Mark’s Story

Site created on April 17, 2018

Heyya ! This quick bio was written by Mark’s son Sterling and Jen, Mark’s wife (in Dad’s words... “my super hot wife!”). 

Mark Griffin was diagnosed with late stage Pancreatic cancer in April 2018. It was discovered when he was noticing some abdominal pain which was unusual...but otherwise in perfect health. Dad runs multiple times a week and has never had any serious illness in his lifetime.

We figured a routine check up to the doctor would clear it up as something he ate (after all...Dad is prone to occasionally eat barbecue with his hands and then lick his fingers...without washing them first lol).

Later that night, we show up at the hospital. The doctor recommends a CT scan. The results come back... and we soon find a mass on his pancreas. And by the size of it, this looks like cancer, likely late stage cancer.

The reason why Dad was feeling stomach pain, was in fact because the mass was pressing up against his bile duct. It was causing a shut off of bile, which is a fluid which normally helps his body absorb the nutrients from his food. With this shut off...Dad was having digestive challenges.

In fact...the doctor mentioned if the tumor was placed just a short inch away on a different side of the pancreas, it might have gone completely undetected until it was untreatable completely. In this way, while it may sound strange to say, the placement of the tumor turned out to be a blessing.

So after staying in the hospital for a few days...Mark (I’ll go back to calling him Dad for the rest of this as he was partially responsible for my birth ;-)) he had a small operation to open up his digestion and restore the flow of bile throughout his body.

There’s one problem solved, and now we turn our attention to the cancer itself.  Unfortunately, after reviewing the results of the CT scan more closely and a lung x Ray. It turns out there are some small lumps inside Dad’s lungs as well. Multiple doctors consulted told us they believe this means the cancer has metastized (aka spread) and so operating to remove the tumor itself wouldn’t actually help Dad heal at this point.

So where do we go from here? Since surgery won’t help. And straight up chemo is a b***h which doesn’t improve anyone’s quality of life...we needed to find a solution which will actually give Dad a real shot to beat cancer like any villain beats up a superhero in their first fight of your favorite Marvel movie.

After much internal debate, (and a few badass Google searches), we decided on an approach which combines both some chemotherapy and a holistic approach. This way...we’re treating both the actual cancer itself, and the real cause of the cancer behind it (his body’s challenge with fighting off the viral cancer cells). 

An amazing company which treats cancer in this way is CTCA (Cancer Treatment Centers of ‘Murica). I’m talking about some chemo, tons of vegetables, and even...wait for it...paying for your freaking flights when you go to one of their centers! Sounds like gainz to me.

And that’s the point where you found us. While if you look up the general results for what happens when someone is diagnosed with this cancer...the statistics may discourage you.

But let me say this: We are not discouraged. We are going to fight this ugly beast of a disease with every breath we have. After all, statistics may inform, but they are not our guiding light. 

Instead... we’re focusing at the stories of the survivors, because they show us what’s possible when commitment meets intelligent treatment. And believe me, we’re not stopping until this thing has gone for good.

Thank you for joining with us and supporting Dad on this journey. He reads every comment and is completely believing for a full recovery.

As we have updates? You’ll be the first to know.

Love youuuuuuu, and together let’s beat this butthead cancer loser-face for good. :-)


Newest Update

Journal entry by Sterling Griffin

Hey family, thank you for all the encouraging messages and love lately.

it’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least. We feel Dad has beaten one battle to head into the next. His digestive challenges are starting to be healed and his ability to process food has improved rapidly over the last few weeks.

This was a problem ever since the cancer was discovered and so to now see it start to resolve has been wonderful.

However, following this good news we have been in conversation with MD Anderson to see what options we have for treatment. Most of the options (for chemotherapy) which Dad is a candidate for aren’t exactly giving him an ideal quality of life going forward if it doesn’t beat the cancer.

So where are we now? Deciding whether or not to do chemo.

And as of this moment, we’re leaning towards no chemo.

We’ll keep you posted as we know more.
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