First of all thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers over the last year. We have decided to create a blog to have an outlet for anyone who is interested in updates on Lances condition a place to come and be informed. The title of the blog "A future and a hope" comes from Jeremiah 29:11, which is a verse that has given our family alot of comfort through these challenging times. Because as my Dad has said, no matter what happens we have already won! I would encourage you to pass on the location of this site to anyone that you may believe would be interested in updates. -Justin

Saturday, July 31, 2010

We have a Date

We had a full schedule in Iowa City on Wednesday this week. We started in Nuclear Medicine where I had a Mugascan which is a test where they determine the strength of your heart. They inject you with a tin substance in one arm and with radioactive stuff in the other and lay you on a table under a camera. (it looks a lot like a cat scan ) They watch you on camera and film your heart function for about a half hour then the heart specialists read your results. Anyway I passed. Then I went for labs they drew a lot of blood 15 vials some because they asked me to be in a research study, it will not do anything for me but they want to study my blood as I go through the transplant and after to see how I react to different things and how much graph to host disease I get. The purpose is to find out more about the disease so they may be able to help future patients who get what I have, they took four vials of blood for that test and they will freeze some of it for tests they haven't even been invented yet, they then can go get it and run those new tests. After that we went to Pulmanary Medicine and they had me sit in a little glass booth and you blow into a tube and have you do all kinds of tests to empty and fill your lungs you blow all the air out and then keep on blowing and blowing until they say you can stop (it really gets tiring) anyway I passed that test also but I was a little disappointed in the results of it, I thought I'd be really good at that one with all the stuff I've done over the years (running, hockey, etc,) and it was okay but not what I would have expected. (To much medicine for so long makes you short of breath) The primary reason for these tests is to be sure you are safe for the chemo but also to set a baseline so afterwards they can do them over and assesss any damage done by the medicines. Next we went to see Dr. Silverman who is the head of the transplant team, she is a really nice lady and explains things very well. She said its time to get it done and wanted to know if we had a date in mind. Penny and I were a little suprised we thought they would pick the date. Anyway they like you to decide within a window they provide to let you get things ready at home and to be mentally ready, I told her I was as mentally ready as I'd ever be and we decided to do the transplant on September 2. Dr Silverman said she has decided not to do the full body radiation on me (they were going back and forth on that) and just go with a very high dose chemotherapy she says she doesn't like to do the radiation on patients over 20 if she doesn't have to because it just does to much damage to your lungs. Chemotherapy is more likely to damage primarily the liver but at this point it is much safer for me to go ahead with that then not. I was happy that I won't have radiation I don't know much about it but people I know who have gone through it seem to really suffer for a while from the burns etc. so that was good news. I am releived to have a date it has been a long time coming and I am ready to move on. I am very grateful for my family and friends! People have been so good to me through the last year. Mostly I am grateful to God who has comforted me and been with me when I get scared. I will not go through anything that he did not endure and more. I know because of him I have that Future and a Hope that we wrote about months ago. I am perfectly at peace with what is coming although a little scared of the process and am looking forward to watching God work a Miracle in my life. Sometimes when I get frustrated that I can't do all the things I was accustomed to we look back on some of our old posts and read about how clearly Gods hand has been through this process and think about how weak we are. I used to read about the Israelites and how God would work these great miracles and they would turn around and forget. I tell myself don't be like that, remember what he has done for you. Regardlesss of the outcome of this transplant (and I do believe it will be successful) I am so blessed in this life and wouldn't change a thing.
P.S. Thanks to Sister Ella for letting us know the blog was broke its been nice to be back in touch.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


THANK YOU all for your prayers!! Nurse just called and Lance's platelets are back to normal!!

This last week with having to have test in Iowa City and all that involved was a really exhausting week for Lance. As I waited for him to wake up from the meds they gave him for his test, I really struggled..... it is so hard to see him have to go through so many things.... and this was just a test....., I'm so Thankful to him for doing all of it. Years ago we used to talk about what if..... And Lance always said he wouldn't want to do chemo and all that stuff if something ever happen.... but now he wants to have a chance to live and to be with us and take care of us..... He is so good, never complains, laughs, thinks of others, working, giving of himself for us even when he is tired...

