As many of you know we moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in May of 2011. In mid-October of that same year, Mark started experiencing what we thought were migraines. He went in to see a neurologist and was given some medicine to treat the migraines. The medicine was supposed to relieve the pain within 7-10 days and if not, the doctor recommended getting an MRI. The medicine provided no relief so we went in for an MRI on November 25th. The next day we found out that Mark had a large tumor on his right frontal lobe, and it was crossing from the right side to the left. We were strongly advised to return to the U.S. for treatment. We touched down in DFW on December 1, 2011. Just after we gathered our luggage and handed in our customs form, Mark had a seizure and the paramedics were called. He was taken to a nearby hospital where we told them about the tumor and they assessed his condition. While in the ER, he blew a pupil which means there was a lot of pressure in his brain and they had to do emergency surgery. During his initial surgery, only a portion of the tumor was removed so they could tell what type of tumor he had. For a week, he had to stay under sedation while we waited on pathology. On December 8, he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforma (GBM) in his right frontal lobe and the next day, he had his entire right frontal lobe removed. Some time at the end of Mark's surgery, he had a stroke close to where the tumor had been. The neurosurgeon couldn't explain why he had one, but it was thought that it would increase his chances of long-term survival from the cancer because it cut off the blood supply to remaining cancer cells. Normally physical recovery from brain surgery isn't too bad, but the stroke proved to make things difficult. Four and a half years later, he is still paralyzed on his left side, but he is able to get around in a wheel chair.
After surgery, he completed 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy together. In mid-March of 2012, he began taking an oral chemo pill 5 days a week every 3-4 weeks. This continued for about a year.
Because of the nature of his original tumor, he has gotten routine brain MRI's to monitor things. For over four years, his MRI's came back as stable, however in January 2016, a small spot appeared in his right temporal lobe. In late March of 2016 this small spot had become two larger spots. After an MRI with spectroscopy in late April 2016, it was confirmed that his GBM had come back and was growing rapidly. He is now undergoing treatment for the tumor regrowth, but there is no cure. They can only slow its growth and hopefully minimize his discomfort and negative symptoms.
If you feel led to give to help with medical and living expenses you can go to Mark's Go Fund Me account- https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/hiusrk.
Please pray for our family during this time and especially for strength for Mark.