To start off, I thought I would give a quick status update.  I had some really bad pain issues these past few weeks.  I had some new pain down my back, which was nerve pain that caused pain all the way down my leg into my foot.  I was suffering the most since I went on hospice.  Finally on Monday I was feeling better.  My nurse and doctor worked daily adjusting medicines and doses to try to relieve my pain.  I am so glad they were successful.  I was worried to have new pain, and it is discouraging to know that the cancer is growing and spreading and getting worse.  

Because I am on hospice, I can no longer have scans done to see where and how much the cancer is growing..  The assumption is that the cancer IS growing and it will eventually get to the point where it kills me.  Hospice's role is to keep me comfortable while this happens, not prevent it from happening.  
When I stopped chemo, I felt guilty.  I thought maybe I should research different trial drugs or something.  I felt that choosing to quit chemo was choosing to die.  Dan always says that deciding to do chemo is not necessarily deciding to live, because the chemo may not work and you die anyway.  Or, the chemo does damage to your liver and heart (like it was doing to me) and you die quicker.  Choosing not to continue chemo is not choosing to die either.  I did not choose to get cancer, so choosing not to poison myself to maybe slow down the cancer or shrink it, is not choosing to die.  

The only choice I have is how I live each day I have.  How I choose to treat those around me, how to make every day count.  That is all any of us have.  Life is not guaranteed.  I realized this again when a dear friend of ours died suddenly from blood clots after having knee surgery.  He was only 41 years old.  How grateful I am to KNOW that I am dying, and to have the time to prepare.   I don't think I will ever be ready.  How could I be ready to leave my friends, family, and my children.  Ugh.  Sorry for be such a downer!

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.


    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. 


Because of my trials and my attitude and faith, I was asked a couple of weeks ago speak for 10-12 minutes in Stake Conference.  (Stake Conference is a church meeting of all of the different wards, or congregations, in the area)  I studied and prayed and read, and prayed some more to prepare ths talk.  I was so nervous to speak in front  of so many people.  I don't mind communicating by written word, but I get quite nervous speaking in front of large groups.   
     Well, I was the last speaker except for the Stake President, and the meeting had run long.  According to the agenda, I had no time to speak.  The Stake Pres. leaned over and asked me to be brief.  So after all this preparation, I ended up only speaking for about 2 minutes, and basically shared a scripture, a quote, and my testimony.  I was told by a lot of people how wonderful I did, but I felt a little sad that I wasn't abble to give more of my talk.  Therefore, for all of you who were there and only got to hear a small portion of my talk, and for all of you who weren't there, I am posting my entire talk here on my blog.  Thank you for reading!!!  I learned so much more prearting this talk than I anyone else could possibly learn from hearing/reading it.
In the pre-existence when Heavenly Father presented the plan of salvation, the scriptures tell us that we "shouted for joy."  We were told that this mortal life would be a time of learning and growth, and that we would experience trials and adversity, but also happiness and joy.

M. Russell Ballard said:
We mortals have a limited view of life from the eternal perspective. But if we know and understand Heavenly Father’s plan, we realize that dealing with adversity is one of the chief ways we are tested. Our faith in our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, is the source of inner strength. Through faith we can find peace, comfort, and the courage to endure. As we trust in God and his plan for our happiness with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding (see Prov. 3:5), hope is born. Hope grows out of faith and gives meaning and purpose to all we do. It can give us comfort in the face of adversity, strength in times of trial, and peace when we have reason for doubt or anguish.

As part of Heavenly Father's plan, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.

 Each person's success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on his or her responses to the difficulties of life.

Adversity comes from different sources. Trials may come as a consequence of sins. These trials can be avoided through righteous living. Other trials are simply a natural part of life and may come at times when people are living righteously. For example, people may experience trials in times of sickness or at the death of loved ones. Adversity may sometimes come because of others' poor choices and hurtful words and actions. Suffering may also come through a loving Heavenly Father as a tutoring experience.

When some people face adversity, they complain and become bitter. They ask questions like "Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?" Such questions can deprive them of the experiences the Lord wants them to receive. Rather than responding in this way, people should consider asking questions such as, "What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?"

