The picture above is part of the decor in my scrapbook room. After listening to my church's General Relief Society Conference in September, I will always remember President Uchtdorf's talk on creation.  (Here is a link to his talk:  It is one of my favorites!  Happiness, Your Heritage )
In my scrapbook room I have this word "CREATE" on my wall.  When I see it, I always reflect on all the things that I create....  Memories, scrapbook pages, smiles, laughs, music and many more things.  As a wife and mother, I have opportunities every day to create something special.  Every day is truly a gift, and I hope each day that I create lasting memories with my family that will get them through the tough times, should I pass away from cancer at a young age.
    At times I feel so discouraged because I feel like I don't contribute very much anymore.  Our family has been asked to speak in church in a few weeks, and as I was preparing for this talk, I reread President Uchtdorf's talk.  It helped me feel so much better.  Some of you may end up hearing me talk about this in church, but here is a quote that I found deeply comforting:
"But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy.  Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.

If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter."  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


There is a part of me that is so acutely aware that the time I have is limited.  I love to scrapbook, and I have literally thousands of pictures that I have taken over the years.  I usually scrapbook in the middle of the night when I can't sleep because of pain, worry, or just plain sleeplessness.  It gives me something productive to do rather than just watching TV or movies, plus I just love reliving the memories.  I spend a lot more time on journaling about the events than before I had cancer. That way, the my husband and kids will always have my thoughts and memories on things we have done together, or seen, or holidays etc.

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages that I have made recently.  The quote on the below page reads:  "There are two lasting gifts you can give to your children.  One is Roots and the other Wings."


   Dan pulled some strings on Friday and got Dr. H's secretary Meridan to fax him a copy of my scan results.  Preliminary test results show that my hottest spot on my left hip is not as active, but all of the other bone mets are growing hotter than they were before.  Not a whole lot hotter, but not shrinking and going away either.  No mention was made of my liver, whether it was okay or not.  Very frustrating! I guess I can assume it is okay otherwise the radiologist would have said something.  The most concerning thing of the report was that my right lung shows uptake with mild patchy density in my right lung with mild airspace disease.  I don't know what that means, whether this is cancer or not.  So, I went to the University of Google to try to figure out it out, but I'm still not sure.  I guess that is what the oncologist is for.  I will have to wait for my next appointment and see what he thinks. 
     I was really hoping for some concrete evidence that this chemo is either working or not working.  It seems like it may be slowing the cancer down some, but not shrinking it.  I was hoping to see shrinking tumors, because that would make it easier to continue chemo.  Or at least maybe see a lot of new growth so we know that this chemo isn't working, and then I could quit that one and maybe try something different.  So all in all, no real answers.  Not really bad news, but not good news either.  I guess we will just wait and see, continue doing monthly tumor marker tests to track tumor growth, and pray for good results. 
    I really think one of the hardest things about cancer treatments is the not knowing.  Not knowing which chemo to try, not knowing if it is working, not knowing how long I will survive, not knowing whether I am wasting the time I have left by being sick from chemo.  ARGGHHHH!!!!  It just makes me want to scream!!!! 
    I want definite answers.  Yes or no. Black or white.  Not these never ending shades of grey!!   I think it just always comes back to faith.  Faith that Heavenly Father knows what is best, He can see the big picture, and He knows the end from the beginning.  I just wish I could know that also. 


Just a quick message to all of my blog readers.  I would like to thank you for all of your kind words of love and support.  We read each and every message that you post, and even though it is not possible to reply to every comment, please know that we gather strength and take great comfort from you.  I know that all the prayers you offer in my behalf are heard, and you will never know how much they help me and my family. 
    Tonight as I am so worried for my Pet-CT scan, Dan was reading me your comments as I rest.   I have felt so much peace and comfort.  As you are prompted to share your thoughts and experiences, please know that your words are truly inspired, and are usually just what I need to help me.  So as many of you say that I inspire you, I want you to know that all of you inspire me, you help my faith, and help me find the strength to carry on.  To those of you who have also shared your personal experiences to help me, I thank you so much.  You will never know the comfort that your words and messages bring to both me and Dan. 
    I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers, as well as some of our secret worries and longings through other people, and I don't doubt for a moment that He works through all of you to share stories that answer questions or worries that I have.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for sharing our journey with us.  We could never make it without you.  Thank you, and God bless you all!!!!!


