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

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Well yesterday was our weekly trip to Iowa City for Lance's appointment. Lance is doing great, Great for just having had a bonemarrow transplant that is!! Doctor said that he is doing better than expected at this point which of course made my competitive (I win!! ) guy happy!! DNA came back and he is over 98% donor(Nathan)!!!! Doctor said it is most likely 100% but there is a 2% detection limit so they can't tell you 100%. Lance has been really tired the last couple weeks but she assured us it is from cutting down on the steroids and to be expected. He still has virtually no immune system yet... and on that note we'd all appreciate prayer for Elisabeth who came down with a bad cold.... She teases us that we have a restraining order on her as she can't get close to Lance and our hands are raw from all the washing!! Praying she will get over it REALLY soon and that Lance and I don't get it!! Thanks so much for all your prayers! --Penny

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just another update

Hey everyone! Well we haven't blogged in a while but there hasn't really been much going on. Its been really cold this week and Dad has been very tired, so we've been sticking around the house a lot. He's started coming off a few of his steroids this week and they actually give him energy so to be coming off of them makes him even more tired! Anyways just thought I'd write a quick update! There is a picture below of the puzzle dad's been working on this week! Have a good day! Elisabeth

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great Things He Has Done!!

Todays appointment couldn't have gone better!! No cancer cells found in what they tested!!!! (First time since diagnosis in July 2009!) And the results so far on the DNA show that Nathan's cells are winning!!! There are still some test results to come in but the doctor said at this point in his recovery things couldn't be going better!! Then went on to remind us there are still many dangers to watch for, (Lance still has virtually no working immune system) another bonemarrow biopsy at 90 days post transplant, and recovery from all the chemo..... and it is cold and flu season....BUT then the Doctor said lets focus on the positives you are doing great!! One of the Physician Assistants came in to see us and the first thing she said was, "You have never met me but I've heard of you.....your the one with the son as a donor and all the sons that match!!" It is such a reminder of the miracle God has done each time we hear that! To God Alone Be The Glory......... --Penny

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Well we have to leave the house by like 5:30am tomorrow to get to Iowa City for Lance's appointment. I can be awake at that hour but to be dressed and ready to go somewhere.....well that is another story, so you might want to throw in an extra prayer for me!! One good thing is we will hear the results from the bonemarrow biopsy tomorrow and hopefully since it looks like we are the first appointment of the day we will get right in and not have such a long day! Hopefully!! ---Penny

Just wanted to pass along that Justin called today and he got the job he applied for at Target it is a really nice promotion he is now an electrical mechanic, I might have the title a little wrong, but it is a good career and the next step in becoming an Electrical Systems Engineer. They will work with him really well with his school schedule as they want him to get his degree so he can move into that job. Its a big deal as they do not offer these jobs under normal circumstances to their employees they hire from outside the company and they approached him about applying for it. He had to take the engineering tests and he has been waiting for the results of his interview for a week or so and they called him in today and offered him a contract.

Also we have not passed on the news to very many people as we weren't sure if it was okay yet but we got the okay and are excited to tell everyone that Cory and Jamie are expecting a new baby in June! So the family is sure growing. We drove by Medline today and saw Jamies car in the expectant mother spot. Lots to be thankful for today.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Nothing much going on at our house today, we got a lot of snow in Dubuque, I watched the girls shovel. I'll be happy to be able to help out when I can (I don't like watching). It is really pretty outside though several inches of real powdery snow just hanging out of the trees. Seems like I have a couple of pretty good days then I just get tired and can't seem to do much for a few days, which I guess is good because its exactly what the Doctors said would happen. A few of the people who were in the hospital for transplant at the same time as me have sent us notes and it seems like we are all pretty much feeling the same way. I'm thinking by this time next year this will all just be a memory and life will be much like it used to be, hopefully with a little more appreciation for a lot of things I used to take for granted. Hope everyone has a good night.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Well Dad's still pretty sore and tired from his appointment this week and not a lot is going on. So I thought I'd write what about what I did today! Gavin and I left this morning for Davenport with our team and we swam in a meet up there! We had a lot of fun watching each other swim and Gavin swam really well! He swam his first ever 25 fly and 100 free and he did extremely well! Most kids his age just swim 25's and 50's but the coaches moved him into an older age division so that he could try the 100 free! It was so much fun to stand by the side of the pool video taping and cheering him on! Anyways he's quite the little swimmer :) I posted a few pics below of today and also a picture of Dillan and Justin when we skyped them this morning! Have a good night everyone! Elisabeth

