Thursday, February 19, 2015


Wendi leaves tomorrow morning with Mark, his first appointment at MD Anderson is on Monday the 23rd.  Also traveling are 16 year old Jim and 6 year old Gabriella.  Gabriella will provide the cute energy distraction component ("let's play a game!"), and Jim will provide the backup responsible person component.  This will split the family evenly in half for the duration.  I could have gotten the time off work at Clark PUD to be there no problem, but feel less able to leave considering my secondary job as resident firefighter for East County Fire.  We live in a house owned by the Fire District that serves as a fire station, and I run calls with the rescue squad when I am not away at my full time job.  It would not be fair to the Fire District for Station 96 to be idle for weeks/months.

They will be staying at the Rotary House, a hotel attached to MD Anderson, for the first few nights while they acclimate to the campus and surroundings to get their bearings.  It had appeared that there would be a delay getting into the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) for maybe a few weeks, but as of today praise the Lord it looks like they might get in right away on Sunday night.  This is not a for-sure thing, no guarantees, but it looks likely.  Being able to get in there is a huge break and huge blessing!  Right now we're just waiting for Wendi's background check to clear.  It is reassuring that adults staying at RMH are screened.

In another bit of good news, the RMH advised us that there is an exception to their normal 45 day stay limit for patients undergoing proton therapy, and Mark will be permitted to stay up to 90 days.  Amazing news, Yay!!!  Mark is undergoing six weeks of treatment, which would come up to 42 days.  With a week of pre-admit visits and prep on the front end, and a few days on the back end (probably no one wants to travel the very next day after completing six weeks of chemo), the 45 day limit was becoming a concern.  No longer.

Last night, big sister Genny cut Mark's hair really short, so that it won't be as traumatic when it starts falling out.  Making it feel real.  Being separated for so long will be hard, and Mark is going to be a changed person when they get back, so this departure is becoming pretty emotional for me, and writing here is getting a little harder.  But this works OK because I will be here at home and Wendi will be with Mark, and it is for this reason Wendi is taking over the blog, this is probably my last post for a while.  I don't know how often she will be able to keep it updated, but I think she has high hopes to be on here frequently if not daily as much as possible.

We give thanks for getting so many breaks and assistance, and give thanks for so many words of support and prayer from so many places, the outpouring is overwhelming to me and I just cannot express in any meaningful way the depth to which this has touched us.  Thanks so much to all of you for caring and staying in touch.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Thanks Frank and Mark for the good news. the PROS at MD Anderson are primed to make a real difference. Thank YOU Frank for sending these precious words to us. You have a beautiful writing style. Looking forward to reading Wendy's reports. Hi Mark, 5 inches of snow coming Saturday night to New Jersey. My son is installing Strobe lights on his Diesel Plow Truck, so that the traffic can see him. He's running out of money because the State of New Jersey pays him 60 days after the storm. LOLOL. So my wife and I are loaning him the money until he gets paid. Adios for now my friend. Joe

    By Joe Russo — Feb 20, 2015 3:38pm

  2. Mark, I am so grateful that things opened up for you at the Ronald McDonald house, and for so long!!! We are continuing to pray for your son and strength for you and your family during this time.

    By Ericka, CC Spring,Tx — Feb 20, 2015 4:06am

  3. First, because it's adorable: Paige has entire days of itinerary planned for Bella when she returns. She might just have to be s permanent fixture :)

    But to the part that's so very much more to where my heart is: Kim said it so perfectly that I'm almost tempted to say ditto. We're all pulling for you and praying continuously. And I'm keeping your names on the temple prayer roll, which means that every half hour a group of people in an endowment session are praying for your family as they are part of the names on the altar. By my understanding that's in every temple in the world so there very literally are thousands and thousands embracing your family with love every hour, just as we all are. We love you so much.

    By Emma Darden — Feb 20, 2015 1:12am

  4. Love how you are sharing all. We continue to pray and send praises to our Lord! Say Hi to Mark from us.

    By Heather Owens & Family — Feb 19, 2015 8:41pm

  5. So glad to hear things are lining up well for Mark and you all! :)

    By Erin Johnson — Feb 19, 2015 8:10pm



    (Your 3rd cousin, once removed - i think ! )

    By Austin McGinley — Feb 19, 2015 7:05pm

  7. Wow! It's wonderful how things seem to be coming together to prepare the way for Mark down there! We'll also be praying for Sunday admittance to the Ronald McDonald house and for all your hearts during this difficult separation. Frank, your updates have been so helpful and detailed for those of us outside of any other "loop," and I thank you! May God strengthen your father-heart and give you peace as Wendi and the kids leave tomorrow. If you get this note in time, would you give my friend, Wendi a great big hug from me? Wish I could be there to do it myself. Love to you all!

    By Heather Lawrence — Feb 19, 2015 6:58pm

  8. When my hair started to fall out it was at the small of my back, Mark was smart to have it cut. Good luck and warm wishes to all of you.

    By Kelly Burba — Feb 19, 2015 6:27pm

  9. Thanks, Jamie, for keeping us posted. I'm glad you've gotten some good news and that he's going to the best hospital for his treatment and that they will probably get to stay at Ronald McDonald house. I hope the treatment does not damage him and that it won't be super hard on him. I wish him a full and quick recovery and that they can all come home really soon. God bless u guys. I love you all.

    By nancy — Feb 19, 2015 6:26pm

  10. You all have been and will continue to be on our hearts and in our daily prayers! Thank you for the updates and helping us know how and what to pray for.

    By Kim Sevier — Feb 19, 2015 6:09pm

  11. Praying for entry into RMH on Sunday. Thanks, Frank, for updating faithfully, amidst the difficulty and processing of so many emotions and complex information. We'll continue to pray and look forward to Wendi's updates as she can. Prayers and blessings poured out to you all.

    By Lauren D — last edited Feb 19, 2015 5:57pm

  12. Praying for all your hearts.
    God has this.

    By Mrs Candee — Feb 19, 2015 5:55pm