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. 


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


     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


   At this time of year, I think everyone reflects on the things in their life that they are thankful for.  I feel so much gratitude already daily because of all the blessings I receive, but I wanted to take a moment to truly focus and say "thank you" for my blessings.
     I am so thankful for a wonderful husband.  Not only does he go to work every day to provide for our family, he cooks, he cleans, he bathes children, he helps kids with homework, he waits on me hand and foot, he is spiritually strong, he is my best friend.  There is no way I could ever make it without him.  I am so grateful that he is mine forever!  I love him so much!
     I am thankful for each of my children.  They are what keeps me battling my cancer when I think I have had enough.  They bring me so much joy, and make me smile every single day.  I love each and every one of them more than words can say.  

    I am thankful for my loving, supportive parents, and for their examples.  I am thankful for my brothers and sisters, grateful that we are all really good friends, and how much love they show me.  I am thankful for Dan's parents and family.
    I am thankful for the gospel, and for Jesus.  How could I endure all of my trials without Him?  I am thankful for the scriptures.  I am thankful that I have the knowledge that my family is forever!!  What comfort that gives me.
    I am thankful for all the service we receive.  Whether they are small or large acts of kindness, each and every one is so appreciated.  I am grateful for those who read my blog, and put up with my ramblings, and give me support and encouragement.  I am grateful for all of our friends and extended family.  We have the BEST support system ever, and we are so grateful for each and every person who is there for us, whatever the need may be.  
     I am grateful for our home, and our wonderful neighborhood, this beautiful area, to live in America, for the medical treatments that have kept me alive for 18 months, for the kind doctors and nurses who take care of me, for pain medicine, for anti-nausea medicine.    
     There are so many more blessings that are too numerous to count.   Just like the hymn "Count your Many Blessings"  that we recently sang in church, I needed a reminder to do this.  When we sang the third verse, tears came to my eyes, and I was overwhelmed by the feeling of love for my Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has given me.  The third verse was especially touching:

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all.
Count your many blessings, angels will attend.
Hope and comfort give you to your journey's end.
Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone today.  May you take the chance to count your many blessings!  Thank you once again for being a blessing in my life with all of your love and support!  I love you all.
Love, Amber


"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! 


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. 


Maybe hate seems a little strong. Lets try LOATHE instead.  I hate the prep for tests, I hate waiting for the tests, I hate waiting for the test results.  Suffice it to say then, that I LOATHE the whole experience of tests. 
    I am concerned that the chemo is not working.  I am still having pain in the same places (left hip, femur, pelvis, sternum,) and it is getting worse not better.  Plus I am having more headaches and more pain higher up my back.  So when I went to the doctor on Wednesday, I requested some scans be done so we can see if the chemo is working.  My fear is that if the chemo isn't working, we need to know that sooner rather than later so we can get it changed to something else before the cancer gets too out of control. 
     So, the tough gal Meridan at Dr.H's pulled some strings and got me scheduled for a PET-CT scan a mere two days later, when at first they told her the soonest they could do the scan was Oct.9th. 
     I have had a little cold, so I wasn't sure if Dr. H would let me have Taxol this week, but I insisted and he did. Problem now is, the couple of days after chemo, all I eat are rolls, bread, crackers, and 7-up and *gasp* coca cola.  Well, to do the prep for the PET-CT scan, you get no carbs the day before or the day of.  And you have to lay in bed and rest.  No physical exertion or stress.  Notice the word stress.  I am a mother of 5.  If I tell the kids I need to rest, and not to cause me stress, what are they going to do?  You guessed it.  Have fist fights, and fight, and yell, and argue, and cause me stress.  Sheesh. 
      So, I had the PET-CT scan on Friday, I took some cool pictures of being injected with radioactive dye (doesn't that stuff cause cancer?) and I had the pleasure of enjoying my beverage of choice, barfium sulfate.  Only 3/4 a bottle this time however.  Now I have to wait until Tuesday to get the test results.  I plan on getting to the hospital a little early on Tuesday so I can go to medical records and have my test results in hand and read through, so I can go in armed if we need to make a chemo change.  I just feel like you have to take your treatment into your own hands.  These doctors are so busy and have so many patients, and I just have one patient to look after.  ME.  I need to take the best care of myself, and know as much as I can, so I can help the doctors give me the very best care that is needed. 


