll be able to eat more and vomit less. Second, the swelling in his body will go down. Third, his kidney function should improve. We also found out that draining his stomach is directly related to radiation. I'll explain that in a minute.

2. You won't believe this. Today the same doctor (Dr. M) who forgot to schedule his appointment on Monday walked in today and said, well, I canceled your procedure today!!! My parents were shocked!! Why? was their first question. The doctor didn't have a good reason to cancel it. After my mom started explaining all the reasons to have the procedure the doctor started back tracking and said she'd reschedule. The next doctor walked in and said Dr. M said someone canceled the procedure. My mom was sure to inform him that SHE/Dr. M canceled it. Apparently Dr. M is now acting as if it wasn't her decision. Dr. M. then disappeared and left the building for the rest of the day.

3. Last night they were suppose to have a tube placed in dad's nose that went to his stomach and drained it. We were told last night this tube was for his stomach procedure. The person trying to place the tube couldn't get it to work and decided to quit. She assured my parents that this would in no way affect today's events. Well, my parents received a call today saying my dad could no longer receive radiation because without the tube he'd be a liability. My dad asked to be wheeled down to radiology anyway and to speak with the anesthesiologist. It turns out that having his stomach drained is a crucial part of radiation (another thing Dr. M didn't mention or know). Without the stomach drained the anesthesiologist is worried he will asphyxiate on the table. It is against their policy to put someone to sleep in my dad's condition. Also, Dr. M was suppose to order an ultrasound on my dad's leg to make sure he didn't have a blood clot. Without the ultrasound radiation didn't want to work with him because if he did have a blood clot it could move to his lungs while they were working on him and he could die. The anesthesiologist was really great and helped my mom and dad a bunch. First, she called Dr. M and gave her a talking to. She told Dr. M that if she didn't get his stomach procedure rescheduled she would be to blame for him not getting treated. The anesthesiologist then went outside of protocol and treated my dad anyways. My parents had to sign a waiver acknowledging all of the risks involved. Also, the anesthesiologist called a patient advocate for my family. My mom left a message and hopes to hears back soon.

4. Today the radiologist mapped my dad out for radiation. It takes a great deal of planning and the first session always includes mapping. He didn't actually receive radiation today but hopes to tomorrow. Radiation is scheduled at 9a tomorrow morning. If he doesn't receive the stomach draining today he will not be able to get radiation tomorrow. Please pray that Dr. M. can fix her mistake.

5. The doctors keep telling my dad he can't receive chemo because his nutrition levels are so poor. It's interesting because without his stomach drained his nutrition can't improve. What's even more interesting is Dr. M keeps putting in Dad's chart that he is only allowed clear liquids or no food/drink at all. It's usually related to the fact that she has a procedure scheduled, but in the end she seems to never follow through with the procedure. Today my dad was really weak and had a terrible day because he hasn't had any food in at least 48 hours due to this doctors scheduling conflicts.

6. I just found out they are doing the ultrasound on his leg right now. Hopefully we will find out if he has a blood clot soon.

7. The anesthesiologist suggested my parents talk to the patient advocate about getting my dad the pain medication dispenser that dispenses medication when he presses a button. Right now it takes sometimes 1/2 an hour to get pain medication because they have the drugs under lock and key. They must wait for the nurse that can open the drug cabinet.

8. On a positive note, the nurses are great!

*I'll let you know if anything productive happens. Please pray that his stomach gets drained tonight!!! Without it we are at a stand still.

I'm trying to speak the facts without getting too frustrated. Doctors are only human. My parents say Dr. M is really nice, but unfortunately hasn't made the best choices. Hopefully she can correct everything and my dad can get things moving. Each day he doesn't get something accomplished is another day he can't receive chemo. I'm scared to think where the cancer may have spread while we've been waiting for doctors to decide a treatment plan. It's been almost 2 months since chemo!!! Thanks for the prayers!!!

The Schedule

Yay!!! We finally have a schedule for the day. Around 1 they are suppose to pick him up, make him happy and do radiation on both his neck and back. From there he will go into the surgery for his stomach. After leaving surgery they will do a scan on his leg because it has been bothering him. The scan will check for blood clots. Today has been a particularly antsy day for him. Please pray it all goes smoothly and that God gives him peace and comfort. I'll post this evening and update you on all of the procedures. Thanks!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Unproductive Day

Well, today was suppose to be a big day for Mark, but instead it proved to be unproductive and frustrating. I'll quickly post what happened.

1. The doctor who was suppose to order the stomach tube forgot! So, even though there were orders in his chart to not let him eat or drink she had forgotten to put the orders into the department that performs the procedure. Needless to say, it didn't happen today and hopefully it'll get done tomorrow. They did go ahead and put a tube in his nose going to his stomach hoping to drain a lot of the fluid out before the procedure.

