When I began chemo again back in August, we were told that I would probably be on chemo for 6 months to shrink the tumors back down.  It has been 6 months, and the tumors have not shrank.  They are a little bigger, and my last tumor markers went up again.  Dan had originally wanted to plan a trip in February to celebrate the completion of chemo.  It is February, and because the chemos haven't worked, there is no end in sight.
     Even though I am not done with treatment, we are going to go away on vacation anyway, just to celebrate life.  We used to say "someday we should do this." or "someday we should go there".  When your somedays become limited, and your life is going to be a lot shorter than you planned, you need to make your somedays into todays.
     Dan has been planning a trip to celebrate the completion of 6 months of chemo.  I told him I wanted to go to a warm tropical island, where I can relax, swim, and refresh.  He has been planning a trip to St. Martin/ Sint Maarten.  I have tried not to get excited, because I didn't dare.  I was too afraid that I would be physically unable to travel due to my condition.  I haven't allowed myself to look forward to it.  Now all of a sudden, it is time to go!  This last week I have finally got on the internet and looked at stuff to do, and about this island.  I have finally allowed myself to get excited this last week.  
    Back when Melissa was planning the Run for Amber, she hoped we would earn enough money to send our family to DisneyLand, and maybe even enough so Dan and I could also take a trip together.  Due to the overwhelming success of the fundraiser, we were able to pay off all of our doctor bills from last year, have money to pay doctor bills this year, and go to DisneyLand and this trip.
   We are so excited and grateful to all who have made this possible.  It is going to be so wonderful to spend time with my hubby, and relax and get away from the worries and stress of cancer.  This is going to be another dream come true.  It is going to be hard to be away from the kids for  9 days, especially little Ammon and Caleb.  I hope I don't miss them too much to enjoy myself.  They will be in good hands with Grandma, though.


Dan posted a comment on my post about the roses he gave me for Valentine's Day.  I decided to post it here because it was so beautiful I jut had to share it!

Hello Sweetheart,

I think this is about the third time I have ever posted a comment on your site. I cherished the time spent this weekend as always. It was so nice to have President's day off to hang out with you and the kids to top it off.
I just wanted to say something about the pink roses. I want you to know that my love for you has grown in the last couple of years in ways I believe would have taken many years normally. To see your faith, strength, and goodness amplified by many times has helped me cherish you more. But the greatest thing has been the opportunity to take care of you on the level I have been able to. Usually young couples (yes we are still young) don't have the opportunity to do this until their old age. I have been touched many times by seeing an old man or woman taking care of their loved one in every way possible for many months and years without complaint. If I must have you in this life for much less time than we planned what an honor and a joy to have my love grow in those same ways while we are young. To learn the depth of joy, love, and peace that comes from desiring nothing more than providing your for your every comfort and happiness has been such a blessing in my youth. I love you with all my heart and would do anything for you. Thank you for being so easy to love, serve and take care of and not resisting my efforts.

I Love You!


Last week was a busy week.  We made Valentine's and Valentine Boxes and it was Ammon's 3rd birthday. 

I can't believe my sweet baby is 3 years old.  I am grateful for the 3 years I have had him, and as much as I wish for many more years with him, I am just grateful for the years I have had with him.  He brings Dan and I so much joy!  He "nuggles" with me every night to go to sleep.  He even has his own pillow on our bed.  He holds my hand as he drifts off to sleep. We whisper "I love you" and he whispers "I love you" back.  He is such a monkey during the day, but I treasure these precious moments when he is still my sweet little baby.  He loved his cake, and pushed a chair over to the counter, and helped himself to the frosting before we sang happy birthday.  Maybe it is his sweet tooth that makes him such a sweetheart!! 

It has been a tradition to make our own valentine's every year.  Even though I seriously lacked the energy to do it this year, we still made them.  We also made the boxes for the school Valentine's party.  I really hope the kids will treasure the memories.

As we celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday, I was so grateful to have so many people to love, and to also be loved by so many.  It is so nice to have a day to express our love to one another.  Dan gave me 3 dozen beautiful roses.  Red Roses to signify the love when we were first married, pink roses to signify how much his love has grown for me during my battle with cancer, and white roses to signify the eternal nature of our love and relationship.

I made Dan a photo collage of us and our family. It turned out really nice, and he seemed really touched by the effort.  I really enjoyed going through photos and picking out ones that signified the wonderful times we have had together as a couple and as a family.  I decorated the photo mat with the words "FOREVER FAMILY". 
    I gave each of the kids a Webkinz stuffed animal, and my dad delivered a box of Chocolate Whoppers for me and the kids.  (He has had that tradition since I was a little kid)  My little brother Kristofor also sent me some beautiful roses with the sweetest letter. 
    I am so grateful for all those that I love, and grateful for those who love me too.  I am grateful for the eternal nature of families, and take so much peace and comfort from the knowledge that the love we share as families is eternal, and that we will be together forever.  I don't think I could stand the thought of dying young if I didn't know that my family is forever. 


