Saturday, August 01, 2009

08/01/09 - "Milestone" Birthday

8/1/09. I turned 40 today. I'm not trying to solicit any gifts, cards, emails, or so on - just a reflection of my age so people are aware.

I was first diagnosed with a brain tumor on 8/23/2006. 22 days after my 37th birthday. After surgery, a biopsy determined the tumor to be Medulloblastoma. A type of brain cancer mostly found in children. Less than 2% of adults diagnosed with brain or spinal cancer have Medulloblastoma, while (unfortunately), it is more common in children, with nearly 75% of Medulloblastoma diagnoses occurring in children age ten or less.

Prior to my diagnosis, I ate healthy most of the time(98%?), and exercised on a regular basis. I was pretty healthy... Just goes to show you that cancer can attack anyone. Now, I still eat well and exercise when I'm up for it. Although I haven't been up for it much in the last few months due to side effects of treatment...

My 40th Birthday cake

Well, I didn't plan on it, but now I'm compelled to list a brief history of my disease related to my age. Once again, it first was diagnosed 8/23/06 soon after I turned 37.

It first spread when had been 39 for just over a month, diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor on 9/9/08...

Now, just before my 40th birthday, on 6/2/09, I was diagnosed with a new brain and a new spinal cord tumor - again, a spread of the initial disease.

UPDATE! These were my "newest" tumors, the ones I that mention when I speak of Radiation #3 which has been over for almost three weeks now. I'm currently in "limbo," waiting to see how effective Radiation #3 was, and how to proceed. I'm due to find out on 8/6...

Moral of this post - normally people dread birthdays as they get older, it's the two months before and after them that I can do without. More seriously, cancer can strike you at any time, any place (organ) no matter what your age or health...

By the way, I am still working on a detailed radiation post.


Anonymous fred said...

It ain't right Mark. Happy belated. You're enduring a good fight, so "happy" is still applicable, no?

Cheers my friend.

8/03/2009 7:45 PM  
Blogger willis said...

Hi Mark,

I have been following your blog, but unfortunately that Jackass BM dominated the birthday chatter, so I forgot to wish you a happy birthday as well. Congratulations and continued strength. As to Velike, perhaps he can stop thinking about himself and get you hooked up with one of those media bubble-heads he's so enamored with. You could go crusin' in his Caddy.

Love from Uncle Bill

8/04/2009 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may have made the statement of "unsolicited birthday wishes" but that doesn't count!! Friends, and especially family, always love wishing others a wonderful happy birthday -- whether early or late!!! So here's to you, pal....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

You are correct in not worrying about facing birthdays, for we should always be thankful to be able to celebrate you have done so excellently these past 3 years! Wow, what a fighter and trooper you are!

You're a super person, full of great humor, an attitude that is outstanding, and joyful for what you've been able to accomplish in fighting this monster. As you know, your family and friends have been, and will continue to be, most fervent in our prayers for continued healing -- of course, along with the mighty hands of these doctors, technical assistants, and nurses.

Through all of this, also, we know the support from Laura, your dad/Karen, Scott, and other family members (as well as your personal drive) together are what makes us all smile and happy, especially when we read the good reports you share with us. Keep on doing what you're doing, and we'll all continue to BELIEVE that you'll be healthy again soon.

Much love from all the Gregory Clan,

Mary & Bill Gregory

8/04/2009 8:27 AM  
Blogger David Galloway said...

Happy Birthday, Mark!

You have joined the 40+ club like the rest of our classmates :-)

Good luck with the next 40 years!

8/04/2009 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lang zal hij leven!
Lang zal hij leven!
Lang zal hij leven in de gloria! In de gloria!
In de gloria!
Hip, hip, hoera!
Hip, hip, hoera!
Hip, hip, hoera!

A little Dutch birthday cheer for you. Congratulations, Mark, and here's to many more!


8/04/2009 12:08 PM  
Blogger Big Monkey said...


Regarding your "jackass" comment, I have prepared a mature and thoughtful comeback - "takes one to know one." LOL!

Big Monkey

8/05/2009 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if that cake was really chocolate or fig?


8/05/2009 10:50 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks! Still a "Happy Birthday," but low attendance, and therefore not that exciting... I wasn't feeling medically that great that day, so the limited celebration was appropriate...


8/05/2009 11:49 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks! Yeah, it is amazing how that Big Monkey character keeps barging in...


8/05/2009 11:52 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks! Too many words for me to address... I do appreciate all of them!


8/05/2009 11:55 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks! Yes, now an official member of the 40+ club, it did creep up quickly, but their are many, many good memories. I'm so glad I can still recall them.


8/05/2009 12:01 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


At first, I was thinking "what the..." Actually, I was thinking that until I saw your name. Thanks, now I can sing that song to myself!


8/05/2009 12:09 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


You'll be happy to know that it really was chocolate! We bought it at a local grocery store, and they call it "Chocolate Overload."

Chocolate Chips on chocolate icing, on a layer of chocolate cake, on a layer of fudge-chocolate brownie, on a final layer of chocolate cake. Yeah, it's good!

I always have to disappoint you some how, so here it is. It's 4 days later and there is still some in our fridge...


8/05/2009 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this is a little belated but I came across your blog in preparation for a presentation I have to give tomorrow on Spinal Tumors.
All the best wishes for many more birthdays.

8/05/2009 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Happy Belated Birthday (again) and thank you for making my birthday party. It was so awesome to see you at the party and very unexpected. Plus, the potatoe gun rules!!!! Late night, it got a lot of use and I am still finding a lot of potatoe buds.

I used to dread birthdays but now I like celebrating them and 40 is a big one for us so thanks for coming up to see us last week and happy b-day back at ya.

- Rico

8/20/2009 9:18 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Glad that I made it to your birthday party... Also, good that the potato gun came in handy!


8/21/2009 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,

Sorry I missed your birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!!! Well, you look great. I'm trying to get in touch with Big Ed so we can have a conference call. I'll talk to you soon. Let me know if you are ever heading up to PA...I 'll take a drive over there.


8/25/2009 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very belated Happy 40th Birthday. I'm so sorry that I missed seeing you during your visit to the 'burgh.

Your blog posts are windows to the world so that others can know your courage and strength. Stay strong.

Much love to you and Laura. Hope to see you during our snowbirding trip in early 2010. Lu & Gene

8/26/2009 9:14 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks for the comment. Sorry, but I was just up in Pgh... We can discuss a phone call via Email.


8/27/2009 7:16 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Lou & Gene,

Thanks for the comment. 2010 seems so close, but you never know what my medical schedule may do...


8/27/2009 7:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home