Day 7 – Going Home!! 10/27/13

After a week in the hospital no matter how great the staff and how good the care we are very excited that Mark is getting discharged to go home today!! Praise the Lord!!

After getting the epidural out Friday he has gotten progressively more sore and has felt the pain of everything they did inside him. It will probably take a couple weeks to get to feeling normal again.

The biggest thing is that he has got to take it easy and not try to get back to normal too quickly and this is where my job becomes increasingly difficult! As you know, Mark is hard to keep sedated and quiet – he is always rearing to go!

We are geared up to get going on juicing and a good raw diet. If anyone locally has any experience or tip about the raw diet I would love to talk with you. This is my biggest concern – that I won’t be able to keep up with the diet because it can be overwhelming so that is definitely a prayer request.

We also have decisions to make about what treatment route to take.

We are encouraged knowing that God has a much bigger plan for us than we will ever know and all He wants us to do is trust Him and we pray for Jesus Christ to be honored in whatever way He sees fit.

One of the devotions we both like to read daily is “Jesus Calling” – it is like a note from Jesus just to us every day and it is amazing how many days it is totally applicable to what we are going thru. Below is today’s devotion…

Thank you for your continued prayers!!

Much love and gratitude,

Mark and Lee

Jesus Calling – October 27

As you become increasingly away of My Presence, you find it easier to discern the way you should go. This is one of the practical benefits of living close to Me. Instead of wondering about what is one the road ahead or worrying about what you should do if….or when…, you can concentrate on staying in communication with Me. When you actually arrive at a choice-point, I will show you which direction to go.

Many people are so preoccupied with future plans and decisions that they fail to see choices they need to make today. Without any conscious awareness, they make their habitual responses. People who live this way find a dullness creeping into their lives. They sleepwalk thru their days, following well-worn paths of routine.

I, the Creator on the universe, am the most creative Being imaginable. I will not leave you circling in deeply rutted paths. Instead, I will lead you along fresh trails of adventure, revealing to you things you did not know. Stay in communication with Me. Follow My guiding Presence.

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Day 6 – Football Saturday – 10/26/13

As usual in the fall at the Tidwell house Saturday = football! So, even in the hospital we are sitting here watching football.

Mark is doing well. They took his epidural out Friday morning so he has slowing been feeling the soreness more than he was. Overall though the pain meds are controlling his pain. He has been walking and doing well – it is just going to be a long recovery but we expected that.

The doctor said he thinks we will get to go home tomorrow. We sure hope so!

It will be great to get home and truly rest.

Specific prayer requests would be that Mark continue to heal, that the cancer not grow (and even shrink) and that any tumors in there will not cause a blockage. A blockage now would be very dangerous for Mark. Also, for the ministry of FCA as he recovers.

Thank you for your faithful prayers for us.

Much Love,

Mark and Lee

Romans 10:9-13
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture says, Whoever believes in Him shall not be put to shame.
For there is not distinction between Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord overall is rich to all who call upon Him.
For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Day 5 – Real Food Today!! 10/25/13

Our doctor came in last night and was pleased with Mark’s progress. First of all he said that Mark could be on a clear liquid diet today but this morning changed it to soft foods so Mark is thrilled. With hospital food being so healthy we decided it best for me to go to Whole Foods and get some real healthy food to start out right. I was able to get lots of juices and things and soups, etc.

They took out his epidural today so we have to watch the pain and not let it get ahead of him. So far so good. He has been walking a lot and doing very well.

It looks like we’re going to be watching football at the hospital tomorrow – no typical “football” food but at least we’ll get to watch the games.

It looks like we may get to go home Sunday which would be awesome – if not Sunday then for sure Monday.

He has had some challenges with the colostomy bag but the colostomy nurses have been awesome and we’re confident that in the end all the kinks will be worked out.

We’ve had some great visits with friends and are so thankful for all the support. I heard the Newsong song the other day “Sheltering Tree” and the words are exactly what we are experiencing – it says “We all need sheltering trees, friends in our lives who get down on their knees, Lift us up before the King of Kings, We all need sheltering trees” We feel surrounded by sheltering trees and have heard again and again about people praying for us and count that as such a huge blessing in our lives! Our hearts are full of gratitude.

We continue to pray for God to work in Mark’s life and for Jesus Christ to be glorified thru it all. Thank you for joining your hearts with us in prayer!

