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Two years ago Mark began having trouble swallowing food, especially meat. During that time he had several bouts with chocking and would have to go to the ER to have the stuck food removed. At the suggestion of the ER doctor Mark went and had a procedure done, called Esophageal Dilation, where they put a balloon down his throat and stretch open his throat so food will slide down.
At first a balloon procedure called Esophageal Dilation, needed to be done every 6 months to a year. Then in January he had pneumonia . He was very sick. After healing from the pneumonia he had another Esophageal Dilation balloon procedure done. He felt pretty good.
Early in June he had to have another balloon procedure. This time they found a mass. A biopsy was done and June 14th Mark was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
In the past month Mark has had an MRI, a CT Scan, and a PET Scan. The silver lining in all of this is, the cancer is located only in his esophagus. Located right in the middle of his esophagus with the aorta on one side and the trachea on the other. Surgery would involve the removal of the entire esophagus, then reconnecting the stomach to the top of his throat. Its a very risky surgery for even the healthiest person.
After careful consideration and upon examination, the surgeon felt Mark’s overall health was questionable. In the surgeons opinion Mark would not survive the surgery.
If Mark chose to do nothing , within 2 months he wouldn’t be able to swallow and within 8-10 months he would die.
That left radiation and chemotherapy. Radiation is done 5 days a week and is located in Soldotna. The facility is located 90 miles away, this means we will temporarily move to Soldotna for the 6 weeks of treatment.
Along with the radiation he will do chemotherapy. We are not sure how the two work together because the radiation is in Soldotna and chemo is in Homer. The schedule for both is yet to be determined.
Next Thursday, July 19th , we go see the radiation oncologist cancer doctor who will map out the plan of radiation attack . They will do a CT scan and see exactly where they need to target the radiation and then they draw a map on his chest of the designated target area. They will also do blood work to see how the rest of his body is doing. A feeding tube may be inserted if needed to improve the nutrition in his body.
On Friday July 20th we see the chemo oncologist cancer doctor to determine when the chemo begins in Homer and how we will do both at the same time.
It is with the hope that by God’s Grace doing both of these treatments together will shrink the tumor and may even cure him. There is a 30% chance of a total cure.
The silver lining in all of this is the cancer is contained in his esophagus and no
While the news of being told a love one has cancer is devastating, Mark and I are trying to maintain a positive outlook.
I am a firm believer in God, His Son, Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit and I know that God is holding out His arms ready to receive Mark and comfort him should Mark choose to let Him.
I am also a strong believer in prayer and am asking anyone so inclined to pray for Mark. Not only to pray for Mark to be cured, but to pray for Mark to come to the realization that God Loves him unconditionally and that he is loved by all of us. That we all care about him and want to see him live a long healthy life.
Thank you all for you prayers and love.
Feel free to leave text messages. I will do an update after our next appointments on the 19th and 20 th !
God Bless you and may His Light and Love shine within each of your hearts and lives.