I have had a difficult time feeling like I want to write anything for my blog.  I am so grateful to Dan for his last couple of posts.  I am glad that he wrote such touching posts, and I am amazed that he did it all on his own.  

The reason it has been difficult to write, is that I have been hesitant to share what has really been going on with my cancer and treatment.  So it is confession time.

2 months ago, after much researching, praying, talking with counselors, doctors, and family, we came to the realization that chemotherapy was no longer a viable option.  I was so deathly ill from doing 9 months of various chemos, and all the test results kept coming back that that the chemos were not working.  I had no quality of life, and I felt like I was just wasting the time I had left chasing after treatments that were killing me, and not the cancer.  We decided that the time had come to stop chemotherapy, and change from aggressive care to palliative care.  

I have had hospice care for the last 2 months.  It is truly a miracle how much better I feel now that I am no longer poisoning my body with toxic chemicals in hope of having a longer life.  I was not living while I was on chemo.  All I did was sleep and feel miserable all the time.  With my new hospice Doctor and Nurses I feel so much better.  They are so on top of keeping me pain free and comfortable.  I am able to do so much more, and feel so much better.  It has been a great decision.  I am still going to have monthly Zometa infusions to keep my bones from breaking as the cancer progresses.  We also have a social worker who has been visiting weekly with me and the kids.  He always brings a fun activity that gets the kids talking about how they are feeling.  He also has been a great sounding board for me, and has helped me deal with the gamut of emotions that I have been dealing with.  With this hospice team in place, they are taking wonderful care of all of our needs.

At first when I stopped chemotherapy, I really struggled emotionally.  It was so difficult to feel like I was giving up.  It is still hard to think about dying, but I feel mostly at peace.  I am enjoying every minute, and we have been cherishing the good times.  We are happy and at peace.  I know that my life is in Heavenly Father's hands, and that He will preserve my life for as long as I need to be here.  I don't need treatments of men to prolong my life.  I know that I will be here for as long as I am supposed to be.   I trust that my Heavenly Father is taking care of me, and we are at peace.

I have read several books  these past couple months about death and dying, life after life, and about hospice stories.  This knowledge has brought peace to my heart, and a small part of me looks forward to what comes next after life.  I know that I will still be here for my family, and that I will have an active role in their life.  I know that I will still be there for all of their weddings, graduations, baptisms, births of grandchildren, and family events.  I know that the life after this one is glorious and wonderful, and that I will be with my loved ones who have gone on before.  

I have one request from all of my dear friends and family.  We are at peace with my decision to no longer fight my cancer.  I don't need to hear about this miracle diet, and that Doctor that can cure cancer in Mexico, or this new chemo trial or drug..  My destiny is not to have my cancer cured.  We understand that, and it is okay.  I have done all that I could physically endure to fight my cancer, and I have no fight left in me.  And that is okay.  I fought hard, and I won so many battles.  It is a miracle that it has been 2 years, and I am still here.  I am eternally grateful for every day of that 2 years.  I have been blessed, and I am continually blessed every day.  Life is still good.


