Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mark went home today!

Tuesday is speed work day, but I was SO not on the mood for speed work (am I ever?!). I was procrastinating all morning, and then I finally got on the treadmill to do 6 x 800's.

-1/2 mile warm-up
-6 repeats of the following:
     -1/2 mile at 7:30/mi pace
     -1/4 mile recovery jog
-1/2 mile cool down

I did the warm-up, and then halfway through the first interval, I decided that I just couldn't make myself do it today. Instead, I wanted to run outside! So I changed clothes and headed out for a four-mile run at whatever pace I felt like running. It felt pretty tough today, for some reason.


It was much better than doing speed work, that's for sure. But I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow!


I'm a little disappointed that I don't have pictures to share of Mark, because today was his big day--he went home! I had assumed that my dad and I would be the ones to take him home, but the woman who owns the group home called me this morning to say that she was going to pick him up. She said that sometimes the whole discharge process takes a while, and she would have to be the one to sign papers and all that stuff, so it was better that she go. Which makes sense, of course. I was just disappointed I didn't get to see how excited he was to get out of the nursing home!

I spent the morning working on getting the rest of his cards into "books" on a ring.


This is probably only about half of the total cards he received (his nephew took several hundred home, and we haven't seen them since). I cannot thank you all enough for sending him love and well wishes over the past few months!! Mark LOVES the cards, and it was a big topic of conversation with the nurses at the hospital and nursing home--who is this patient? why does he have so many cards? ;) (If you still want to send cards, you can do so indefinitely! I'll continue to bring them to him at the group home. The address is on the left sidebar of my blog.)

The nursing staff all fell in love with Mark, of course. He is truly the perfect patient--he does whatever they ask of him (with a smile on his face), never complains about anything, always greets them warmly and tells them he's happy to see them, and treats them will the respect they deserve.

I definitely plan to continue to visit Mark a few times a week, but I just have to say that the last few months have been life-changing for me. I feel really lucky that I've gotten to know him and understand him a lot better. There have been numerous times throughout the past few months that I've gotten upset over something, and then stopped to think, "Is this really worth being upset over? Mark is doing chemo with a big smile on his face, knowing that at best, he'll get another year or two to live. Is this REALLY worth getting upset about?" (And the answer is always no, of course!)

If there is one thing I've taken away from getting to know Mark better, it's this: To be a good person, it doesn't matter what possessions we have, what car we drive, what clothes we wear, where we live, what we do for a living, how we spend our free time, what we eat or don't eat, what places we've traveled to, whether we have a Ph.D or a G.E.D. or no education at all, how much money is in our bank account, or how many friends we hang out with on the weekend. At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters to others is our attitudes and how well we treat people.


Pretty much everything that Mark owns can fit in a small box. He hasn't traveled the world, and he doesn't have a ton of stories about the things he's done in life. But he has the cheeriest attitude of anyone I've ever met, and he is SO grateful and happy for everything that comes his way. It truly is impossible to NOT like him. I've been trying really hard to be more like Mark--complaining less, being happy with everything I have, and trying to find enjoyment in everything I do. It's not as easy as Mark makes it seem, but I'm getting there :)

Anyway, I'm really happy that Mark is back at home, and tomorrow we'll go to the doctor with him to find out where is cancer stands right now. I'm praying for good news!

15 comments:

  1. I am so glad that Mark is home now! You are so right, comparison is the thief of joy. Time is so precious, why waste it on anything other than joy?

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  2. Your take away from getting to know Mark is amazing. Sometimes people are put into your life for a reason. You didn't know it when you Dad met Mark years ago, but now it's clearer. He has taught you to enjoy life more and from every post you have been writing lately about your time with him for your blog followers, you have imparted that to knowledge to us. Thank you Mark and Thank you Katie for making me understand a little of what you learned from his experience. If we can all just make those lessons stick, we will be so much happier.

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  3. This really put a smile on my dial. Am so glad Mark gets to go home :) & what you've learned from this experience is priceless. Thanks for sharing with us Katie.

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  4. Glad to hear that Mark is home now. Also I think it is great that you went and did the run you wanted to do this morning. I'm not a fan of speed work either!

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  5. I think Marks rewards will come in heaven. I will go as far to say this may be why Mark was placed here with the challenges he faced, to make us all better people.....Robin.

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  6. Ugh I'm tearing up! I'm sure he makes friends wherever he goes, but it's always the best feeling to be home!

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  7. Great take away! I wonder what his (good attitude) secret is? Have you ever asked him?

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  8. I'm so glad to read that Mark gets to go home! He truly sounds like an amazing person, and an amazing influence on everyone around him. I wish him all the best as he settles back in :)

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  9. So happy for Mark! I too am tearing up. You are right about a terminal diagnosis changing your outlook on life. You figure out what is important, and that is the people you love. Like you, I have always tried my best to be good to others, and try not to be so self-involved. We visit the ER often, with Du's problems and we are always thankful for the care we get there. My friend, an ER nurse in Omaha, told me that most people are rude and very ungrateful and impatient. She said that if they get ONE person per shift who is nice, they are thankful. To me, that is very sad. This paragraph you wrote, really spoke to me:

    "If there is one thing I've taken away from getting to know Mark better, it's this: To be a good person, it doesn't matter what possessions we have, what car we drive, what clothes we wear, where we live, what we do for a living, how we spend our free time, what we eat or don't eat, what places we've traveled to, whether we have a Ph.D or a G.E.D. or no education at all, how much money is in our bank account, or how many friends we hang out with on the weekend. At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters to others is our attitudes and how well we treat people."

    You are so right Katie--thanks for writing everyday and reminding us of what is important in life.

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing updates about Mark. I have really enjoyed getting to "know him" better from your blog, and he is an inspirational person that will help me be more positive each day and treat others more kindly, as he does.

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  11. Yay! So happy that he's getting to go home :)

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  12. I'm reading this at work while on a break and I'm all choked up. What you said about the things that really matter in life has touched my heart. I wish Mark the best and I'm so glad to hear that he got his wish and gets to go home.

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  13. WOW !!! Super fantastic.... best news of the week - Mark WENT home : ) I have been thinking of him, you and your family today ..... and said many prayers. I hope you received some positive news....

    Thank you again for sharing Mark with all of us... what a gift he is !

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