Five Years Ago Today – March 16, 2014 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Five years ago today is when Mark woke up to the words “Mr. Tidwell, we found the problem, there is cancer in your colon.”  The day that changed our lives and forever made a distinction in our memories of either “before cancer” or “after cancer”.

Wow! Five years doesn’t seem like a long time when you have a baby until the time he is five but these past five years seem longer than five years – sometimes it seems like we’ve been dealing with cancer for much longer.

The first thing that I think is “Thank you Lord!” – these past five years have been incredible! We’ve lived another whole lifetime in these past five years.  We know many that after being diagnosed have such a short time and when the cancer spread five years ago in July to make Mark stage 4 they told us 3-5 years max.  In the harsh reality of life we could have had to say goodbye many years ago and yet here we are!  Very thankful for the opportunities, the time, the blessings, the marriages of all our children, the birth of two grandchildren – all of these things because God has given us that time and those blessings.  We’ve met so many great people on our journey and have been blessed beyond measure and seen kindness showed to us that has simply humbled us and changed us profoundly.

God has allowed Mark to write a book, distribute over 5500 copies so far, speak to thousands altogether and I’ve seen lives touched in a way that only God could orchestrate through the circumstances that He has allowed in our life.  He has impacted many by the message that God gave him and for that we are truly thankful.

I’m so thankful for this past week where, because of the generosity of dear friends, we have been able to spend the week on the gulf enjoying the beauty God created.  At the beginning of the week we were able to spend time with Mark’s parents and the end of the week all our kids and grandchildren joined us – a very nice time to be together and a beautiful place to be together in.  Even now as I type I hear the waves rolling in and see the power of God displayed in a way you only can at the beach.  Last night the boys went down to the beach and shot off fireworks as we sat on the porch and watched – it was beautiful and I thought a great celebration of the past five years!

Mark is still very weak and very tired.  He spends a lot of the day sleeping and I’m thankful that he can and that his pain is minimal. He continues to amaze me at his positive spirit – he tells me thank you all the time for taking care of him.  I’ve told him several times to “shut up” with a smile on my face – it is my privilege to take care of him and so thankful that I have so much time to be with him.  He’s not texting and emailing as much as he has in the past but if you are one to text him keep it up – I try to read his texts to him and when he feels up to it he will dictate how to respond and I will send it for him.  He has enjoyed the seafood and the sunshine this past week.  On Friday night the kids and I were able to drive him on a golf cart to the end of the island so he could take some sunset pictures – it was a gorgeous evening.

I’ve been asked a lot about Mark seeing visitors and the only answer I have is it depends on the day and how he’s feeling – he loves to see friends but he doesn’t have a lot of stamina so short visits are best.  Probably the best way to check is  to call or text me at 678-778-7254 and I can let you know.  

I firmly  believe that God through prayers is what has given us strength and peace and encouragement to fight this battle.  We covet your continued prayers for Mark.  He is a true warrior but he needs prayers now more than ever I think as he is weary and tired.  Specific requests would be: 1. God to be glorified thru our situation and for us to look for opportunities to share God with others. 2. If God so wills for Mark to be healed miraculously from the cancer and have many more years here with us 3. For the pain to be minimal 4. For Mark as he is scheduled to speak March 21 in Atlanta – that God would give strength or show us exactly how to handle. 5. For the family as it is hard to see someone you love so frail when all their lives they have been so strong. 6. Safety as we head back home today.

Thank you does not begin to cover how truly grateful we are for all the love and prayers!  Keep it up!

Much LOVE,

Mark and Lee


I Chronicles 29:11

 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

II Corinthians 13:4

For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Jeremiah 10:12

He has made the earth by His power,
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.

“It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself.”  — John Piper