Monday, August 6, 2012

A Word from the Wife

I'm taking over this blog entry to share the latest updates from our escapades in Seattle so far.  Believe it or not, we're starting our fifth week here and I wish I could say the time has flown.

Let me bring you up to speed.  We spent our first few days getting acquainted with the transplant team, the doctors, nurses, social workers, pulmonologists, cardiologists, and many patients and caregivers living in the SCCA house.  Our world was shattered when, on our 6th day here, we were interrupted in radiology for an unscheduled meeting with our doctor on the transplant team.  He shared with us that the routine biopsy they performed 3 days earlier showed 17% leukemia cells and that his cancer had, once again, relapsed.  This made Dan ineligible for his transplant and is postponed until the leukemia is in remission.

The last 4 weeks have been a whirlwind.  We were shuffled to general oncology with a new team and a new plan.  Dan was put on a chemo regimen immediately that has been consuming much of our time.  We've been enjoying ourselves as much as we can, catching a mariners game, taking walks, playing games, eating at interesting and fun restaurants, watching 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights, and becoming coffee connoisseurs at the never-lacking coffee shops around here (it really is true).  We moved into the long-term housing and have settled into our 1-bedroom apartment.  Since chemo has begun to effect Dan, we've been laying low at home cherishing our time together and I've been stepping up to my caregiver duties.  Through trial and error and a few sleepless nights, we've mastered a successful combination of home remedies and medicine that settle his restless legs, relieve his aching bones/joints, and soothe his nausea.  I've also become an expert smoothie-maker so Dan gets all the nutrition he needs and doesn't lose weight. Dan has been through this so many times and he's pretty good at just dealing with feeling "chemo-y" as he says, and I admire him for that.

Today we got some more bad news.  The biopsy from Friday showed that the leukemia is resisting chemo.  Unfortunately, he has developed some immunities to therapy because he has had them before, so we are consulting with doctors tomorrow about how to proceed.  SCCA has the top transplant center, which is why we came here 4 weeks ago.  Since the relapse and Dan is being treated for leukemia again, we are looking into a center in Houston (MD Anderson) or possibly coming home to participate in a clinical trial or a new cocktail of drugs he hasn't had.  We are far from home and rely so much on our family and friends for strength, so coming home sounds amazing to us right now.  We'd love to find a trial somewhere close to home or have treatment at Georgetown to get Dan ready for the transplant. But, we are prepared to go anywhere.

We don't know what lies ahead and we are devastated by this news.  We're exhausted from this lifestyle of waiting, hoping, and praying, but we know that we have to muster up the strength to keep on keeping on because the road ahead is long.  I love Dan with everything, and through sickness and in health I will love him and cherish him.  Yes, this is not the 2 years I had expected when I married him, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  We have spent virtually every second together since we got here, and we've fallen more in love every day.  He's the most amazing man I've ever known, and I am so blessed to be his wife.

Thanks for your continued positive words of encouragement, faith, hope, and love.  As Dan has said so many times on here, we are leaning on all of you to help us stay strong.

ALL will (still) be well,



  1. "Do not forget that true love sets no conditions; it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves." ALL Will Be Well 100%

    1. Dan, I love you. You are such a strong fighter and an inspiration. I am happy that I got to meet Hanna, albeit briefly, at Pat O'Brien's. She is a true partner of the super-hero kind! :) Love you both! Prayers are ALWAYS coming your way from this girl! xoxo

    2. Hanna, Danny, you know how much we all love and care for you, your strength , spirit,your unconditional love for each other is inspiring to all who know you.
      I know that the road has gotten rough, but there are ways around and I have faith you will find it. Anything we can do please know all you need do is ask
      Love you
      Unc Pat

  2. wow... a friend shared your blog post. I am so touched by your love. You will be in our prayers!

  3. You two are such an inspiration. Lean on me.. I'll help you carry on xo

  4. Hanna, you and Dan are such amazing, brave souls. Thank you for the update, and you both have my fervent prayers!

  5. I love you guys. Know we are praying...

  6. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you. You are truly a living example of faith, hope, love, and courage.
    Blessings~Judi (friend of Wanda)

  7. Cancer may be strong, but you're love for each other is stronger. Please keep your heads up. I just know that this story will have a happy ending. You deserve one. Thank you for continuing to be each others best friends, caretakers, and biggest cheerleaders. It restores my faith in true love everytime I read your blog.
    Kylene (a friend of Viki's and a fan of yours)

  8. Dan and Hanna,
    I had hoped Seattle would have been the answer, but there just must be another one! Keep your heads up and I know we all look forward to seeing you at Georgetown if you come back. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Safe travels.

  9. A friend shared your post on FB. Know of my prayers for healing for Dan and for strength and courage for you both. What a beautiful witness you are to the beauty of married love!

  10. No words.....
    Praying for you both.
    -Petrina (Shana's friend)

  11. I am sure you can beat this. We miss you and are all behind you, cheering you on. God bless.

  12. 1 John, chapter 4:16
    We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

    God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

    You have continued to show us the presence of God through your perseverance in the love you have for one another. I know God is with you. Know that my love is there also. I am praying for you both daily.

  13. Dan and Hanna,
    I am so sorry (tears) for your medical setbacks. Your efforts, hope, and LOVE inspire me tremendously. I think and pray for you guys often. Remember, each day is a new day, and I know God has more beauty and love in store for you. Continue to look for and listen to God, who is using you for his divine plan. Walk in faith, and All Will be Well.

  14. Your faithful witness through your dedication to each other is a witness to us all. Thank you!