Daddy’s Cancer

Boy, this is hard. I'm very intimidated by this entire process but I'm heartbroken so here goes. Mark Travis has lung cancer. Mark is my son-in-law and my daughter Deda's husband. He is my granddaughter, Maria's, father and he is step-father to Layne and Iris and he is the only father that they've ever known and he has been a blessing in their lives. They love their dad very much. I love him very much. He has been a wonderful son-in-law and he invited me to live with them, which I did for several years. Heck, he invited MY mom to live with them when she needed a place to go and she did. Ok, so it's clear that Mark is well-loved.So, let me tell you how I found out because there-in lies the greatest issue of all and the reason that I am writing this. I was in Capri, Italy (a present from my son, Zeke) and I got a text message from Deda. She said, “We are at the ER because Mark has been sick and coughing a lot. They just took a chest x-ray and they see something. I'll let you know when they get back to us. I'm really scared.” After an hour or so of sleeplessness went by Deda tried to call on Messenger but when I answered it was all static so we hung up. A moment later I got a text that simply said, “Mark has lung cancer”. That was abrupt and devastating. With no ability to talk or ask questions I was left to ponder the 'entire' situation. I googled lung cancer and was left to then consider their personal set of circumstances...he had a good job, health benefits and a sizeable life insurance policy through his company. Mark and Deda are responsible so they should have some savings and a 401k.When Zeke and I got to mainland I was able to get an actual call through to Deda. I asked her how good his health insurance was and she said, “Mark lost his job a few weeks ago. He has no health insurance” …....................Oh Nooooo......no no no......... I said, “And no life insurance?”............And she says, “no”....I can't begin to tell you how that news compounded what was already the most frightening news ever.So, Mark is a go-getter. He got another job with-in a couple weeks of that conversation. And, what the hospital had told them was not a 'diagnosis'. Upon more extensive googling of lung cancer, it became clear that there could be a tumor (granular) that was not malignant. Maybe it wasn't cancer!! One can only hope, right? Once Mark got the state to agree to let him see a Dr (thank God for that sort of help) he had so many appointments each week that his new job had to let him go. Once again, abject fear. After one 'inconclusive' biopsy (more hope) and then another viewing of that same sample at Vanderbilt which was also 'inconclusive'....more excited hope,,,they did another more invasive biopsy which revealed that benign granular tumor that we had loved readimg about but it was sitting atop a malignant tumor, after all.. Damn.So, there you have it. Mark had part of his right lung removed yesterday. The only thing, the only possible thing, worse than praying that your husband and father will live through surgery and continue to live, is wondering how you're going to pay rent and utilities in the next two weeks!! He has NO income. They went through their somewhat meager savings and all that's left of the 401k is about $1000. Deda cleans houses but only has 2 to 3 a week. She's looking for more but not having much luck right at the moment. Plus, someone needs to be with Mark as he recovers from this surgery which takes weeks to months according to his Dr and all articles that we've read. How does she even go to work. She'll have to take a chance and leave Mark alone for those few hours.Thank God that in this day and age we have developed sites like this one. Its a blessing and this site take no fees. Mark and Deda and their 14 yr old daughter are in pretty grave danger of losing their apt and car and that's on top of facing death. I mean, come on universe! Are you kidding! I hope that those of you who know and love this family can find it in your hearts to help out. It feels so weird to ask such a thing. It's extremely uncomfortable but what else can be done. They can have every penny that I have but that will only get them to next week. Lol. Anyway, love to each and everyone of you. Love, Maria.
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Organizer

Mark Travis 
Organizer
Nashville-Davidson, TN
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