Hey everyone its Dan again. 
     I can't believe how fast time flies.  I feel like its only been a few days since a post was put on the site and its been ten.  Life is very busy even when you try to keep things simple.  Amber and I have marveled throughout the last two years at how adaptable the Lord helps our family to be.  It seems like we go along as a family and something new and seemingly impossible to deal with happens and we kind of freak out and "normal" goes out the window.  We wonder how we can ever handle the new development or course the cancer has presented. 
    After a few days of wondering, and at least some unfocused freaking out, doubt is kicked out and our faith is re-focused.   We try to exercise our faith in thought and action by trying to do what we know the Lord wants us to do.  Before we know it we are blessed with the Lord's peace and the burdens that have been placed upon us somehow feel lighter that they were before, though they are seldom removed.  That is when we develop a new normal. 
     This process, which we consider a great miracle, has happened countless times over the last two years.  It does not happen because we are special or any different than anyone else.  It happens when we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ.  Through the power of the atonement and his grace which is sufficient for each of us he succors us in our infirmities.  He heals our hearts and our wounds and blesses us with his peace that passeth understanding.  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his power to effectuate this miracle in each of us IS THE ANSWER to all of life's trials and suffering.  It is the way we do hard things while remaining faithful to the end.  I am so grateful that the Lord in his infinite mercy has taught me this so that I do not fear the future or hard things that may come in life.  I am also grateful my children are learning and experiencing this for themselves so that they know for themselves where to turn for peace and help.    
      We were blessed to spend time together in beautiful Ogden Valley at Wolf Creek Resort from 6/11-6/16.  We love to go there because it is so close to home, its beautiful. peaceful, and has a great pool and slide that the kids enjoy.  It did rain a lot while we were there so we had to time our swimming sessions just right and spend a lot of time inside playing games together and watching movies.  It turned out well because this level of activity fit Amber's ability better anyway.  She loved to go to the pool and float weightlessly in the water because of the immense pain relief she experiences while floating.  Caleb and Abby really enjoyed the small water slide into the pool.  Abby went on it 30 times in a row one day and 40 times in a row another day.  Amber made her stop at 40 because she was afraid she would drown from being too tired.  Caleb got to 28 times in a row and was very proud of himself.  He was so cute, he would hurry up the slide stairs and at the top on the platform he would look down where I was waiting to catch him at the bottom, flex his little muscles and yell at the top of his lungs how many times he had gone down the slide.  At that point he plunged into the tube yelling "man overboard"!  I kid you not, he did this every time.  I think Bekah decided she was too old for such things because she only went down a couple of times and then went to play with Ammon.  She never has really loved that slide anyway and since it takes about three people to keep Ammon out of water danger it was nice to have her playing with him.  Ammon is such a bundle of energy that every five seconds he has to be moved back to a safe water depth.  Blake is officially too old for the slide so he kept busy using a water noodle like a water cannon on the girls and sometimes on his mom.  If that failed he resorted to whatever splashing on them he could do with his hands.  I know everyone who knows Blake is surprised that he would enjoy such things.  surprised that he would enjoy such things.  We really enjoyed the time together and were blessed to be able to do it.

Amber has wanted to see our cute little Caleb play tee-ball because she thought he would be so adorable playing.  He had his first game on Thursday and she was right.  I have not had much time with all that is going on to work with him on playing ball like I did with Blake when he was little, so I was worried how he would do.  He did just fine and was so darned cute we could hardly stand it.  One time he hit the ball off the tee and it only went about four feet in front of the tee.  A bunch of parents and coaches started yelling "get the ball, get the ball"!  So Caleb dropped the bat and dove out of the batter's box and retrieved the ball.  He was so proud that he got the ball but it turns out that the coaches and parents yelling "get the ball" were from the other team yelling to their kids.  That's OK though at least he listened and showed some hustle diving for the ball.  We can work on the nuances of the game later.  
       Blake has been training with the high school cross country team every morning at 6:30AM the last couple of weeks.  We are very proud of him for sticking with it through the cramps and puking.  I think with some training and experience this is something he could really enjoy.  Blake, Bekah and Abby are all doing Jr. League golf at Eagle Mountain Golf Course on Mondays.  They play nine holes, have a lot of fun and give mom a three hour break Monday afternoon.  Its the best $50 each I have ever spent.  I guess that about concludes this Chase family highlight.  Sorry it  has been about as long as Sports Center on ESPN (1 hour). 


Hello Everyone!  It’s Dan again.

Every time I post anything on this blog I feel like I am on hallowed ground.  I kind of feel an initial exhilaration about writing something on a site that so many people love, about someone so many people love.  I quickly come back down to earth and feel like a guy with sausage fingers trying to play chopsticks in a great concert hall on an amazing grand piano.   

Amber is doing pretty well.  She has good days and bad days.  Her good days are when the pain is controlled and she has energy to do things that she wants to do.  I want to be clear.  The definition of controlled pain and energy to do things is not the same for most of us as it is for Amber.  Being more specific the new medications she is on put the pain well below the debilitating level and below the level where its all you can think about.  She does still feel pain depending on what she is doing its just that it does not keep her from doing many things.  Amber has been in pain at varying degrees for so long having it down at this level probably seems very liberating.  Also having more energy to Amber is different from how you and I would think.  Having more energy means she can more effectively do 3-6 hours of activity that she deems most important to her that day.  If she does this for a couple of days she usually is completely worn out and sleeps most of the next day.  

Example: On Friday our Amber’s brother’s wife Kara came up to make lunch, visit, and finish a craft project with Amber.  Amber and I went on an over night get away later that afternoon (nice dinner and overnight at a nice bed and breakfast).  We came back Saturday around 1:00PM.  Amber rested for awhile and then we took the kids to the new Night at the Museum movie at the local theater.  She slept for another couple of hours and was completely out of it.  I did take her to a dinner they were having at the church that evening but I should have just let her sleep.  Sunday morning she could not even get out of bed without getting dizzy and sick.  She almost always goes to church for sacrament meeting but could not do it yesterday.  She slept until about 3:00PM and came down to her recliner to be around the kids for awhile.  Even this morning (Monday) she still does not feel well enough to be up and around for more activity.  