I was so excited when I found a cute new short wig, and felt so much cuter wearing it than my out of control natural curls.  Don't get me wrong, I loved my curls, and much rather have them than be shaved and bald like I am now.  However, I had so much fun getting the first wig, I decided I needed to try out a couple of more styles.  So I went a searching on ebay, and found an ebay store that was selling close out beauty supply products.  I was able to buy 2 more wigs at really cheap prices, and it is SO OUTRAGEOUSLY FUN to change my look so totally, so easily.  So without further ado, I introduce you to:  Blond Amber; Do blonds really have more fun?  I will let you know!!

And here is red head Amber.  I always associated the name Amber with a red head person, so as a teenager I actually tried this hair color much to my parents shock and dismay.  I really love the color and cut of this wig, but you should have seen Dan's face when he first saw it.  You could literally see the wheels turning in his head trying to think of what to say that wouldn't get him into TOO much trouble.  He just gave me a big painful smile, and that just about said it all. 

And here is the wig I posted a picture of just a few posts ago.  This picture is me and Bekah at SO you Think YOU can DANCE?  Live tour.  Oh my gosh it was so fun!!!  The dancers were SO more amazing live, and the banter between numbers with the performers was hilarious!!!  I am so glad we went.  Even though the next morning my throat was about swollen shut from yelling and cheering, and laughing so much.  I have had a bit of a cold, and then I have sores in my mouth and throat from chemo, then add cheering on top of that, makes for one miserable girl the next morning!  I have more pictures from this event I will post over in pictures one of these days. 

This picture is of me a year ago at my sister in law's, Kellie's, wedding.  This wig had a very itchy irritating cap on it so I probably only wore it a total of 6 times.  The wigs I bought this time around are so much more comfortable, and not as itchy and irritating.  Also, I think wearing wigs during the summer months is just way too hot, and wigs seem a lot more doable during the winter.  

So which wig do you like the best?  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know which one you like best.  Do I look better as a blond, brunette, red head, or dark rooted blond.  My personal favorite is the dark rooted blond, and the red.  I might have to get another of the red head style, but dark rooted dark blond color.  Oh what fun all these options are!!!!  Not to mention all of the options I have with all of my hats. But that is a post for another sleepless night!!!!!!!!


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.


In my former life, I loved to make handmade cards, and send them out for birthdays, babies, weddings, and thank you cards.  Well, the new me is an incredibly tired and lazy person, so I am just going to do some thank you's here on this site.  We are always amazed and eternally grateful at all the service and kindness we receive. 
Anyway, a BIG HUGE thanks to DeAnn who cleans my house every week.  She is a whirlwind.  She cleans my house top to bottom every Tuesday, and it is the biggest relief.  It is a lifesaver, because I have absolutely no energy for housework, and I don't have the physical strength to be able to mop floors, and scrub toilets and showers and bathtubs.  DeAnn has some donors who pay her to come in and clean for me, and I know she is probably doing it a lot for free anyway.  I just want to say THANK YOU to all who play a part in this GREAT SERVICE!!!!!!
Also, a few weeks ago I received the most beautiful bouquet of roses from a family friend Jessica.  I received them when I got home from my first chemo appointment  and they just truly brightened my day!!!!  Thanks Jessica!!  I also received some beautiful red carnations from Sharon R. that are actually still blooming beautifully.
A couple of people brought me treats this last week, Lori with Brady and Chelsey brought us some yummy zuchinni bread, and Sis. Valcarce and Sis. Topik brought in two wonderful dinners with our favorite treat; PEACHES!!!  Thank you thank you!!!  Also thanks to Kira and Nancy for driving me to my appointments, Laura for the ice cream, Sis. Kapp for taking care of me and my kids all day Wednesday and even leaving a delicious dinner in my crockpot!!!  I also received the sweetest card from Suzi, the mom of a couple of my piano teacher with a beautiful Willow Tree figurine.  So sweet and tender.  Kris, thanks for driving my kids to registration and JR. Rockettes, and letting my kids invade your house all of the time.  You are awesome!  We loved the banana zuchinni bread too.  Thank you to all of my neighbors who always let my kids come and play so I can rest.  And Sharon for being so willing to help with Caleb this week, and for giving my kids popsicles.  And Nola and Laura for bringing me a couple of freezer meals for those days when I just need a little help with getting something on the table at dinner.  And Nola, your rolls were delicious!!!!  Especially with your homemade jam. 

