Saturday, December 21, 2013

An emotionally draining day

Jerry and I ended up having so much fun on our little date night last night. My mom had told us about a Mexican restaurant in Wyandotte that she and my dad really liked, so we decided to go there for dinner. I like downtown Wyandotte, because there are a lot of little shops along the street, so it's entertaining to walk around and window shop.


We went to Angelina's for dinner, and I ordered flautas--my favorite thing to order at a Mexican restaurant. They were really good, but my favorite thing was actually the side of refried beans. They were amazing! We were feeling kind of Christmas-y and just very happy, so we ended up leaving a 100% tip for the server... that was fun :)

When we left the restaurant, we walked down the street to a candy shop, that had "nostalgic candy" printed on the sign. I knew there had to be some cool finds in there, so we browsed around the shop and bought some stocking stuffers for the kids. They had a lot of really interesting candy!



Jerry and I had a pretty relaxing morning, and then at around 10:00, I remembered that the post office would close at 11:00, and I wanted to go pick up Mark's mail. So Jerry and I hurried and got ready to go to the hospital, and then we stopped at the post office on the way.

You guys. I am SO SO SO appreciative of all of the support you've sent Mark in the form of cards. The P.O. Box was packed full today with 109 cards for him!! I was speechless, and my jaw dropped when I opened the box. I was so excited to bring the cards to the hospital. Thank you so much!

We stopped at Long John Silver's on the way, because Mark had requested fish and hush puppies from there. When we got to the hospital, we decided to take the stairs to Mark's room, instead of the elevator--he's on the 10th floor, so it wasn't just a flight or two! I wanted to get some "altitude" for my Wii Fit U Challenge. I've run three marathons in the past couple of years, but I was huffing and puffing by the time we got to the tenth floor!

Mark was REALLY happy to see us, and thrilled that we brought him Long John Silver's. He ate his lunch while Jerry and I took turns reading his cards to him. We went through all 109 cards, and Mark loved every single one. Every time a nurse or someone would come into the room, he would say, "I have SO MANY people that care about me! So many people!"

After we read the cards, the pain in his legs became really bothersome to him. He has tumors in his legs, brain, lungs, and spine, so all those spots hurt. I asked the nurse if he could have more pain meds, but the nurses were taking SO long to respond, and they said that he couldn't have more for another hour at least, which was frustrating. A doctor came to check on him, so I asked if they could give him something else, and the doctor put in a request for morphine, but he said it would take a while on the pharmacy's end.

Mark kept talking about how much he wanted to go home, and this time, he wasn't talking about Heaven. He said he wanted to back to his group home. It was heartbreaking.

My mom called and asked about Mark, so I stepped outside the room, because I'd been on the verge of tears the whole time I was there. I told her what was happening with his pain, and then I pulled myself together to go back in. When I walked back in, Mark was talking to Jerry, and crying. He was really upset, saying he wanted to go home, and he kept apologizing for crying. It was awful. We told him not to be sorry, that it's perfectly normal to cry and get sad or angry about all this, but he just kept apologizing and telling us, "Thanks for coming!".

We'd been there for nearly four hours, but I didn't want to leave until after they'd given him the pain meds. The nurse finally brought in his morphine, and gave that to him, so I knew he'd be feeling better soon. We chatted a little longer, and I showed him again what buttons to push to turn on the TV and his CD player. I could tell that the morphine kicked in, because he got a little loopy, so I told him he should get some rest, and we said good-bye. He was so grateful that we'd come, and just kept thanking us. I felt awful leaving, but my parents had had the kids for nearly 24 hours, so we had to go pick them up.

We walked to the elevator, and when it opened, Kim (a friend of our family) stepped out, on her way to visit Mark. I was so grateful to see that she was there to visit him, because it was so hard for us to leave! I couldn't even talk to her without crying. Jerry and I went to my parents' to pick up the kids, and while we were there, Kim FaceTime'd my mom's iPhone, so that I could see that Mark was doing really well. I chatted with Mark via FaceTime for a minute, and he seemed MUCH happier, which was a relief.

