The Prognosis

Wet Coast (Wickininish Island 2005)

On Friday Mark met with the specialist who identified three possible cancers: Colon — possible but it doesn’t act like colon cancer; a liver cancer which has blocked the bile duct; or bile duct cancer– most probable. The later two don’t respond to treatment and given the spread to the lungs and possibly the brain (explaining his balance issues) the prognosis is very poor. The rapid onslaught of symptoms suggests weeks maybe months. All this needs to be confirmed with a biopsy which will happen early next week. At the same time the doctor will unblock the bile duct to relieve the bile and reduce the jaundice and remove some of the fluid buildup around the liver to make Mark more comfortable. 

Mark is not in pain, he just feels ‘pregnant’, swollen belly, uncomfortable, fatigued and his trousers don ‘t fit. 

How does one deal with a prognosis like that? … with a dinner: beef bourguignon; crusty french bread; mango with cashew salad; brownies and ice cream prepared by Thora, delivered with Jerry, and enjoyed by brother James, nephews Darby and James (Marks son), niece Adele, and my mother. Mark not having eaten anything substantial for more than a day, ate two helpings

9 thoughts on “The Prognosis

  1. Dear Mark and Liz,I think this raccoon captures pretty much how I feel about this heartbreaking news. But I am very encouraged by your resilient spirits and by Mark's appetite (although with cooks like Norah and Thora it isn't surprising!)You are both bright lights in a dark time and an inspiration to us all. Love and high hopes,Carol


  2. Thanks for taking the time to make this blog Liz. It is helpful to read the medical information as it emerges and reassuring to hear that you and Mark are being so well taken by the many who care so much about you both.


  3. Carol-that racoon does say it all doesn't it. Alison – thanks for your visit. Mark enjoys the company. We are so lucky to have such loving caring friends.


  4. Loving the familiar and fabulous photos and hearing that Mark is enjoying the wonderful cooking of the Protection Island folk. More California commuting adventures on the way to San Jose today. . . Visited the Santa Clara Historical Railway and watched a few old model railway enthusiasts contemplating placement of transport cars. Know that this would have been fodder for a Mark photo.


  5. Dear Mark and Liz, We are sitting in Sri Lanka, stunned…I just saw the posting on Facebook that led us to your blog. We were talking about you yesterday, saying what fantastic friends, guests and travel companions you are, and looking forward to another adventure with you. It's so hard to comprehend that Mark could be struck down like this. We send you a ton of our love. We wish we were closer right now, but we will be home on March 10 and will visit very shortly thereafter. Big hugs, Maria and Dag xxxx


  6. Mark – we share in common our names. We've never met in person, but we've met on line and that has been great interaction for me. First on Flickr and then on Facebook. You have been a photographer I have looked up to and admired and you have always been very encouraging over the years in my own development as a photographer. I wish you in this journey the best path of peace and give you my deepest wishes of comfort and healing.


  7. Thanks for creating this blog to share. Stunned like others to hear the news. Sending love & prayers. Glad to hear you're surrounded by great friends.


  8. Thank you so much for setting up this blog, Liz. I'm amazed you could have found the energy to do this, writing so informatively and generously and even offering us humour and great images. I did get a very brief visit with Mark on my way home Thursday late afternoon (you were napping). So many memories flooded me during that very short visit, all the wonderful meals Mark has made and served us there, all the marvellous stories told. Paul and I are back from Vancouver tomorrow. If we can do anything at all, let us know.


  9. Thank you so much for the blog Liz. Both of you always showed me so much warmth and I thank you for that. So many memories of walking on the dirt roads of Pi in my own little world…….and hearing HEY HEBB. Yes their would be Mark in his golf cart stopping to have one of our amazing chats! You always made me smile even though my day had been a little hairy. Thanks for being you Mark always a gentleman with kind words. You are both in my thoughts my friends. THE HEBB


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: