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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good News!!

Today we got Lances Bone marrow biopsy results!! NO CANCER!! So excited!! And all the other results are in as well, Lance's blood and immune system is now 100% Nathans on every level!! On one of the blood tests they ran Lance scored a 88 and in a normal immune system it would be 700 to 1500, so his immune system is obviously still very low but compared to a zero last year it is growing! The anti-rejection pills he is on and the GVH lower his immune system so hopefully he can get off them and over the GVH and start getting better soon. But overall he is doing great!! It all just takes time. They sounded so happy when they called from Iowa City, it was great to hear good news!! We have said from the beginning that we are thankful that no matter what happens we know that we have a future and a hope with our God in heaven..... but hearing no cancer gives us hope for our time here together which we are thankful for each day!

Lance's sister Julie made him a scrap book recently (we think she made it at scrap book camp!) the whole book is such a great reminder of all God has brought us thru and in it she put one of our blog post written by Lance that we had not read in quite awhile. Here is part of the post for you all to read again.... it seems appropriate to post it again for Lance's One Year Transplant Birthday!! I cannot tell you how blessed we feel... how thankful we are.....It has been amazing watching God work..... Nothing!! absolutely nothing is impossible for God!

It's a Hat Trick
April 22, 2010

After no matches elsewhere the Hall boys shoot, they score! Can you believe Justin came back as a match today for me. The Drs. are all very happy we don't know what they will do now probably just more testing to see which is the the closest match. I must say when Nathan came back as a match I was thinking I wish another of the kids would match just so it would be more obvious Gods hand in all this to people who doubt. And then Cory matched. I thought to myself just think if all of them did. And they did, now after Justin match I am reminded of Gods word in Jeremiah 33:3 where he says: Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. I was given that verse years ago by my friend Louis Jensen when I was going through some things and it has always been a comfort to me but never more real than now when he abundantly answers our prayers and exceeds my expectations. I am so happy and humbled the way things are playing out, I told my Dr today that I'm thinking I will be healed, and there are much bigger things going on here than medicine........ ----Lance

That blog was written in April of 2010...... it was another 7 months before Doctors decided it was safe to go to transplant.... what a long road it has been since his diagnosis in July 2009. God has truly shown us great and mighty things!! We are so thankful to everyone for praying..... We truly know that God has used you all to literally pray us through..... The comfort we feel from knowing others are praying for us is amazing... Your love and support for our family is truly a testimony to the faithfulness of God and his people.... To God alone be the glory great things He hath done!

Happy 1st Transplant Birthday Lance!! And many more! ---Penny

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know we did! All of my brothers and their families came over and it really was a great day! It really felt like the first "normal" Thanksgiving in a long time. It was so nice to have the whole family over and best of all Dad wasn't in the hospital this year!!! We've been thinking a lot lately about where we were at this time last year. Dad was in the middle of having his chemo treatments and then just a few days later he had his transplant. Wow can you believe on the 30th of this month he will be one year out from his transplant!! Where did this year go?? It seems so crazy that its been a year already since we all sat in Dad's hospital room watching Nathan's cells go into Dad and praying that the transplant would take. Things can change so much in a year! And as I sat watching the whole family here the other night just sitting around eating, laughing, talking, and playing games together I realized just how much we have to be thankful for this year. Just for starters Dad is still here!!!!! Around this time last year we really didn't know where we would be at this point. We didn't know whether the transplant would work or not and we didn't know whether or not we would all be able to be together this Thanksgiving. God has been so good to us! And even though we are not out of the woods yet we are just so thankful for all that God has done for us!

In church this morning they were talking about being thankful in all our circumstances and I know for myself this is something that I am constantly working on. Thank goodness that we have a patient God! One of those circumstances that we would like to ask for prayer for though is that Dad came down with a cold on Thursday. It has continued to get a little worse each day and last night he started running a fever. We called down to I.C. this morning and they sent us to the emergency room so dad could get some chest X-Rays. Thankfully the chest X-Rays came back clear but they did find out that Dad has a sinus infection. They put him on some antibiotics, so hopefully that will help clear things up, but we would appreciate some prayer that the infection would go away quickly and that Dad would start feeling better soon. He feels pretty bad today and has spent the day in bed. His stomach has also been bothering him and we're hoping that this is just from the cold and not more GVH starting so we would appreciate some prayer for that also! Thank you so much for all your prayers! We'll write again soon! Elisabeth

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some results!

Just want to give an update on yesterdays appointment and thank you all for praying. It sure was a long day but it went well. Bone density test and lung test came out good. Lance would like to do better (SURPRISE) but the doctors were really happy with how well he did after all he has been through! All his blood counts looked pretty good, it does show that he has more GVH going on than last month which is why he hasn't felt to good but the good news is that it has not attacked any vital organs like the liver,kidneys or lungs. Lance was able to start getting his shots yesterday so that was a big step forward! Bone marrow test went about as well as a bone marrow can go as far as the procedure (not fun)... sure wish he didn't have to get those.....those results will not be in for a week or so. I know we might have mentioned this before but there is an interesting detail with the GVH and they reminded us of it yesterday, that GVH is where the new donor cells attack Lance's body as they realize it is not their body and want out! BUT in Lance's type of Leukemia they also realize that the cancer is not right and attack that so having a little GVH can actually be a good thing for a little while as long as it doesn't get out of control. So with as much GVH as he has had lately we are hopeful the bone marrow biopsy will come back with no cancer! They also decided to try and take him off his high blood preassure med so Lance is happy about that! They set up an appointment with an eye doctor to check the GVH in his eyes and also for any problems from all the meds. So overall it went well and now we wait for the rest of the test results. Waiting....Trusting and Thanking God ! ----Penny

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Big Appointment!