My heart has been very heavy these last few days.  I received bad news with my last blood test.  My tumor markers have risen again, and some other blood work came back indicating that there may be some organ (either heart, lung, or liver) damage.  I will be having a Pet-CT scan on Thursday 1-22-09 to see what is going on.  We also have Bekah's district spelling Bee that night (she took second place in the school spelling Bee, Yeah Bekah!!!!)  Blake also has a church basketball game that night.  I hope I don't feel too worn out or sick so I can support my great kids.
     I am still struggling emotionally.  I fear greatly that my time on the Earth is growing shorter and shorter.  I have just been so tired lately, and my pain has increased.  I plead with Heavenly Father several times daily that my life will be prolonged, that I will still be able to be here on Earth, to  be a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend a little longer.  I still hope for a miracle, that maybe some chemo drug will knock the cancer into remission or even just shrink the tumors. 
    My faith wavers as these prayers have not been answered.  I know I need to align my will with with that of my Heavenly Father, but it sure would be a lot easier if His will was exactly what I wanted.  It is difficult to put faith in my Heavenly Father that everything will work out okay if I pass away from cancer. I worry about my dear husband and children.  My heart breaks every time I think of leaving them.  I can't hardly bear the thought.  I try to take comfort that they are mine forever, but I want to be with them today, tomorrow and always.  I want to grow old with the love of my life.  I always wanted to have a 6th child.  I never wanted to be done at 5 children.  I miss teaching piano lessons, and serving others.  I appreciate the service that is given me, but wish that I could be the one serving.    Dan & I have always talked about that we wanted to serve a mission together once our children were grown.  All these hopes and wishes and dreams are ones that are never going to come true.  I can only hope and try to have faith that I will still have purpose, either in this life or the one beyond.  I know the Lord can heal us from our illness and afflictions, as long as we are not appointed unto death.  I am beginning to feel that I am indeed appointed unto death.  This is a hard thing for me to come to terms with.
    My heart is breaking even more tonight because Tyson's, my brother in law, father passed away from brain cancer this evening.  A part of me is glad that his father is no longer suffering, and that he is in a better place with loved ones who have passed away before.  However, a large part of me grieves for the family and friends left behind.  I dread the day that I cause sorrow like this.  We all need to remember that this life is but just a small moment, and that after our earthly mission is over, we will be together with our loved ones in joy forever.  Easier said than done, believe me.  But I am so grateful that I have this knowledge, otherwise there is no way I would be able to get through the days of sadness, grief, and physical suffering. 
   I apologize once again to my blog readers for another downer post.  If I keep on being so down, you may all stop reading.  I hope to have a good week with fun and happy things to post.

Here are a couple of cute photos to make up for the downer posts.  I thought everyone would get a laugh out of the pictures of my sister wearing my wig. One day she came over to help, and just for fun she tried on my different wigs.  We laughed so hard, and I thought you all would get a kick out of seeing my sister Heather "Wiggin Out".  She looks great, huh!!

I took this picture Christmas morning.  The world is so beautiful when it is covered with a pristine layer of white snow.  I so enjoy the beauty of the seasons.

Here are a couple more cute pictures from Disney Land.  One day I will get a lot more photos put up on the photos page.  My eyes get tired and my head hurts when I spend too much time on the computer.

My cute 2 little boys, Caleb and Ammon, who always bring me such joy and can always make me smile!


First of all, i want to thank all of my blog readers for your love and support.  I appreciate your words of encouragement and support, and for not looking down on me because I am weak sometimes.  Thank you!!
I was archiving my blog this morning, and I came across a post from last January very similar to my last post.  There just must be something about this time of year that triggers feelings of despair and sadness.  I am still struggling emotionally right now, but I am trying to refocus and change my perspective.  I need to remind myself that if you look for negative, you find it, but if you look for positive, you will find that too.  I have been focusing too much on the bad things about cancer, and have forgotten all of the good things.  For example, I hate that I can't cook and clean, but I am so grateful for the kindness of others cooking and cleaning for me.  See, it is all in the perspective.  I am going to try harder to focus on the good and not the bad, and hope that I can find strength and faith to deal with cancer and all of the hard things that go along with it.
   I am off to the oncologist today.  I didn't cancel my appointment .   I will have herceptin and Zometa today.  I should have been taking Xeloda this week, but I haven't been able to bring myself to take it.  I am having a hard enough time dealing with life right now without adding all of the side effects and misery of one more thing.
   We took the kids to Chuck E. Cheeses last night for a fun family home evening activity.  They all had  a really good time (even though it exhausted me).  Another good thing is American Idol starts tonight!!!!  Yippeee!!!  See, I can still enjoy life even though I have cancer.   I just need to remember to take the time to enjoy the little things, and quit feeling sorry for myself and focusing on all of the things I can't do. 


