So, last time I updated was about 3 months ago. Since then, I have had a surgery to remove 5 more tumors and a kidney, was said to be cancer free, waited about 6 weeks, had another set of scans and tests and received news that the cancer has grown back again and has spread to a small region of my neck as well. I was in the process of being accepted into the National Cancer Institute in Maryland as both, University of Michigan and Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa Bay Florida suggested it was my best treatment option. Now with the government shutdown, National Cancer Institute is not accepting any new patients because they are government funded. This was not only my best shot for treatment, but many others in this country as well. The shutdown is taking away the opportunity of more than 200 cancer patients per week to be correctly treated at possibly the only place they can be treated. I am now exploring other options, but no other places in the US offer the treatment I was to receive at NCI. Thank you everyone for your support, thoughts, and prayers.
Just an update for everyone. Today I received results from my 6 week scan after my last treatment. A little bit of a bittersweet day, cancer has not "spread" anywhere which is great news, but it is still showing in 4 lymph nodes. We are working on next steps and what the action moving forward will be, either surgery to remove them, or another round of treatment to get rid of this once and for all. I appreciate, and cannot thank enough, or even begin to show the gratitude for all of the support, thoughts, prayers, everything, that all of you have given me over the past 7 months. I will keep fighting, this isn't over, and I am going to win.
So it has been a while, and here is an update for everyone. The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was incorrect and am being treated for stage 4 melanoma or technically metastatic melanoma. Immunotherapy is the form of treatment I am currently going through and it is being administered at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I have gone through three treatments so far and have one more to go and then some more testing to see the progress. Currently I am feeling pretty well, just really tired after the treatments. Thanks again for all the support everyone has shown through my battle.
Happy New Year to everyone, and I could not feel more blessed. Today I am starting off the new year by traveling down to MD Anderson Cancer Clinic in Florida where I will be meeting with doctors to discuss and hopefully plan out my chemo treatment and start beating this cancer. Thank you all for the support, and I hope you all had a great new year and happy holiday season. Thank you all again for everything you have helped me achieve so far!
Thank you everyone that has helped me reach my goal so far! We are getting very close. I would like to give another thank you to everyone who came out to the Total Sports Soccer Fundraiser last night put on by Paul Tinnion, Rob Williams, and Total Sports for all of the support and generosity they showed last night. We do not have the final amount raised yet, but will be posing it shortly! Thank you again everyone for the overwhelming amount of support you have given me. I cannot put into words how truly grateful I am. Thank you.
Thank you everyone for the support you have shown through this holiday season! The generosity throughout the past few weeks has been amazing. I am still recovering at home from the surgery, but I am getting stronger as each day passes. Thank you again to everyone for not only the donations, but the thoughts, prayers, support, and messages I have received. I truly am thankful! Happy Holidays!
I have now been home away from the hospital for 4 full days, and today is day number 5. Every day I am starting to feel a little stronger, and though daily routines, such as running errands, going to work, exercising, etc... are a long way off, I am feeling much better. My biggest task at hand is making sure I get strong quickly for my travels coming in January when I head to MD Anderson Cancer Center, and begin my testing and further diagnosis so the proper chemo treatment can be developed and given to me. Thank you again, everyone, for all of the support you have shown me! Such a small town I grew up in, but an amazingly large community that has shown support. Thank you!
Seeing all of the support I have been receiving over the last month has made me recognize that this is no longer a fight between cancer and I, but a fight between an entire community of great people and cancer. We are going to beat this!! Thank you everyone, let's keep fighting!
5 days in and almost 50% of the way there. I am so blessed and grateful for the amazing support everyone has shown the far. If there were words to only express my appreciation and thanks. Thank you all.
Finally, after a long 21 days in the hospital recovering from my surgery I have been able to return home. I am still sore, and tired. Walking up the stairs to take a shower is like running a 10k. I would like to thank all of the support everyone has shown and is continuing to show through my battle. My next big battle starts January 8th when I travel to MD Anderson Cancer Clinic in Orlando Fl where I will get my "chemo-cocktail" developed after a series of tests. Again, thank you for your support in reaching my goal. Only 4 days in, and I am almost half way there. Thank you everyone, actions like this leave me speechless and it shows the generosity, care, and support of so many. Thank you.
I again would like to take a moment and thank everyone for their support. It seems as though I am finally going to be released from the hospital after my 21 days here recovering from my surgery. It was a struggle at times, but all of the support everyone has shown has really helped me push through. I am excited to go home, sleep in my own bed, hold my baby, and enjoy the holiday season before my battle with chemo begins. Thank you everyone for the support again.
I do not even know what to say to thank each and everyone of you for your support, I am at a loss of words. Thank you so much everyone, I do not even know what else to say I am so touched... Thank you.
Christina, Gabe, and I are so touched by all of the generosity and support everyone has shown to us not only today, but throughout the entire battle I have endured so far. I have no idea where I would be in my recovery from this surgery without the love, support, and prayers given by all of you. Thank you.
My name is Mark Howell, I am 30 years old and am a husband to an amazing wife, Christina, a father of beautiful baby boy who came into my life in October, Gabriel, they are my inspiration and my strength. I have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and I am attempting to raise money to assist with all of the medical bills I will be experiencing throughout my battle with cancer. I have completed a very complex whipple surgery, in which the top of my pancreas, half of my stomach, my gall bladder, part of large intestine, and piece of my colon has been removed. Starting in January of 2013, I will begin my chemotherapy treatment and this begins with my trip to MD Anderson Cancer and Research Center where they told me I will have my "chemo cocktail" developed. I have a very positive outlook on this whole diagnosis, and believe I can beat it. The support I have received from my wife, my immediate family, the church, my small community of Brighton, MI where I grew up, the extended soccer community, friends, friends of friends, the list goes on, has been absolutely touching and moving. I am trying to raise money to offset the expenses that are coming directly from all of the medical treatment I will be receiving over the next year maybe more. Any help you can give, is more than appreciated, and if you can do anything at all, at least keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.