Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Yay! We won! We sure showed all of those Scrouges didn't we!! I am so excited to decorate for Christmas I can barely contain myself. Thanks so much for your votes :)

As most of you have heard Dan's scans were all clear last Monday. Three more months of remission... and I have a feeling there will be many more months to come as well. Thanks so much for your prayers, as always.

Although I did enjoy winning the vote, I knew that this would only be a victory for this year. So Dan and I decided to strike a deal. Dan hates dressing up for Halloween and I am always begging him to do some cute couples costume. So... we decided that if I promise never to ask him to dress up for Halloween, then he will let me decorate for Christmas WHENEVER I want!! It souded fair to me, so I agreed. I have a feeling this might be the best thing we've ever done for our marriage.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My First Blog

Hello everyone. Daniel here.

I thought I'd post a blog for the first time ever. I don't know how to do this, but as far as I can tell, I just write random things about my life and hope that you all find it interesting enough to write a comment on my blog that says something like, "OMG! So funny! Call me sometime! We need to get together and play!" So it is with those high hopes that I write this blog. Only don't say "play" cause that's just weird.

I remember getting off my mission and hearing everyone talk about blogs. Since I'd just spent the last two years in Peru, I had no clue what it was. I thought it was some pandemic that had broken out while I was in Peru and everyone had it. When I heard someone say, "Did you hear that Jason got a blog?" I remember thinking, "Poor Jason. I really hope he's alright."

When I was a kid, I went to a grade called T-1. It stands for transition-1st grade. It was a grade in between Kindergarten and 1st grade. There were only nine kids in my class. I swear I was a smart kid, so I have no clue how I ended up there. Maybe I was too smart for my own good. I'm sure that's it. I remember there was a little blue swimming pool filled with rice that we used to get to play in. It was called the ricebox. Kind of weird now that I think about it, but it sounded fun at the time. Maybe that's why I was in T-1.

I would really like to go to Japan someday. If you gave me the choice between Japan and China, I would definitely pick Japan. But then again...I did go to T-1.

So the other day at work (I work at the Missionary Training Center), I was standing there helping a missionary when I heard someone come up behind me and say, "How's the leg?" (Because I'm on crutches) So I say the same thing I say to everyone: "It's there." Right after I say that I turn around and I notice that the person who asked me was sitting in a wheelchair without a leg. (Insert foot in mouth here). Of all the things I could have said, I said, "It's there." I mean...I could have said, "Good" "Fantastic" "Excellent", but no....I said, "It's there." Simply amazing. It would seem that I didn't learn anything in T-1 (except for how to build rice castles).

Now, I'm going to post some pictures (because I think that's what you do on a blog). At the end of the pictures, please note the dramatic captions filled with way too many exclamation points.

Me when I was a kid! SOOOOOO CUTE!!!!

The CA-UTE little puppy dogs in Peru!!!!!!!!!

CUTE RED CUPS!!!!!!!!!

I hope you're all liking this blog posting so far. I'm having quite an enjoyable time writing it. I'm actually surprised that you've made it this far. Congratulations.

That reminds me of that scene in Elf when Buddy is walking along the streets of New York and sees a sign that says, "World's Best Cup of Coffee" and he runs in the store and yells, "Congratulations, everybody! You did it! World's Best Cup of Coffee!" That's a great movie.

Speaking of Christmas, my wife is so excited for the Christmas season. Almost too excited for her own good. I think she would already have the house decorated if I let her. She wants to decorate after Halloween, but I say that she has to want till after Thanksgiving. So we're at a stand still. So this is what I'm going to do...I'm going to add a poll to my blog and we're going to let you all decide. I strongly urge you all to vote for after Thanksgiving. SEE POLL AT RIGHT.

OK...well, I'm done. I've run out of things to type, and my wife just walked in the door. So before she has a chance to read this and censor what I've written, I'm going to post this.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Remembering to breathe

BEWARE!!! This posting contains a picture of Dan's surgery incision that's not for those with weak stomachs!!!

In case you haven't heard, Dan's surgery went well! They replaced the broken screws and made sure that the plate was in good shape. The doctors also wanted to make sure that Dan's leg is as strong as possible so they put another smaller plate on the front of his femur where it is having trouble incorporating. This is also where they put some of Dan's hip bone hoping that it will trick Dan's femur into thinking that the donor bone is part of his own body. It's really incredible. So my husband is now completely bionic.

The surgery went great and these next few months will be very important in determining if it was a success.... I'm sure it will be.