Let me just start this post by saying I am sick of cancer.  I am sick of chemo.  And I am sick of being sick.  Even though this last week was an off chemo week, I was still very tired all week, and wasn't able to do much.  I am really struggling emotionally, I have feelings of depression, anger, and hopelessness.  I wish that I didn't have cancer, and that I could just have a normal life.  All I have ever wanted to do is be a wife and mother, serve in church and serve others, share my talents etc.  Now all I do is lay around sick all the time.  I struggle with feeling bitter about what my life is now.  Then I feel guilty for feeling that way.  Having cancer is a never ending roller coaster. Sometimes I feel up, and hopeful, but then there are the low valleys that are dark and full of despair.  Part of me really wants to just quit chemo and be done with it.  I hate taking the chemo, and being sick, and I don't even know if it is working.  I wish I could see some improvement, but all of my cancer areas are the same.  I don't know if the chemo is buying me more time, or if it is just destroying the quality of the time I have left.  It is so frustrating and agonizing. 
     The highlight of my week was on Thursday when Dan & I were able to go out to dinner with another couple who are battling IBC.  Janeal was diagnosed with IBC 6 months ago, and goes to the same oncologist as me.  We spent 4 and half  hours  with them, laughing, crying, and sharing our experiences.  What a blessing it was to spend time with people who know EXACTLY what we are going through.  They have so many of the same thoughts, fears, worries, struggles etc.  I am so grateful for the miracle that brought us together.  I hope this is okay with Janeal, but I thought I would share her website:  She is amazing, and a lot stronger than I am.  She is also battling Thyroid cancer at the same time.    She is younger like me, and has 3 small children.  Her and her husband Bruce are just amazing. 
   Anyway, I am sorry to be so down, but I need to be honest.  This blog is my journal of my battle with cancer, and it needs to be real and honest.   So after I am gone, my family can have an accurate knowledge of me and my battle with cancer.   I'm not always strong and faithful, I have doubts and anger, and I need to be honest in sharing that.  Thank you for bearing with me, reading my ramblings, and hopefully you all won't think less of me after reading this.


     We got good news on my brain MRI last week.  My brain tumor has continued to shrink, which is good, and their are no new visible tumors, which is really good.  I was so afraid that I would have new brain tumors, and am so thrilled that  I didn't.       I finished another week of Xeloda.  The new nausea meds, Kytril, made last week a lot more managable.  Of course it always has it's price....  A 30 day supply costs $2000.  Yes that is $2000.  Because it is a new year, (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) our deductibles are all reset, so when it is time to refill it, it will cost us 50%, or $1000.  It is nearly impossible to put a price on preventing nausea.  I plan only taking the minimum amount of pills, and I think I can stretch my 1 month supply to at least 2 months.  Once we meet our $5000 out of pocket for the year, the insurance kicks in at 100%.  How incredibly relieved and grateful we are not to have to worry about where the money will come from to pay the mounting doctor bills, thanks to the wonderful generosity and success of the Run 4 Amber Fundraiser.  We were able to pay off all of our outstanding doctor bills for 2008, and start fresh for 2009.  In just a few short months those bills will mounting, and we already have money from the fundraiser to pay these.  You can not understand the stress relief this gives our family!  
     Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that I have survived this aggressive disease for almost 20 months, but the surviving is pricey.  I half wonder if I am worth it.....  Fighting cancer is hard.  I always feel like such a burden on my friends and family, and especially my husband and children.  Even though I know there is a purpose for suffering, I long to reach the point where the suffering ends.  The optimum end would be a miraculous cure, but the alternative end would be death....  I  just try to find at least one small thing each day to help me find the will to continue to fight.  Whether it is spending time with family, a phone call of visit from a friend, a husband who tries to meet my every need, and NEVER complain, hugs and kisses from my kids, smiling, laughing, praying, looking out the window and watching beautiful snow, listening to music, playing the piano.  Each of these small things can give me the burst of hope that I CAN endure, that it IS worth it, and that I am BLESSED because of my fight against cancer.  So even when the day comes that cancer wins the battle that takes my life, it can not take all of the life that I have LIVED.  So when my obituary is written, it better not say "She lost her battle against cancer."  Because I win my battle with cancer each and every day.

A day without laughter is a day wasted
Charlie Chaplin


We are so privileged to see so many miraculous things happen because of cancer.  We have experienced many miracles, and another one happened at Christmas.  Our living room was filled with gifts from "Secret Santas".  My kids were so thrilled Christmas morning to see the piles of gifts so generously given to them.  It was a Christmas Miracle.  What a blessing for the kids to be given so much!  They have had so much fun playing with all of their fun toys. It was so fun for Dan and I as parents to watch with anticipation as each gift was opened, because we were as surprised with each package as were the children. The joy, delight, and excitement at our house Christmas morning was beautiful.  I feel so blessed to be able to be here, and experience Christmas one more time.  A sincere and humble thank you to the generous, loving people who once again so selflessly gave to our family.  
    Because of my health, I can not go shopping.  I don't even have the energy to do internet shopping.  I also would not be able to wrap Christmas gifts.  Having bags of already wrapped gifts delivered to our home for our children (and even gifts for Dan & I) relieved a burden that greatly saddened me.  I know there are so many more out there who have much greater needs than we do, and I don't know why we receive so much.  I only hope that my children are learning from all of you who serve and give so much, and that they will be able to grow up to be like you, kind and giving.  Thank you for following the example of Christ, whose birth and life we celebrate at Christmas.  

Here is an after picture, Christmas Morning. The kids have had a blast playing with all of their fun new toys!