We head to Iowa City tomorrow for Lance's BIG appointment. We would ask for prayer as it is a long day of testing. Lance is supposed to start getting his childhood immunizations tomorrow and get a flu vaccine. Besides the eye issues this month Lance just hasn't felt good (sore muscles, muscle spasms, tired, dry mouth.... just to name a few things he has had, he NEVER complains but we can tell he just doesn't feel good) Please pray that all the new cells will get along with Lance's body so there will be no more GVH issues!! There are so many side effects from all the meds that Lance has to be on until the GVH is no longer an issue. Don't know if all the problems this month are from the GVH or the side effects from the meds or both. It is a big step for him to start on his shots so please pray that they don't have to be delayed and that all the test come back "NO CANCER" and "NO DAMAGE"!!! Just can't believe that this month is his One Year transplant birthday on the 30th! Thank you all for praying for us.... This last month as Lance hasn't felt to good.....God reminded me that our circumstances might change from day to day or even moment to moment.... BUT God doesn't change!! GOD IS FAITHFUL ALWAYS!!!!!! Praise and Thank God with us for His Faithfulness to us!! ---Penny

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quick Update on Dad

Hey everyone thought I would write a quick update on how Dad is doing. By Monday morning Dad's eyes were a little better but still pretty sore, so we decided to call I.C. The doctors seemed to think that since they had gotten a little better that we would just watch it for now and see what happens. They did give him some allergy medicine because they thought maybe he has some allergy's along with the GVH. It seemed to help a little bit but his eyes are still pretty sore. So we would appreciate some continued prayer that his eyes would continue to get better and that he won't have to go back on any steroids! Thanks again for all your prayers! Elisabeth

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oct. 30

Wow where do I begin! Its been awhile since we've posted and lots of stuff has been going on! Well I guess I'll start with the hockey game. A couple of weeks ago there was a game played by our Dubuque hockey team (the Fighting Saints) to benefit cancer and a jersey was donated in my Dad's name. We weren't sure if Dad would be able to go to the game because of the big crowd but he ended up being able to go and had a ton of fun. Nathan, Gavin, Helen, Mom, and I also went along it was a fun night for everyone! Dad was even able to catch up with a few of his old hockey buddies! I'll post of pic below of some of them with Dad! It was so nice to be able to get out and do something normal again and we were so thankful to get to go!

Lets see what’s next.....well we had some company yesterday! Ashley, Dillan, and Chayce came up for the day! Jamie, Cory, Hayden, and Camryn also came over in the morning to see everybody, and so Hayden could play with here cousin Dillan! They had so much fun playing together and decorating Halloween cookies! Its hard to believe how fast they are growing up! It was so cute to watch them run around together! I'll post a pic below of the two little partners in crime! :)

Dad went to the doctor again a little over a week ago and everything continues to be going pretty well. Next month will be a BIG appointment with another biopsy, lung, bone, and heart test, and he's also getting all his childhood vaccinations again! It will be a busy day for sure! One thing they were able to tell from all his blood test this time was that his GVH is flaring up again. Its funny how they can tell that even before he has symptoms but sure enough this week he has been having more GVH issues again. It has mainly hit his eyes this time which makes opening them uncomfortable and makes it hard for him to see. This problem started to get worse over the weekend so Mom is going to call the doctors in the morning to see if they can give him any other eye drops to help him. So we would appreciate some prayers that they can get this problem under control and that he won't have to go back on any steroids! Well I better get going! Thanks again for all your prayers! Elisabeth

The game!

Cousins :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lemonade Stand

Hello again! First off a quick update on dad. He is still doing great! He hasn't had to go back on any of the steroids and is sloooowwwwllllyyy starting to get some of his energy back...well that is the energy he had when he was on the steroids. He was really tired right after they took him off of them. Dad has even been able to go into work part-time again which is a huge blessing and he is really been enjoying being able to go in again! Other than that though things are pretty much the same at our house :)

In other news, last Friday Nicole and the kids had a lemonade stand to raise money for the America Cancer Society! The kids had so much fun and they even raised quite a bit of money! They invited their friends and neighbors to come over and their big slogan was "Kids Against Cancer"! I went over to help in the afternoon and it was so much fun to watch them! They did a great job! Anyways I thought I would post a picture below of them and their friends! Have a great night everybody! Elisabeth

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update on Dad and a little football stud :)

Hello again! Well its been a little while since we've posted and our favorite tv show (hawaii-five-O) starts in a few minutes but I thought I'd write a quick update! Dad has been off of the steriods for a little over a week now and seems to be doing pretty well! He still has to use his steriod creams and eye drops but so far thankfully, everything seems to be staying under control! This is such a answer to prayer! The last time he tried to go off of his steriods it definitely did not go this well! We are going back down to I.C. on Wednesday so we it will be interesting to hear what the doctors have to say...especially since cold and flu season is going to be starting up again soon.

Well its starting to feel like fall again, colder weather, shorter days, and lets not forget that football has started back up! :) We not only have the Vikings and Hawkeyes to watch this year though...we also have Gavin to watch! Yep, Gavin is old enough to play tackle football this year! Hard to believe how fast he is growing up! He plays for the patriots and so far this year they are 2-0! He is doing soooo good! Even scored a touchdown his firstgame! And not only is he a super football stud now but if you ask me he's also the cutest one on the team to! :D And if you don't believe me I'll post some pics of him below so you can see for yourself :) Have a good night everyone! Elisabeth

Ready for the kick off

Action Shot :)

Number 40 ready to go!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maybe a little to clean!!