2. Radiation didn't happen either. It turns out that they need him to lay down on his back for radiation. He hasn't laid down since he was diagnosed last fall! He usually sleeps in a chair. When he went to lay down it caused him so much pain it was impossible. The radiation team wasn't prepared with pain medication and had to send him back to his room. After looking at his scans they realized the tumor on his back is in between 2 vertebrates. When he moves, specifically to lay down the tumor presses on the vertebrates causing intense pain. They hope to go in tomorrow and hit both his back and neck with radiation and plan on having him heavily drugged while doing so.

3. The stint in his kidney didn't happen either. The urology team decided to hold off on the procedure thinking that maybe once his stomach is drained his kidney may start functioning properly. Hopefully his kidney function does improve without the procedure because if not and they have to do the procedure later it worries me that it'll postpone chemo even further. I'm not a doctor, but I assume a non-fuctioning kidney could affect your blood work.

4. All of these procedures are happening not only to reduce his pain but hopefully enable him to receive chemo. Without chemo the outcome will not be good because his cancer is so aggressive. Since he did not have any procedures done today chemo was inevitably pushed back. For example, without his stomach drained, he can't eat and improve his nutrition levels. Also, without radiation the tumor in his neck can't shrink and allow him to eat.

5. They increased his pain meds today and haven't been able to give him medication for his belly rubin because it only comes in pill form (as a reminder, he can't swallow pills because of the tumor). The good news is his belly rubin has stayed within the normal range even without the pills.

6. As a side note, he has a new found love for popsicles and sprite! Luckily both settle in his stomach well.

Obviously, there are tons of prayer requests that come with this scenario including healing, comfort, God's peace, no pain, chemo, etc. I thought I'd also ask you to pray for the doctor's wisdom in his treatment and my family's patience while we wait for treatment. MDA is one of the best hospitals in the world and we know he is getting great care, but sometimes it's hard to remember when the doctors continue to change their minds, back track on decisions and never discuss treatment plans with one another. Each day a new doctor (sometimes several new doctors) comes in and reverses the medication choices and treatment plans the doctor the day before set into motion. I'm not sure how well you know my family, but we are a feisty bunch! We are definitely in a situation where we are not in control and have to trust God and the doctors at MDA. God is always faithful though and I feel comfort in the fact that He hears our prayers.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Monday will be a big day for Mark.

1. They will place a stint in the ureter of the kidney to help it function properly
2. They will place a drainage tube in his stomach that exits his side into a bag. It will drain all the fluid build up and bile into the bag, so they won't have to continue draining his stomach.
3. The tumor on his neck goes from his earlobe, down his neck, along his shoulder to the end of the shoulder. It is so large that he is now having trouble eating, drinking and swallowing pills. They are even talking about thickening his liquids to reduce choking. He's mainly sticking with ice chips these days. They are also having to crush his pills.
4. Since the tumor on his neck is so big the radiation team is meeting on Monday to review his case and hopefully begin treatment the same day. They will do radiation everyday for 10 days. We hope he can stay in the hospital while being treated because he can have the treatments consecutively without taking a break over the weekend. Also, we're afraid the daily travel back and forth would be intense.
5. Dr. Phan plans on reviewing his case on Monday and hopes to begin chemo Wednesday or Thursday. Lets pray his levels are good.
6. Today they wrapped his legs in cotton gauze with netting hoping to reduce swelling.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Today he had an ultrasound done on both his neck and kidney. We haven't found out the results yet, but we do finally have a plan. The lymph node in his neck is so swollen that he his struggling to swallow so they plan on doing radiation on it tomorrow. Unlike the radiation on his back, it will not affect his chemo treatment. It is also likely that he won't be able to talk once the radiation begins. It won't be permanent but will last a while. Also, on Monday they intend to start doing spot treatments on certain spots until his levels rise and he's able to receive chemo. If they give him chemo prematurely they could do permanent damage and they don't want to do that. Also, the fluid in his stomach continues to come back because of poor nutrition. From my understanding it escapes his blood vessels and makes him sick. I'll verify that fact later. I'll be honest and say things don't look amazing. Please pray for healing and a miracle! Also, he is still unable to receive calls and would love your emails. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today he had the scope procedure done to see if the stint was working properly and to check for blockage. We were relieved to find out he did have!!! Apparently a piece of lettuce or something similar was preventing the stint from working. That would explain why he had bile in his stomach, why he was vomiting bile and why nothing was working. Thankfully they fixed it and hopefully he will start feeling better. There is still a chance his kidney has some blockage so tomorrow they will do an ultrasound to see if it is still swollen. If the kidney is still swollen he will probably have another procedure done. He was able to keep down a milkshake today which is great. He is also pretty drowsy from all of the medication. Hopefully now his levels will start to even out and just maybe he can finally get chemo??? I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Today they have him a bit more comfortable. They have him on something stronger than morphine which seems to be relaxing him a bit. He also seems to be vomiting less but still has an occasional episode. He wasn't able to eat or drink anything until about 5:30p because he was having his stomach drained again. The doctor was sure there was a lot of fluid in his stomach because it was so distended, but unfortunately that was not the case. This indicates there might be a problem with his liver or bowels. Whether it is blockage or something else we aren't sure. His belly rubin and liver count are also elevated which again points to the liver or bowels as the culprit. Tomorrow they will do a procedure on his liver that tries to locate the problem. Other than that, his blood pressure is doing better and his white blood count is still elevated but not rising. Also, if you have any specific questions feel free to leave a comment and I will try to find out the answer for you. Thanks.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I thought I'd give you one last update for the night. Right now they have him on an IV antibiotic hoping to bring down his liver count. They also plan on draining his stomach again tomorrow. Since his stomach filled up with fluid within a 3 day period they plan on keeping him on diuretics to hopefully prevent fluid build up. After testing the fluid last week they discovered it is caused by cancer. Lastly they plan on checking his stint/bile duct for blockage. He still hasn't been able to eat or hold anything down. Also, they haven't figured out the right dosage of medication to relieve his pain. I'm not sure if you noticed, but the past week or so he hasn't been up to talking. Instead of calling, feel free to email/post comments and I'm sure he will get back to you once he is feeling better. I'll continue to update you on the blog!!! Thanks for the prayers!!!

