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. 


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.


     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


"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote has long been a favorite of mine.  Whenever I look at all of the beautiful creations of this world, I stand in awe.  My mind can not fully comprehend the majesties of all of this world.   The beauty of all of the seasons, and the changes each bring is a miracle.  The beautiful spring flowers, the hot summer days, the majesty of the fall foliage, the pureness of the first snow.  I love living somewhere that has different seasons.  Looking up at the moon and stars at night, and knowing that the sun will rise each morning.  How could all of this be a cosmic accident?  How could there NOT be a God who loves us, to create such a beautiful world for us to experience our mortal lives?  So this quote, "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."  reminds me to trust the creator.  He has infinite knowledge, and He is aware of each one of us, and loves each of us. 

I love each of the seasons, but I think I have always loved autumn the most.  Autumn brings cooler temperatures, a return to school, crisp fall weather, apple cider, beautiful fall leaves, the promise of holidays just around the corner.  It is a time of change.  I get to wondering if I am in the autumn of my life.  As I planted some tulips and daffodils a month or so ago, I found myself wondering if I would be here in the spring to see them bloom.  I try to enjoy each moment, and try not to worry about the future.  But the worry and fear always are there in the back corner of my mind.  I try to just trust my Heavenly Father that I will be here for as long as I need to be to accomplish my mortal purpose. 

Because my time on Earth will be limited due to this terrible, devastating illness that is cancer, I do more living each and every day, and I cherish each moment with my family and friends, no matter how big or small.  I take time to play in the leaves, smell the roses, watch the moon in the middle of the night, laugh and play, and dance in the rain.  I think it is a good reminder for all of us to do this.  None of us have any guarantees of tomorrow.  Remember this, and remember to live each day to the fullest. 

These beautiful autumn pictures were taken a month ago in Sardine Canyon by Sherwood Hills.  We had so much fun playing in the leaves and I love all of the great pictures! 


I can not find the words to express the feelings in my heart.  I never knew a heart could feel like it is breaking  because it can't contain the love inside.  
     The Run 4 Amber was an overwhelming success!  The amount of generosity, love, and support was truly humbling and amazing.  Saying thank you just does not seem like enough.  Even if I were to stand on the tallest mountain and shout it out to the world, it would never adequately convey the gratitude that our family feels for all of the support.
     All of my siblings (two sisters and three brothers) are runners.  They have run many races including marathons.  Alas, I am not built like a runner.  However, in my life I have been running a different marathon in battling cancer.  My marathon has been going on almost 18 months of continually fighting cancer.  How fitting that a race was held to earn money for our family to go on a amazing trip and also extra funds that will cover the rest of our doctor bills from this year, and enough to meet our deductibles for next year.  The amount raised was reached  $20,000.  As we spent literally hours counting the money, we shook our heads in awe at the generosity and love and support.  We still can't believe it.  
   I believe from the bottom of my heart that we experienced a miracle Saturday in Perry.  First of all, this event was put together in less than 2 weeks.  And from the hundreds of people who came and ran, the beautiful weather, the generosity of the donations, the success of the auction, me having enough strength to be able to attend, it was truly a miracle.
   If the news and world would focus on the good things like this that happen in the world, the world would be a happier place.  There are so many good, caring, humble, Christ-like people in the world, and in their small way, they make a huge difference in the world.  I know that all of my family, including my extended family and Dan's family, will never be the same because of all the love and service that has been shown to our family. 
     A special thank you to Melissa Huntsman and Lee Perry and Jared Griffith and their families, Anytime Fitness, Getaway Today, Galactic Bowl, all who helped organize and advertise the run, all who donated items for the auction, all who ran in the race, all who donated and supported, all of the people who pray and send well wishes.  There is no way I can name all who helped, but know we are grateful to each and every one of you!!!!  God bless you all!!!  We have been blessed because of you all, and we pray that God will bless your lives for serving as He has richly blessed our lives by having you all be a part of ours. 

We counted more than 400 people who signed in for the Race 4 Amber.  Amazing!

Amber with the people from Anytime Fitness. 

Amber with Caleb & Ammon, and Jared Griffith.

Pinkyest person contest!  This was FANTASTIC!!!!

Look at all these cute kids!

These 2 beautiful albums were full of beautiful messages.  I cried as I read all of the sweet messages from all of the people who came and ran.  What a wonderful treasure!

These awesome baskets made the kids feel like Christmas morning.  They were full of fun Disney items, towels, blankets, back-packs, scrapbooks, and Disneyland passport holders!  Thank you to Getaway Today!!!  If you are planning a trip to Disney in the future, please show your support and use this awesome company!

This was the beautiful jar for runner's donations.  The jar held more than $10,000!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!

Amber with the beautiful scrapbook from her gift basket.

Dan getting ready to break open the jar!  How exciting!


Hope is a funny thing.  It can change so fast.  One can be hopeful for one thing, and then everything can change in an instant.  When I first began treatment for inflammatory breast cancer, 16 months ago if you can believe it, I had hope.  I hoped that the treatments would work, I hoped that all the cancer cells would be killed.  I hoped that I would survive all of the pain and suffering of the chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation.  My hope was that I was going to go through all of these difficult treatments, and then I would be "stable" for years.  I hoped that I would only need to go in for my maintenance doses every three weeks.
     Well, as it so often happens, life changes.  In May I started having headaches.  Just one little spot that hurt in my head.  Not all the time.  But it was there, and it worried me.  I didn't tell anyone else, because I was hoping it was nothing.  In June, the pain in my hip and back began to me more sore and persistent.  In July,  along my mastectomy scar line, I began to have sores and red and swelling as the cancer was growing there again.  Needless to say, because I had placed my HOPE on "stable for years" which is what the doctor told us best case scenario, I was devastated.  This is NOT what was supposed to happen.
    So, I spent a couple of weeks quite down in the dumps.  I felt like I had lost hope.  I questioned my ability to go through chemotherapy again.  I made the mistake of searching for studies that gave prognosis for IBC with brain mets.  That made me feel even more hopeless.  I felt lost, and betrayed by my body.  I was so hopeful, and positive!!!!  How could this have happened??
    Well, I found HOPE again.  I am hoping for something different this time.  I HOPE to smile today.  I HOPE to enjoy a precious moment with one of my children.  I HOPE to take time to enjoy a beautiful creation.  I HOPE that I can be a good example to someone.  I HOPE that I can endure whatever trials Heavenly Father gives me, and endure them well.  I HOPE to have lived a righteous enough life, that when I die, I can return to my Heavenly Father.  I HOPE that my family can find the peace and comfort that I have found.  I HOPE I can still be here for as long as Heavenly Father will let me be.  I HOPE that I can endure my treatments without too many adverse side effects.  I HOPE in my Savior, Jesus Christ, because through HIM, all things are possible. 
   And to tell you the truth, since my hope has changed, I am happier.  I am enjoying the small and simple things.  I am laughing and smiling again.  I am happy.  I have HOPE. 

p.s. another reason why I am feeling happier is that I went shopping yesterday and got a new cute short wig.  The picture at the top is the new wig.  I feel so cute, and I actually like it a lot better than all of the crazy curls I had!!!!  The hair is falling out like crazy right now, but that is post for another day.