I've waited a couple extra days to be sure before posting an update.... but Lance has slept all night for three nights in a row now without us having to get up and put creams on for the itching AND his rash is definitely looking better!! Iowa City has told us that he can't go off his steroids completely if he still has any rash. Thursday the 8th is the day he is suppose to stop steroids completely so we are praying it will be all gone by then!! We have gone through lots of steroid cream, three bottles of aloe, a large box of baking soda and many many Vitamin E capsules (my newest idea several days ago was to cut them open and put the oil on Lances rash) ..... but we haven't had to up the oral steroids!!!! Thank you all for your prayers!

Well I'm telling you we have one clean garage!! Don't know how long that will last but it looks good today! Funny thing happened... Elisabeth and I were just finishing up out there and decided to scrub his work bench with Lysol... Well we scrubbed and scrubbed and were so proud of how clean we got it! We got off all these old stains...old paint, glue... all sorts of stuff that had been there forever, stuff from all Lance's projects... We brought Lance out to show him and he took one look at it and said it doesn't look like I've ever done anything.... He didn't look happy like we thought he would!! I guess when it comes to a man and his work bench sparkling clean is not a good thing! ---Penny

Monday, August 29, 2011


We made it through the weekend without Lance having to go up on steroids!! I would say the rash is pretty much the same.....but it hasn't got any worse. Lance spent most of the time this weekend lying on his stomach or side as the rash is the worse on his back and if it gets warm it flares up more. So between steroid cream, benydryl, sleeping pills, baking soda baths and aloe gel with Lidocaine he made it through the weekend! By last night he thought the itching is maybe a little better, comes and goes instead of constant so that is an improvement! Rashes are hard they can change so quickly and with GVH it can happen really quick. I know itching and rash might not seem like much after what all Lance has been through but with GVH it can turn serious so the doctors don't take any of it lightly. Thank you so much for your prayers

Elisabeth and I have been working in the garage..... Nothing we were just doing for fun.... it was a must! We ended up with mold growing on the foundation walls in the garage... we have a gopher (chipmunk thing!) that has tunneled toward the garage foundation... and with all the rain a few weeks ago and all the humidity.... well I guess that it was just the right conditions... Any way the last couple weeks Elisabeth and I have been cleaning out and throwing away moldy things, bleaching and power washing the walls and now painting with this water/mold blocking paint! The sad part is that working in the garage is like one of Lance's favorite things to do and he can't be in there...Doctors orders! Mold and dust spores are really dangerous for him! All these years we have Never had any mold issues.....well anyway we will get a clean garage out of it! NOTE!! Lance has always kept an organized garage (we tease him about all his lables!) but since Lance hasn't been able to work out there much in the last two years things pile up. So .... thought I'd post a couple pictures of my AWESOME worker! We both worked but Elisabeth did all the hard parts!! Like all those shelf on the one side of the garage can't be moved so she had to climb in and paint around all of them!! She never once complained! We would run in and put lotions on Lance.... and then paint.... that was our weekend! The bright side was it kept me too busy to bug Lance by looking at his rash every few minutes!! Elisabeth and I listened to the Christian Radio and were encouraged by all the messages and songs reminding us to Praise and Trust God!! It is so hard for Lance not to be able to help.... but that time is getting closer.... look at all that God has brought him through... God is so Faithful.....Thanks again for all your prayers! ---Penny

P.S. I wrote the blog this morning but after Lance being up and more active today he's itching pretty good tonight and his rash has spread some.... please continue to pray that it heals with the topical stuff.... soon! Thanks!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Quick note on how Lance is doing.... he felt a little better this morning but starting itching more as the day went on. Talked to Iowa City and they said we can try some topical steroid cream to see if it will keep the rash under control if that doesn't work he will have to up the oral steroids again so please pray that the cream works. Nothing serious at this point but after months of trying to get off steroids Lance really doesn't want to have to up them again.... he is still on lots of meds. and they won't lower some of them until they can get him off the steroids successfully so that has been one of the goals for months now. Thank you for praying!

Cory had knee surgery on Thursday he had a torn Meniscus. On Saturday before his surgery he ran 10 miles out to our house and back he really likes to run and we are hoping he will heal well. They had to take out quite a bit more than anticipated but he should be okay ,he had the other knee done in high school and that healed nicely so praying this one will heal just as quickly. Thanks again for your prayers! --Penny

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prayer Request!

Update and prayer request! Lance had his appointment yesterday in Iowa City we were so excited that he made it 4 weeks without having any surprise visits! Doctor said he is doing well and that we can continue to lower steroids, only every other day now and then stop after two weeks if he is doing well. A good appointment overall. They did give him a lecture or two about all the things he still needs to be cautious of.... no dirt, dust, mold, germs, not to overdo it.... just a reminder that even though he is doing well, his immune system is still not up to power yet.... After we got home yesterday Lance starting itching some... and it has gotten worse tonight... with a little more rash... Please pray that it resolves quickly (LIKE TONIGHT!) He really doesn't want to up his steroids again after almost getting off.... but we don't want to let the GVH get out of control either.... praying for wisdom.... Thanks for your prayers! --- Penny

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just another update....