COURAGE doesn't always roar.         
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,

"I will try again tomorrow."
Maryanne Hershey

I have received many quotes and poems, books and cards, that share uplifting words.  I have saved every card and kind note that I have received throughout my illness.  When I am feeling down or discouraged, I get them out and read them.  Every kind word that has been written, including your words when you comment on my blog, gives me strength and peace. 
   I would like to share a couple of poems and quotes that have brought me a lot of comfort the last couple of weeks.
   The first is a beautiful poem written by my sister in law, Katie Chase. 


The Woman Who Has Courageby Katie Chase

Stalwart and strong,
She stands upon the Rock,
Faces the wind,
And it throws itself against her
Howling and hurling at her with fierceness
The woman who has courage.

Like a lighthouse,
She stands upon the Rock,
Illuminates the scene,
And darkness encroaches
Blinding and billowing at her to bury her
The woman who has courage.

Faithful and fearful,
She stands upon the Rock
Lights the dark
And my spirit swells
Watching and waiting as she endures the storm
The woman who has courage.

Trembling and tearful
She stands upon the Rock
Shares her strength,
And shows me how to stand
Loving and living to make each day count
The woman who has courage.

Let It Go

By Danna Faulds

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations -- Let is all go.

Save your strength to swim with the tide. 

The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.  Let it go.

 Let it all go and flow with the grace
that washes through your days
whether you receive it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.

Take this on faith: The mind may never find
the explanation that it seeks,
but you will move forward nonetheless.

 Let go, and the wave's crest
will carry you to unknown shores,
beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.
Let it all go and find the place of rest
and peace, and certain transformation.


I got myself a new set of wheels last Friday Jan. 30th.  A couple of months ago my doctor wrote me a prescription for a wheelchair.  I never go to the mall, or Walmart or anywhere because it is too painful to walk very far, and it tires me out too much.  My girls have been wanting to get their ears pierced at the mall, so I finally broke down and had Dan go pick up a wheelchair for me. 

It was wonderful to be able to go to the mall, and we also went to Costco.  This was my very first visit to Costco.  It is a different world appearing "handicapped".  Some people are so wonderfully sweet, thoughtful, and accommodating.   Then there are the people who are impatient and treat you like you are ruining their life by being in their way.  I don't think we will take all of the kids with us to Costco again.  It was too hard to manage all of the kids, plus a cart, plus a wheelchair. 

This isn't a very good picture of me in the wheelchair.  I was still got tired out, and I think it shows.  The current chemo I am on doesn't cause complete hair loss, so I have some nice hair growing in!  Yeah!!!  As you can see in the picture, my hair is really short, but at least it covers my scalp now.  And my head isn't nearly as cold!  The kids all took turns pushing me in the wheelchair.  The boys even had a turn sitting in it..  Aren't they adorable! 

The mall was great, and Bekah and Abby were so happy to have their mom go shopping with them.  They are so cute with their new pierced ears!  Even Caleb was thrilled to get a pretzel and Dan bought him a Jazz hat and T-shirt. 

Okay, now time for not so fun stuff. 
   An update on my doctors appointment on Tuesday
We found out exactly nothing.  They are unsure of what is going on with my lung.  The P.A. suggested that maybe it was scar tissue from pneumonia.  WHAT???  I haven't had pneumonia in the last 20 years let alone the last couple of months.  The densities in my lung did show uptake on the scan, which means that they are actively growing.  I asked if maybe we should biopsy, and the PA said it was too risky, and it didn't matter whether it was cancer or not, and it wouldn't change the treatment.   It may not matter to them, but it matters to me!!  I want to know what the cancer is doing to my body.  If there is new growth, I would rather change chemos right away, before it is too late and the cancer grows too much. 
    The plan is to do more blood work in a couple of weeks, to give us a better idea if the cancer is still growing despite treatment. 
     We are all really frustrated at the lack of answers and the indifference shown.  My last blood work results weren't even in my chart, so when I asked about the results they didn't even know what was going on. The P.A. wrote my pain medicine prescription for the wrong medicine too.   I really like my oncologist, but don't like it when I don't get to see him, and just see the P.A.  Their office is too busy, and too many times results are lost, and they don't remember when I am due for tests, scans etc. I have to keep track of when I am due for them and ask to be scheduled, otherwise nothing would get done.  They would just keep pumping me full of $4,000 a pop chemo and making big bucks, while offering inadequate caretaking of the patient .  Can you tell I am a little fed up? 
     It is hard enough having cancer, and it makes it more difficult when you have to be your own advocate.  I feel like they are so indifferent, when this is life and death to me!  How can it not matter what the scans say????  I feel like they just assume I am a gonner and it doesn't matter what we do, my death is inevitable.  So who cares about progression, or new tumors...  Just keep me on the most expensive chemo's for as long as possible so they can keep raking in the cash.  I know that isn't probably isn't so, but I feel like that sometimes.   I just wish the chemo would shrink tumors, and the cancer would just go away....

 I am just so grateful for all of you who care so much about me.  My dear friends and family are always so inspired, and know when I need a little extra TLC.  I have received so many nice visits, thoughtful cards, and beautiful flowers this last week while I have been struggling.   I am so grateful for all of the tender mercies shown to me and my family.  Please know that you are heaven sent!  Thank you for taking such good care of me!  I know I say this all the time, but, I could not endure this without all of the love and support we receive.