In May of 2007 I was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive breast cancer.  It was stage 4, which is almost always terminal.  It was treatable, but not curable.  Prior to this our lives were very comfortable.  I enjoyed a very lovable strong marriage, 5 wonderful kids, we had a nice home, secure employment.  We were trying our best to do all the right things, going to church, paying tithing, serving in callings, going to the temple, doing family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening.  Even though we were doing these things, it didn't make us immune from this big trial. However, because we were trying to do what is right, and living close to the spirit, we were able to be spiritually prepared and strengthened as well as comforted and lifted up during it.  I was able to endure things I never would have thought I could endure. I received so much strength and peace even during the hardest times.
People say to me all the time:  How do you do it?  I couldn't do what you are doing? 
The answer is I can't do it, at least not alone.  I rely on my Savior.  We are told about the Savior in  Alma 7:11-12

11.  And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
  12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Jesus has suffered all things so he can help us through our trials.  However, we need to remember his invitation:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"
(Matthew 11:28–30)

Note that this doesn't say come unto me, and I will do it for you.  He is inviting us to share our burden with him, and he will help us carry it. 

A favorite scripture story that has brought me and my family great comfort. through our battle with cancer is the people of Alma, who were in bondage to wicked people.  They prayed to be set free, but the answer they got from the Lord was that he would eventually deliver them, but in the meantime he would ease their burdens so they couldn't feel them upon their backs. 
     In our life while I have been battling cancer, this has been evident in our life.  The Lord has not seen fit to free me from my oppressor, but he has made it so we have not even felt the burden.  We have received countless hours of kindness and serving, help with our kids, meals brought in, house cleaning, yard work, gifts, and treats, that it has lifted our burden, where we have not even been able to feel it upon our backs.  How grateful we are for all of the selfless service we have received, where needs that have been met when we haven't even asked for help.  If we didn't receive all of this service, the burden would have been unbearable. 

   Sometimes in our lives, we become comfortable in our trials.  We think we have it all figured out, and maybe we aren't relying on our Savior as much as we should be.  I found myself a little guilty of this during the last summer.  I had finished all of my aggressive cancer treatments in February, and was just on every 3 week maintenance  cancer therapy.  My cancer was stable, and I believed the Doctor when he said that I may be able to stay stable for years.  He had also warned us that because my cancer was such an aggressive form that it could come back as fast as it shrunk.  I received a blessing in April and I was told that I would have a season of stable disease, even a remission, and to use that time to enjoy my family and children.  In my mind I was hoping that it would be "season" as measured by the lord's time or a really long time, and not just a literal "season" like summer.   In this blessing I was also told to be patient because I still had things to learn, and also that sometimes we have trials so others can learn from them. 
     I had myself convinced that like the woman in the new testament who had an issue of blood, that she was able to be healed just by touching the hem of Jesus' robe.  Her faith had made her whole.  I wanted to be like this woman, and have enough faith so I could be healed, and not have a reoccurance of my cancer.
     We enjoyed a fun summer, going on vacations, and spending precious time together as a family.  Imagine my distress when towards the end of July, I had a blood test that had bad news.  It looked like my cancer was growing again.  I had scans that confirmed that the cancer was actively growing, and that I had new tumors growing.  If that wasn't bad enough, I had a brain MRI in early August where a brain tumor was found.  Needless to say, my family and I were devastated.  I would have to begin weekly chemotherapy again, as well as radiation for the brain tumor. 
    For a while, I felt lost, I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know how to refocus my faith.  I had put my faith in being healed, and I was a little discouraged.  One day when I was feeling very sad the words of the hymn "Come come ye saints" came powerfully in my mind:
Why should we mourn and think our lot is hard?
Tis not so, all is right
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take,
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell
All is well!  All is well!

How grateful I was for this tender mercy from the Lord.  I knew that Heavenly Father was aware of me, He knew I was struggling, and these words of this hymn was just what I needed at that point to help me continue to be faithful. 

Just this last week I experienced another tender mercy.  I mentioned earlier how I struggled with trying to be like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment, and her faith made her whole.  I faulted myself for not having enough faith to be healed.  While I was preparing this talk, I came upon the answer to why my faith has not made me whole or healed me.  I found a quote by Dallin H. Oaks that gave me so much comfort.  I think this quote could bring comfort and peace to any of us that have trials or burdens.  He said,  "Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best.  Sometimes a healing cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are healed by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us."

We can find many examples of people being faithful through adversity.  Christ is the ultimate example, Joseph Smith, Pioneers, numerous examples in the scriptures, and examples all around us every day.  Robert D Hales told us, "Often we do not know what we can endure until after a trial of our faith.  We are also taught by the Lord that we will never be tested beyond that which we can endure."

