On Christmas day Amber's parents gave each of their children a complete printed out copy of Amber's blog posts.  They were kind in enough to give one to me also, which I appreciated very much.  That gift made me think of a couple of really heartfelt, thought provoking things that she wrote to share her deepest feelings with her breast cancer friends.  This is what led me to find and post the "Confessions of a Hospice Patient" post that she did 08/2009.  Then my thoughts turned back a couple of years to something she shared on breastcancer.org all the way back in 12/2007 while she was doing radiation.  I want to emphasize that "Confessions of a Hospice Patient" and "If You Could Trade Cancer, Would You?" were meant to be shared only with those who shared the disease and may understand how Amber was feeling or be helped by Amber's boundless faith, courage, and optimism.  Most of what she shared there I will not be preserving because it was very specifically for the person or people she wrote it for.  But these two posts to me were special and there was a message that could be beneficial for anyone.  The main reason I am concerned about preserving these is so our children can have a record of their mother's strength, courage, and faith. 

The story behind this post is as follows.  One day in December 2007 Amber and I decided to go out to dinner at what later became her favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse.  I still remember everything about our date that afternoon, where we sat, what we ate, what we talked about, and especially how we felt.  As we sat waiting for our food we were talking with guarded optimism about finishing agressive treatment in a month, our hope for years and years of stable cancer, the things we would do, and etc.  We could not help but become excited about the prospects because there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel.  Our conversation then turned back to all the things we had indured in 7 months as a family.  We laughed together about the joyous times we had enjoying the simple things and living life to its fullest.  We pondered the increase in love and testimony of Christ that we felt in our hearts.  We rejoiced together over the miracles great and small and the cherished friendships that had been made or strengthened during that time.  We marveled at the way a loving Father in Heaven had prepared us and strengthened us so that we could find peace, joy and gratitude through this unimaginable trial.  At last we shed tears for the suffering that had been endured during that time, the loss of independance, and the loss of so many long term hopes and dreams we knew even then would never be realized.
As we talked it was as if we were the only ones in the restaurant.  I'm sure everyone who saw us including the waitress thought we were crazy.  Then a question came into my mind and before I could stop it, it tumbled over my tounge and past my lips. 
"If you could trade cancer and all of the things we have just been talking about and make it as if it had never happened, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the growth, the love, the friends, and especially the eternal implications of the trial, would you do it?"
I had been asked by different people if I would take away Amber's cancer if I could.  I had thought about the answer over the last few months but I had not dared discuss my thoughts or ask her the same until now.  I had seen it all from the inside out but I did not know what her response would be.  Amber's answer did not surprise me but it did captivate me.
Posted on: Dec 23, 2007 02:08 am
If you could trade cancer, would you?

If somebody offered to take away your cancer and all of your pain and misery and suffering, take you back to the day you were diagnosed and have that event in your life never happen, would you take them up on that offer?  You would have a guarantee that you would never have to go through having cancer or dealing with cancer.  Would you take that offer and return your life to the way it used to be?  I know that some of us long for the way things used to be, I find myself so very often longing for things to be back to normal.

Well, my husband and I had a discussion this afternoon about this exact same subject.  Someone had asked him if he could take away my cancer, would he?    This was my answer.

It has been a year of suffering and pain.  Months spent trying to find out why I felt so lousy, why I had so much pain, then me discovering IBC on IBC research website.  Being certain that that was exactly what I had, and yet going to 3 different doctors to get brushed off and told that it was nothing, or engourgement, or mastitis.  As I continued to get sicker, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, sick to my stomach all the time, in pain all the time.  

By the time I was finally diagnosed, I was first RELIEVED to figure out what was wrong with me and I felt vindicated to know that it wasn't just all in my head, and that I wasn't overreacting, and that I wasn't a hypocondriac.

Final diagnosis, Inflammatory breast cancer stage 4, mets to the bones (Back, hip, pelivis, femur, ribs) and a spot of cancer on my lung.  Breast Tumor area is 9 inches around and 2 inches deep. (feels like a baseball in my breast)

I survived a 2 week whirlwind of tests and scans, biopsies and doctors visits.  Within a week of being diagnosed, I had my port placed and chemo started.

I have finished 17 treatments of Taxol & Herceptin.  I then had a modified radical mastectomy.  I am still on weekly Herceptin and monthly Zometa, and am currently doing radiation (5x a week for 6 weeks).  Not to mention surviving these treatments, then you have the joy of paying for those treatments.