And a special thanks to my Mom and Dad.  They made me the best Salmon dinner on Sunday before I started chemo, and they are there for me, every step of the way.  Supporting me at doctors appointments and tests and procedures, and praying for me, and worrying about me.  My so thoughtful Dad even brought me some apple pie, that was so gosh darn delicious, even when nothing else sounded good last week after chemo.  I also need to tell Dan's family thanks for taking Caleb and Abby camping.  They had so much fun, and were so glad that they had the opportunity to go.  And thank you to Ma Chase for spoiling Ammon rotten while I go to chemo.  It makes my day a lot easier to just have her meet us at the hospital when I go for chemo, and then bring him back to us at the hospital again when I am done.  That way we can just rush me home to bed when I am done with the chemo.
And I can't forget to mention our awesome home teacher, Bro. Brienholt.  He has done so much service and helped Dan with so many projects these last couple of months.  He is so humble and willing to serve.  He truly follows the example of Jesus Christ.  All of you do!!!  Also to the other men who have been tinkering around in our yard, doing some flower bed weeding, and door frame sanding and painting.  I just can't keep track of all of the angels who serve us each and every day.  Then, we also received delicious meals from Griffith family, Amie C., Nicole Q., and Lois W.  and Jane and Terry from Dan's work.  Not only is all of the meals delicious and wonderful, it helps us save money on our grocery budget, which gives us a little more money to pay on all of my doctor bills.  My family is so spoiled, and we are so lucky to have these delicious meals brought in every week.  If it weren't for you, all my kids would ever get to eat is Ramen Noodles, spaghetti, and pizza. 

And no matter how awful I felt on Sunday after getting kids ready for church, and sitting through church (which I love being spiritually fed, I just am exhausted afterwards!) I am so glad that I am able to go and be strengthened and all of the love and support and hugs bring me so much comfort.   And then Roxann surprised us with the BEST cinnamon rolls in the world Sunday night.  I could have died and gone to heaven they tasted so good. 

And then our wonderful, sweet, awesome relief society came over last night with a load of freezer meals.  Our fridge was filled with leftovers from the relief society dinner, and then our freezer is full for the next couple of weeks.  I am so humbled, and grateful.  It is nearly impossible to cook when seeing, smelling, and preparing food just makes you SO SICK, and to know that I don't have to worry about it one little bit for at least a month we are so stocked, is such a relief!!!!!!!  We are so blessed.

Honestly, I don't think we can do it without each and every one of you!!!!!  And when you see my smiling face and wonder why I am so happy, THIS IS WHY!!!  If you had people giving service and love and support, no matter what our trial is, we would be happy.  I am sure I have left someone out, and I feel terrible if I have.  (If I have failed to mention someone who did something nice for us in the last week or two, THANK YOU, and I will blame chemo brain and the brain tumor for not being able to remember everything.)  Every small act of kindness is so appreciated, and we also appreciate all of your prayers on our behalf.  Just know of a certanty
Words can never express the overwhelming gratitude we feel.  I remember the talk from LDS General Conference, Enduring Together by Richard C. Edgley.  I loved his quote "What happens to one, happens to all."  The ward family talked about in this talk could have been my ward.  It is amazing to see what happens when people have charity, the true love of Christ.  Elder Edgley said, "I rejoice in belonging to such a loving and caring organization. No one knows better how to bear one another’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I choose to call it “enduring together.” What happens to one happens to all. We endure together." 

to read this talk called Enduring Together click here