Back in the Hospital

Unfortunately he was not able to get chemo today. The doctor decided to admit him to the hospital and get him stable with hopes that he can eventually get chemo before being released. His blood pressure was so low that the doctor didn't trust him to walk and has decided he needs to be transported by wheel chair until that improves. Also, he has been REALLY swollen and they hope that will improve as his blood pressure does. His kidney function was low but should improve with hydration. Also, his liver count was a bit high, so they are going to make sure his stint is working properly. One of the main goals of this hospital stay will be pain management. As stated earlier, he is in LOTS of pain. Since his last hospital stay his symptoms continued to increase as well as the pain, but the pain medication was no match for what he was going through. Maybe if they get that under control he will have a better chance of keeping food down. Please pray for comfort and the ability to eat. I will keep you posted!

Chemo is a MUST!

Well, he's on his way to MDA and we are PRAYING he gets chemo today. I'll be honest and say he's in a lot of pain and his only hope for any relief is chemo. He can't keep food down and the swollen lymph nodes are pushing up against all of his organs causing everything to hurt. Please pray his levels are good today. If not, it'll be bad news bears. Thanks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quick Update

He is on his way back from Houston right now and had a successful appointment. They drained over 1 liter of fluid off of his stomach. He was pretty much out of it during the procedure so it didn't hurt. Afterwords he was able to stand up for the first time in a few weeks and no longer had to walk hunched over. Hopefully by morning he'll be able to eat and start feeling better. Chemo is still scheduled for Monday but of course that is dependent on good blood work. Pray his levels are all perfect so he can move forward with his treatment. Thanks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm Back!

On Wednesday I went to MDA for chemo and found out these things.

1. I could not receive chemo because my white blood count was low. They think it's probably related to the week before and all of the stuff my body went through.
2.. My nutrition level and protein level were a little low. They want me to start eating and trying to keep food down.
3. I found out the cancer in my lungs and on my spine is still stomach cancer. This is good news because I'm still only fighting 1 cancer.
4. I am now getting my stomach drained on Friday.
5. Chemo is now scheduled for Monday.

The fluid in my stomach area is still making it hard to breathe and eat. It also keeps me up at night.

"Once again today...God has a will for your life, Christ has a Word for your life, and the Holy Spirit has a way for your life. Nothing is impossible." Beth Moore

Monday, May 10, 2010


After a week and 3 days he's finally home. He began the morning with an ultrasound to determine if he needed to drain fluid off of his stomach. In the end, they decided not to drain the fluid in hopes the chemo will take care of it. He's glad to be home! Chemo will resume on Wednesday. Pray everything goes according to schedule and his liver enzymes stay down so he can start fighting his cancer again.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Originally he was suppose to have the fluid drained off of his lungs Monday at 9a, but luckily a woman randomly showed up today and said she was there to drain his lungs. She brought an ultrasound machine in, turned him on his belly and stuck the needle in. He said it was uncomfortable at times but never hurt. Overall, she got over a liter (some said it looked like a gallon) of fluid off of his lungs. He is breathing much better and actually said he feels like he is breathing too well. He looks forward to tomorrow because they are suppose to drain the fluid off of his stomach and he potentially can go home. Chemo is still scheduled for Wednesday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