I lost my hair, I lost my eyelashes, and eyebrows, I lost some weight (YEAH!), I lost a breast, I lost my sense of taste and smell (which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you have to change your 20 month's old son's diapers)  I tried not to loose my sense of humor, or my smile.  I had a lot more fun going shopping for cute jammies instead of cute clothes.  I seriously have more pj's than clothes in my closet now.

But lets take a minute here to talk about what I gained by having cancer

I gained an even closer, more loving, tender, relationship with my dear sweetheart, Dan.  To see him take a more active role in the teaching, and caretaking of the children,  To see him serve our family by doing dishes, washing laundry, all so  I can rest.  I know that even if my time here on earth is short, and if Dan has to take over my role in caring for our children, I KNOW he can do it, and he would be wonderful.

I feel a more profound and tender love for each of my children, and I have been able to see them step up and grow and help each other and me.  I have seen their faith grow as with their simple prayers praying that Heavenly Father will make their mother all better.   I take more delight in the simple things of reading a story with them, sitting and tickling their back, throwing a ball back and  forth, or playing cars.  There is more joy in the simple time we spend together.

There have been so many miracles wrought in our behalf. We have received countless hours of service from inspired friends and neighbors, who listened to promptings of the holy spirit, and filled a need for us without even being asked.  We have had so many friends and family help watching the kids with all of my doctors appointments, surguries, test days, and sick days.  Never once have we had an need that was not filled.  We are so humbled by all of those who are willing to serve us, even those who don't really know us, but know OF us that have served and helped us.  I had a small army of sisters come and clean my house from top to bottom.  AMAZING!!  The love that we feel from those that do that has brought such joy into our lives.  The donations that have been freely given to us to help with doctor bills, or for christmas for our family, friends being willing to do all of our shopping and wrapping of presents.  Truly amazes me.  I can say thank you a million times, and it still couldn't adaquately describe the gratitude that my family and I feel.  Saying Thank you just seems so trite, but I say it from the bottom of my heart, and hope those who have served and given feel that joy in their heart that comes from serving others.

So, even though this last year could be considered a year from hell, dealing with cancer and all of it's crap, this last year has been one of the best years of our lives.  The blessings we have received, the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father, our testimonies of Christ, has brought our family together stronger than ever before.  Old personality conflicts, once thought so deep and unsurrmountable, now have blossomed into precious, tender, friendships, where there once was jealousy and misunderstanding.  The new friends we have met and been able to share this journey with has been another precious outcome from dealing with cancer.  I wouldn't have met all of the wonderful gals who are also afflicted with this same disease.  I find such comfort from them, and hope I bring a little of that comfort to your lives.

I am truly blessed.  Not by having cancer, necessarily, but because of all of the wonderful things I have been able to see happen because I have cancer .  I believe things happen for a reason, and when bad things happen, we can choose to learn and grow from them, or we can retreat into ourselves and become bitter and unhappy.  I choose to grow and become what I am meant to become.  I hope one day that I will be able to share this knowledge with others and be able to make someone's load lighter, like what has happened to me and my family time and time again.

Thank you all for being a part of my life, and my journey.  I am so thankful for all of the love and prayers and support I receive.  I cherish the friendships that have been forged, and the knowledge that I have learned.

So, I think I just might say, that what could possibly be the worst year in ones life, I am going to say that this has been the best year in my life.  It is the best because I have never felt so loved, so looked out for, so richly blessed because of all those who step up and help and do so much more than we need, just because they want to help lighten our load.  I feel so blessed to live where we live, around good people who truly love their neighbors.  Most of all I would not trade the closer, more personal relationship I have developed and cherished with my Savior Jesus Christ. 

So, no, I won't trade my cancer.  Because I want to keep all of the precious experiences that have came into my life because of it.   

After we left the restaurant we went home and that night Amber wrote "If you could trade cancer, would you?"  She told me she felt very sure that she needed to post it on breastcancer.org because someone needed to hear that message.  After posting some people on the site immediately made emotional comments attacking Amber's position and feelings.  Some even suggested that she was crazy to think such a thing.  I reminded her of her impression that the message needed to be shared and suggested that those who were touched by her words may still be internalizing it and maybe have not made comment about it on the site.  She agreed that even if one person was helped by her sharing her feelings it was worth it.  After that she was a peace with her decision to share even if others did not agree.  

I think Amber's response to the question is unique because she really understood the eternal perspective of things.  She could see that this life, while vitally important, was not all there was.  She knew that a short, productive time trying to do things the Lord's way was worth more in the eternities than a longer time pursuing our own course.  I am sure that if we could ask her the same question right now, in heaven, her answer would still be a resounding NO!  Even though the kids and I miss her in so many ways we try to have the same perspective she showed us. 

