"What Matters Most Lasts the Longest"
I really cannot believe how fast time flies.  I have been trying to get a post done for more than a week.  Our family has been doing pretty well.  We are just living our own brand of normal and trying to live every moment to the fullest.  That does not mean that we are doing fun, thrilling, entertaining things every moment.  It also doesn’t mean that we are running around filling every second with what ever whim or activity comes to mind.  I think we are trying, sometimes more successfully than others, to make every moment we can fulfilling and meaningful in some way.  An extra long hug, or running back into a room one or two more times for a kiss, reading just one more book or playing one more game with Ammon, an extra couple of scripture verses read as a family, extra moments spent in family prayer, letting the kids stay up just a few minutes more, letting them play night games with the neighbor kids a few minutes later, a late night run to Sonic for a cream slush.  If you take out our vacations our life is really quite simple and may not seem that busy or even exciting.  But I have learned that life can be simple and not too busy and still be amazingly fulfilling and joyful.  I think the secret is enriching your life by spending more time on the best things.  Many of the things that we clutter our lives with, while they are not bad, are also not the best things.  Amber’s illness has given us the unique opportunity to cut out almost everything that is not absolutely essential in our lives.  At first we sorrowed that parts of our lives that we thought made us happy or made us who we are were being lost.  But what we found was that while we miss some of the things we gave up, we were left with what really helped us be our best selves and what was most essential to a happy, fulfilling, existence.  That is faith, love, and a job to pay the bills.  We have learned that what is most important to us is our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, our relationship with our family, and taking care of our family.  So with our simplified life we enrich our lives by enriching those areas.  We certainly are not perfect at this but as we have gone through the process I described we have become more content and found much joy.  It’s definitely a case of addition by subtraction.  

My Sleeping Beauty
Last year we referred to our experiences as the “Year of a Million Dreams”.  Now Amber is literally living that phrase.  A little bitter-sweet poetic justice I guess.  Our wonderful hospice team has told us from the beginning that Amber would sleep more and more as her body progressed through the stages of shutting down.  That has really been the case.  A month ago Amber routinely slept until about noon and now she sleeps well past that.  Her record so far is yesterday when she slept until 4:00PM.  This is not the normal kind of extra sleeping most of us do when we wake up and then pull the covers over our heads and try to sleep and extra twenty minutes or an hour all the while we can hear every bird chirp, neighbor’s lawn mower, etc.  Her sleep is a deep sleep where five kids down stairs playing, watching TV, and sometimes fighting, the a friend cleaning house, her mom coming in for a laundry basket, and the phone ringing does not wake her up.  She does not even move while she sleeps.  Sundays are really difficult for Amber.  She loves to attend church services and really draws great spiritual strength when she attends.  However, our services begin at 9:00AM and it is so difficult for her to force herself out of bed 6+ hours earlier than normal to attend.  She does it anyway though.   She gets up at 8:30AM, gets ready and arrives at church just in time.  She would love to attend Sunday School and Relief Society (a class for women) but she can hardly stay awake during sacrament meeting so she goes home and sleeps for 5-6 hours.  It’s extremely difficult for her to be awake 6-7 hours earlier than normal but she does it anyway.  Now you understand what I mean when I say Amber is literally living the “Year of a Million Dreams”.  We are blessed to have Amber’s mother and my mother up at our house taking care of the kids while I am at work and Amber is sleeping.  We have great children but I know that without our mothers I would never get anything done at work worrying about their well being and if they were allowing Amber to rest. 
Suggestion Box
We are in a quandary about what to do next.  For the last few months we have been hoping and praying that Amber would be well enough to do the things we planned for May, June and July.  We were concerned that she would decline too much to do San Diego, Wolf Creek, and Bear Lake.  She has been blessed with slow decline at this point and was able to enjoy all of those vacations plus the last minute cruise we planned a couple of weeks ago.  If you have any simple but enjoyable outing or vacation ideas leave a comment on this post with the details.  It needs to be within 2 hours of home, and not require much physical exertion for Amber or be wheel chair accessible.  If your activity or vacation is selected you will be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing you helped us live every moment to the fullest.  

Note from Amber’s secretary
Amber is still well enough to have visitors.  She enjoys talking and enjoying the company of others.  Because of her extended sleep time, evening visits are best.  Please call me at 435-730-2656 cell to schedule an appointment.
I reserve the right to cancel or end the scheduling of appointments for visits altogether depending on her condition.

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

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


I have an amazing wife.  She is soooo easy to love that we never lack help or offers to help.  An amazing example of this is our church congregation (ward).  Each month Sister Eddington calls me and asks me what we will need in the coming month (meals, help with the boys, rides to the doctor, etc).  She makes a calendar and passes it around to the ladies at church and they sign up to fill the needs.  Everyone that touches the calendar signs up for something and sometimes multiple things.  The calendar only makes it through about 1/3 of the room or less and all of the opportunities have been signed up for. 

So after church I get about half a dozen ladies that tell me they would love to bring a meal or help with something but the list didn’t make it to them.  They tell me to call them when I think of something.  I love Amber so much that I love to serve her but I have never had so much competition in the loving and serving department.  What a wonderful “problem” to have. 