This whole thing has been so much harder than I ever could have imagined. Mark is just so innocent, and has always been so happy; seeing him break down today broke my heart. But I just want to let you all know how excited he was to get the cards, and how loved it made him feel to know there are so many people pulling for him. (A few people have asked me if it was too late to send a card; of course not! I would love to see him get cards for as long as he's battling this cancer. The address is on this post.)

My parents are going to visit him tomorrow, so I think I'll go on Monday, and then again on Christmas. Today, he mentioned a bunch of old TV shows that he liked to watch, so Jerry and I are going to look for some on DVD that we can bring him for Christmas. I wish we knew how long he would be in the hospital, but there really isn't a plan for what happens next, so we'll see.

21 comments:

  1. What you're doing for Mark is a wonderful thing. I put a Western postcard in the mail for him yesterday and will keep sending postcards each week.

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    1. Thank you, he will love the postcard! I appreciate it so much.

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  2. I sent a postcard for him yesterday. It's so wonderful what you're doing for him! Hang in there!

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  3. My kids made him cards the other day. Our post office is slower than slow, but they'll get to you eventually. I cried just reading this post, I don't know how you kept it together while visiting!

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    1. Thank you Valerie, and tell your kids thank you as well. The cards have been amazing, and Mark just loves them!

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  4. My thoughts and prayers are with Mark and all of y'all. You can tell how much you care for him and it's great to hear how many people are thinking of him and praying.

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    1. I'm blown away by the amount of support he is getting. I'm thrilled, and so thankful!

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  5. Katie, what kind of shows is he wanting to see? I have some DVDs I could send him. Seinfeld, Golden Girls, Roseanne, or Facts of Life. I never watch them and would love to share them with him. Just let me know and I will ship them out Monday if those are on his list.

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    1. That's so nice of you to offer, Carly! I bet he would really like Facts of Life, because I think that was one of the shows he mentioned. If you're willing to part with it, I know he'd be grateful to take it off of your hands :) Thank you!

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  6. Katie can I send Mark a small care package? If so give me some Ideas for it?

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    1. Colleen, that's SO thoughtful of you, and I'm sure Mark would love that! Whenever I ask him what he wants/needs, he usually says, "Oh, any old thing!" But he loves junk food, and has been asking for Cheetos, cheese popcorn, candy bars, etc. He has dentures, so nuts and taffy are too difficult for him to eat. He also likes looking at photos, or souvenir-type knick knacks. Other interests are John Wayne, old/classic cars, gospel music, and outdoors/fishing.

      But honestly, Mark would be happy with whatever you come up with! He has loved getting all of the cards. Thanks for thinking of him :)

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  7. Youre good people!

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    1. Mark deserves so much more than we could ever do, but I'm going to try and make this less painful for him in any way that I can, and I know the cards have really boosted his spirits :)

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  8. I have not sent a card yet, but I will. In reading this, I'm not so frustrated at myself for not sending one immediately. This way the cards will continue for a while. After reading that he liked post cards, I'm hoping to find one for him. I live outside of St Louis, so I'm hoping to find a St Louis postcard locally. It's kind of funny cause I'm like "where do I get a post card"? It's easy to find them when you are a tourist. ha ha.

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  9. Mark is so lucky to have you and your family in his life. Sending hugs and prayers.

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  10. How beautiful your and Jerry's heart is, is so refreshing. You are constantly doing amazing things for others, whether to your boys, family, friends, whoever. I just wanted to let you know I love it.

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  11. I mailed a postcard on Friday! I hope it arrives soon!

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  12. Are you still renting the PO box? I would like to send Mark something.

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    1. Yes! I'm going to keep it indefinitely, because I can use it for blog correspondence, too. Thanks so much for thinking of him!

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