Hello everyone! 
Before you totally wonder if me or this site has gone crazy let me explain that I am putting this on Amber's blog/journal before it disappears into internet never, never land.  Amber was very active after diagnosis on breastcancer.org comforting others and sharing her story.  She made many online friends in the breast cancer community.  In the breast cancer community there are many who have a never say die, never give up attitude that is the way they deal with the difficulties they face.  Don't get me wrong.  This attitude has its place.  Amber exhibited this also but she tried to let the spirit guide her journey and not just emotion.  When she decided to go on hospice she was worried that many on breastcancer.org would judge her a quitter.  So until the post below she went "silent" on breastcancer.org from May until August.  I am putting this on her site because I want to preserve what I consider a wonderful, honest expression of her faith and courage.  Over 11,500 people viewed this post online and over 500 posted comments all positive, supportive, and loving.  In the comments you could see that many of the terminally ill breast cancer patients had been looking for the courage to even consider the path Amber had chosen but either admitted they did not have the courage or hoped they did when the appropriate time came. 

Confessions of a hospice patient
I have been away from the boards these past few months because I have been afraid to confess that I gave up fighting my cancer, and made the decision to go on hospice.  I was afraid of the responses I would get from those stronger women who have fought cancer longer than I have, and I didn't want to upset anyone. I have checked the boards a couple times a week to see how everyone has been doing.  I have mourned when other sisters have lost their battle to this horrible disease.  I have missed chatting with you all, but simply have not had the energy to stay on the computer, and typing is difficult because I have lost about 75% of the use of my right hand due to tumor growing in my armpit and shoulder that are compressing the nerves.   

After doing 2 years of continuous treatments, each of which failed to beat the cancer, I decided I was sick of being sick from chemo, and not from cancer.  As I made the transition from fighting the cancer, to treating the pain and problems from the cancer, I have felt better than I have in years.  I am sleeping more, and I know that my body is being taken over by the cancer.  My hospice team keep me very comfortable, and are able to manage all of the pain and discomfort that I have.  

When I quit chemo, my oncologist gave me 3 months to live.  It has been more than 3 months now, and I am doing surprising well.  With the aggressive IBC cancer that I have, my prognosis is grim, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be progressing as fast as everyone thought it would.  I have been able to enjoy the summer and go on a couple of trips with my family, and a cruise to Mexico with my husband.  I never would have been able to do these things while I was doing chemo.  I would have simply been too sick.   

I am truly at peace with my decision.  I know it was the right decision. I am a woman of faith, and I know that God's plan was not for me to beat my cancer.  I know He has a purpose for calling me home early, and I know that I will be my children's guardian angel after I die.  I know that God will take care of my family, and that they will be comforted through this difficult time.  

There are days when I long for heaven, and days when I long to stay here on Earth.  It is hard to deal with emotionally sometimes.  I have been reading a lot of books about death and dying, and life after death.  I know that there is life after death.  And I know that the life after this one is peaceful, wonderful and beautiful.  I don't WANT to die, but I know that this is what is meant to be.  

I will try to check in with everyone more often.  I love all of you, and am so grateful for all of the support this site of sisterhood has given me throughout my battle with cancer.  

Like the heading of this forum, I am trying to live well, and trying to die well.  It is a difficult thing to do.

WOW I can't believe the its been more than a month since I posted anything.  

I can't believe how fast time has been going.  Christmas is only 3 days away by Amber time!  She was always so funny when she was excited for something like a vacation, a holiday or the day the doctor promised to start her when she was having a baby.  She would never count the current day even if it was early in the morning and she would  never count the day of the event even if it wasn't until evening.  Sometimes with Christmas she would not count Christmas Eve either because that was almost as much fun.  So you have to imagine what kind of scared I would be when she would apply her Amber time equation and announce to me that Christmas was in however many days and scare the life out of me because I had not finished Christmas shopping for her.  She was giddy like one of the kids when it came to stuff like this.  She loved to have things like Christmas to look forward to even before she got sick. 