Besides some pesky fevers the recovery also went well. Dan had to go home on oxygen because every time he starts to go to sleep his oxygen saturation would drop drastically. Most people hang out around 95%, but anything above 90% is okay. When Dan starts to fall asleep it drops below 70% so we have our old friend the oxygen tank to help. I have now themed this whole week our official "remember to breathe" week. I was constantly reminding Dan to breathe with big deep breaths. And at the same time he was reminding me to breathe as I am a constant worrier (thank you, mother).

I think there is a lot of wisdom in that phrase. It would be good for all of us to step back and just breathe once in a while. Sometimes life feels like it's just happening all around me and I'm not really taking part. So I am going to remember to breathe and feel truly present.

Anyway, that was a weird tangent. At the end of the day Dan is in remission with one more surgery under his belt. We are so incredibly blessed. Sometimes I think that one of these days we are going to just max out on blessings. We are constantly asking for more and more miracles and they keep coming our way. I'm so glad that Heavenly Father doesn't require us to earn our blessings. All He asks is that we try our best, but our best efforts don't have to equal the amount of blessings. That's just amazing to me. We are so loved.

Well, I thought I would post some pictures for your viewing enjoyment... or at least my posting enjoyment :)
Paul and Dan

This is what Dan's hip looks like... ouch!
The zoo was a blast. We did this a couple weeks ago. Dan has been promising me forever to go the zoo and we finally went!

I thought this was a cute picture of Dan surrounded by Lauren and nieces and nephews getting a look at his iPod touch... Dan loves audiences

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A day full of these....

With just a little of this ...

Well, Daniel's scans came back all clear yesterday! That means he has officially been in remission for four months! We have all witnessed a miracle. We continue to be so blessed.
The spots in his lungs that they saw three months ago have actually shrunk!! This means that they probably weren't even cancer, just scar tissue that was left over from the surgery that took out all the cancer. Wonderful wonderful wonderful!!! We are so extremely happy.

Some small bad news came. Some of the hardware in Dan's leg has broke. Two screws have broken and our Dr wants to operate. When he said that, I was thinking we would plan the surgery for sometime next month... but the doctor wants to do it next week!! The news hit us like a truck. Normally you can prepare for a major surgery like this, but we literally have no time to prepare. I guess it's good though: a week of worrying instead of months. So August 5th is the big day. He will have a surgery to repair the hardware in his leg. Dr Randall will also take a piece of his hip bone and fuse it to the donor bone in hopes that Dan's femur will better incorporate the donor bone and strengthen his leg. The doctor says this surgery has about a 60% success rate. We're crossing our fingers that this is the final piece in the puzzle and Dan can fully recover.

So all in all, it was great news. Dan's cancer free... all the rest is just maintenance. I know that there is someone looking out for us. Our path is being guided by a loving Heavenly Father. Thanks for your prayers. I KNOW that the pleadings on our behalf are a big reason why Dan is in remission. Now we are praying for a safe and successul surgery next week.

Lots of smiles... LOTS of them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Aloha in this case sadly means goodbye to the most beautiful place I've ever been!!! I miss Hawaii!

Sorry it has taken so long to get some pictures going (....Emily!) But here are some for your viewing enjoyment, although they don't do the place justice!!

Dan and I had never been to Kauai so when we were there LeeAnn (Joy and Kristen's mom) was a great tour guide. We saw all of Kauai in those two days we were there. Our time on Oahu was very relaxing, so it was nice to stay busy touring on Kauai while we were there.

This is us in Kauai, this picture is overlooking a big coffee plantation. I swear it's not a green screen.

They call this Hawaii's little Grand Canyon because of how big the canyon is. It's weird because it also has red sand like in the Southwest so it's not typically how you think Hawaii is supposed to look.

This is the sign for Queen's Bath. It is a warning that lists Queen's Bath drownings and says "unexpected large waves will knock you off the rocks and sweep you off to sea". So, why wouldn't we hike out and go see it?

More beautiful Kauai...

This is a cool church I found on North Shore in Oahu

Walking to Kipu falls. It was seriously in the jungle. I got about a million bug bites but it was totally worth jumping into the waterfall!! So fun!This is where we went gliding. It's an airplane with no engine. We got towed up by a real plane then the tow rope was released and we glided back down after a 10 minute glide. So fun!!! But look how sketchy the place is! It's seriously just a shack and we were supposed to trust this place. I was so scared, but it was totally worth it.

I HIGHLY recommend parasailing. It was probably my favorite part of the whole vacation
Thanks so much Monahans!! We miss you!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Pictures

It was a very fun Easter weekend! Lots and LOTS of plastic eggs! Thanks so much mom and dad! I just wanted to post a few pictures of my adorable nieces and nephews. Brag time!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Long Road Behond Him

I was going to write a long post about how awesome I think he is, but I think this picture I took says it all...