This past month, while Amber has been off chemo, our angel mothers, and my sister Kellie, who is an angel in training, have been coming up every day while I am at work to help with our kids.  They are there to help Amber be able to do things if she feels up to it or allow her to sleep if she is too tired to do things.  They have played with kids, cooked, cleaned, done laundry, and in general just made Amber’s life more enjoyable.  It is interesting to see how much the kids love all three of them and look forward to the different styles and personalities they each offer.  Our family is so blessed to have them in our home often.  We love and appreciate all three of them dearly!



Hello Everyone!  It’s Dan again.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Hey Everyone!  This is Dan. 

We are in beautiful San Diego California and are enjoying the magnificent weather (not to hot, not to cold) and the amazing surroundings.  I have always wanted to take Amber to San Diego.  I visited with friends on spring break in 1992 and dubbed it the most beautiful "big city" in the USA.  Now that I finally made good on my promise to bring her here (thanks to Ammon) she is a believer.  The Ocean, the city, the temperate weather, the flowers, trees and folliage everywhere even in the freeway medians just make the city.  Amber will probably blog about the trip when we get back but I just had to tell one thing Amber did today that is indicative of her approach to life now.  We drove over a huge bridge to Coronado Island to Coronado Beach today.  The city of Coronado had these huge motorized handicap beach chairs to get people in her condition out to the water.  She drove it out there and laid on a beach towel to relax which is her favorite thing to do at the beach.  The kids were all out on in the water and rolling around in the sand seeing how much sand one swimming suit can hold and playing in the water intermittantly.  Amber decided that despite her condition she was not going to miss out.  She strolled out to the water and walked right in.  I thought it was just to get her feat wet and be closer to me and the kids so I went back to watching Ammon chase the birds and throw sand at them.  A couple of minutes later I hear what I thought was Amber screaming and went into full "Bay Watch" mode to go save her.  As soon as I caught sight of her I realized that she was squealing with delight (and from cold water I assume) and laughing as she frolicked in the waives.  I called out to her to be careful because it was deep enough, and the waives big enough, to cause her to lose her balance with her weakened hip.  Afterall I am not as fast running and swimming as David Hasselhoff although I would go for it if needed.  She ignored my pleas just like the kids had been doing and added giggling to the squealing and continued playing in the waives all by herself as the kids also watched in disbelief from the shore.  She actually did lose her balance on an extra big wave and lost her footing and lost her favorite sunglasses.  But there was no "I told you so" from me because if I live to be 100 I will never be able to erase the sight and sounds of my sweetheart living every MINUTE like it is a gift because to her it truly is.   


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

Hello Sweetheart,

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

I Love You!



We returned from Disney Land on Saturday evening (12/13) and we had a wonderful time.  This was truly a trip to remember and the sweet memories for us and the kids will linger in our minds for a lifetime.  At Disney Parks 2008 was dubbed "The Year of a Million Dreams" and so it has been for our family.  Our hearts are full of gratitude to all those that made this dream family vacation possible through your generous support of the "Run 4 Amber".  It is only fitting that December 2008 be dubbed by our family as "The Month of a Million Thank yous". 

Amber fully intended to immediately chronicle our dream vacation on the blog and post pictures.  But the morning after we returned Amber immediately began her regimen of the oral chemotherapy Xeloda which will continue through Saturday night.  Since Sunday each day has passed with her feeling too fatigued, tired, and nauseated to work on a post.  Finally, she asked me to post something explaining the delay.  She told me to put a disclaimer on the post so people would know it wasn't her.  I assured her that it would not be hard for them to figure out after reading it.  My sweetheart is so articulate and witty and talented that even I, who live with her and see what she goes through on a daily basis, check her blog a couple of times per day. 

Amber asked that I express our love and gratitude to our wonderful friends and family who so tirelessly serve and help us.  At the beginning of this journey I told some of you that really wanted to do something to help us that this illness would be more like a marathon than a sprint because Amber would be in treatment the rest of her life.  At the time I assumed that even though you are all wonderful friends you would grow weary from helping.  Quite the opposite has been the case.  We are constantly in awe at the capacity our friends and family members have for serving and providing for our every need.  In the last 19 months I cannot remember a single person who did not seem genuinely happy to be helping no matter how many meals they had brought in or times they had taken our little boys.  Amber often comments when people ask what they can do that all of our needs are being met, even some needs we didn't know we had.  Each of you angels among us has taught us a lesson in giving loving service.  It should be said of you as it was said of the Savior, "He (or she)went about doing good...for God was with Him".  God bless each of you for your love and kindness.  


Just a quick update.  Amber started chemotherapy yesterday 5/21/2007.  She is feeling pretty good considering.  Her legs have really been crampy and sore.  They gave her something for nausea so that has not been as much of a problem yet.  She will have another dose on Wednesday, 5/23/2007.  After that she will settle into a weekly routine of Wednesday chemo appointments.  The schedule is three weeks on and one week off for four to six months.  We continue to be humbled and amazed at the capacity of our friends, family and church members to show Christlike love toward Amber and our family.  Thank you so much...we love you!