Christmas is almost here whether you are using Amber time or or something else.  I want to report that I am ready!  I had a goal to finish Christmas shopping by December 1st and I kind of did.  I had to buy some treats after that date and also experienced some self doubt as to whether I had made Christmas "magical" enough which led me to make a few elective purchases over the last few weeks.  So since 12/1 I have been feeling proud of myself and resting on my laurels and then about 10 days ago my friend Ben called and rocked my boat a little.  It went like this, "hey are you done shopping"?  "Yeah I finished before 12/1" (my chest was  puffed out in pride).  "Did you get it all wrapped yet"?  Silence on my side of the line..."no" (shoulders sagging, can't puff out my chest because I can't breath, nope not a panic attack).  "When are you going to wrap it all"?  To his credit Ben offered to have me come over and wrap so maybe his wife would feel bad for me and do some.  So what did I do about it?  I spent 10 days trying to figure out if I was having a 10 day panic attack as I tried to count how many hours it would take to wrap everything at a rate of 3 presents and a roll of paper and tape per hour.  I could not even use the Amber time equation to make that number look good.  Then I had a moment of revelation.  One of Amber's friends Korina loves to wrap gifts.  By her own admission paper and gifts make her giddy.  I called her and she agreed to wrap the whole mess in paper and make it look attractive.  Not having to wrap the presents, now that made me giddy!  Korina received all of the gifts at 8:45pm on Saturday and had them all wrapped by the next morning.  Amazing.  I did the math and it would have taken me 15-20 hours to do the same thing.  Hooray for Korina's good heart and hooray for people like Korina who get giddy over really strange things.  

I wanted to report that Thanksgiving was pretty good.  We kept most of the same traditions.  There was just a hole where Amber should have been.  We did our best to make sure that it wasn't a blank, painful hole.  The kids and I drew and colored pictures of mom and thanksgiving and I wrote Amber a letter.  We put them in a gallon ziplock bag and went to visit the cemetery before dinner.  We hung the bag on the shepherd's hook by her grave and said a family prayer together.  Then we told a few Amber/Mom Thanksgiving memories and ate dinner at Amber's mom's house.  It all went pretty well and I think we actually enjoyed the day.  It goes without saying that we would have enjoyed the day more with Amber there.  I think we will follow a similar pattern each holiday the first year and see what happens after that. 

I also wanted to report that the kids and I accomplished another first.  We went on our first vacation without Amber.  From 12/4-12/6 we went to St. George Utah to attend a Christmas concert at Tuacahn outdoor amphitheater and just get away.  The concert had Sam Payne, Vocal Point, and our family's favorite inspirational singer Jenny Jordan Frogley performing.  The concert was at 7:00PM and the desert gets cold at night in December so we came prepared.  All of the performers were great and I think all of us really enjoyed the music.  There was some awesome Christmas lights all over Tuacahn so it was really beautiful.  Jenny has been so sweet and good to our family.  Before one of her songs she did a really sweet "shout out" to our family which the kids thought was really cool.  After the concert we went down by the stage and she talked to each of the kids and took a picture with them.  Jenny was the one who performed for free at Amber's birthday party.  We just love her and not just for her beautiful voice. 
The next day I took the kids to the Fiesta Family Fun Center and bought them an unlimited pass so that between 11:00AM and 4:00PM they could do as much of every activity as they wanted.  I think I got my money's worth because my kids did about 10 go-cart sessions each.  We played 18 holes of mini golf, did bumper boats, played arcade games, the little kids did the kiddie track cars, and of course the overwhelming favorite the go-carts.  Blake was a speed demon and no one including me could run him down.  Bekah was more cautious but she had a great time.  The first time around she was all over the guard rail but after that she really did well not wrecking.  I think before Blake or Bekah ever drive a real car I am going to make them do go-carts for hours and hours so I can assess their skill and confidence and ability to avoid accidents. 
We went to church on Sunday in St. George and then headed home.  The kids behaved pretty well and it was an enjoyable quick getaway.  My kids told me that I definitely did St. George the "Amber Way".  Score one for dad!

I need to end this and tell everyone Merry Christmas from the Chases.  Keep praying for us but don't worry we are finding joy and peace each day and facing the hard stuff together with the Lord's help.  Thank you for all of your kindness and prayers.  We couldn't do it without you. 

PS. I need to confess that I am only half way through funeral thank you cards and haven't progressed at all since Thanksgiving.  I haven't addressed any of the cards I have finished.  Amber would be mortified at my lack of social grace.  She definitely trained me better.  She made me do thank you cards on the flight to and from California on our honeymoon.  I want everyone to know the gratitude is in my heart for all that was done and the kindness shown in the weeks after Amber's death.  But the hours in the day just do not suffice.  Being the single father of 4 and sometimes 5 kids (when Blake is there) is more work than I ever imagined.  If I never get them all done or out I need to thank you in advance for your understanding. 
Hello Everyone. 

I have not posted anything for a while but I thought I would just in case there are still people that still check in here. 

The kids and I are still doing amazingly well.  I cannot believe that its been five weeks tomorrow since my sweet Amber passed away.  I am not sure how to describe my feelings right now so I just won't.  I continue to be in awe at the amazing blanket of peace that has continued to surround the kids and I.  I can only describe it like if you reached out and touched a stove that you knew was hot expecting fully to be burned and then nothing happens.  We all fully expected to be in intense pain and while we do miss Amber we are not experiencing the pain we expected.  In its place there has been blessed peace that is hard to describe.  We are truly grateful.  I am sure that Amber has had a hand in this. 