Well it happened again....time got away from us and unfortunately we haven't posted in awhile....anyways here is the latest update from our family! :) First of all I guess I'll start with dad, he has been doing pretty well coming off all the steroids. Mostly just tired especially the few days right after his steroid dosage changes but he is doing well with it. Please continue to pray that everything stays on track so that we won't have to go down for a surprise visit to I.C! We really are enjoying the month off of not having to go down there! :) Ok ,lets see whats next.... well a couple of weeks ago was my grandpa's 75th birthday and almost all of the family was able to come down to celebrate with him! It was a lot of fun getting to see everyone again! Lots of laughing and stories were going around which is always something to look forward to! I'll post some pictures from the party below. I'll also post some pictures of a 5k that Cory and I did! Well I think thats pretty much everything from here! Have a good weekend everybody! Elisabeth

P.S. If you click on the pictures they get bigger so you can see them better :)

Getting ready to blow out the candles

Uncle Jeff was even able to come to the party!

All the grandkids

Cory's in the black

You can't see me very well but I'm in the black t-shirt.

Cory ended up getting 2nd in his age devision!

A picture after we ran. Were kind of wet if you can't tell, it decided to start pouring down rain about half way through the race.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Exciting News!

We are SOOOOO Excited! Doctors said today that Lance doesn't have to come back down to Iowa City for ONE MONTH!! Lance has had blood work and or doctor appointments weekly or every other week depending on what has been going on for the last two years....and of course many times daily while hospitalized. So this feels like a big step forward! His blood work looked pretty good today and he only has a little GVH symptoms (mainly dry mouth and slight rash) so they said we could give it a try! They want him to continue lowering the steroids gradually over the next month, so if he has any flare ups we are to call but otherwise he doesn't have an appointment for a whole month! The last thing they said to us today was, "Don't touch anything....get out of here!!" They still don't want him exposed to anything...... but overall it was a great visit! Praise for this encouraging news!! ---Penny

Monday, July 25, 2011

Overdue Update

The joke is since Elisabeth is the only one of our kids who is still living at home, when anything is missing or broke or just didn't get done.... She did it! But as much as I'd like to blame this very late blog update on really isn't her fault!! Well anyway.... Lance's last appointment was July 13. Doctors decided to not drop his steroid dose anymore for a couple of weeks to hopefully let his body adjust. The last month has been pretty tough at times. He keeps pushing himself and smiling even when we know he doesn't feel like it, he has had an amazing attitude! We head back down wednesday to Iowa City and we assume they will lower the steroid dose a little more, so please pray that it will go better so they can get him off them soon. They did have to up his anti-rejections meds because he isn't absorbing enough into his blood stream. This med is really hard on him, causing tremors among other things.... We know we have to be patient, it just takes time to get off the meds... so please continue to pray for protection for him not only from the Graft vs. Host disease but from all the side effects of the meds, and of course sickness.

July 9th was our 32nd anniversary!! It was also two years since we found out about the Luekemia.... We really have so much to be thankful for....just having another year together is amazing! I personally want to thank Lance for his great attitude...... He has held me up and helped our whole family with his great attitude and smile! Yes even his teasing has been a blessing but don't tell him I said that! We both want to thank you all once again for being God's hands and feet to us.... praying for us... encouraging us.... Thank you!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New Baby!

Hey everybody! We have some very exciting news! Cory and Jamie had their baby! Camryn Cory Hall was born on July 4th, 7lbs 14oz. 20in. Everyone is doing great and very excited about the baby. Especially new big sister Hayden who has already been a big help with new little sister Cammy! Hayden came over for a little while yesterday while Cory and Jamie brought the new baby home so along with some pics of Cammy I'll post some pics of that to! We'll post again soon! Elisabeth

Holding baby Camryn for the first time!

Proud Daddy :)

Having fun reading with Grandpa

Having fun in the pool!

Look at how cute I am

Splashin around

Thursday, June 30, 2011

7 month update!!

Once again we have had trouble getting on the blog..... hopefully we have it all figured out now!! So frustrating..... Anyway the past two weeks have seen Lance having to go back on another medicine for a throat infection, but we are thankful it is all cleared up now!! Iowa City appointment yesterday, they are going to try and lower his steroids a little more. So we would appreciate prayer that Lance will not be to tired and that the GVH doesn't flare up. Doctors have to get him off the steroids before they can try and lower the other meds. After the last flare up of GVH Lance is still on lots of meds. and many are hard on his body but he needs to be on them. So our prayer is that they can get him off soon and that Nathan's donor cells and Lance's body will get along together!! We asked yesterday how Lance is doing for where he is post transplant, which is 7 months today!! They said that he is doing above average!! But when Lance commented that he guessed that he is pretty much out of the woods now as far as the bad stuff that could happen...... They said No right away.... it is still important to be careful... that they don't start to breathe a LITTLE easier until after one year.....they did tell us it is a long journey........ but we are so thankful for all the Lord has done, and for all the prayers going out for Lance, and how well he has done so far.... The Lord brought the words of our blog verse to mind, specifically " I KNOW THE PLANS" were the ones that kept going over and over in my mind until I finally realized God was telling me.... "You know what.... I KNOW THE PLANS.... SO YOU DON'T HAVE TOO!!" What a comfort!! Lance's blood type has now switched over to Nathan's isn't that cool!! And the last test showed NO CANCER! ! So we pray for continued healing and protection and thank the Lord for all of you..... for all your love and care for us !! Oh and so exciting... Cory and Jamie are expecting this week! Our 8th grandchild!! Praying for a quick and safe delivery! ----Penny

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Iowa City

Hello again! Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on what happened in Iowa City yesterday. Dad's test results from his bone marrow biopsy could not have been better! From the test that they have done so far they can not find any cancer! They can't officially say that he is cancer free but from the the test they have done they could not find any cancer! We are so thankful! It has been almost two years since dad was diagnosed with leukemia and even though he is defiantly not out of the woods yet we are just so very thankful that things seem to be moving in the right direction! So thank you everyone for all your prayers!!

