Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blog Post #18

Dear Loved Ones,

I haven't posted for a very long time.   First, because there was never much to report.   Mark seemed to plateau for a very long time.   It is hard to continue to write that there is no change.

Mark was diagnosed with end stage melanoma almost exactly a year ago.  At the same time, he's struggled with prostate cancer and parkinson's disease.   His attitude has been wonderful - full of hope and full of determination to do his part to keep his body as healthy as possible.

It has truly been a year of miracles.   We are so thankful for each day, for each act of kindness, for sweet relationships, for children, brothers, sisters, parents, friends, for the miracle of forgiveness and hearts mended, for the many gifts of the Spirit.   We are most especially grateful for the miracle of our Savior's love which we have felt, and continue to feel, so abundantly.

Now more recently, I haven't posted because there is too much to report, and no time in which to express it all in writing.   Mark celebrated his 65th birthday on May 12th.   On that day, he sat in the backyard and enjoyed visits from all of his children and grandchildren living in Utah.   He also enjoyed phone calls from all of his children living far away.   He either saw or heard from almost all of his siblings, and of course, his parents.   It was a wonderful, beautiful day.    Also, on that day, he was put on hospice.   But for lack of age, he would have qualified for hospice months ago.   Miraculously, neither he nor I really needed that kind of help until now.    But, how we need it now!   

Mark's health has precipitiously declined - truly as if he stepped off a cliff.    For many days, I was assisting him around the clock getting to and from the bathroom.   I went 15 days without a full night's sleep, and in some of those days I got no sleep at all.    Then, just as suddenly, Mark can no longer get out of bed, even with assistance (unless he is literally lifted and carried).   He is unable to swallow easily, he is often confused and rarely communicates.   It is thought that the cancer has reached his brain, which doctors expected to happen months ago.   I am caring for him at home, with the help of family and friends who come in regularly to give me time to rest or work.    Mark spent a few days in a care center (after the 15 days of little rest), but did poorly there.    He is much happier and peaceful at home.     I have become an expert at many of the things nurses do.    (I was thinking that during the millenium when the only advocate (attorney) we'll need is the Lord, I'll have to change professions.   Maybe I can be a nurse - but oh! wait!  We won't need them either! Won't that be wonderful?)

Yet, during this stressful time, I continue to see miracles.   I certainly feel the sustaining love of the Lord.  I am touched by the many people who are willing to help.  I am so grateful for so many things.    And tonight - another miracle.   Mark was lucid and we shared our feelings as I read chapter 8 of Romans.   He led us in prayer, and as I finished it for him, he said, "Yes! Yes!" as I expressed our trust in and love for the Lord, and as I prayed for our children.

I feel certain peace, a gift for which I am most grateful.   Mark is in the Lord's hands and we both totally and completely trust the Lord.   I testify that "all things" do truly work together for our good if we trust our Father in Heaven and His Holy Son.    Whether Mark miraculously recovers, or passes through the veil to the world of spirits, or lingers in a disabled condition longer in mortality, I know that it will be okay because He who loves us is in charge. 

Thank all of you for all that you do.   Please hold us in your prayers.

Love, Laurel  


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