Hangin out in between our events

This is from Gavin's last swim meet but not all my pics turned out from today so I thought I'd post this one

Skype is such a wonderful thing :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

My ramblings :)

Hello again :) Well its been a pretty quite day here in our house, dad has been pretty tired so we stayed in and did a lot of reading. Mom and I did go out for a little while this afternoon and dad drove us around so that was fun! Well nothing else happening here! Just for the fun of it I thought I'd post a pic of Stuart! He wanted to be on the blog to :) Elisabeth

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just a few pics

Well dad's been pretty tired and sore today after being in Iowa City yesterday so he did a lot of laying around today. Nothing really to interesting going on so I thought I'd post a few pics from some of the walks that we went on this week! Hope you like them! :) Elisabeth

Dad and his little buddy! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday' Appointment

Just a quick update on Lance's appointment in Iowa City today. He passed his lung test!!! He was so happy, kept telling the doctor how he wants to run and play hockey again so he wanted to do good on the test, have to breathe to do those you know!! She just smiled at him and kept telling him how good he did, then looked to me and said he's a little competive with a smile ( A LITTLE!!) He practically turned purple working so hard to do his best on the test!! Platelets went up a little for the first time since he got out of the hospital so we were excited about that! The bonemarrow biopsy was a tough one today.......but Lance never complains. Those results might be back by next week but the DNA will take up to two weeks. We went early so we could stop up and see all the nurses and everyone who took such good care of Lance, it was fun to get to see a few of them. My friend Debbie had surgery last week so I was able to go visit her for a few minutes, please pray for her, specifically that her incision heals without infection. We had a quick lunch between test with Deb's husband so it was nice for Lance to get to visit a little. Well I said this was going to be quick so I will stop but just want to add once more a big thank you to everyone for praying for us and for all these test results we are waiting for! Usually the day after a Biopsy Lance is pretty sore so we will lay very low tomorrow.
Have a good night.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day By Day......

Lina Sandell Berg, 1832-1903

Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or for fear. He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best---lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour, all my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me, He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r. The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid: "As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure," this the pledge to me He made.

What a comfort this old hymn was to my heart when I read it this morning! I have struggled with feeling so responsible for taking care of Lance, especially since we have got back home..... Obviously neither Lance nor I would do anything to jeopardize his health, but there is NO WAY we can control every little germ, blood test , GVH, virus................... you get the idea! God comforted me, this SLOW learner, so graciously! Great to be reminded by the words of this hymn ...."The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid"...... NOT on me.... like I could do anything anyway!! And..."As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure"..... Tomorrow we head to Iowa City for a long day of testing....... Trusting My Gracious, Comforting God.... Day by Day, Moment by Moment....., ---Penny