Halloween passed weeks ago now.  My kids were so cute and funny.  Rebekah was going to dress up like a gypsy but after planning her costume for weeks she  found that the skirt she was going to wear did not fit so she dressed up like the most adorable "teenage witch" you ever saw.  Eat your heart out Sabrina the teenage witch here comes Bekah the teenage witch.  Abby came up with the idea of being a CEO.  She was wearing a blazer, glasses, and a leather briefcase and her sassy attitude was not in short supply.  Any one who suggest that she might be a lowly CFO was quickly corrected.  Caleb was the toughest little spiderman that you have ever seen.  The costume was so thin that even though it was not very cold I insisted on a couple of layers of clothing underneath.  It made him look, tough, muscular, and warmer than he probably needed to be.  Ammon decided all by himself a couple of months before that he was going to be an old grandpa.  He wore mismatched old man type clothes that did not go together, sparse whiskers from a poor shave, a pair of wire rimmed glasses, an old derby hat, and a cane.  He walked really slow (much to the dismay of the other kids who wanted to collect lots of candy) and said tricker treat in a shakey grandpa voice.  Even the people who know him pretty well and know what a character he is could not believe he thought of that on his own.  By the end of tricker treating I was carrying his cane, his candy and his derby.  It was so much fun.  Blake stayed home, dressed as an ornery teenager and "handed out" all or our candy.  I would like to thank my cousin Tamera who spearheaded the costume planning and acquisition of all the things the kids wore.  Amber loved Halloween and would have been absolutely delighted with how the kids looked. 

Since then we have just been living.  Going to school and work, coming home, doing homework, practicing the piano, doing chores, having dinner together, studying scriptures together, praying together, and doing what ever comes up together.  Blake came and visited this past weekend.  He seems to be adjusting to living with his dad but seemed legitimately pleased to be "home" at our house.  The little boys were most excited to have him and have missed him the most.  It was nice to have Blake here with us. 

A week ago I realized that I was less than three weeks from Caleb's birthday and six weeks or so from Christmas.  Needless to say I was scared out of my mind.  The last two years people have "done" Christmas for us.  When I say done, I mean done.  They shopped, wrapped, and delivered an entire Christmas for our family.  I was appreciative of what they did but I had no idea the amount of planning and work they had saved me.  Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be more involved in "doing Christmas" for my family but I decided not to try to make all the decision after Thanksgiving dinner.  I have a goal to be completely finished Christmas shopping by 12/1.  I think I have been doing pretty good but I guess my kids will let me know on Christmas how I really did.  If you have kids near the same age as mine and have a great idea for them individually or a family gift let me know.  I have really never seen the kids this excited.  Caleb talks constantly about his birthday and the kids especially Bekah are going coocoo for Christmas.  Bekah offered to tickle my back for 5 hours if I would tell her what she was getting.  I told her no because watching her freak out is much more fun than a good back tickling.

I guess I need to go tuck my little boys into bed so I better close this.  Thank you all for the continued outpouring of love toward my family.  It has truly been wonderful to feel your love.  You all take such good care of us.  Your good deeds don't go unnoticed or unappreciated.  Since we now have connections in heaven I am hoping Amber puts a good word in for you all in heaven.  Me too.  Heaven knows I could use it.   
Hello Everyone,

It has been a little while since I have posted anything.  We have been busy getting back to life and trying to build a "new normal".  The concept of a "new normal" is something our family has become very accustomed to over the past few years.  We had to do it when Amber was diagnosed with cancer, during her original rounds of treatment, when she was off aggressive treatment for six months, when the cancer started to rear its ugly head again, when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, when she went back on aggressive chemotherapy, each time she had to try a new chemotherapy because the old one wasn't working, when she went on hospice care, when she began to decline so much she could not leave the house, and finally with a tremendous hole where Amber used to be.  Building a "new normal" usually involves gaining a full understanding of how the change effects each aspect of our lives, feeling a little out of control, wondering how in the world we are going to do it, realizing there is no way "in the world" we can, refocusing our faith in Jesus to encompass the new challenge in front of us, and finally exercising our faith by moving forward with His help. 