I'm so proud of where he's been and more importantly, where he's going!

Thanks so much Liz for this fun camera! Emily and I took some pictures of our cousin Chelsea and her fiance with it. You can check them out at elmtreephotography.blogspot.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Closure and Peace... Finally

Daniel and I have finally made peace with a place that has carried many bad feelings. Sixteen months ago on December 13, 2007 we sat in Utah Valley Imaging and heard the news that Dan has bone cancer. On that day our life seemed shattered, so naturally we cringe every time we pass the place. Today we decided to go close that chapter.

For a while now we have wanted to go back and thank the MRI technicians and receptionists for the way they took care of us that day. The whole day is a blur but I do remember dropping into Dan's lap and sobbing. Then, the technician came in and offered to talk us through the details and took so much time to calm some of our fears. He assured us that this was treatable and there was no reason not to have enough faith to fight. The receptionists came with tissues and gently rubbed my back. These were strangers when we walked in, but we left with lots of their love.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure why we haven't been back. I think we have maybe been a little bit scared. But today, I sat and looked at the exact seats we sat in when we found out. And guess what, when I looked, I felt such relief. It was a really neat feeling to come full circle. Dan and I both explained with watery eyes why we were staring at the waiting room. One of the technicians came from the back and greeted us with a hug. Surprisingly, she remembered us! She was so happy we came in and wanted to hear about everything. What a neat lady she is! It just shows the love that we feel from even "strangers" (I feel weird calling them that because it feels like more).

Anyway, I hope this wasn't too boring to read...
I guess it was just a lesson to me in facing my fears and how that can pay off. I have felt so peaceful the whole day.
And the people that work there have taught me that we can reach out to strangers and have an impact everywhere around us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IT'S HERE!! The end of chemo!!!

I can hear angels singing in Heaven.... Dan is done with chemo!! Today was the last day of infusion and he is officially done! We are so happy!

Today the nurses all gathered around and sang us a song then gave us a beautiful quilt for completing chemo. I'm so proud of Dan! He has done so much these past 16 months to get to this point and we have been incredibly blessed. I can't even begin to name them all, but first and foremost on my mind is this miracle of remission. Stage 4 osteosarcoma is a scary and tough disease, but here we are, 16 months out and it is stable enough to stop chemotherapy. This is truly a blessing and we know the Lord has watched over us. There have been many days when Dan and I talk at the end of a day and are overwhelmed with all of the things that could be confused with being "coincidences"... but we know otherwise. The sheer number of them is proof that He is in charge and wanted Dan to get well.

As we all know, our prayers are sometimes answered through the acts of others. We have felt especially loved this week and appreciate the dinners, well wishes and prayers. It was fun to come home to this today...
It's a sign that says "Congratulations, We love you!" Thanks so much Paige, you're so sweet!

We'll wait for a little bit to start the real celebration. The effects of chemo have left my party animal down for the count. This is all the enthusiasm I could muster from him :) What a good sport.
More updates to come! I just wanted to briefly share some of our excitement! We love you all!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick Update, Nothing Really Exciting

This new background was inspired by the snow outside. The only way I can get through seeing snow outside is remembering that in a short 2 months I will be seeing Hawaii outside my window and not snow :)

Life is good, life is crazy but it's good. I got a job! I'm a medical supervisor at a plasma collection center. It's really fun and I'm learning a lot! I'm happy to have a job that stretches me. Daniel is doing awesome in school. I love that everything he does is always his 100%. He just spent tons of time writing this awesome paper and I can't wait to see his teacher get blown away. He's on his last cycle of chemo right now. Can you believe it? The LAST cycle!! Remission is just around the corner.

I just discovered something amazing. It's Pandora.com. You go to the site and type in any artist you want then it creates this amazing playlist of that artist and others like them. I tried Jason Mraz, the Eagles and yesterday I even tried Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I had the perfect Sunday soundtrack. Every kind of artist you can think of. No commercials. Totally free. I'm never buying music again.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cool Things

Second to the last chemo cycle, and once again I find the time update. Things are going great... only one more to go!!! But instead of blog about that (I do that all the time) I decided to blog about fun things that have been happening to us.