A few weeks ago, i was struggling a little bit with my faith and endurance. I was fearful of my cancer, scared of dying and of leaving my family.   The chemotherapy that I have been on was not working, and I was fearful of trying to decide which chemo to do next, I was researching different chemo agents, and the success rate of different chemo combos was very discouraging.  My dear husband had me read a talk by Dalin H Oaks called "He heals the heavy laden"  In this talk he recounted the following scripture story in Mark 4:37-40 and the hymn "master the tempest is raging"

7 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
  38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
  39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, aPeace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great bcalm.
  40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so afearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

I was reminded after reading this that we can't have faith and fear at the same time.  If we put our faith in Jesus, there is no need to fear. 
Elder Oaks also made a beautiful promise.  He said, "The Healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ-whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them is available for every affliction in mortality."

I am so grateful for the gospel, and for the knowledge I have of my Savior.  I know I would not be able to bear my trials without him.  Whenever I struggle it is because I have not relied on the Savior as much as I should have.  I testify that if we follow the counsel of our church leaders, and put our faith in our Savior and his promises, that we can endure any adversity that we may have in our lives. I testify that our Savior lives, and that he loves us. 


One year ago today, I head the life altering words, "We believe you have a rare, very aggressive form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer."  For a moment, the world stood still.  The next moment the world was a very different place. 

The following days were a whirlwind of biopsies, bone scans, MRI's CT scans, and doctors appointments.  This was followed by weeks of chemotherapy, more tests, more Doctors appointments.  Throw in a couple of surgeries, and 6 weeks of radiation. 

I can scarcely believe that it has been 365 days.  Some days seemed like they would never end, I was so sick, and in so much pain.  But the weeks flew by, as did the months.  And now it has been a YEAR!!!!

But I survived!  Although not alone.  I know that I would have been unable to bear the burdens of this trial without help from all of my family and friends, priesthood blessings, and most importantly, my Savior. 

So celebrate with me today!  I challenge to look with new eyes at the world around you.  Enjoy the beauty of spring, the flowers, the blossoms on the trees, the beautiful blue sky.  Even when life is hard, it is still good.  Count your blessings.  Every breath is a gift.  Every moment with your friends and family is precious.  Smile and laugh, and enjoy life!!!!!!

My boys

My girls!


Silly moments that make me laugh.

My sweet, sassy Abby.

My sweetheart, Dan, who spoils me rotten.

My little tornado, Ammon, who occasionally tires out.

The beauty of nature.

Being able to take my kids on "special nights" like my dad did when I was growing up.  Each week I take 1 of my kids on an activity of their choice, so we can have 1 on one time.  I am grateful that my dad did this for me, and glad that I am physically able to do things like take Caleb to the Dinosaur Park.


Here I am holding my certificate of completion from the Radiation Oncology office.  It says that I completed my course of radiation.  Way cool.  I hung it on my fridge like a report card, or a diploma!

Here are my kids helping celebrate.  We had IBC root beer!!! 

As I was laying in bed last night, I had a very vivid memory come into my mind.  I remembered that night a year ago, when I was surfing the internet trying to figure out what was wrong with my back, leg and knee.  I had been having quite a bit of pain, and it was to the point that I couldn't lift 1 year old Ammon.  I couldn't walk up the stairs without tons of effort and pain.   I had been to see an orthopedic surgeon, and he told me he suspected I had a bulging disc in my back which was pinching on a nerve and causing my pain.  A couple of weeks before that I had been to my OBGYN and had asked about my swelling and red breast.  He had said that it was probably just scar tissue causing engorgement from milk in the ducts.  So I decided to google that, and read about it, and that was when I first stumbled over the term inflammatory breast cancer.  I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I briefly allowed my mind to wander and imagine what would happen if I indeed had breast cancer.  I thought about how hard it would be to go through treatment, and how hard it would be for my family.  I told myself not to be silly and worry about something like that, and tried to put the worry out of my mind. 
Now here I am, 8 months later, having successfully battled cancer.  I just feel like dancing!!!!  I am DONE with treatment.  My mantra the last 8 months has been, I have to get through chemo, I have to get through surgery, I have to get through radiation.  Now here I am, DONE.   I got through it!!!!!  I don't have this big obstacle to overcome in front of me anymore.  I feel like I have finished a marathon.  I never thought I would actually be able to do it, but here I am, DONE!!!!  Did I mention I'm DONE!!!!!  