There are a few other things that we would really appreciate some prayer for. Dad's liver counts are still too high so we would appreciate some continued prayer that his counts would come down to a normal level. Also the results of this biopsy still showed that dad's immune system is very low, so we would appreciate some prayer that he and the rest of the family would not get sick. He has also been trying to get off the steroids again and the last time he got off of them his GVH flared up so we would appreciate prayers that the doctors could keep his GVH under control. (he started to get a little more of a rash again this week).

Ok now for some other news. So Dad has been telling Mom and I that we need to get out of the house for a little bit and have some fun, so we decided to take a cake decorating class! We just finished taking the first course and we start the second one up again in a couple weeks but I thought I would share a couple pictures of the finished cakes that we made this week! Keep in mind we are defiantly not professionals but I think for only taking four classes so far they look pretty good! Well thats all from our house! Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers! Have a good day! Elisabeth

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Night Update

Hey everybody! Sorry we haven't posted in awhile but we've been having trouble getting on our blog again. Not really sure what the problem is but it let us on today sooo were back again! In other news I had my graduation party yesterday it was a ton of fun! I'll try to post some pictures soon! Lots of family came that we had not seen in awhile so it was nice to get to see some of them again. We were so happy because dad was able to come to the party to! We weren't sure if he was going to be able to come but he was bound and determined to make it! He's pretty tired today but he says that it was worth it! Dad has been having a pretty good week so far, a little tired at times but for the most part feeling good. We are going back down to Iowa City on Wednesday to get the results of his last bone marrow biopsy so if we would really appreciate some prayer that the results are all good. He has also been having some trouble with his liver counts from all the medicine that he's on so we would also appreciate some prayer that all of his counts would go back to normal. Well I think that is about all from our house! Thanks again for all of your prayers! Elisabeth

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Random Pictures!

Well Summer is here, Mom's flowers are blooming, and the kids came to visit. I don't really have anything else to say so without further explanation here is a bunch of random pictures of what we have been up to! Enjoy ;D -Elisabeth

We have had a lot of people asking lately if dad has gotten any of his hair back so here is a picture so you can see for yourself! (ignore the bald spot in the middle of his head dad is still hoping that hair will come back but we keep telling him he's probably not going to get more hair back than he had before) ;)

Mom's pretty flowers

Stuart wanted to get in on this post to!

Baby Chayce

I didn't get to post any pictures of when I was in Florida so I thought I would throw one in now!

Skype :D


Working hard helping Grandpa

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We're Back!!!

Have absolutely no idea what happened but we could not get in to write on the blog for over a week and then I went on to check just now and it works!! After trying everything for a week with no results..... started praying about it...... What an idea!! Thinking that is where we should have started!!! (a little slow here!) I wasn't planning on writing right now as we just got home from Iowa City and I'm exhausted.... even though it was Lance's appointment (guess I'm the wimp). He had his bone marrow biopsy today and as far as they go it went well, he is sore but sleeping now.... We will get the results in two weeks. Next week he will do labs here in Dubuque as his liver and kidney counts are still going up (not a good thing but they are trying to figure it out, please pray for them to return to normal!).... Thank you all for your prayers, this week has been a week of our family realizing once again how much we have to be thankful for..... Sunday was Lance's birthday.... Last year we were not sure we'd see one this year.... and Monday was 6 months since transplant!! ---Penny

Friday, May 20, 2011

We went back to Iowa City today and Dr. Silverman felt pretty good about everything I think, the GVH that had really flared up last week seems to be getting better and the throat infection looks better. They are going to cut back a little on my Steroids again this week trying to get rid of them but you have to go through the tapering progress again. All in all after last week I am much better. The big adrenaline rush I got from the IV steroids last week only lasted a few days and then I was kind of tired again but as the week went on that seemed to level out a little. I will be 6 months out from my transplant in a couple of weeks seems some days like it wasn't that long ago but on other days seems like it was really a long time ago. All in all I have done really well and am looking forward to that 6 month mile stone, the DRs. seem to see that as a really big step. Thanks again to everyone for your support I feel like the worst is probably over. The Drs. caution me to just be careful that I still need for this new immune system to keep growing, but really I feel very positive that this will be winding down soon.
Thanks Lance

PS We would appreciate prayer for protection for Lance's body (especially his liver) from all the meds he is having to take again. That he'll be able to get off the meds soon without the GVH flaring up again! He will have blood work this week in Dubuque to keep a close eye on things and then another bone marrow biopsy June 1st. Praise that the GVH is responding to meds and for the wisdom of the doctors who treat him! Thank you!--Penny

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What a change!

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all your prayers for dad! He is starting to feel a little better and his cold is even clearing up! The steroids that they gave him defiantly helped! Especially with his energy level. Mom and I have had to be on the look out the past couple days because well, when dad has a lot of steroids we just don't know what he's gonna do next :) What a changed from just a couple days ago when he could barely get out of bed! Mom has been telling dad all day that he has more energy than she does and that maybe she needs a few steroids to get her going to! :) Thanks again for all your prayers! Have a good day everyone! ~ Elisabeth

Friday, May 13, 2011

Unexpected Trip

Unexpected trip to Iowa City today, spent the day having test... getting an IV, then several prescriptions.... not what we were hoping for....Lance had a pretty bad week, up all night coughing (so has had to sleep sitting up in the recliner) and itching from rashes... GVH is much worse sooooo, back on steroids and full dose of anti- rejection drug plus the extra meds to help him get over all the problems the GVH has caused. On the bright side the big dose of IV steroids should give a boost in his energy level!! We would appreciate prayer that all this gets resolved soon, not only so he feels better but so that Doctors can get back to the plan.... but we take comfort in realizing our God is the one really in control and we trust he has the best plan of all for us... Thank you for praying..OH!, Also please pray specifically that Lance can sleep in our bed instead of the recliner.. I MISS HIM!! --Penny

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Going as planned... I guess!!