With Much love and thankfulness,

Mark and Lee

I Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Day 4 – Liquids?? 10/24/13

First of all I can’t write that date without saying Happy Birthday to our one and only daughter Jessica!! She is a huge blessing to us along with all our kids!!

We were excited because we knew after ice chips he would graduate to liquids but what was prescribed isn’t exactly what we had in mind……he can have 30cc of water or juice one time every hour. How much is that you ask?? It’s 2 tablespoons! Not exactly a thirst quencher!

However we understand that he needs to take it slow and steady. With his colon being so swollen it needs time to heal and we don’t want to push things too much.

He has been up and walking and enjoying visits with friends and actually the time is flying. We’d much rather be home realize this is where we need to be for now. We have a great nursing staff and having company really does make the time go by quickly.

With the slow progression of food intake it’s highly doubtful we will go home Saturday – I think more likely Sunday or Monday. But….you never know!

We are so thankful for his progress and for how well he is feeling! Praising the Lord for this and for so many blessings!

Thanks for your continued prayers for Mark – we can’t begin to tell you how grateful we are for so many people praying for us – we definitely feel it and know God is answering those prayers!

With much love and appreciation,

Mark and Lee

Psalm 116:5-7
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Numbers 6:25-26
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.

Day 3 – Ice Chips!! 10/23/13

Yes, we are excited about ice chips! This is the first thing Mark has been able to put in his mouth since surgery so it’s the first step!

He is doing very well today! Been up and walking and looks and feels good. We have much to be thankful for!

Before surgery I was thinking about this being the 7th surgery. The number 7 is the number of perfection or completion so I’m thinking this is that surgery – the surgery to perfect and complete.

When they closed him up on Monday and I spoke with the surgeon I had a moment of sadness as I thought about the fact that this is the first surgery where they have closed him up with cancer still inside him. Later that evening it occurred to me that if the surgeon could take out all the cancer then why do we need God? So, I’m excited because now there will be no doubt that his healing is supernatural and not by the hands of the doctors.

We’ve had great visit from friends who have prayed with us and encouraged us and laughed with us – we feel very loved and blessed for sure! I was encouraged by a friend today as we talked about diet and juicing. I needed a shot in the arm and to be encouraged about Mark’s diet going forward. I totally believe how important it is but when you get away from it and fall into bad habits it’s hard to get back into it.

I believe God made our bodies to heal themselves so I’m getting excited to get back into juicing and raw foods and to help Mark as much as I can with diet.

Tomorrow he should be able to have liquids and then progress to soft foods and then solids. We were told he would be here at least a week. It would be great to go home Saturday morning and be able to be home to watch college football!

Thanks for the prayers – keep it up!!!

Much love,

Mark and Lee

Isaiah 26:4
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength

Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Day 2 Update 10/22/13

Mark finally got to his room yesterday around 5:30 – we are thrilled that we are in the blue tower – we are in room 102 and Mark is up for visitors – he has been up in the chair most of the day and has walked a couple of times already. He looks great I think.

The past few weeks he has experienced so much pain so surgery was indeed a relief. The surgeon came by to see him and was pleased with his progress. He told us he was shocked when they opened him up and saw his colon was obstructed and was about 3-4 times the normal size. No wonder he was in so much pain!! Praising the Lord that he had his surgery when he did – no telling what would have happened had we waited.

Had a pretty good night overall – he has an NG tube down his nose into his stomach to drain and so that bothers him when he swallows so that really hindered his sleep.

He can start on ice chips tomorrow – so and steady is how he has to take it.

Thank you for all the prayers and facebook posts and texts – they are very encouraging to us!

Continued prayer for the remaining cancer to be healed and for a quick recovery. That Jesus Christ would be glorified thru every aspect of our lives.

With much Love,

Mark and Lee

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 95;2
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Zephanniah 3:17
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Surgery Update 10/21/13

Mark is out of surgery and in recovery. The doctor said they were able to successfully do the colostomy and also repair his hernia. This should give him a lot of relief.

This past week Mark experienced a lot of pain in his kidney which ended us up in the ER Tuesday morning with a diagnosis of kidney stones. They sent us home with strong pain meds which unfortunately didn’t help much. When we checked in this morning we told the doctor the pain was still pretty bad. They called in a Urologist to check for kidney stones before the surgery started. The finding was that he had a blockage right at his kidney which is where the pain was coming from. The blockage could be from inflammation or scar tissue but they couldn’t give us any definitive answers. They did put a stint in his kidney to drain it which should take care of that pain.