We have found that an important key to effectively refocusing your faith lies in the bible reference where Jesus is walking to his apostles on the water and Jesus wants to walk out on the water to him.  Jesus told him to come unto Him.  Full of focused faith, Peter climbed over the side of the boat and with his faith fixed on the Savior he began walking on the water to Him.  As long as Peter had his eyes fixed on the Savior he walked safely toward Jesus.  But as he walked the winds began to whip around him, the waves began to get more unruly, and these new challenges began to distract Peter's faith and made him avert his eyes from the source of his faith, and help.  As soon as he looked away he began to sink in the water and his faith began to waiver.  Now terrified that he may drown he cried out to Jesus, "save me"!  A little saddened, but understanding, Jesus reached out and caught his beloved apostle and saved him.  At least some wind and waves were probably there when Peter first exited the boat and was walking safely toward the Savior but he paid them no mind and kept his focus on Jesus.  When Peter lost his focus and looked away from the Savior was when he had problems.  We are the same as Peter. When we come unto Him, which is His constant invitation, and don't let the distractions or problems of this life shake our faith and trust in Him, his power and strength is upon us, and we can do endure anything put in front of us well.  This is the key no matter what you or I are facing in this life. 

I am not sure where we are in the process of building a new normal but I know three things.  First, our eyes are locked on the Savior and we are trying the best we know how to continue together coming to Him.  Second, I still don't think we fully understand all of the challeges associated with Amber not being here so we have a ways to go in building our new normal.  Third, I know we are probably not going to get a sabbatical from life's trial and challenges just because we think we have had our share.  For this reason and many others I am going to do everything I can to help me and my family fix our faith and focus on Jesus and his sustaining, and saving grace. 

On Sunday night we had Amber's viewing and the mortuary was very busy.  The mortuary did a wonderful job preparing Amber and she looked as good as someone can without their spirit in their body.  She truly looked much like herself and looked peaceful like she was asleep.  The viewing was to be from 6:00-8:00PM.  We decided to have family members come early so they would have the first opportunity to be there.  By 5:15PM our friends that were more experienced viewing goers started showing up to see if they could get in.  They were very respectful in making sure the family was done before approaching.  I kind of planned on this happening because I knew how many people loved Amber and continue to love her family.  The last visitor left the viewing at around 9:00PM.  In between I experienced the most amazing out pouring of love and caring I could ever have imagined as hundreds of people filed past Amber's casket to pay their respects and show their love.  I am truly amazed but I am not ungrateful.  Thank you for love and support and for braving the long lines at the mortuary!.

The funeral on Monday was an absolute spiritual feast for our family.  The tributes paid by Amber's mother and siblings truly touched our hearts and helped us remember again and again what made Amber so wonderful.  My children took a couple of minutes to share somethings they will always remember about their mother and then testify and declare their own sweet, simple, faith in God's plan, the Savior's grace, and in being able to be with their mother again.  The best part of each tribute by my children is that the words, feelings, sentiments, and faith was their own.  I was so proud of them!  I was able to share Amber's own words about faith and hope from her blog posts in the fall of 2008.  Another thing I shared was my gratitude to Amber for patiently teaching me how to enjoy my children "the Amber way".  I was grateful that I did not just get up and blubber.  The funeral services were ended by two of our beloved local church leaders President Reeder and President Tams sharing thoughts about making sense of the things that happen in life, exercising our faith in Christ, and assuring our children that Amber would be able to "parent through the veil", or from heaven.  What sweet and comforting words they shared and how grateful we are for our special relationship with these two spiritual giants. 

The kids and I are trying to get back to normal schedules and things that are important to us.  Bekah and Abby even went to school part of the day on the day of the funeral.  They wanted to so I allowed it.  All of the kids went to school Tuesday-Friday and I believe they did pretty well.  The classes, accomplishing work and assignments, and being with understanding and loving classmates helped them immensely.  I went back to work on Wednesday.  Ammon and especially Caleb thought that I would become a stay at home dad or at very least just work part time for a long time.  As much as I would love to do this, it is just not possible.  Amber's mother and my mother have lovingly agreed to watch Ammon at our house for a while until Caleb feels secure about the current situation and sees that everything is OK.  So far all of the kids seem to be handling the transitions just fine.  My co-workers have been so awesome and took over my cases and other work while I was gone.  I think they were surprised I came back just two days after the funeral.  I have a lot of great friends at work so following the advise I gave to my children and getting back to normal things has helped me a lot. 

I miss my wife so much and long to be with her and talk to her.  I do pretty well most of the day but at night when the kids are in bed it's more difficult.  I miss telling her about the things that are going on, talking to her about the kids, counseling with her about difficult things that naturally occur in life, and holding her hand.  Luckily I am not a night person so by the time I finish doing necessary things after the children are in bed, and lay down in bed, I fall asleep rather quickly.  I am so grateful for the constant outpouring of love, visits, cards, and prayers.  You have truly "mourned with those that mourn, and comforted those that stand in need of comfort".  In short you have done what the Savior would do if He were in your place.  We love you, thank you, and esteem you as our dear friends. 
I am so sorry that I did not put the information about Amber's funeral up last night.  I was running on 6 hours of sleep in 72 hours and not thinking clearly. 