Sorry for the late update from Fridays appointment but sometimes it takes me a day or two to digest all they say... Basically things are going just as they planned... Lance has more GVH so isn't feeling as well and is uncomfortable.. but he says all for a good cause! They decided not to take away the rest of the anti-rejection meds just yet as his liver counts were up and he has quite a bit more GVH. They did need to add blood pressure meds. as one of the side effects of the rejection med. is raised blood pressure and since he can't go off yet they need to add it for now. Lance has his first cold since transplant so we would sure appreciate prayers for protection from to much GVH and that he will get over the cold without any complications. Wisdom for us to know when to call the doctors if needed and wisdom for the doctors in controlling the amount of GVH. All of this seemed kind of like a set back to us at first..... going off steroids makes him more tired again and the GVH just doesn't make him feel to hot... but hopefully it all will be temporary and will do the job on the cancer cells. His platelets were in the normal range for the first time in like 9 months so that is exciting! Thank you all for all your prayers in what seems like a loooong journey..... seems like the closer you get to the end of something the longer it seems to take.... but we know in a the long run the end is worth it. I 'm really proud of Lance, he keeps pushing himself and looking up.... He wants so much to get back to work....for a guy who just loves his job and the people there and wants to feel like he is contributing it is not easy to wait.... praying he will get the ok to go back even part time soon, then he can have someone else to pick on!! Lance said again this week, "Life is good!" Thank you all for your prayers! --Penny

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Elisabeth!

Elisabeth's 18th birthday is tomorrow, May 1st!! What a blessing she has been to us!! She is on her way to Florida with my brothers family, they have included her on their vacation. They have repeatedly been so good including her! Thank you Bob and Laurie!! We aren't able to do much around here and are pretty boring. She never complains but we are thankful that she will have a special birthday with her cousins although we already miss her! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELISABETH!! Thought everyone might enjoy seeing some of Elisabeth's senior pictures! Her cousin came and took them, Thanks Cassie!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Plan.....

Thank you all for your prayers for Chayce (isn't he just the cutest!) and for Lance and I today... for all your faithful prayers for us... Well, the doctor walked in saying "We have a plan", So we knew right away that meant that there was still some cancer left.... BUT it did go down a tiny bit and considering there are only trace amounts left at this time and it didn't go up....we are so thankful!! The goal after transplant is to have NO CANCER left so at this point the plan is.... No more steroids and they are cutting Lance's rejection meds by half and in 2 weeks if he isn't too sick they will take all the rejection meds away. All this is with the hope that Nathans donor cells will grow and specifically that the T-cells will kill off the rest of the cancer. Basically they will be allowing Lance to get more Graft vs. Host which will cause a Graft vs. Leukemia affect. It is all a balancing act....enough to get rid of the cancer but not enough to hurt Lance or get him to sick. Doctor wants Nathan's cells to completely take over, they were doing really good at one month after transplant but have gone down some since then.... She seemed very positive that they will get this figured out... So we would appreciate prayers that this process will go smoothly and that Lance will not get to sick but the cancer cells will!! We are very thankful for such good doctors who care so much and have such knowledge.... But most of all we are thankful that our GOD has the best plan of all for us, a future and a hope.....

Update on Chayce and a new prayer request

Thanks for all the prayers everybody! They were able to find the right antibiotic for Chayce and he gets to come home today! Were so thankful that it wasn't anything to serious!

If you think about it today we'd really appreciate some prayers for my parents. They are going to Iowa City today to find out the test results from my dad's last bone marrow biopsy. Were hoping that they will not find anymore cancer. Well have a good day everyone! Elisabeth

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prayer Request

This is a picture of my three week old nephew Chayce. He was admitted to the hospital this afternoon because of a possible umbilical cord infection. We'd really appreciate some prayers for him! Thanks! Elisabeth

Friday, April 15, 2011

Who's Battle Is It?!?

Wow, time flies!! Had no idea we hadn't posted in almost two weeks. Lance had another bone marrow biopsy on April 8th and so now we wait and pray. We head back down on April 22nd for the results. In the mean time they are tapering Lance off his steroids, he's only taking them every other day now and is hoping that they will let him go off at the next appointment. He so much wants to be able to get back to normal, to work again, and do normal things.... praying that the results will show no more cancer.... Waiting...... Yet trusting as we wait ... Thank you all for praying with us, and thanking God that no matter what our circumstance looks like or feels like.... God is in control and working it all for our good... I've been reading in I Samuel this week the story of David and Goliath.... I've read this so many times over the years but what really struck me this week as I read it was the detailed discription of Goliath and his armor...Goliath was over 9 feet tall, wore a bronze helmet, and he was clothed with armor that weighed over 125 pounds. He had bronze shin guards and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. His spear was like a weavers beam and the shaft weighed 16 pounds and on top of all this he had an attendant, a shield-carrier that walked before him.... WOW!! Who does it LOOK LIKE is going to win? Then there is David, just a youth....David with no armor, David with a sling and 5 smooth stones.... No shield-bearer in front of David....... David came with no VISIBLE armor or shield-bearer, but truly David didn't need any of those things because David had God! The battle wasn't Davids, but the Lord's. It didn't depend on what could be seen....but on God!! So whatever our battle may be... whether it is T-cells vs. Cancer cells or whatever else it might be.... Let us always depend on our living God... not on what we see or feel. So we wait and trust our God, who asks us to just to Trust Him because the battle is His and He holds our future in HIS HANDS!! ---Penny

Sunday, April 3, 2011

He makes me smile......

