Thursday, June 7, 2012

Little Miracles

Last week there was a blockage in Mario’s bowels and he was having difficulty eating. A feeding tube was inserted to help him, but to no avail. The Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for him and sent him home on Hospice Care. It was initially thought that the blockage was caused by the Cancer, but after reevaluating the test results it was determined that even though the blockage is cancerous, his bowels are also enflamed and if the inflammation can be reduce and his bowels start to function properly, we can try the feeding tube again.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Great News

Hello all, so we got some great news today. Mario had a CT scan a few days ago after 3 cycles of chemo. The results are in. His bones have less cancer and are healing, there was no cancer to be found in any of his organs. His lymph nodes are all back to a regular size. And drum roll please......they could not see the tumor in his stomach on the scan. Most likely this means it has shrunk significantly or by the grace of god it is gone.

We are not out of the woods yet however. The docs are still sticking with the story that he'll be be on chemo forever, but I don't believe it. For now the plan is three more treatments of the same chemo, then we'll scan again and do another endoscopy if they still can't see the stomach tumor. Then we'll talk about changing up his chemo, and making it more manageable.

Mario started his 4th cycle today, so he's a bit under the weather. This is great news though, so I'm sure he'd love to hear from any who want to congratulate him in a few days.

We want to thank everyone again for all you love and support. With out you I wouldn't have been able to get Mario's meds today ($3000). We love you all and we continue to thank God for you. Please continue to pray for us, I know that's what is getting us through.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So Thankful

We had a great Christmas, and we hope you all did too. We are so grateful for all of our friends and family who have loved and supported us through this trial. We are especially grateful for the friends and family of friends who have never even met us, but still wanted to help. We've gotten donations and kind words from so many people we don't even know. We were also very touched to see all of the people who love Gabriel so much, and made his Christmas one for the history books.

Now for an update on Mario- He is doing great! He had his 3rd chemo treatment on the 21st. We were hoping he would feel good by Christmas, but it's been taking about a week to get past the hard part. There are a lot of signs that this treatment is working though. Knowing this makes us feel like it's all worth it. He is almost completely off all of his pain medication, which is huge considering the amount of pain he was in. That was the reason we went to the hospital in the first place. We are also talking seriously about him returning to work in January, he feels that good!

We will be doing a scan in Jan., but his Dr. told us he knows it will be good news just based on the way Mario looks and feels. We are not out of the woods yet, but we are feeling very confident that the chemo is working and that Mario will only continue to get better.

I want to say thank you again for all of the love support you have given us. I know it really bolsters Mario to know how many people love him so much. I am thankful for Mario and Gabe and we are so thankful for all of you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Doing Well

On October 20th Mario was admitted into the University of Utah hospital with extreme pain. We knew he had Grave's disease and were sure the pain was related. After a few days and a lot of tests the Doctors were stumped. The thyroid specialist told us it was possible for that kind of pain associated with Grave's but he had never seen it. After numerous tests, scans, biopsies and 10 days in the hospital we were sent home to wait for a cancer diagnosis.
Mario spent Halloween being pushed around in a wheel chair.

At the first meeting with our Doctor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute we learned that he had stage IV stomach cancer that had spread throughout his bones. They told us his cancer would never be cured and he would have to be on Chemo for the rest of his life. They told us his cancer was very aggressive and left untreated could kill him in a matter of months. On top of that we were told the chemo would make it so we could not have any more kids. Chemo was our only option and we couldn't wait three week to bank sperm. We were devastated to say the least. My only knowledge of chemo is what I've seen in movies. I thought it would be so bad he wouldn't want to do it for the rest of his life.

Two days later he started his first round of chemo. Aside from a small scare of a tumor fever he handled it extremely well. Mario is on a very intense chemo regimen. He goes every three weeks for intravenous chemo and takes oral chemo at home twice a day. He is so strong. He is willing to do anything it takes to get better. After the first treatment we had a lot more time to research and pray about how we should move forward.

At the beginning of this journey we both thought it was very likely he could die very young, but now we are extremely hopeful that he is going to astonish our Doctors. In the last four weeks he went from being in extreme pain, hardly able to walk, to functioning almost like everything was normal. He walking unaided, he helps around the house and with the baby. Just before his second round of chemo we got great news that his tumor markers have decreased form 67 to 24. We're getting used to our new normal and we are looking forward to the future when he can return to work. I know we will have more kids one day, just not sure how yet. We are taking things day by day, but today we are doing well!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My first friend, Mario

Can you remember your first friend? Can you remember his/her name and remember what made them your friend? I can. My name is Natalia and I would like to tell you about my first friend, Mario.

Mario and I were pretty much inseparable when we were growing up. Every memory, from my very first, to about six or seven years old, includes Mario. We were only one year apart, but for some reason that made Mario infinitely wiser than I was and as such, I always followed his lead. 

One of my favorite memories of Mario is when we were little and the neighborhood kids were at my house. We were running from the front yard to the back yard. A boy yelled out “last one to the backyard is a rotten egg!” Mario saw that I was trailing behind, so he slowed down and yelled, “first one to the backyard is a rotten egg!” He saved me from the humiliating rotten egg status because we were buds, and buds don’t let friends become rotten eggs. For a long time Mario was always ready to save me from humiliation, protect me whenever he could, and be there to help me out. It has always been easy to keep in touch with Mario because you see, Mario isn’t only my friend, he’s my brother as well. 

In many ways Mario is still the same. He is always trying to protect his family and is always willing to help out in any way he can. Mario is now 28 and married to a beautiful and intelligent woman named Kassidy. They have the sweetest and cutest son named Gabriel, who just turned two in November. 

Unfortunately, Mario was recently diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma (stomach cancer). He began chemotherapy on November 11 and has embarked on the fight of his life. If anyone has the capability of overcoming something, it’s Mario. If you know Mario, then you know that he’s a fighter and can face anything he has to. He has the added benefit of a strong network of friends and family, and together, we’re most definitely a force to be reckoned with. 

As I am sure you already know, treating cancer is an exorbitant expense. Mario has been the sole provider for his family, but between not being able to work and the stacking medical bills, it has become financially difficult for them.

This is why I would like to call upon your help to make a donation. Doing so, will provide much-needed financial relief by assisting Mario and his family cover their increasing medical expenses. Any possible donation you could make would be truly invaluable and deeply appreciated.

Please keep Mario and his family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Much love, 
Natalia Merino Green