Amber's viewing will be held on Sunday, October 18, 2009 from 6:00-8:00pm at:
Myer's Mortuary
205 S. 100 E.
Brigham City, UT 
(435) 723-8484

Funeral Services for Amber will be Monday, October 19, 2009 at 2:00pm.  There will be a viewing from 12:30-1:40pm at the same location
Perry Utah LDS Stake Center
685 W. 2250 S.
Perry, UT

Many have asked for a place to send flowers for the funeral, I am totally inexperienced at this but apparently those can be sent to the mortuary and they will handle getting them to the viewing and funeral.  WHAT A RELIEF!  I thought I was going to have to find a flower ferry. 

Some have asked how they can help with the funeral or donate to the kids kind of like a trust account.  I have heard about these when other younger mom's or dad's have died or seen these on other obituaries but I haven't really thought about it in our case.  The tough guy side of me says to tell those who have asked that I have it all under control and I'll be just fine.  The part of me that has leaned a great deal over the last couple of years about the depths of people's kindness and generosity and who has experienced the joy of doing kind thing for others on occasions says I need to allow people who want to help to do so.  Any donations will be used to help with the funeral costs with any left over to benefit Amber's children.

Donations can be made to the following account:

Amber Chase Cancer Fund (Account Title)
America First Credit Union
P.O. Box 9199
Ogden, UT  84409

We have been doing pretty well considering.  I feel as if I personally have been spared some of the pain at this point by a loving Savior who knows what I can handle and has poured out his mercy upon me.  The kids are doing well.  Blake told me that so far it has not hurt as bad as he imagined it would.  We all know that tougher days are ahead.  We also know that turning to the Savior and trusting him for your strength and the healing of your heart is the answer whether you are fighting a disease, pleading for a loved one who is suffering, or dealing with the greatest loss and pain.  He is still the answer!  He is the way, the truth, and the life!

A special and heartfelt thank you for the many who have reached out to our family in word, deed, or prayer since Amber's passing.  Your loving kindness is soothing salve to the suffering soul.  You are truly showing us the Savior's love.
Our sweet Amber valiantly fought the battle daily against cancer and most days won.  She never let cancer choke out her faith and love of others or her love of life's most important things.  She had a virtue, serenity, faith, and peace about her that caught the attention of many.  Ultimately she became a shining example to all of His power to save and heal our broken heart if we turn to him in faith. 

On Wednesday, October 14th at 11:15pm she completely vanquished the cancer and entered into our Heavenly Father's rest.  She endured to the end in faith.  She sealed her example and testimony of Jesus Christ with her very life. 

Our family will pray for all of our friends and family members who know Amber and will find this news difficult to bear.  Just know that you can face this how we all learned to face hard things from our exemplar Amber.

Funeral services will be formally announced tomorrow evening on this website.  We believe they will be this Monday at the Perry Utah Stake Center. 

Dear Family & Friends,

I just wanted to give a report to all who are concerned and believe me I know there are many.  Amber has been mostly in a restful state where she cannot wake up or talk since early Friday morning (about the time I posted the last blog post).  After the struggles of Tuesday-Thursday we very grateful that she is resting.  She is mostly not able to open her eyes or even answer.  The hospice nurse assures us that she can still hear what we say to her and feel our touch.  So we spending a lot of time holding her hand and talking to her.  She has been able to answer a few times with an "I love you", but for the most part she does not have the energy or ability to say more.  I guess it is only fitting that the last words Amber may be able to formulate in this life be "I love you".  I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't also the first.  Amber and I have always tried to make those words the most important in our home.  We never leave the house, hang up the phone, or go to bed with saying "I love you".  Our children have adopted that also. 

This morning I told Amber as she was sleeping that the Sabbath Day, which she has always honored and kept, would be a wonderful day to rest from all her cares and struggles and since she can't go to church to worship she could go to His presence and worship Him there.  We are as ready as we can be to have her leave us and go there.  Even the kids see that as the better option now.  So we now wait.  As we wait I think I have alternated between heavy heart and full heart.  I am so thankful that my heart is filled and strengthened.  I know many people are praying for our peace, especially Amber's, as she prepares to leave this life and enter the rest that the Savior has promised.  "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)  This is the peace we are hoping and praying for for Amber and ourselves.  We are trying to obtain it in His way. 