I was telling Lance as we went to sleep the other night, that maybe he should not eat ANY sugar as I read somewhere that cancer feeds on sugar.... I'm sure he just loves it when I have these great ideas!! Well the next morning I go to the kitchen to get my coffee (which to some is not considered coffee as I have so much milk and sugar in it). Anyway, I'm getting frustrated as I cannot find the sugar jar....... As I'm getting more and more frustrated.... I just can't wake up without my coffee..... I look over and there HE stands with a BIG grin on his face!!!!! Yep, Lance got up early just to hide my sugar!! I guess I'll let him decide what he wants to eat from now on!! He has been doing little things all week to Elisabeth and I to make us laugh! I read this little quote and thought of Lance, and realized that I have so much to be thankful for, He makes us smile each day! At least after I've had my coffee...... with sugar! ----"The window may be small, but it cannot limit the outlook. Only discontent can do this."--Unknown. ...Our window may be small right now but God's view is so much bigger and better!! So we remember all that God has done already and all that His word promises us for the future..... and thank Him!! --Penny

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Its a boy!!!

Meet the newest member our our family! Chayce McCoy Hall!

Born March 29th at 8:29 AM, 7lbs. 15oz. 19 and 3/4 inches

Justin and Ashley the proud parents

The happy big sister

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bone Marrow results

We went back to Iowa City on Friday and met with the Doctors to get the results of the last Bone Marrow test that I had 2 weeks ago. We were a little disappointed with the results but probably we had to high expectations since everything has been going so well. When we got the results of the fish test last week the hospital called and told us that they had found no Cancer in my blood so we felt really good about that, however when the Bone Marrow came back it showed some traces of Cancer but still in very small amounts. Much less than I had before the transplant. We had been told before that they wouldn't be able to kill all of it by transplant alone and that the new T-cells that I got through Nathans Stem Cells would kill the rest. But when we got the other reports we got our hopes up. At my last Bone Marrow Biopsy I had engrafted 92% of Nathans T-cells and at this Biopsy I only have 80% of Nathans T-cells. That doesn' t mean 20% of my cells are Cancerous just that 20% of the Cells are mine and in mine is where the Cancer grows so they want to get rid of them. And they don't like that it is going the other direction. Anyway the plan now is for me to have another Bone Marrow Biopsy in 2 weeks (they have to wait 1 month between tests) and then when they get those results back they will draw up a plan of action consisting of 2 choices. They will either cut back on my anti rejection drugs which are killing off Nathans Cells thus allowing me to get more Graf to host disease, but also will stop inhibiting his cell growth. ( I guess that is my cell growth now just easier to identify as his and mine) or they will put me back on some of the Cancer drugs that I was taking prior to Transplant. If I had a preferance I would choose choice 1 even though in that will probably make me sicker for a while, but that also could lead to complete recovery and no Cancer. The Doctors main concern is getting to much GVH can lead to other problems and its hard to get just the right balance, therefore they are following up on some studies that have been done in Germany and they will choose the best option. I am really not that worried as I have a lot of faith in my Dr. to make the right decision and things have gone along so well till now, I have every reason to believe it will stay that way. We would appreciate your prayers that the Doctors make the right decision or that at the next Biopsy they find out that things have reversed completely (prayers can do that). On Monday Penny and Elisabeth are heading to Cedar Falls to help out watching Dillan for Justin and Ashley as Ashley is scheduled for a C-section at 8:00 Tuesday morning we were looking forward to having Dillan at our house but the Drs. said we can not have anyone staying with us right now till after they get this other stuff in order. I will miss having her, I miss my Grandkids!! Ashleys parents are coming during part of the time and will be there during the delivery also and I know we are all very excited about the new arrival. Its time for dinner now and I don't miss dinner so will write again soon. Thanks for all your prayers and support. Lance

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Hello again! So as we were looking back through some of the old blogs the other day we realized that we never offically announced something that is coming up here very quick! Most of you probably already know but we thought we post about it anyway just in case! So we announced that Cory and Jamie are going to have a baby in June but we didn't announce that Justin and Ashley are going to have a baby also!! At the end of this month!!! Pretty exciting stuff! As you can see from the picture of Dillan that I posted she's pretty excited to! :) Well nothing else really going on so I guess I'll end this here! Have a good day everyone!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just another update.....

Hey everyone! Just wanted to write a quick update about dad's appointment yesterday. The bone marrow biopsy went a lot smoother this time which was a HUGE blessing! They gave dad a little more medicine then they usually do because in the past the medicine hasn't really worked that great. Well this time it really worked!! Dad pretty much slept the entire day! We're just so thankful that the biopsy went better this time! Thanks so much for your prayers!!!! As far as the rest of the doctors appointment that also went pretty well. Dad's counts are off a bit though so he has to go and get blood work done here in Dubuque next week just make sure everything is ok. The graph vs. host is also flaring up a little this week so if you could pray that the doctors are able to keep that under control we'd really appreciate it!! In other news dad is very happy to announce that his hair has begun to grow back!!! He's pretty excited about this because he was a little worried that it wouldn't be coming back! Its kind of funny though because its coming in a couple different colors! Mostly really dark right now, which is a change since his hair has always been blond. We'll just have to wait and see what color it ends up being I guess! Well nothing else exciting to report, so I guess I'll end here! Have a good night everyone! Oh and don't forget to set your clocks ahead tonight! Spring is almost here!!!!! :)

