And then there were four

School’s out for the summer! When they climbed off the bus today, Kaitlyn had stepped up to her third grade class and Mark Jr. had stepped up to his first grade class. What a day, it is hard to believe that our kids are this old (good thing we haven’t changed).

The other exciting happening of this day is that Tracy went in for radiation therapy, and when she climbed out of the car she had only four treatments left! Unless there is a real surprise, Tracy will complete her radiation next Thursday, the 25th of June. As of next Friday, Tracy and the kids will be on Summer vacation (kind of). Tracy was really strong during this treatment cycle – while the radiation has had some painful side effects, she has been able to be herself. She helped organize two wedding receptions, co-led our Ladies retreat, built and planted a whole new garden, kept the household running all while traveling to Portland (45 minute drive each way) every week day. If you know Tracy at all, that sounds just about right.

So here’s what we know at this point:

  • Tracy’s doctors are very pleased with her progress, but there is one more step to her treatment regimen: sometime this fall they need to cut her estrogen production. Tracy’s cancer tested “hormone receptor positive”, so it feeds on estrogen like rice krispies treats. They will medically force menopause to reduce her hormone levels. Please pray for her as this is the next unknown that she will need to learn hard on Jesus to walk through.
  • Reconstruction has come in a few steps for Tracy, so she has a surgery scheduled for July 7th. We anticipate at the least two more surgeries between Labor Day and Christmas, all outpatient.
  • The kids seem to be doing well: they clearly understand what mommy has gone through and yet seem to balance that heavy weight with joy and laughter and a bit too much ingenuity (you should see the fort they built in the basement!) A few weeks ago Mark and mommy were brushing their teeth together when Mark stopped. He looked at Tracy and asked, “Mommy, will Kaitlyn have cancer when she is a mommy?” Please keep praying for Kaitlyn and Mark, that they would place their trust and hope in Jesus above all, and know that he loves them more than anyone else possibly could.
  • We are grateful that Tracy’s diagnosis is so good. All of these treatment combined mean that she has less than a 10% chance of recurrence. So many have fought this disease for so long and have not received the same comfort that we have. I think of my friend, Nate who has battled cancer for more than a decade, and continues to this day. We realize that this disease is a result of the fall, and that it could have spelled the end of Tracy’s days with us. That’s not a topic that we are afraid to talk about, nor do we throw it around lightly. This has been a good process – one that has caused us to look at life and death and Jesus and His work on the cross. Tracy’s faith in the goodness of God has been humbling.
  • Eagle Lake and Prince Edwards Island are calling our names. We plan to take a vacation this August to allow generous stretches of family and rest. All of us are physically and mentally tired, though God has sustained us well. We can’t wait to celebrate our good and gracious God together by flying paper airplanes, riding bikes, fishing and hanging around for two weeks straight.

Overall, our news is good. Our greatest hope is not that our physical prognosis is so pleasant – it is that our spiritual one is great. Thank you, Jesus.


He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.Isaiah 53:3-6


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sharon on June 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Mark: a clarification please. Is it a 10% chance of recurrence, or 10% chance of remission which is what you wrote? I hope and pray for Tracy, you and your kids every day.
    Love Ya all


  2. Hi Sharon: thanks for the help. She has a 10% chance of recurrence, and we expect her to be in full remission. I appreciate your help (and I fixed the post to say this correctly). Thanks!


  3. Posted by Doran on June 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I weep with joy at the reading of this encouraging report.


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