Dear Family and Friends,
Some of you may have already heard, others not, that my husband, Mark, has been diagnosed with stage IV maligant melanoma. It most likely did not start suddenly, but we became aware of it suddenly. Melanoma is a very agressive form of cancer and early detection is vital. Unfortunately, Mark's started in his rectum, and I must admit, neither he nor I checked that area for such a thing.
Mark has been feeling poorly for some time. You may have noticed that he didn't plant a garden this year. That is a first for him in all of his adult life, and most of his teen years. After some urging from me and his parents, Mark went in for a colonoscopy, the results of which were misinterpreted. Fortunately, the doctor who was to do some follow up treatment for what we were told were internal hemorroids, recognized the tumor for what it was and did a biopsy. We were to get the results Monday of this week (June 7th).
When I left church as the sacrament was just starting last Sunday (June 6th), it was in response to a call from Mark saying he had called 911 because of profuse bleeding (from the tumor). The emergency room doctor was able to access the biopsy results and we learned of the diagnosis in the emergency room. In the emergency room, Mark received a beautiful and comforting blessing from his home teacher, Greg Hall, with Paul Allen assisting. He also received a father's blessing from his father, Chauncey Riddle. We later left the emergency room feeling the Lord's love and with the companionship of His Holy Spirit.
The last few days have been full of tests and more tests, the results of which I will share in the next message. We have received many phone calls and visits expressing love and support. How we appreciate all of you! Please keep praying for Mark - for all of our family. It really makes a difference. I have felt my burden lifted again and again and believe it is the result of anwered prayers.
We believe in miracles. We are asking for a miracle. Whatever happens will be a miracle because we know without a doubt of the Lord's love. There is no hardship so great that His power can't reach us. We feel it. We know it. We rejoice in it. We are willing to accept the Lord's will and submit our lives to His care, either here or on the other side. We believe, however, that Mark's mission here is not yet over and look forward with hope and faith.
More later. We love you all.