January 11, 2014

Experiencing the "little" things

I had the worst night's sleep last night, likely due to the weird dreams I was having. I kept waking up, but in a state that was still semi-dreaming. I was thinking about the computer, and iPhone, and Xbox, and all the stuff that has a camera in it, and I was dreaming that people were watching me sleep. Even when I woke up, I was thinking to myself, "I have to remember to cover those cameras in the morning, so my sleeping isn't all over the internet..."

Weird, right? Funny how it made so much sense in the middle of the night ;)

I finally got to go visit Mark today! It felt really good to get out of the house. On the way to the nursing home, I stopped at the post office to pick up Mark's mail--he had probably 40 more cards!--and then I stopped at Starbucks to get him a latte. I probably spent a good five minutes driving around parking lots and side roads trying to find the driveway into Starbucks. It was so odd that there wasn't an easy access!

Whenever I've asked Mark how he likes his coffee, he's always said black, without sugar. But he's gotten a few Starbucks gift cards, so I thought it would be fun for him to try some "fancy" coffee drinks ;)  I got him a vanilla latte today.

When I went to his room, the door was partially closed, and the curtain around Mark's bed was pulled, so I assumed he was going to the bathroom or something. I called through the door, "Mark? It's Katie. You in there?" and he said, "Yeah, come on in!" so I went in, and I noticed that he had a roommate. I said hello to the roommate, and then asked Mark if he was decent, could I open the curtain? He said, "Yeah, sure!"

I pulled the curtain open, and then a nurse came in and said, "Hun, um, he's (nodding at the roommate) going to the bathroom, would you mind waiting outside?" I was horrified. I hadn't even noticed that Mark's roommate was sitting on a portable toilet! I apologized profusely, and stood outside feeling like a jackass while the nurse helped the roommate finish up. How embarrassing! The poor guy.

Anyway, Mark was thrilled to see me. Last time I saw him, he had a full head of hair, but today, it was all gone.

When I mentioned it, he just said, "Yeah, it'll grow back!" He said he was combing his hair earlier this week, and it all started coming out. It scared him, but the nurse told him that it was normal, and it was because of his treatment.

I read him some of his cards while he drank his latte, and I asked him if he liked his trusty black coffee or the latte better. He said he likes the latte better, and that he never knew what he was missing. This whole thing has made me wish that I'd gotten closer to Mark before his diagnosis. There are so many things that I would love to do with him, so that he could experience the little things that most of us take for granted--like a latte from Starbucks. One of the cards that he got had pictures of a bunch of zoo animals, and I asked him if he'd ever been to the zoo. He said he went once, a LONG time ago, when he was a kid. I wish I'd have thought to take him to the zoo when he was still healthy.

Before his diagnosis, I only saw Mark a few times a year, and I always enjoyed seeing him; but I never really gave much thought to how he spent his days when he wasn't with my family. It makes me feel bad that I didn't think to do more for him or with him when he was healthy. He even introduces me to the doctors and nurses as his sister. (He calls my parents his "adoptive mom and dad", even though he's only a few years younger than they are). I never really realized how important my family was to him.

A woman came in and told Mark that the pastor was coming in to do a church service at 11:30, and asked if he wanted to go. I said I'd go with him, and he was looking forward to it. Well, at 11:40, the woman came back and said the pastor didn't show up for the second week in a row. How disappointing for the patients who were looking forward to that! Bingo was scheduled for 2:30, and my dad went up there when I was on my way home so he could play Bingo with Mark.

Today was a great visit, and I'm planning to go back tomorrow. Jerry really wants to go, and he's off tomorrow, so we'll head up there to see him.

Today was a rest day, and I definitely took it easy. I only had a little over 3,000 steps on my Fit Meter today. It actually felt really good to relax. Hopefully tomorrow's four-miler will feel much better than yesterday's five-mile run!


  1. Katie, are there any types of books or cds he is interested in looking at/listening to that people could send him?

    1. I ask Mark about this every time I see him, because quite a few people have asked about sending him things. He's got a lot of DVD's and CD's now. He's really content with what he has, so it's hard to get him anything! I'll think about it some more, and hopefully come up with something :) Thanks so much for thinking of him!

  2. I really hope a pastor is able to come in soon for all the patients! I know that one of the most uplifting things someone can experience in a hospital is the power of hope that a religious service brings. Mark is so lucky to have you and your family. You are all angels :)

    1. I know! It's not like the patients can just walk down the road to a church; the pastor going to the nursing home is the only "church" that they have. I think they need to find a new (reliable) pastor.

  3. Did you watch social nightmare on life time last night?

    1. No, we got rid of cable a few months ago, so I can't watch any Lifetime :( That's the one thing I really miss about cable! But I thought this was an odd question for you to post here, until I googled what the movie was about. Weird that I would dream about that on the night that Lifetime airs a movie about it! I really want to watch the movie now.

  4. Seeing Mark without hair made me laugh a bit. Three years ago my dad was going through chemo. Prior to chemo, he had a huge Santa beard and longer hair. During chemo he lost his beard and hair but for some reason, he never lost the mustache portion. It made all of us children laugh every time we saw him. Tell Mark, he looks great without hair.


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