A good day

DustyMark's Journey 19 Comments

Dec 2

The day isn’t done but I barely remember waking up last night and we didn’t have to dialyze at the break of dawn. I made Hatcher breakfast and took him to school. A privilege we often take for granted. I’ve grumbled many times in the past about taking the kids in (especially in the winter) but it was always my choice. The bus goes right by my house. Now I hardly get to do it.

Our first stop today was the fistula appointment. Dr DeJoung said his arm looks adaquet but not awesome. He is very veiny. When the procedure was happening the doctor took the time to tie off what looked like an alternate route in his arm and since then many more have emerged. He says it can be used though and we were happy about that. He is a very kind man. He is so concerned and polite. Mark felt good and the sun was shining so we found joy in that today. On our way home he wanted to stop at Sams Club. He loves to walk around the store and also was on a mission for a gift. I was knawing at the bit a little becuase I needed to get home, start dialysis and get to the house to pay the drywaller. But…he felt good so I told myself to chill out. We found fleece-lined paints for Mark but they do not come in skinny sizes, in fact, they did not come in his normal size. We looked around for any size 30 on those tables but nothing. We did find some woolrich pants in a 32 (not fleece-lined) and got those to take home. All of his pants are too big and hard to keep up so we thought these might work with a couple new beltloops and then when we gains weight he can still wear them. He came home and tried those on right away. He made two new holes and put them on. He sat in his dialysis chair…and we got down to business. He his dad came to visit and tow our camper up to our new house. When his dad left, he laid his head back, closed his eyes and said “I like my pants”. And now his is sleeping. (2:00pm)


From Mark:


Thank you for all the encouragement to write—It has been therapeutic for me. We met with a Natural path Dr. yesterday, I feel encouraged after meeting with him. He doesn’t pull punches, tells you how it is—but he really looks at all of you. Not that all of our Dr.’s haven’t, but you begin to feel like a car being pushed through a production line. It’s not just the medical system our modern world has been pushing for greater and greater efficiencies probably since Henry Ford. The medical industry isn’t much different. Just like there was an expert fender assembler on the line at Ford, there is now an expert spinal surgeon on the line at the hospital. My expert spinal surgeon looks young enough to be my kid and I’m not that old! He, like a lot of the Dr.’s I’ve met with the last few months rarely looks up from his computer screen— he carefully reads my charts and examines my MRI image but I think my leg could have fallen off while me met and he wouldn’t have noticed. He then politely gave me the bad news about my bad condition, the progress of my cancer and the risks associated with both the surgery and doing nothing. To do nothing would mean paralysis and of course that is the risk with the surgery as well, because the wall of my spine has deteriorated so much and the tumor pressing against it has grown. Then its a polite good bye, and have a nice day. Dusty is left to push me out in my wheel chair—because my nerves are acting up and my legs are on fire with no strength. We were both tapped mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t tell anyone because she doesn’t like anyone to know but I saw the tears in her eyes which just causes me to cry—I am a baby. And we were angry—angry that my back got ignored for so long because that wasn’t the specialists speciality. I wonder how many people I’ve walked by in the last year and didn’t take time to observe/ evaluate them—their real needs, maybe needs I could have met easily! Because, I too am a member of this fast pace society where getting stuff done and efficiency is valued above all. This reminds me of Jesus— History shows us how even in his slower paced time he refused to get caught up in production, efficiency, money and power. He looked at people, really looked at them and evaluated their needs—their true needs! Remember the account of the paralyzed man? His friends pushed through the crowds climbed onto the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching at/in, dug a hole through the roof and lowered him through in hope that he would be healed! What friends! I think I have friends like that—my friends keep telling me they will give me their kidney as soon as I say the word! Jesus looks at him and says to the man “Your sins are forgiven” I was distraught that day, in pain and the just the thought of paralysis took the wind out of my sails. I wonder what I would think if I was that guy and Jesus looked at me and said “Friend, Your Sins are Forgiven”. If I’m honest…I’m pretty sure I would be disappointed—I want to walk and run Jesus! Who cares about my sin! Wow—how tied up I am in this world. Maybe Jesus is trying to show me my real needs, maybe he’s looking at the real me, the whole me. If you remember the rest of the story—there were men (Pharisees) who were in that crowd, outraged that he had the audacity to “Forgive Sins”, this was blasphemy. These Pharisees didn’t say anything, they just thought it. Mark 5:23 Jesus told them Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” I hope and pray: I take more time to see peoples real needs and do what I can to meet them. I hope and pray: I can learn to see my real need more clearly—I need forgiveness, I need eternal healing because I am an eternal being. And Finally I still hope and pray He heals me for my remaining time on earth as well.

