Welcome Due to so many family and friends around the country, we are setting up this caring bridge site to keep you informed of Mark’s journey these next few weeks. Now to get you up-to-date: Sunday, December 8th Mark had blood in his urine. Called his doctor on Monday the 9th and got in to see Dr Bos that afternoon. A urine test was done that afternoon and a CT Scan on his bladder was scheduled for the next day.
Tuesday, December 10th a CT of the bladder was done at our local clinic at 10:00am. Dr. Bos called our home at 4:30 that same day and reported that the scan shows a large tumor in the bladder and it appears to look like cancer that has invaded the muscle of the bladder wall. Dr Bos referred us to Dr Unger, Urologist at our local clinic - with an appointment scheduled for December 18th. WAIT - Blood continued as we waited to see Dr Unger. The good news was that Mark had no pain.
Wednesday, December 18th finally arrived. A cytology procedure was done that confirmed a large tumor in the bladder that has invaded the bladder wall. It needs to come out. So surgery was scheduled for the following Monday, December 23rd.
Monday - surgery day at our local hospital. By 7:30am Mark was all prepped and went into surgery with Dr Unger doing a Transurethral Resection (TURBT) of the bladder. Church friends, Stephen and Linda came and sat with me. Note: love ❤️our church family❤️ My brother Lynn & sister-in-law, Ranae came just in time to join me and meet with Dr Unger after surgery to get the surgical report. Report confirmed what was a large cancerous tumor. High/grade, stage 3 that has invaded the bladder wall and muscle. Mark spent a day in the hospital and enjoyed visits from church friends, Bob & Diann and Pastor Scott and was home to celebrate Christmas Day with Matt & Ben’s families who came and brought all what was needed to have a celebration of the Birth of Jesus. The little boys, Bruno, Luca, Ezekiel and Zion brought much joy to the day! The next few days were spent close to home. With a winter snowstorm coming in on the weekend, we had to cancel our Christmas celebration with Sarah,Chris,Eli,Noel and Laura. It was a big let down - but we were happy that they were all safe. WAIT. - As we waited for the follow-up appointment with Dr Unger - many of our church friends came by to visit and/ or brought food. Thanks David, Marsha, Sheila, George, Bob, Stephen and Linda. Saturday, January 4th brought Noel and Laura to our home to celebrate Christmas 🎄. We had a very nice day and shared some very personal time together. It is such a joy to have these deep conversations with your children who have become such wonderful and caring adults. WAIT - Wednesday, January 8th finally came to meet with Dr Unger, post- surgery appointment. Dr Unger read and explained to us the Pathology Report: cancer type- Papillary Urothelial Carcinoma, Invasive High-grade -Stage 3 that invades the mucelaric propria. We reviewed the options- 1) remove bladder and create a stoma (urine bag) 2) remove bladder and make a neo-bladder from intestine and 3) Do Nothing Our conversation with Dr Unger was very personal and emotional on many levels. Mark was leaning towards the third option. Before leaving the office, Dr Unger encouraged Mark to get opinions from both the Universary of MN and Mayo Clinic in Rochester. With hugs and tears we left Dr Unger’s office and went across the hall to Dr Nelson’s office. Mark has a special relationship with Dr Nelson, his Neurologist for many years. Without going into details, it was Dr Nelson who encouraged Mark to take the first option - ostomy bag. We had a wonderful conversation with Dr Nelson and left his office with hugs and laughter. - WAIT Thursday, January 9th thru January 19th - WAIT Monday, January 20th appointment at the U. Good information and the Urologist and the Oncologist agreed the the Ostomy option would be the best for Mark. WAIT Wednesday, January 29th. Mayo Clinic appointment. Dr Karnes and his team run many tests and put a plan together that they feel is Mark’s best choice for removal of the bladder and cancer. Mark felt very comfortable and encouraged by the team and decided that he felt he would be in great hands at Mayo. WAIT Surgery scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th WAIT. WAIT. WAIT and WAITING