Not sure if you can tell from this picture, but there is some hair there :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


We have not posted lately as there really isn't a lot going on right now. (Thats probably good) I go to the Drs. on Friday for a lot of tests, Bone Marrow, DNA, and some others I can't remember they seem to run in to each other. I am feeling pretty good still get tired pretty easily but am really doing quite well. Elisabeth spent most of last week in Chicago with her cousins and had a good time, they went snowboarding and to a dance where they all wore clothes from another era. (like George Washington era) Long gowns and they danced the dances of that period. Lori made the dresses for the girls with a little help from cousin Kevin. They had a really good time the people brought in a chef and he made a very formal meal, they all had dinner before the dance it sounded like fun. As the week went on several of the kids got sick so we are hoping Elisabeth didn't pick up anything, she is wearing a mask in the house just in case. Last Sunday our Grandson Gavin swam in the State Meet in Marshalltown, he is 8 years old and swam in 4 events he ended up taking 3rd place in the butterfly, 8th place in the freesyle, 9th in the backstroke and his relay came in 8th. He was one of three swimmers to qualify for regionals in Minneapolis so that was pretty exciting. We watched all day on the computer they had it live, He also got to carry the banner in the parade of athletes for the Dubuque team. My Dad and Mom left for Mexico yesterday and they e-mailed last night that they made it , the place they are staying in is really nice. They are in Riviera Maya first time to this area for them, they like and go to Mexico a lot it was 84 degrees when they landed and sunny. Hope all is well at your houses.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Late update and a Graduation

We are overwhelmed with gratitude...... We can't even begin to express how much all the love and support shown to us means....... What an encouragement...... We have felt it all along but to see and hear from so many people at the benefit and in notes and cards who care for Lance and our family was just awesome... Our family is humbled and so thankful........ THANK YOU, just isn't enough.... God has used all of you to lift us up during this difficult time for our family..... Thank you!!!

Lance had his appointment in Iowa City on Friday. He has been really tired this week and just didn't feel to good, so I was glad we were going so they could check him out. His doctor is so funny and keeps things light. Told her how tired Lance was (he slept a huge part of the week). She just crossed her arms and smiled....saying....What do you expect you just had a transplant not quite three months ago. You are doing just great! So obviously they are happy with his progress but he is ready to be all better now.... They are going to try and lower his steroids a little more and see how the GVH does.... after this last week I'm a little concerned but they told us they can always up them again if needed. He will go back in two weeks for lots of blood work, DNA testing, and another bone marrow biopsy, all to see how the new stem cells are growing and hopefully NOT the cancer!! He will have another lung test pretty soon also to see if there is any damage. We had thought after the last one that he worked so hard to pass with flying colors that he was out of danger from anymore damage but that is not the case yet. So we would appreciate prayer for continued healing, and protection from all the dangers that he still faces for awhile yet. His liver counts were up a bit (from all the meds) but the doctor didn't seem to concerned at this point. We so appreciate all the prayers! So all in all things went well and like Lance would say... Life is Good! God is Good!

Congratulations to Elisabeth!! She just finished her senior year!! She started all her classes during the summer because she knew Lance would be going in the hospital and we weren't sure how much she would get done during that time. She is celebrating her first day of no school by going snowboarding for the first time with her cousins. (pray for us)!! :)

We stand in awe of our God.... Who loves us and cares about every detail of our lives... ---Penny

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lace 'em up for Lance Benefit

Hello again! Well I have been asigned the task of writting a blog about my dad's benefit but I guess I haven't done a very good job considering the benefit was on a Saturday and it is now Tuesday! Sorry! Anyways here it goes! On Saturday the guys from my dad's hockey team had a benefit for my dad. What started out as something we thought was just even a nice idea, ended up being so much bigger than we could have ever imagined! There were I think around 44 people that skated and so many more in the stands. (over 200) They had announcers, a national anthem singer, and even a silent auction! So many people were there for my dad and it really left me wondering why they like him so much! :) No I'm just kidding! My dad may like to tease everyone and everything in sight but we love him all the more for it! Anyways back to the game..... there were so many people there! Family, friends, and even people that we had never met before! It was truely amazing to watch everything that was going on! There was so much work that went into this event and I'm not sure how we are ever going to thank everyone! From the people who thought of and organized the event, and designed t-shirts, to those who donated stuff for the silent auction, and even to the people who I'm sure were doing things behind the scenes that we don't even know about! We would like to say a special thanks to Steve Gassman, Jack McCullough, and Joe Frayne the Lace 'em up for Lance committee, who actually came up with the idea and worked so very hard!!! THANK YOU! It was truely an amazing day! Did I mention that a news reporter even came and interveiwed my dad and he was on the 10 o'clock news??? Yeah it just kept going on and on! So thank you, thank you, thank you again to everyone who helped, donated, and even came to the benifit this weekend!!!! It means more to our family than you could ever know!! I could keep going on and on about all the amazing stuff that happened this weekend and all the fun that we had but believe me I don't think there is enough space to fill it in! So I'll end it here! I"m going to post a few pictures below of what went on this weekend, and a link to the news cast if you want to see my dad in his 15min. of fame :) Well have a good day everyone! Elisabeth

All the kids standing for the national anthem (I really like how Gavin and Gwen have there arms around each other :)

Dillan was so excited to watch her daddy skate!

Justin getting used to being on skates again

Nathan stopping so Helen can take a picture of him

Cory, I'm sure loving getting his picture taken! :)

Cory, Justin, and Nathan ready to hit the ice!

Even Hayden got to go on the ice!

If you click on the scoreboard in will get bigger. Check out the score! :)

Everyone who skated!