Saturday, December 23, 2017

One More Thing

In my family, we have a tradition at Christmastime called One More Thing. After all of the gifts have been opened, someone yells, "One more thing!" and brings out another gift. Many times, it's the biggest gift of all. I once gave my wife a puppy as a One More Thing.

Many times, there has been more than one One More Thing. After the first, someone else would take up the call. There might even be a third or fourth One More Thing. Not often, but it has happened. So in that spirit, this post has a few One More Things.

I wrote a post with this same title last year about this time. It began with the same two paragraphs as this one. But this year, there are new One More Things. And there are many more than one.

I will give you a full update soon in an upcoming post titled Gaunt Cancer Guy Vs Puffy Steroid Man, but the short version is that my nausea and energy issues are under control, thanks to some new medications. I sometimes still have trouble sleeping, and I'm just getting over a cold, but overall, I'm doing really well. Things are much improved since I wrote Sick And Tired. Thanks for your prayers, and for worrying about me.

One more thing. I've discovered a new passion; Giving away my worldly possessions to the people I love. It's a feeling I can't describe. I can't stop saying it. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

One more thing. A year and three months after having seen the metastasis spots on my spine show up in that bone scan, I still have no pain from them. Now, with a spine full of cancer, plus more in my hip bone and tail bone, I still can't feel a thing. I'm starting to believe I may never have pain from my cancer. Some people don't. My maternal grandmother didn't when she died of cancer. Whether it's coming or not, I'm thankful for every day that's pain free.

One more thing. I am the recipient of far too much love. Every day, people randomly love on me in unexpected ways. It happened three times in one day this week. That's why I have to keep giving it away. If I don't, all of that love goes to waste. Because as Michael W. Smith once said, love isn't love until you give it away.

One more thing. This Christmas season has been especially meaningful to me. Going through old pictures, stirring up memories of Christmases past, and posting those pictures as another way of telling my story at this time has made this Christmas very special. It's encouraging to see the responses to those posts. The love keeps flowing.

One more thing. I gained some new chosen family members this year. You know who you are. Two groups in particular come to mind; Those who are part of my passion for mentoring young musicians, and the Neal Morse community. You inspire me. You keep me going. I love you.

One more thing. There are a very special few who take it upon themselves to check in on me regularly, just to see how I'm feeling that day. I can't tell you how much that helps. Thank you.

One more thing. God is good. I keep talking about the experience I've had with God, but I never seem to get any closer to describing it. It's like being bathed in the warmth of the sun, but that warmth is Love, and it penetrates every sub-atomic particle of your being and the space between them. Or maybe it feels like the biggest, warmest hug you can imagine, and it goes all the way through you. How's that for a description? When you feel like that all the time, tears are usually close to the surface. Especially at this time of year.

One more thing. Thank you for reading this blog. It means the world to me. I hope it's an encouragement to you. If you're a cancer brother or sister, I hope you can relate to my journey. I hope I speak for you in some small way. If you're reading because you know me and are concerned about me, I hope it helps to give you this window into what it's like, and helps you know how to pray for me. If you are in hospice care like I am, or have a loved one who is, I hope my account brings you comfort, or informs you in some way. If you are searching for God, I hope I can point you to him. I'm gonna keep on bearing witness for as long as I can. This is my calling.

One more thing. Merry Christmas! #waroncancer #bearingwitness


  1. Thanks Mark, You are a very special inspiration to lots of people. And you are bringing some closer to that special relationship with Jesus that comes with salvation. I had the walnut sized (prostate) removed almost one year ago. My last 2 PSA tests have yielded UNDETECTABLE PSA !! I'm feeling blessed also. Merry Messiahmas :)

  2. One more thing. Thanks. Survivor since 2006. You & your wife bless my socks off. Whenever Jillybean sings your music God is glorified. Keep on bearing witness. You are loved. Hugs from Wyoming. JB

  3. Mark, one day each and every single one of us will fight our last fight, it’s my hope we do so half as bravely and as loveing as you have.
    God Bless, Mark

  4. Thanks for your blog, it is really encouraging and beautiful. Really enjoy your music, we’re performing three wise men this afternoon at our family service, know it will bring joy to a whole group of non-church people here in the UK. Praying for you, thanks for your ministry!

  5. Thank you for the courage to share. Last Christmas I spent fretting over wham in January I learned was stage 4 lymphoma. I spent much of 2017 learning to accept all the ramifications cancer brings with it.
    One more thing. After many months of chemo, my scan in October came back 100% clear.
    Your blog is giving me the courage to share and encourage others who are struggling. I've always had that responsibility, it just took cancer to get me to recognize it.

  6. I bought some music last year for my kids and you came to mind today. I am praying for you and your family! Merry Christmas!

  7. Mark, you are such a blessing to me. I love reading your blogs even tho it makes me sad to know you will be leaving. I am so thankful for your courage and your desire in wanting to share your testimony of such a personal journey with all of us. God bless you! My prayers are with you and Sharon. ❤️🙏

  8. About the giving of gifts... I spent hours one morning when I could not sleep doing that very thing. I have told a few close friends my plan and they were a bit shocked. "Isn't that horrible?". "Isn't that depressing?". On the contrary... I felt so good tho think about important people and what I could leave for them when I exit. I felt like Santa Claus and it was very enjoyable. I totally understand your feelings. I had one friend say "I'm not sure I could use that amp after you were gone... it would remind me of how much I miss you" I said, "I want you to turn it on and think... wow, I remember that time when we...". It would be a gift of joy, not of sadness.

    "Giving away my worldly possessions to the people I love." I'm with you all the way. "Love is all you need..." rings more and more true every day.

    I am glad we will get to spend some time together soon. I will cherish every moment.