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Well we have been home for about three weeks!! We are so thankful to be home and thank God for each day!! It has also been a time of learning and compromise..... Learning what is safe and what isn't, what is me being overly protective (Me, could it be!!) and Lance....well Lance just being Lance!! The difference between what I think is safe and Lance thinks is.....well it has always been different....... just ask the boys who they had the most fun with and the most accidents!! God definitely made us for each other...... and one of the reasons has to be to balance each other out! Lance really has been pretty good, especially after the nurses and doctors gave him many lectures. Not only about what not to do, but also what he needs to watch for as far as symtoms and to tell them right away. To be fair to Lance honestly he just doesn't even notice somethings, like when he is hurting it doesn't bother him until it is REALLY hurting...... And then you put him on steroids......which can mask symptoms.......well how is the poor guy to know what to do!! We did learn that when the doctors say you can only have a fire if it is behind closed glass doors, that DOESN'T mean OK but I get to build it first!! He cannot even be in the same room when I dust or vacuum so he CANNOT open the damper on the fireplace.....or basically be anywhere near wood or the fireplace without gloves and a mask... I had to learn that it's OK for him to walk outside if he is dressed warm enough with his mask but that doesn't mean I can make him bundle up so much that he cannot move his neck or put his arms down!! That kind of takes the fun out of it!! And it doesn't help his rashes either!! And Lance has had to learn that when your rash is bad you have to rest and not try and walk at all. We are learning..... honestly they give you so much to be careful of it can be overwhelming. We had thought of germs but had never thought of spores that could be in dust or on plants,wood, dirt etc. We know that time will help with all these things and in the BIG picture this time will not seem near that long.... We also realize that we can do the best we can but need to leave the rest with God...... Praying for protection and wisdom in the days ahead! Elisabeth is home and we are enjoying each other and laughing together. Thanking God for each day!!--Penny

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Night

Its been a good week we have just been relaxing a lot and have been for a few walks. The Doctors let me walk outside if we go somewhere where there are no people so we have been out by the pond and walking on the Heritage trail. I mask up and we dress warm it is really nice. We don't go real far yet but try to do what we can. A friend of ours came over today and worked on our computer, she hooked up skype so we can talk to the grandkids and see them while we talk. It was fun we talked to Nathans kids and they caught us all up on their activities, Ashley and Justin can do it on their computer also and are going to set it up this weekend. Cory can too but I have the computer he does it on so we will be returning it this weekend then we can see all of them. Its especialy nice because the Doctors won't allow me around kids for a while yet and we miss them. Its almost like being together. Well I hope everyone has a good night we are doing well and enjoying this new technology.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


All is well at our house. Elisabeth is still in Chicago so its been quiet, she has been having a fun time with her cousins. Penny and I went to Iowa City today for my appointment it was pretty uneventful, my blood counts seem to be where the Doctors think they should be at this point. Next week will be a much bigger appointment as they will be doing DNA testing in order to find out how much of my new immune system is changed over from mine to Nathans. I will also be having Pulmanary function testing as they need to see if my lungs have been damaged at all by the chemotherapy. They did a base line on me before my transplant now they need to see if anything changed. Then in the afternoon I will have a bone marrow biopsy the purpose of that is to see if they were successful in killing off the Cancer Cells. That would be something to pray for. The test should show how many if any of the Philadelphia Chromosomes I still have, those are the mutated cells that caused the Leukemia in the first place. It would be expected that there will be very few (again if any) and that my new immune system will in time kill off whats left. These test will take up to two weeks to get the results. So it seems everything is moving along as planned. A few concerns are my Liver and Kidney function are on the low end right now and my Platlets have fallen a bit. Again though most of this is brought on by all the medicine and will probably just need some time to straighten out. We felt like the Doctors feel very good about my progress at this point so left feeling good about the visit. I have been continuing to exercise as much as able (walking on the treadmill, and riding the exercise bike between naps )and the Doctors are very happy with that. On another note Nathan and Cory have signed up to compete in the Iowa Games this year in the swimming competition. The Iowa Games are really fun I competed in them in Hockey for years, Nathan and Cory were both very good High School swimmers but Cory has been out 10 years and Nathan twelve so they will be working very hard to get ready. Cory will be competing in the 19-29 year old group and Nathan in the 30-39 year old group. Our grandson Gavin is also competing and Elisabeth is contemplating doing it also, it will be a really fun weekend. I will not be able to attend yet still no crowds but someone will video tape it for me.