Saturday, December 13, 2014

Day Two, update #1

Saturday 1pm update on Mark, and the providential back story.

Back in September, Mark was being adventurous on what is known as a slack line in our back yard. He was jumping and got his legs caught up in it and flipped out from under him. He fell hard and hit his head from about 4' off the ground.

He was examined and treated for a concussion, including a month of restricted activity.

Since then, he reported worsening headaches, and the unequal pupils noted at the time did not improve much. We took him back to primary care for follow up, and were referred to a neurologist to see what was delaying recovery.

The neurology clinic was slow to get back to us for some reason, and a week in I finally was terse enough on their new patient message line to get a callback. Turns out they misplaced or couldn't find his paperwork, and also said they were booked out into March.

While I was on this phone call, Mark was near tears with another headache. To heck with this, we need answers before March, so to the ER was the new order of the day.

The initial diagnosis at the ER was again orbiting the concussion and recovery, but the doc decided to do a CAT scan just in case, something he said was rare for this situation, but something just wasn't adding up for him.

Of course, as we now know, the cause of Mark's pain and unequal pupils was not a post-concussion problem, it was a tumor.  Mark has brain cancer.

Here's the providence. If Mark had not fallen. If Mark had not suffered the concussion. If the paperwork to the neurologist had not vanished. .... Children are amazing compensators medically, and conditions therefore don't often produce symptoms until they are out of reserves and crash. The concussion dented his reserves enough to allow symptoms to show through. Without this unique chain of events we would not have known for many months, and by then it would have been too late to do anything at all.

Yes, even things that look devastating on the surface can also be miracles.

Mark wants you all to know that he is feeling much better. Presently he and I are lying on his bed, 8 year old Joseph between us, watching The Avengers.

No major events are anticipated today or tomorrow. Mainly we are waiting while Mark recovers from surgery, doing pain management, and getting his body back to managing normal foods.

We are going to sort of go offline for a while, to dampen the steady hum of texts and emails and Facebook alerts, apologies if we don't get back to anyone right away.


  1. I am praying for Mark's complete healing, through Christ all things are possible.

    By shelia hayes — Jan 30, 2015 11:12pm

  2. Prayers for you. My best advice as another person with brain cancer is to get the best care possible and to get several opinions. I had everything from being told cancer was inoperable to another hospital uneasy about surgery but felt it could be done till the 3rd one was at ease and successfully removed 95 percent of the cancer. So if it's not adding up go elsewhere. Prayers you can kick this cancer to the curb.

    By Danielle Clay — Jan 15, 2015 2:26pm