Now, DONE is a theoretical term.  I will have to take a pill daily, and receive an hour and a half IV infusion of Herceptin every 3 weeks, and a 30 minute IV infusion of Zometa monthly for the rest of my life.  I will have to do these treatments to keep my cancer stable.

A lot of people have asked, so are you in remission now?  The answer is that once you are stage 4 cancer with multiple metastases, there is no remission.  No matter how well the treatments work, there are still going to be cancer cells left.  My oncologist told me that remission translates to cure in people's minds, and stage 4 cancer is incurable.  However it is treatable, with pretty good quality of life.  I have  a long ways to go to get my energy and strength (AND HAIR!!!!) back.  I still have pain where the cancer damaged my bone, and I have a lot of healing to go from radiation.  My quality of life is better now than it was a year ago.  I hope to continue to get feeling even better, and have this period of "stable disease" (Which is how my onc defines my condition) for months and hopefully years.  We have already seen so many miracles, I am sure that we can have a miracle of having no progression of cancer for a long, long, time.  

Now all that being said, please know that there is no way in the world that we could've made it through all of this treatment and sickness without all of the help from our family, friends, and people we don't even know.  All of the prayers, all of the service, all of the child care, all of the meals, kindnesses more than I can even count, have made it possible to endure our trial.  Thank you again.  I know I say it a lot, but I mean it.  THANK YOU!!!!!!


If somebody offered to take away my cancer and all of my pain and misery and suffering, take me back to the day I was diagnosed, and have that event in my life never happen, would I take them up on that offer?  I would have a guarantee that I would never have to go through having cancer or dealing with cancer.  Would I take that offer and return my 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?  The answer was no, and here is why:

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 had a hysterectomy with ovaries removed.  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 adequately 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.

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.  


  A little more than week ago I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  With subsequent tests they have found that it is Stage 4 because it has spread to my bones and a tiny spot on my lung.  I feel so blessed because of all of the inspiration and actions of others that hastened my diagnosis and got me in the care of Doctors who can heal me.   Heavenly Father was truly looking out for me and guiding me to get the help I need.  I have felt the love and concern of sisters in the gospel who I have never met before, but who listened to the promptings of the Spirit to get me the help that I need.

          My doctor says that I have an excellent chance of going into remission.  I will have 4-6 months of Chemotherapy, followed by a Mastectomy and then Radiation.  My family and I have a long hard road ahead of us.  A friend of ours quoted a scripture to us that says, “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”  (1 Nephi 11:17)

          I don’t understand why I have been given this trial, but I do know that my Savior will be there every step of the way to help me and my family get through this. I have already felt His love and His strength as I have gone through the many tests and biopsies. I have felt so blessed by the priesthood blessings that I have received.   Through the Atonement, my Savior has already been through the pain and sorrow of this, and he will strengthen me so I can bear this trial, and not only get through it, but get through it well.

          I had my Portacath placed on Thursday May 17th.  I was sad that night because I knew that this whole long road of chemo and surgery had begun, and it was really real, and there was no going back.  Life was different from now on.  I felt quite heavy hearted. 

          The next morning while I was lying on the couch in pain and miserable from my surgery the day before, there was a knock on the door.   My mom answered the door and was told by the sister there that there would be a couple of people working in the flower beds for a while, so if we looked outside and saw people in the yard, that is what was going on.   A little while later when I looked out the window, I was amazed by the army of women (and a few men) working to transform my yard.   There were more people than I could count!   They were there for hours, and then later even more people came and brought bark and spread it around all of the flower beds.  We will never be able to express how grateful we are!!!  Thank you to everyone who helped!  

          Even in the midst of this terrible trial, I have never felt more loved or more blessed!  That so many would give of their time to make my flower beds more beautiful than they have been in ages, I feel so humbled!   Thank you so much!  Dan has been so worried about the yard with the shift of household responsibilities to him.  You have lifted his burden so much!  Words seem so trite, but we are so grateful!
          We are amazed at the outpouring of love we have felt from the phone calls, meals already brought, and all of the offers of help.   It makes me think of the scripture Mosiah 24:14-15 “14. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.  

“15. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid… were made light; yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”

          There have been so many stories of afflictions and trials that people have suffered through in the scriptures and church history.  My trial is so much easier that what so many others have gone through.  I don’t know why, but I know that Heavenly Father does, and that this is His plan, and that he will cause many more wonderful things to happen through this trial.  I pray that I can be an example and that someday I will be able to serve others the way that others have so unselfishly been serving me and my family.  Thank you so much once again for all of your prayers and kindnesses.  We love you all and are so grateful!