You'll never guess what we saw today. We got here (the infusion room at the Huntsman) this morning and sat down in our normal spots waiting for the normal day to start. Then I spot a policeman out of the corner of my eye. There is a somewhat private room where some patients can go to get treatment if they are especially sick or something that prevents them from being in the big room with everyone else. Dan and I immediately noticed that the police was just sitting in the doorway. I thought that maybe his mom was sick, but Dan knew right away. Then I saw another policeman and they looked like they were on duty! I read their badge... "Department of corrections".... that's right, they were harboring a fugitive!!!
Okay, not that cool, but they WERE escorting a convict. So cool. We watched them walk out, he was wearing white jail garb with a big number stamped on it and had his hands cuffed around his waist. Hey, even people paying their debt to society can get cancer. Anyone can :) Anyway, I hope that's not one of those things that you had to be there to think was cool. It was just out of the ordinary.

Another exciting happening in our life is we bought tickets to...
AH! I'm so excited I can barely stand it. We have been talking about a vacation ever since Dan was diagnosed 14 months ago, and it's actually happening! Dan and I are notorious for having big plans and dreaming, but this one is actually happening. We're lucky to have our friends the Monahans and Magelssens to visit... it's going to be great. It will be the perfect way to celebrate a new, HEALTHY chapter in our life.

Dan's doctors gave us some GREAT news. The last scans showed that the spots on his lungs are stable. That's really great news, and probably means they are dead. We're so blessed. We have seen so many miracles. I know that we are being taken care of.

I'm trying to be better at updating this thing. Everyone else keeps current with theirs and I love it, so I'll try harder.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Red Devil.. and a few thoughts on Chemotherapy

It's the last day of Dan's second treatment and things are going well. We're hoping for the same quick recovery that happened last time. We are grateful, however, that the infusion has gone better this time around. I never chronicled the story last time, so I will now.

The treatment consists of three days in the outpatient infusion room -- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The first day he gets doxil and cisplatin. They call doxil the "Red Devil". That's comforting. The actual drug is a bright red Kool-Aid color. You can actually watch it run along the IV line, and into Dan. The first time he got this (about three weeks ago), the minute it hit his body his whole chest tightened up and he couldn't breathe. Luckily, the nurse was right there, she yelled at all the other nurses to come and everyone rushed Dan. It was probably the most scared Dan and I have ever been. He just kept looking at me mouthing the words "I'm okay, don't worry". But it was too late. He couldn't talk... he couldn't breathe, I was worried. They stopped the IV from running, put an oxygen mask on him and after a about 1 long minute, things were fine.

The nurses all assured us that this sometimes happens and that it was just an allergic reaction. They loaded him up on Benadryl and diluted the drug and then it went a lot better. The other drug, cisplatin is the one that makes him so sick. In case you're wondering, it is platinum... So swallow your wedding ring and maybe we'll be able to know how Dan feels :) The good news is since this dose is a lot lower than we are used to, it only takes about three days after treatment for Dan to start feeling well again. Then there's about two weeks where he feels normal. He's going to school and he even worked a little bit last week!

Dan is also taking a chemotherapy pill for the first five days of the cycle. I had no idea you could take a pill! Wow! A couple nights ago I realized that the bottle says to use gloves when handling the pill. I mentioned this to Dan and his response was, "And you want me to SWALLOW it?!" Haha, I thought that was pretty funny.

Overall, this chemotherapy is MUCH easier and we are grateful for that. Dan is still sick, but it's bearable. We appreciate your well-wishes and prayers. We are amazed at the support we still feel. It's been over a year and our family and friends haven't skipped a beat when it comes to supporting us. We love you guys. We are so blessed.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Not overwhelmed with life, just overwhelmed with this blog posting. It's been so long and I have so much!

Let me start with my Mr. Fix-It. Our DVD player stopped working. I was grabbing my keys, getting ready to buy another one, when I found this...
Dan had opened up the DVD player and was attempting to fix it! I love this about him. I sat there quietly, not wanting to disturb. Finally, he got out the hammer and it was time to get an all new DVD player. Thanks for trying Dan!!

Later that night, we tried making a gingerbread house! It turned out pretty good I think. See for yourself...
And finally, Christmas.
We spend Christmas Eve and Day with my whole family. It was SO MUCH fun!!! There were ten kids under the age of 7. I love it. This was Dan's first Christmas with kids since he was a kid. I really think he liked it. Here we are staying up that night getting ready for the morning festivities...
Christmas morning was amazing. It was madness. I love being with my family. These Christmas memories are the ones I will always hold on to. I love you guys.

Then we were on to Kansas. We loved being there. Dan's "Papa" is very sick and it was a perfect time for us to be there with family.
We love you Grammy and Papa. It was a nice, relaxing trip that got us ready to start school again. Oh, and if you are ever in Salina, Kansas you MUST stop at Serious BBQ. It's amazing.

Happy 2009 everyone! I need some New Years Resolutions, so let me know if you have any good ideas!