Copy_of_home_sweet_home.2451702For those keeping track by days: Days 53 – 54.

So on Monday the Doc gave me permission to go home to Columbia (I should say we, since this journey is Terri’s as much as mine). She remembers all the things that I can’t or won’t during my hospital stay and 5 weeks slowly recovering. We have/had been staying at a great place called Almost Home, run by a lady named Toni. She was great! And when you stay at a place for over two months you tend to bring or collect stuff. We couldn’t just pack up the car in an hour on Monday and take off.

Tuesday – Terri and I (my part was mainly to watch and shuffle things around) organized and tidied up the place. Terri did almost all of it. I can’t clean, lift much (not over a gallon of milk in weight) or basically do anything substantial. That does not sit well with my male ego, but there it is. I have to accept my limitations for now. And fighting Acute GVHD in my gut takes its toll.

Anyway, Terri gets almost everything packed up and ready to go, but we can’t leave yet. Terri’s exhausted and I think Bob and Loretta are finalizing things at our house. Plus, we wanted to make sure the new meds were really doing there thing. To go Home and have to come right back to the hospital would screw everyone’s mind up. The kids still do not know, partly because what if I have to go into the hospital. But mainly we wanted to surprise them. Two months away from each other was really hard. Especially for them. I could see it in their eyes and demeanor when we Skyped.

Wednesday – Terri packs up the car, as I pack the frozen food. Double checked we hadn’t left anything behind. Got in the car and didn’t look back. As for me, I do not want to remember much of that time, it is temporary and unimportant. What is important is that I’m alive and recovering and on my way to wellness. That is my path in this journey through hell. Now I want to remember the events of the coming months, and look forward to it with some excitement. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, but now I can really heal. I have my family!

We pull into our driveway around 2pm, just enough time to unpack, rest and be ready for the kids to arrive. We even moved the car up the street so as to not give away the surprise. The bus drops them off around 4pm. Caitie came in first, and just stared at me in disbelief. She ran to me and we held each other for a long time as Kai joined in. Talk about an emotional moment, not one you can easily describe. At least I don’t want to. Loretta took a picture of Caitie running to me, but it is blurred, so not really a moment you can capture on film. Just as well… it is burned into my memory for life.

But the day goes on and the kids have things to do. Both did some of their homework next to me, while I laid in bed. I was wiped out, needed some rest, but to have them near me was pure joy. Then we ate and the kids and I played Minecraft for a couple of hours. I kinda hogged them to myself. Not sure how Terri felt about that, and I am sorry she was not with us. But there it is… I needed them and they needed me. We were a family again.

~ Mark

PS. from Terri – We are home. We are with our children. I AM HOME! I get to hug and kiss my kiddos. It was like a real live game of tetris trying to fit all the boxes, luggage, and bags into the car, but I did it! We left the key on the desk of the duplex, closed the door behind us, and were out of there! I do remember every single day we were in St. Louis and I am now ready to move on with our lives. I realize things will not go back to exactly the way they were before we left. But will be working together as a family to figure out how life is going to be now and work through this process of helping Mark recover.



  1. Welcome home, Mark–great news!

  2. Brennan Ransdell

    Congrats, Mark (and Terri)! May your trips to St. Louis be very few and far between (if at all)!


  3. Monica Beglau

    So very glad you are back home in Columbia!!

    Welcome back!!

  4. There’s no place like home, welcome back!!!

  5. Linda Senenfelder

    So very happy for all 4 of you that you are home again. Best if luck with your continued recovery.

  6. Welcome home!!!