Dear Friends & Family,

Amber took a sudden step in her seemingly slow walk toward ultimately winning the battle over cancer and overcoming this world.  She had quite a struggle physically on Tuesday and Wednesday but is now comfortable.  Her hospice nurse told me she has maybe a couple of days.  Her path to this point has been marked by many miracles great and small.  Please join our family in praying for one more that takes her peacefully and wrapped in the loving arms of the Savior, from this life without further struggle.   I believe she has truly fought the good fight, has finished her course, and has kept the faith.  What more can be said for a life well lived, used to its fullest, and devoted to the Lord?  I do not believe that Amber's will be a life lost, for I believe that a life lost is one lived without ever having truly loved others, and without loving the Savior.  We love you and appreciate your continued prayers for her peace and ultimate victory. 




Hello dear family and friends!  Our family has been lost in our own little world the last little while.  The kids escape to school and I escape to work for 5 hours day but other than that we are here together at home.  Awareness of world events, sporting events, or extra school activities is very low.  This morning I was making fresh peach pancakes with Bekah and she asked if I remembered when we used to jam out to our favorite music while cooking breakfast and cleaning house Saturday mornings before Amber got sick.  We used to dance around, sing the songs at the top of our lungs, and happily accomplish just barely more than zero between breakfast and lunch even though we were supposedly doing chores.  She went on mixing ingredients.  She is so cute in the kitchen she is predictably careful and exact.  If you know Bekah, you know what I mean.  She left me marveling at how infrequently I find myself thinking about how things used to be before cancer (BC). 

I consider it one of the Lord's tender mercies that I am not missing the sweet parts about NOW by being a slave to what once was.  Many people focus on what cancer has taken away from them and others.  I believe that the Lord has helped me to focus on now which naturally allows me to focus more on His blessings and having gratitude for what he has given me now.

It's amazing that in the laboratory of life experience the Lord chooses clinical experiences for us that are bitter and some that are sweet so that we will learn to desire the sweet.  Neal A. Maxwell explained, “The sharp, side-by-side contrast of the sweet and the bitter is essential until the very end of this brief, mortal experience.”  If you and I walk in wisdom's paths we will learn what methods and processes in life lead us to experience lasting peace, joy, and happiness no matter what is going on in our lives.  The more experience the truly wise have with that side-by-side contrast of bitter and sweet, the less likely we are to take short cuts that lead to that which is fleeting and not fulfilling. 

On Monday, September 21st Amber passed her 5 month anniversary since her last chemo treatment.  When she went on hospice I remember her saying, "now I am really in the Lord's hands".  When she put herself in the Lord's hands if you had asked her if she would expect to be alive in 5 months I think she would have been no more than cautiously optimistic but not really hopeful.  Amber is sleeping a lot now and she gets a little frustrated because she does not like to, as she puts it, "sleep her life away".  She has days where she is not able to stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time even sitting up in her recliner.  Other days she is able to stay awake for eight hours strait in her recliner with only a little dozing.  She had an especially tough week the week of her 31st birthday (September 14-19th).  She was fighting some sort of infection and was fevered and feeling really yucky.  Its a good thing we had the huge, wonderful party 10 days before.  The fever has gone away and so did the infection.  Amber is declining slowly as each week  passes.  She is getting weaker, sleeps more, and eats less,  I don't know how much longer she will be here.  I have left that firmly in the Lord's hands.  The hospice team takes such good care of Amber and all of us that we could not ask for more.  We love and appreciate Carol and Sean from hospice for the loving care they give.  Amber's days are filled with comfortable rest interrupted by an occasional fist fight between kids.  If she has pain day or night or even on the weekends that her pump is not covering Carol or one of the on call nurses are quick to come help.  All I hope for at this time in Amber's life is that she have her pain managed, be able to rest comfortably, and feel the Lord's peace. 

I want to express with all my heart how grateful I am for the loving kindness of everyone.  I want to thank our angel mothers for their consistent presence in our lives and the great care.  I want to thank the army of ladies from church who bring wonderful meals to my family.  What a burden you lift!  Also our dear friend Dan Peck for the days and days that he has spent in our yard pulling weeds and trimming things.  It would be a beautiful mess instead of just beautiful without him.  I want to thank everyone for the loving cards given to Amber at her party and sent pretty much every day since.  She is so appreciative of your love and thoughtfulness.  I also want to thank Amber's friends from the breast cancer community.  None of you know Amber in a traditional sense but you show love and concern for her in very real ways.  The beautiful floral arrangement and cards from many of you for her birthday was especially appreciated.  I thank the Lord for his mercy and grace in our lives each day!  I truly stand all amazed.  .