Mark’s Story

Site created on August 28, 2020

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Lisa Spiess

Hello ALL!

Wow, it has been a while since I journaled on this site!  February 20th to be exact.

As you may have been able to tell, I gave Mark the reigns to journal.  He has been working on his fine motor skills for typing.  I try not to correct and critique his work too much so that he can see his progress as he goes along.  He still gets frustrated at the things that are a challenge to him now when they came as second nature before “the incident”.  That is what we fondly call August 14, 2020’s events and the day our world took a whole new direction.

We continue to go to his doctor appointments.  Mark had a follow-up with the radiologist in March which went well, as Mark told you before.  We asked the hard questions verifying is it terminal, what is the life expectancy, on and on.  When I think about the things we have had to discuss and how we can cry about them one minute and then laugh the next, I am in awe of how the human mind works.  No two people receive and process the information the same let alone handle the situation the same.  Luckily, Mark and I seem to be able to balance each other out emotionally.  I think God has had a hand in this as well.  When I am down and in my crying mode, Mark always seems to be my rock assuring me that we will be ok.  When he is down, I am able to contain myself and try to give him the same reassurance that "we got this", I am not going anywhere, he is not going anywhere and we have lots of good times ahead yet with him still "taking care of me".  He is so worried about being able to still take care of me.  I sometimes remind him that I am capable of taking care of myself, but I choose to let him take some of the burden off my shoulders…LOL!  I tell him that he has always taken good care of me and the kids and the decisions he made along the way ensure that we are still taken care of today and into the future.

When we start getting down because the blows seem to keep coming (furnace, septic, garage door, brakes on my car, blah blah blah) we take a deep breath and remember that we are still so fortunate and blessed.  We were still able to keep warm, we still have a roof over our head, we still have an income coming in, we have transportation, we have a great family and group of friends that love us and support us in any way they can.  We have so many fortunes that others do not.  We are still living our life and we are doing well.  Mark is doing well.  Everyone is dealing with their blows and we apologize if we sound like we are complaining at times but sometimes it helps just to get it out on paper and as I said before, this can sometimes be more of our own therapy than a true update.

Though we have so many fortunes, Mark has still been getting frustrated with some of his lack of mobility and a fogginess in mental processing lately, feeling that he is at a standstill.  We made an appointment for a Speech Therapy Evaluation and went on Tuesday.  It went so well!  He aced all the evaluation questions, and I am embarrassed to say, but he did better on a few of the story problems that she read to us than I did!  He felt so much better after we left.  He just needed that reassurance and reminder of how far he has come.  We went to a new doctor last week for another issue stemming from his stint in the emergency room and ICU and when the nurse came in after reading his file, she was amazed that he walked in on his own accord and was carrying on a conversation with her like nothing had happened.  She told him it was amazing that he was doing so well!  That perked us both up!

He will see the oncologist again next Wednesday to see if his levels are good so that he can start his next round of chemo on May 10th.  His last panel showed that his oxygen levels were increasing as well as his red blood cells and a few others.  Everything seems to be going in the right direction so far.  He continues doing his hyperbaric treatments and his strength and mobility appear to be increasing because of it.  He still utilizes his Optune machine which he has fondly called "his burden" as he does not like wearing it due to how cumbersome it can be for his mobility.  He continues wearing it on easy hours when there is not a day of physical therapy or hyperbaric.  He even wears it on the mower!  I am so proud of him!  He loves to mow and with the assistance from the contraption that Tom built in our barn mounting and unmounting of the mower is so much easier and less stressful.  We are awaiting the verdict on his application for disability and muddling our way through all the steps and uncertainties.  Mark keeps me calm as I go through the application process (side note, why do we have to have an account, password and take an hour for almost every application that is submitted now?!), the interview process and the rejections.  Again, he is my support when he should not have to deal with being a support.  He is a strong man!  The love of my life!

Mark is doing well, I am doing well, the kids are doing well and there are lots of changes still on the horizon for the Spiess family.  We are looking forward to them all and will greet them with a smile...together.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy every day! 

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