Comments 19

  1. Mark, love you brother. Your writing is awesome therapy, don’t stop.
    Mark do you remember Jim Kauffman… the guy with the Bus. I was thinking about you and me on that job In Anchorage and Jim parked that Bus and lived in it on the Jobsite. We would eat lunch in that Bus ever day and Jim would tell us story’s and try to teach us wrestling moves. 🤣

  2. Praying for your family often. I am glad you had a good day 💛

    I am going to move through my day slowly to see the needs around me more clearly – thank you for that encouragement.

    And if Dusty has a tear in her eye, and then Mark cries – know that those of us reading are likely crying too 😭

    amanda (formerly rosencrantz)

  3. Mark I pray this for you as well. I know your family through Keystone. I am lifting you and your family up daily in prayer. I appreciate your eloquence in putting such a painful season in words. At times I have difficuly reading your story because it hits very close to home. My husband Will has had chronic health problems our whole marriage. We have been married 26 years. At our wedding he was muscle bound, 6ft 3 inches tall and loved to work hard! Then came neck and back issus from a car accident, then a autoimmune disease with chronic pain and fatigue as well as a genetic disorder. It is all he can do to work, he has had to be on disability at times. He struggles with watching me have to do everything aroun d the house. With not being able to go out in the yard and break up the sticks that have fallen without severe neck pain and fatigue. Never knowing when his next good day will be. It is excruciating watching him go through the emotional turmoil of losing his physical fitness. You and Dusty are not alone. We are seeking the Lord and keeping our eyes on HIM with you. Oh the things God reveals to us through our trials! It is humbling, We depend on him every day and he always sees us through. He has been faithful! I am still learning and HE is still good! ❤️ Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Mark, it’s hard for our family not to be mad, confused, sorry, and tired. We don’t know what you feel like if we haven’t been there. We cry too. We really love you. Uncle Dale called and we talked about you and your family. We are all calling out to God for healing.

  5. Wow Mark, you are truly a blessing to me and those that know you. I am still proud to call you friend and hero.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Praying for you both for strength, for healing of mind and body, for continued faith and patience. You are both so inspiring to me and make me want to be a better person. Thank you both for sharing.

  7. We agree with Doug. Wow, Mark!!! You are such a testimony; even though I suspect you don’t think so. Years ago I got an infection in my arm from a contaminated IV needle that went septic. I wasn’t able to perform my normal things as a Pastor/Missionary’s wife and fought depression. I felt I wasn’t handling it well and wasn’t being the testimony I should be for the Lord. But that wasn’t what others saw. The Lord in His graciousness and love sent people to me saying what a testimony I was and that they prayed they could handle adversity and pain the way I was. Go figure. We know you’re in terrible pain and that this trial is heavy on everyone in your family, especially Dusty. Tom felt so helpless and I’m sure she does to. But know this, your journal is very powerful and we thank you for sharing your heart and love for the Lord. We are all holding you up in prayer and comfort.

    1. Thank you Pam and Tom—it’s good to hear from you on these posts.. I can relate Pam—I am not writing to show this great testimony, in fact posting it has required me to swallow my pride a bit. However, I’m glad others can relate.

  8. So delighted to see you are writing more! This is so important for you and all who care about you. Please keep it coming! I hope you say all of what you are feeling without a filter…. catharsis is so healing.

  9. This makes me sit back and take a deep breath, Mark. I love you. And I’m so sorry that your suffering has caused such turmoil. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people and that part of life is confusing and full of things that suck. You make a huge difference in life, though, and even if you suspect that (which I’m pretty sure of already), I just got wanted to say it out loud so you’d know it for sure. I’m pretty sure that there’s a prayerful army behind you right now. I just want you to see how big it is. I hope you forget about your troubles tonight for a little bit. Sending cousin love from Texas…

  10. Good teaching in that blog. Lord let me really see those around me and nudge me to help meet their needs in You. Father we ask again for healing for Mark’s body and thank You, Father, for Your answers. Amen

  11. Thank you for sharing your heart Mark.
    I look forward to hearing from you and Dusty every day.
    Know that we are all traveling this with you in our hearts.
    You are but alone. ❤️

  12. Dusty I’m so thankful that you saw the positive in this day! I hope and pray that you can make that claim more and more! Remember to breathe and relax.

    Mark, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us! It truly helps when we pray!

  13. Mark you have taught me to stop and enjoy the little things that I have so over looked over the years. I pray for you often – may God heal you! I pray for your family may you find peace in each other’s arms. I thank you for being so open and honest as you go through this incredible journey. Your words bring me new perspective – new appreciation for things that I used to find annoying. I pray for this Christmas season that you and your family enjoy the blessing of our Savior. I pray you find strength to get through the moment – the day. I miss you – love you brother!

  14. Thank you Mark! We all need to hear your words, and are blessed by them.

    Praying according to Luke 11:8 for you today.


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