MDA Saturday part 2

The doctors evaluated him and they don't consider the fluid an emergency, so he'll get the procedure done on Monday. They will first go in and drain the fluid on his stomach and then drain the fluid surrounding his lungs. Right now his oxygen is a little low averaging around 90 with 100 being the best. They feel like his breathing issues and cough are directly related to the fluid on his lungs. To be clear, the fluid is on his lungs and not inside. The doctors also feel the fluid around his stomach is the source of the fluid everywhere. It is likely the IV fluids he was given when first admitted caused all of these problems. There is no way to be sure though because cancer cells also produce excess fluid. When he first entered the hospital his belly rubin was at a 4 with 1 being on the high side of normal. Right now his belly rubin is teetering at 1 so they have him on IV antibiotics to keep them normal. Today all he has eaten is the diabetic version of Ensure mixed with sugar free icecream. Hopefully after the procedure he will be able to eat. Oh, and in case you were wondering he won't be able to return to work as soon as he was hoping.


It looks like he won't be going home today either. He has fluid on his stomach and his liver enzymes are still high. They are hoping to do a procedure today that drains the fluid off of his stomach. When that happens they hope his cough minimizes and maybe he won't be as nauseous. The rumor is yesterday he only ate pudding. Hopefully the procedure will make him feel better.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Well, he was hoping to come home today, but it turns out he'll be staying at least another night. His liver counts are back up and he still can't keep food down. I'll let you know when he starts feeling better and is able to come home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Diagonosis

Today he finally saw his doctor and she was able to interpret all of his scans. Let me warn you, it's not the news you were hoping for. The original lymph nodes that were swollen months ago and had shrunk are now back and bigger than ever. The lymph nodes actually keep pushing up against his liver and kidney causing his bile duct to close which led to his stint. Also, his spine does have cancer. Right now that's not the primary concern, but they will eventually do radiation. The last bit of news he found out was he has 2 spots in his lungs now. His cancer has always been very aggressive and it's obvious the 4 drugs he was on are no longer working. On Wednesday he'll begin chemo with a new drug and hopefully it will work. He should come home Friday or Saturday. Please pray for peace and comfort for my family. Also, that my dad starts to feel better and is able to eat. I feel like he'd do better with chemo if he had good days in between. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I really don't know much, but I'll tell you what I do know. They did a biopsy on his spine today and he'll find out the results in a few days. Also, they did a 3rd catscan today. All three have been a bit different and today's involved adding contrast through his IV. He still hasn't seen his doctor so nobody has been able to read any of his previous scans. My aunt did talk to another family staying in the hospital and they reassured her that this is very normal for MDA. He said the last time his daughter was in the hospital after several days of testing she was released with no answers. Days later she had an appointment with her doctor and he reviewed all of the tests and started treatment. My only assumption is that while in the hospital they do the research, try to get you comfortable/stable and then release you to continue treatment. The doctor will then have more information than before and decide what to do. Lastly, he is still not able to keep food down. They are trying a new nausea medication hoping to get him to eat. Oh, and the Lasiks did successfully drain the fluid off of his body. I'm not sure if his lungs look better but I do know his swelling has gone down. Thanks for the prayers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday at MDA

Today could have been a bit better. Mark/Dad started feeling worse and was experiencing tons of swelling and coughing. Mid-afternoon they found blockage in his bile duct and put a stint in to open it up. The procedure caused him some pain because they went through the liver. From my understanding he spent the majority of the day vomiting. They still aren't sure what caused the blockage and hope to find out soon. There are a lot of theories but all of the specialist haven't met to discuss their thoughts. They also did a chest X-ray and discovered he has fluid on his lungs. They started giving him lasiks and that has relieved some of his pain. Tomorrow he hopes to see his doctor because she's the only one authorized to read his full body scan and able to update him on the status of his cancer. Also, they didn't do the biopsy on his spine today and hope to do that in the morning. He won't know the results of the biopsy for about 3 days. Hopefully tomorrow he will have more information after meeting with his doctor (if she stops by). I'll update you if I hear anything. Prayers are good!!

Prayer Request

Hi. This is Tiffany, Mark's daughter. I just wanted to give you a quick update on his progress. The last couple of weeks he has been in a lot of pain. On Friday he ended up in the MDA ER. He is still in the hospital and they are trying to figure out what's wrong. He's gone through many tests and there are several different possibilities. They did find some "spots" on his spine yesterday. Today around 2p he'll have a biopsy done to see if it's cancer. Also, he will be having a procedure done to see if there is blockage in his liver. Overall, it's a pretty stressful time. The good news is he seems to be feeling a bit more comfortable. Please pray all is well. I will try to update you when we know something. Thanks.