I'm reminded of Ephesians 5:25---Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her

As I realize how thankful I am that Lance is willing to undergo some very hard things to be with us, how much he loves us everyday in giving of himself for us (not only now, but always has). It makes me so thankful to our God!! The love we have for our husbands or wives is just a fraction of what God's love is for us.... Christ died for us!! Jesus knew what he would have to face......... yet he chose to do it for us. Don't know if it makes any sense to anyone but me!(that would not be unusual!), but watching Lance's giving of himself for us....., his love for us...., reminds me of what My Savior did for me..... SO THANKFUL..... What an Awesome God we serve.

Well next week on Wednesday the 28th, Lance goes to Iowa City to meet with the transplant doctor. He will also have a test to determine how much Chemo his heart can handle, and some lung testing. All test that they do before transplant, with more to come yet. Praying that the medicine will start working to lower the leukemia cells before transplant. Praying that he would be healed!! But as Lance has said all along, no matter what, we have already won! Thank you all for your continued prayer, and thank you Lance, love you! ------Penny

Monday, July 12, 2010

Familiar Road ........

The road is getting really familar! We head back down to Iowa City in the morning for more test. Praying it won't be such a long day. I have to drive home as they won't let Lance after being under the influence of whatever meds they are going to give him (Lance likes to do the driving, don't know why!! But we do get there at lot quicker with him driving than when I drive!) Just the start of a few test they want to run as a precaution for transplant. Guess after last week they are starting to get some things in motion.

We had a great weekend with all our kids. We all went to Nathan and Nicole's house Saturday night. EVERYONE was there!! Just love that!

Lance had a bloody nose on Sunday again but it stopped pretty quick on its own, but what a scary reminder of what he went through in March...... Praying his platelets behave!

As we head to Iowa City, Elisabeth will be going to Wisconsin for a canoe trip and Stuart our athlete is going to the dog spa for a hair cut so he can see again! Life is good! ----- Penny

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Latest Doctor Appointment......

Long day in Iowa City today. Our doctor apoligized as they were very busy and are just plain having a hard time coordinating all the doctors and test that need to be done. Lance has also got another cold and some new rashes which meant more test today and one new medicine, possible more. They are just being cautious and we are thankful for that. Dr. Jamieson said there is usually an optimum time to go to transplant and she was thinking August to early September if they have to wait to clear up infections but that they don't want to wait to long and risk more things. Kind of tricky! Lance's platelets were a little below normal today and they will watch them closely as we don't want another episode with ITP (which was why he was in the hospital in March). I guess that is a concern because if he had it once it can happen again. So please pray that they go back to the normal range and stay there!! The fish test came back, which is the one that tells what percent of his white blood cells are still leukemia ones and this showed that it is still 81% so really no better with the new medication he is on. They are not totally surprised by this as it can take a little while ,but some people do respond quicker so we were hoping.... Dr. Jamieson would like to get his Leukemia lower going into transplant so there are less of them to kill off.... so that is another reason for the delay.... Anyway a long day but no date set yet.... but it is important to clear up as many potential problems as they can so Lance has a better chance of less problems during transplant. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and for Lance to get healthy enough to do what needs to be done OR to just get healthy!! Thank you all for your love, prayers and concern. It has been a long year but we are grateful for each day! Tomorrow is our 31st Anniversary and we are so happy to celebrate another one together!! -----Penny

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hi, we haven't posted in a little while as there just hasn't been anything special going on. I go to Iowa City on Thursday, We are supposed to meet with all of my Drs. including the Transplant team so they can plan a date for me to go in the hospital. I am looking forward to having a plan. Friday is our wedding anniversary (31 years) it was on our anniversary last year that I was told I had Leukemia so a lot has gone on in a year and I'm sure this years anniversary will be much better than last.
Elisabeth has been visiting with her cousins this weekend and I'm glad she was able to get away she needs to have some fun, She never complains and is always a blessing but she has had to deal with an awful lot more than a young girl should have to this year. We are going to Nathans house tonight, its the 4th and they are having a block party so that will be fun. Cory and Jamie are coming, next weekend Justin and Ashley are coming to visit so we will get to see everyone this week. I hope everyone has a good holiday we are really enjoying the time off after all the years I was in the restaraunt. (would have just worked more because of holidays)
We will post again soon.