The colostomy went well and the hernia repair was a success – they were able to use Mark’s muscle and not have to use mesh which they didn’t want to do because of the risk of infection since they had done a colostomy at the same time.

He is in recovery and we are waiting to hear what room he will be in. Thankfully they are putting us in the blue tower and not the green thanks to a very sweet nurse! PTL!

I will update tomorrow and let everyone know how he is doing. I’m sure he will be out of it tonight!

Please pray he has good nights sleep and that recovery will go well. He has had a rough couple of weeks so I’m just praying for some relief for him – it’s hard to see him in pain.

We continue to pray for complete healing from cancer. God is our healer and He can do it – we know He can!

Thanks ahead for the love and prayers,

Mark and Lee

Psalm 121

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber . Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep . The LORD is thy keeper : the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

October 14, 2013 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week was a long week – Monday Mark had a CT scan and then Thursday they wanted to do another colonoscopy. It is very hard to believe that 6 weeks ago his colon was clear and now it’s very bad. They found cancer in his colon as well as in some lymph nodes and his rectal area.

After the test on Thursday he was in so much pain that they admitted him to the hospital hoping to do surgery sooner rather than later. As it turns out however they are going to need two surgeons and we must wait on their schedule.

They went ahead an let him come home with strong pain meds and have him scheduled for surgery Monday the 21st. They will do a colostomy and try to repair the hernia while they are at it. This will be a very complicated surgery due to all the scar tissues from the previous 6 surgeries and the radiation. It will be a long recovery for him.

We are praying that surgery will go well and recovery will be better than expected and that he can get back to living and speaking and everything he is wanted to do!

We are so thankful for all that we have learned these past 4.5 years and have seen God’s faithful hand in everything that has happened and know that we are still in His embrace and go into this next challenge with confidence knowing that He is in complete control and that Mark’s life as well as the rest of us are in His hands and His timing.

I will try to update the blog every night that we are at the hospital.

Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf – we know we are being prayed for – we can FEEL it – there’s no other way we could be strong except thrum Him and the power of prayer that is truly sustaining us!

Much Love,

Mark and Lee

John 15:7
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Luke 11:9
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Matthew 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

October 8, 2013 – Please Pray!

Dear Friends and Family,

The past couple of weeks Mark has been experiencing pain and discomfort in his colon. It seems to be getting worse and so he had a CT scan yesterday – we will go to the doctor tomorrow to go over the results. Mark was afraid it may be another blockage but the radiologist said there is not blockage which is good but there is a lot of inflammation.

Tomorrow evening is “Fields of Faith” which is a big event involving 7 schools thru FCA and Mark is in charge of this event. He has already passed the responsibility off to someone else and for those of you who know Mark that means he is really feeling poorly.

Please pray for healing for his body and rest. Also for relief from pain and discomfort. Lastly please pray for direction as we meet with the doctor and determine what needs to be done and what path we need to go down.

We know God is in control and we rest in the assurance that Mark is in His hands. God is so much bigger than all of our problems and the assurance that His love is so huge we will not be able to comprehend it here on earth.

Thank you for your prayers – I will update at the end of the week when we know more.

Much Love and Appreciation,

Mark and Lee

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:11-21
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Update – September 4, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Well, we are still rejoicing over the results of the colonoscopy. When the doc pulled back the curtain he was very happy to tell us there was NO cancer in the colon!!! Praise God!! Mark had every symptom and for all practical purposes should have can something in there but God is healing him and it is becoming more evident all the time.

Usually after these visits to the doctor we get to the truck trying to be positive and coming up with a plan for our next steps. This time we got out there shut the doors and cried tears of joy as we praised the Lord for this miracle. Then I did what I always do next – texted our children! How happy they were with our news!!

He is still dealing with some intestinal issues but it sure makes it easier when you know it isn’t cancer rearing it’s ugly head again.

He will probably also always deal with a herniated abdomen but this is something he can LIVE with!

He doesn’t have to go back until November for more scans – in the meantime we will continue going to our natural MD who has him on multiple therapies.

Thank the Lord with us over answered prayer and please continue to pray for all the cancer cells to leave his body.

Much Love and Thanksgiving,

Mark and Lee

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Psalms 33:1
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

Psalms 97:12
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Joel 2:21
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.