Saturday, February 27, 2010


Friday night we watched Dan's temperature slowly climb. I remember that feeling from before. Our trusty thermometer beeps and I hold my breath and hope that it isn't above the 100.5 cut-off. Friday at about 8:00pm it reached 100.8. So we called the the hospital and they told us to pack up and get up to the hospital.

When we got here we found out that Dan's counts were extremely low. Most people's white blood cell count stays at about 10. When the effects of chemo set in, they may drop as low as three. Yesterday, Dan's were at 0.4. Wow! Good thing we came up to the hospital! Even though it's kind of a hassle to come all the way up here, I'd rather him have a low count here than a low count at home. The I.V. antibiotics will assist his immune system in fighting off bugs because he can't really do that on his own right now.

Okay, so now for the fun part... We totally got the V.I.P. room! Room #1 has always been very mysterious. It is hidden behind a few doors and I can only sneak a peak here and there. When we got here and realized all the rooms were full except for #1 I was so excited!! This room is reserved for people who donate to the hospital, or those who just want the nice room and are willing to pay and extra $100 dollars a night -- out of pocket! It has an amazing view with three different windows that give a panoramic view of the whole valley. I even have my own room! With a real bed! (well... when I say "real" I mean it's a hide-a-way bed inside a couch). And there's a microwave and refrigerator and two T.V.'s in our room!! Can you believe it? We're practically on vacation.

Dan's feeling good. I'm so happy he is. We're so blessed!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shout outs

Shout out
noun \ˈshat\ \ˈat\

1) To acknowledge someone. To make ones presence known. I gave my girls a shout out at the party
2) A message to friends, family, etc. lodged on a radio station, web site, or other popular medium. I'd like to give a shout out to all of you reading this. You're seriously the best!

Wow I am totally overwhelmed right now. Maybe I should know better but I am blown away by the support. I feel like this time around I am able to be "in the moment" a little bit more because chemotherapy is so familiar. This is helpful because I now see the masses of people rallying around us. I would have never guessed that everyone around us would react this way again! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Our favorite part of the day is looking at the blogs and seeing who has left us little notes of encouragement. We don't take these lightly. Dan and I love to read them and love how connected we feel... even to people we haven't talked to in years! Our teachers, coaches, friends, moms of friends, co-workers, and the list goes on. Prayers are the most important and powerful support we recieve. We can feel the power of each one. Thank you, thank you.

I especially want to thank our wonderful family. My mom and dad have especially gone above and beyond. Meals, games, and constant visits. Thanks especially for the food! It is a welcome break from the food here that we are a little sick of. Thank you so much. Way to go Dallin on your Eagle!!! We're proud of you!

I had a very touching phone call today with my mother-in-law. She called this morning with a worried voice that only a mother has. She wanted to know every detail of everything going on. I am so lucky to get to witness the intense love from mother to son. But she did not call just to find out about Dan, the concern and worry was also for me. What an angel. Thanks for all you do. You're 1,000 miles away but it feels like you're right here with us experiencing everything we feel. We love you.

Thank you to all of our sisters. Our phones pretty much ring off the hook. We can guarantee that it will be either Sarah, Mallory, Emily, Liz of Maegan. Thank you!! My sister, Emily, has a baby that is very sick with RSV. He's on constant oxygen and has to be monitored very closely (they would have put him in the hospital, but instead they gave Emily all the equipment to use at home because she is THAT awesome). In spite of all this, her husband Robert has been over to visit us a couple times, and Emily has made dinner for us to eat tonight. Isn't she awesome?!

Friends have been so generous. Nancy and John, Joy and Drew, Schukman, and many others have gove out of their way to send Dan and I on fun dates, come over when we needed them the most, and just pour out love.

And last, but not least, Dan deserves a shout out
He's such a stud to do what he's doing with a smile on his face. Yo te amo.

So many shout outs so little time. Many many more deserve special shout outs. But please just know you're loved.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Deja Vu

Well, I'm sure most of you have already heard that Daniel's cancer has returned. Actually I hesitate to say "returned". Last March, when they told Dan that he was in remission, there were tiny little spots on his lungs. The doctors said that these could be lots of different things, including scar tissue left over from his previous lung surgeries. As long as they didn't grow, there was no reason to worry. That has been the case for the last four scans. However, last Monday we went in for our routine scans that we do every three months and it showed three spots have grown. Two nodules on his right lung and one on his left. So it is not new cancer, but it is cancer and so it is titled a "reoccurance".

It was almost like finding out that he has cancer all over again. Since that moment it has been a weird series of deja vu. Many thoughts have run through my mind. Some are similar thoughts, but already it's so different. Dan and I went home and immediately my reaction was "What lesson did I miss, or what did I fail to do last time that I need to do this time?" I thought there was something that was missing or that I did wrong and Heavenly Father needed to test us further. Then, my wise husband reminded me that sometimes tests are not about passing or failing. Heavenly Father is not sitting up there with a checklist and pen while we are enduring a trial. Sometimes it's just about proving our love to God. Dan reminded me that Job was a prophet, he probably didn't have a ton of learning to do, but he did have to prove his love to God. I'm not at all comparing us to Job, (our life is wonderful) but I did appreciate that lesson Dan taught me because it takes a lot of pressure away knowing that I didn't necessarily "fail" last time.

So now, here we are back at the Huntsman, on the 4th floor, watching the Olympics and watching the chemotherapy slowly drip into Dan. With every drop, I pray that it's the one that will kill the last live cancer cell in Dan's body. Talk about deja vu.

We're so grateful for the love we've felt. It is so wonderfully surprising that so many people aren't tired of praying for us yet! Thank you for not forgetting, because we feel the strength coming from your prayers.

Dan will now do 4 cycles of a couple drugs that his body hasn't seen yet (good news!). Methotrexate, etopaside and ifosfomide are all used with pediatric osteosarcoma and Dan is still young enough for it to work. After that, a scan to see if the nodules have gotten smaller. If they have then he is a good responder to the chemo and there will be four more cycles and then two more lung surgeries to remove the remaining nodules. Then another leg surgery to repair Dan's leg that still isn't healing. So, we've got a road in front of us. But one day at a time. You can do anything one day at a time.

Dan's going to beat this. Don't worry.