The good is that she can do the things she did Friday and Saturday.  I guess it’s also good that her bad days do not usually include being deathly ill.  She is just too tired to stay awake. 

What tremendous blessings we have experienced!  I am so grateful for the Lord’s mercy in allowing her to still be able to do the things she can do even after having aggressive, late-stage, cancer for well over two years.  I find it interesting that when some facet of this trial changes we wonder, “Oh no what are we going to do”?  Or “how are we going to handle this”?  But the answer always ends up being the same.  It just takes a few days or weeks of hand wringing for us to realize it.  Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, his mercy, his love, and his power to heal us is always the answer.  Sometimes he heals our bodies as a result of our faith filled pleas, other times it is not His will.  I know that healing our hearts and souls is always His will.  He stands ready and waiting for us to ask in faith.  

We have been so blessed that many people have been inspired by the love of God to act on our behalf.  They have truly “strengthened the weakened knees and lifted the hands that hang down”.  Our families, ward and community have been so kind and have made great burdens lighter.  We thank you and love you with all of our hearts.  Who knew Chopsticks was such a long song J



This Easter, I pondered a lot on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  On Easter Sunday, my daughter Abby gave a talk in Primary about this subject.  She said, "I know that my mom will be resurrected, and that all of her scars will be gone, and her hair will be back."  I was so touched by this, and have since been thinking about that a lot.  As I feel my body getting sicker and sicker as the cancer continues to grow and damage it, I found hope!  Even though my body is slowly dying as the cancer ravages it, this will not be the end.  I will be resurrected, and all of my scars will be gone!  I will be pain free, and have energy again!  What a joyful thing!  I am so grateful for my Savior, and for His sacrifice! 

Spring is my favorite time of year.  I love seeing the flowers bloom.  In the fall I planted bulbs with my mother in law, and I remember wondering if I would be here to see them bloom.  I am so happy that I am still here, and have such delight in seeing my bulbs blooming.  It is a miracle that these dead looking bulbs come back to life.  As the days get warmer, and the rains come, they wake from their slumber, and begin to grow.  Their bright colored blooms also remind me of the resurrection.   When you compare the beauty of the flower to the withered and gray bulbs, you realize that that is what the Resurrection will bring.  It will restore the weak and frail body, to one that is bright and shining; one that is strong and healthy, free from disease.  Though my body is more like the bulb now, one day I will be a blooming flower. 


    When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I spent hours searching the internet, trying to figure out how long I would survive this deadly disease.  Based on my research, with my stage of cancer and with the treatment I was doing, the median survival time was 15-22 months after diagnosis.  I just past 22 months yesterday.  I am so grateful and humbled that I am still alive.  It is a miracle that my life has been preserved.  Based on studies and statistics, I should be dead.  But I am still here, and in remarkably good condition, for a stage 4 cancer patient.
    These 22 months have been filled with the most exhilarating  ups and the darkest lows.  I have had times where I have been happier than I had ever been, and experienced the most touching miracles, big and small.  I also have had dark days and nights, where I didn’t think I could survive another day, where I felt great despair about my condition, and times where I feared greatly. 
  Through it all, I have been blessed with so much love and service to help me when I didn’t think I could go on.  I know my survival is a miracle, and I don’t think I could have made it without all of the service rendered to us.  If I didn’t have the opportunity to rest, thanks to those who help watch my children, I think it would be a lot harder for my body to withstand cancer and its treatments.  We have been blessed with hundreds of delicious meals, which are so wonderful because I don’t have the energy to cook.  Not only has our family been fed, but our spirits have also been strengthened by the support. 
    My cancer journey has definitely been a marathon.  I am so grateful for all those who have ran with us, step by step, through the difficult terrain.  I know that all the prayers that have been offered up have helped me and my family continue on, even when we feel like we don’t have the strength to continue.  I am so grateful for all the people who have helped carry our load, so we can run the race without extra weight hampering our fight.
   I am hopeful that I will live many months past my expiration date.  I hope I don’t start to mold or start to stink now that I am past my expiration date.   I plan to live every day as fully as possible, and I still feel now more than ever that every day is a gift.  I have lived every day more fully, enjoyed every little moment, and been grateful for every day that I am still alive.  I encourage all of you who read this to do the same. 

                                              This is our most recent family picture.  It was taken last night at Dan's little sister Kristina's wedding reception. 


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.


   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!