A Big Day Tomorrow.

DustyMark's Journey 18 Comments

December 6th

It really is remarkable how much better Mark has felt (in his back) since last Monday. I could say it is because he is not wearing that brace or it could just be a bit miraculous!

Tonight he lays on his back in our room with some really tight back muscles and a feeling of being “sore” but not shocking nerve pain. It does hurt though and he hasn’t really taken much for pain meds in days but today he needed to so I know it hurts. I just keep telling him to get to Tuesday. He starts to feel better and wants to do things and go places because sitting in that chair is depressing…but I keep telling him to just stay still! The last thing we need is him getting bumped or someone running into him, or slipping on the ice. I don’t know if you often tell a man what to do (even if its out of love and concern), they really don’t like it. It can be a problem.

Today we went in center for dialysis so I could get some errands and get to some stores. First, we had a virtual visit with the oncologist which turned into a phone call due to a poor connections. She wanted to “see” him but honestly….she wasn’t at his last appointment (we saw her NP) and when I sent her MRI findings…she never looked or went over them…until maybe today? She kind of repeated everything we had already learned to this point regarding his back and the upcoming surgery. She scheduled an MRI and CT of his abdomen after Christmas at our next appointment. The hemo lab today indicated that his hemoglobin dropped to 9.6 so we need to watch that. All his other numbers are great! phosperous, iron (he was suppose to get it in his dialyzer today but doesn’t need to now) creatinine, potassium, protein etc. He is slowly gaining weight and eating all the protein shakes and supplements.

I wasn’t able to get to all the stores I wanted to and at one I was all ready with a purchase and talked myself out of it but on the way out I found an item I had been wanting for Christmas…but then I got to the line. God has been making me more patient…but no way am I standing in that line. Not worth it.

I picked up Mark and we got lunch and headed home. Two friends met us here and prayed for/with us for tomorrow. I took Mark with me up to Newaygo and he watched a Christmas movie while I caulked the bathroom and stained the coffee bar. There’s enough of that small stuff to do to keep me there til midnight but Mark fell asleep and I was tired myself so we returned home, slowly, on the trecherous roads. Moving in winter is gonna be yucky! But I can’t wait to be in this house. Now how do I keep people from bringing snow into the house!!! I don’t have an entryway.

Mark itched like crazy last night and I heard him each time. It was a long restless night and I’m ready to turn in. Tomorrow is his Kyphoplasty and ablation surgery. 11am. He physically and emotionally needs this to be as successful as it can me. It’s outpatient and we will recover at home quietly the rest of the week.

More from Mark below:


My reading in Psalm 6 today ‘Oh lord do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me Lord, for I am faint; oh Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

Of all the procedures I have had the last few months tomorrow makes me the most nervous.  Tomorrow, I have a back surgery where they plan to remove a tumor that sits between my vertebrae and the wall of my spine, then they will put some material around my vertebrae to help contain and hold a cement application which should in the end help stabilize by vertebrae, remove pressure on my main nerve bundle and if the cancer treatment works, it will allow the bone to actually heal.  The cancer has been rotting my back bones for months and the vertebrae has become fractured in several places (compression) unbeknownst to us or our Dr.s.  The vertebrae began to stick out further and further and is a literal pain in the back.

I told Dusty last night this whole thing scares me.  Today while reading and praying I’ve been asking myself “why does this bother you so much Mark?” This back thing has bothered me because it hurts, paralysis is a real risk no matter what we do, it is evidence of the cancer moving and destroying more of my body, and it has shown me the speed of this cancer. I think it boils down to losing more control/ independence—-I want to go where I want when I want!  And if I’m honest it is evidence that this ‘death’ we are battling is creeping further along despite all of our efforts, and I don’t want to die.

That whole thought process led me to another scripture.

John 21:18 “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

Jesus is talking with Peter, kind of bringing him back into the fold after Peter’s betrayal and Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and rise from the dead.  Jesus was asking Peter to build the Church, this Christian Church that so many of us have followed ever since.  But he went further and gives him this prophecy; He’s telling Peter—you are going to lose your independence, not only that He’s telling him—you are going to lose your life, just like me, and it’s not going to be fun (“where you do not want to go.”)

So to continue with this journal transparency—I’m scared.  Scared of losing more independence, and scared of the painful process of death.  I don’t have Jesus telling me what to expect like Peter.  But I know He loved Peter and He led him where Peter did not want to go, most historians believe that Peter was crucified like Jesus except legend has it that he asked to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to be crucified the same way as His Lord!

The point is Jesus asked Peter to follow Him—Peter had a choice, Jesus told him what the cost would be and Peter did it.

Jesus has been asking me to follow Him, it’s been my choice from the beginning.  He’s told His followers from the beginning I will lose my independence if I make that choice.  I don’t know where He is leading me, However, my prayer for today:

“Be merciful to me Lord, for I am faint; oh Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.” —Literally!

Help Dusty and I to keep trusting in you

Pray that my life would be honoring to you despite my shortcomings and failures.

Forgive me for my constant battle for independence and autonomy.

Comments 18

  1. I join in the prayers for you Mark. May God continue to walk at your side and if necessary carry you where want to, where chose to go.🙏

  2. Tears… and deep, heartfelt prayers are with you Mark. May you and your doctor have peaceful sleep tonight, strength for tomorrow, and God’s hands during surgery.

  3. So very thankful you have had some relief this past week. Praying for a completely successful procedure tomorrow, peace, and a good nights sleep.

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  4. Oh Mark, I pray every night that you’ll be able to sleep and that Dusty will sleep. I pray for healing for your body; earthly healing. Thank you for your attention to scripture and sharing your thoughts with us.
    Glenna’s cousin Cindy

  5. I pray the same prayer, that u can rest, a deep rest inside your soul and body. God has a plan and that can be the hardest to wait on. I feel God wants me to come and share with you and Dusty but I don’t want to be a bother or inconvenience either one of you. But I feel my story could help you both and encourage you both. Reach out if you would like that or not. Jeanie Laughlin💕

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  6. Mark I am praying for you and Dusty today! May God be glorified in today. May you grow in faith and may this be successful. I pray for pain relief and good night’s sleep and may his mercy shine like the new dawn. May grace pour on you and may you be settled during the procedure! Thanks for sharing the journey it has helped me grow.

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  7. Praying for you, Dusty and Mark. You know the will of the Father and you know that He will provide, heal and sustain you. Jehovah Rapha be with you to heal you, Jehovah Jireh the Lord will supply and Jehovah Rahh the Lord is your Sheperd.

  8. Hi Mark!

    My name is Becky, a friend of the McComb family for year’s. Your Grandma Joan lead my dad (Bill Bye ) to the Lord , when your Grandpa Clare was in the Air force in Del rio Texas, I think. Your mom remembers me as a 2 years old, I’m now 63😂

    I’m so very sorry you are sick. From the time I learned of your illness I have been praying healing and strength for you and your family. I am confident in the power of prayer and also in God’s working in and through those who delight in being His children.

    My dad has gone on to be with the Lord, but my mom and siblings are praying for you also.

    Numbers 6:24-26
    The LORD bless you and keep you;
    the LORD make his face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you;
    the LORD turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

    Thanks to you sweet wife for keeping the updates coming- helps in praying specifically!!

    Because of Jesus,

    Becky Nicholas

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  9. There are so many daily physical and mental battles with cancer. I hope this surgery helps with the physical part of it so you have the energy for the mental part. And to enjoy your incredible family, which then helps with the mental part!
    Sending all of our love!

    Denise & Rusty

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