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Makin' me smile with all the swirlin' energy in your sound. Nice to be a "neighbor" of yours. Charlie
To The Mark Christian Fan Club,
This is Mark's friend Diana. I so happened to be visiting Mark in his room yesterday when a new doctor, Melissa Callaway came in to say hello. She said, "Mr. Mark we have your diagnosis. Mark looked at me, I looked at him, we clenched hands, took a deep breath and said, "sock it to us doc!"
"Mark, you have cancer." "More specifically, you have Hodgkins Lymphoma." Ok, these are scary words, I thought. The doctor continued, "the good news is this variety of lymphoma is 90 percent curable." "The bad news. In order to rid your body of the cancer you must start radical chemotherapy, and NOW!"
So, we are writing to say that Mark's diagnosis seems to be a bit less grim than we had originally thought. He still has several more days in the hospital while they administer the first two rounds of medicine.
By all accounts he can leave USC once he has completed the first cycle and go HOME to 620! At that juncture, he will need time to rest and refuel for the next round of chemotherapy, which will be done either back at USC as an in-patient, or at an oncology facility which administers the treatments on an outpatient basis.
The nice girl doctor, who was all of 25 and dressed like she just spent a small fortune at Forever 21, told Mark that while a 90 percent cure rate is real good, we need to take it slow and take each cycle as it comes. She said no promises, no miracles, but she did tell Mark "if one of her family members had lymphoma, this is the type she would hope for." This rang positive and bittersweet at the same time.
So, thank you, thank you to all of you who have supported Mark over the last weeks. Sandi for hogtying him and bring him to USC after he collapsed in his apartment, Kia for helping him clear his mind and finances so he could go in and get the help he needed, the angels, Kirsten and Manda who visited regularly and have gone above and beyond to comfort and attend to Mark in Room 146 6a. They also set him up with their contacts at MusiCares, which came through with a check in one day to cover Mark's rent through the end of this month. And lastly, his sister Connie from Pennsylvania who gracefully and succinctly delivered daily news of Mark's progress to all of us.
Mark has a tough road ahead. He will most likely not be able to work at full capacity, at least for the first few months. The doctor indicates it could be 3-4 months before he feels remotely "normal" again, maybe longer.
Tod Burr from Merle Jagger and Gary Twinn from The International Swingers (along with a few surprise guests) are planning a music fundraiser for Mark at the Farmer's Market in December, with another event to follow in January, possibly at The Mint.
If you are so inclined to help now, Mark's December rent is coming due and we are taking donations, however small, to meet the $1,310 due to his landlord. I can send you information on how to get the funds to him.
Also, if you would like, Mark would be most appreciative of gift cards for Ralph's, Trader Joe's or Costco. His appetite has come back a bit, and we can barely keep his supply of pineapple juice and dry roasted peanuts full!
Mostly now, Mark thrives on the emails, Facebook postings, voice mail messages, get well cards and letters he has been receiving. His hospital wall has become a mini art installation with all the cool mailings. Also, The Band Calico brought their coveted red Gretsch guitar to the hospital so Mark could have something to inspire him while he goes through this time. It proudly sits near the foot of his bed. And I find guitar picks in the strangest places, so he is either getting out of his hospital bed at the dawn hours to strum and pick or someone has been sneaking in and playing "Freebird" after visiting hours are over. I could swear he hums Freebird off and on in his sleep (this should be our little secret, I think Mark would be mortified!)
With so much love,
Nice to be SoCal neighbors with you all. Charlie
Great stuff Merle, keep up the good work !
Paolo Nunin Band
cool page and material
Only a Telecaster, bass, and drums is all you guys need to make great music!!! :)
Outstanding sound and musicianship Merle!!
I can "energize" your songs by mastering them. You may send a song for a free mastering. Cheers
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