When I first started this little site back in December, 2017, the goal was to share our exciting adventures as The Mark and Jan Show … who knew that January 17, 2018 would change our lives forever?
Here we were, a happily married couple who live in Paradise, aka South Florida, Fort Lauderdale to be exact!
Mark is semi-retired now and always looking for his next adventure, which he had committed to in December: taking over the rental properties in NW Indiana …
Jan was still working full time but counting down the days til she could sleep in and putz around the house with Mark all day!
Our two grown kids are in their 20’s and we welcomed our first grandson on December 29, 2017, 3 weeks early and completely unprepared … yes, we were excited, nervous, but excited. And of course, felt way too young to be called grandparents!
We also have two cats but we don’t think we are crazy cat people. But they do add entertainment and you’ll see them periodically here as well!
Feeding people is what we love to do so I had planned to share lots of old and new recipes as well … but something was off with Mark those past 6 months or so … he was having difficulty swallowing his food … not so much in the throat area but more down in the chest/adominal area. Add to that, a constant case of burpies which he didn’t realize how frequent they were …
After the first of the year and our new health care insurance kicked in, he made an appointment for a check up with his primary care doctor. I remember him sitting there and telling me that he needed to make a list of things to talk with her about. I’m like, huh? He mentioned a few things that were bothering him … I chimed in and said, oh, ask her about that little dry cough you have and the low energy, constantly needing a nap too. Huh, again, he didn’t see those symptoms either!
Needless to say, he mentioned some of his symptoms to her and within minutes, had blood work lined up that afternoon and a gastrologist appointment at 8:30 the following morning. 10 minutes with the gastrologist and he was scheduled for an endoscope the following morning. That day, 2 days after the initial visit to the primary care doctor, we were told the news no one is prepared to hear. Tumor. Experience says its cancerous, biopsy already taken, etc. The whirlwind of appointments for the next two weeks (after we pinky promise each other we will NOT GOOGLE esophageal cancer) and going from fairly optimistic to wholly crap, chemo every other week for 3 days at a time for THE. REST. OF. YOUR. LIFE. No, they did not tell us how long the rest of his life would be. Sure, he could live to be 70, 80, or maybe only 59. Nice. Fast forward to MD Anderson … was hoping for a miracle or at least something a little more positive but it was worse, the CT Scans showed a lot more than originally spotted (had it spread in the 2 months or what??) so, no magic potion in Houston either.
Currently, Mark is undergoing his treatments at Holy Cross Hospital with Dr. D and we are staying with MD Anderson for the 8 week scans … the reason we are doing this is MD Anderson offered the same treatment plan as locally but we are staying with them for scans to stay on the radar for any kind of trials that come up.
I plan to keep this a positive, upbeat site and will still focus on food because that is our love language … our days are a blur now and we just don’t know where we will land at the end!