Daniel Hedlund's Journal
Written Nov 11, 2011 5:13pmHey guys!
It's been 5 months since I've written any kind of an update, so I figure it's time. I suppose by now, you've come to find my irregularity regular. If that makes sense...
Life is going very well for Melanie and I. I should start off by saying that I had a scan three weeks ago and the doctors found no new growth in my lungs! This is an incredibly positive thing and we were so excited to hear that great news! As always, there are spots that show up on my lung scans, but until we know what they are, we'll just continue to watch them closely. For all we know, it's just scar tissue, dead cancer, or something that's always been there. If, at any point, on future scans it grows, then we'll know it's cancer and we'll go after it.
We also took an x-ray of my leg to see how that's healing. Short story: it's not. My bone is trying so hard to grow into the donor bone they put in four years ago, but it's just not taking like the doctors want it to. So we'll keep praying and hoping that it happens. But if it hasn't grown in by summer 2012, we'll probably just cut it off. Just kidding. That's a bit dramatic. What we'll actually do is have them replace my lower femur with a rod and give me a false knee. We've been wanting to stay away from that as long as possible, but I'm at the point where I don't even care anymore. I'm just really anxious to get off of my crutches/cane and walk.
Speaking of my cane, we're studying the Old Testament this year in my classes. In one of my classes today, we were talking about Moses and his staff when it turns into a snake, and one of my students asked me if I could do that with my cane. I told them I could. For some reason, they didn't believe me. So I'm currently trying to find a way to make it happen. If anyone knows of a cane that will turn into a snake, could you let me know?
On a completely different subject, during the past year, I've been working on creating a product that envelops my experience over the past four years. In full disclosure, my dad is the one that hired me to develop something like this for some of his leadership classes he teaches. I came up with a curriculum called the Ten Mindsets. As I went back and looked at the past four years, I was able to identify several different mindsets that helped me get through. For each mindset, I produced a short video. I've recently finished all of them and so far the only people who have seen them are my family. So I'm a bit nervous about posting these links, but I'd really like your feedback about what you think.
The mindsets are below with the YouTube link to watch the video associated with that mindset.
Intro - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lexs_-MlNAs
Mindset 1: Life Isn't Fair - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=busu4FfF8CY
Mindset 2: Turn Around - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmJON257SE0
Mindset 3: Life Isn't Fair - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x84DUGsE5w0
Mindset 4: Look Upward - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWEexZRanDI
Mindset 5: Be At Odds With The Odds - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl0dWfbDn5c
Mindset 6: Find Strength In Numbers - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggdfjZlID-c
Mindset 7: Get Mental - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxRv8yLiyQo
Mindset 8: Laugh A Little - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw9L_754t9Y
Mindset 9: Control What You Can - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMWTokh1-PQ
Mindset 10: Look For Blessings - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=827M4yfHv-4
Another way to watch them is to just got to Youtube and type 'dphedlund' in the search bar. All of my videos will come up.
They're by no means professional or HD quality, but I've enjoyed making them and it's been interesting for me to go back and analyze everything I've learned. Hindsight is 20/20.
I would really appreciate any ideas on how I could make these better or in what ways I could use these in the future.
Also, one more favor. (And this is the last!) I applied for this contest a while back called "The Search for Incredible" and I'm one of the 10 U.S. Finalists. Now people are able to vote for which of the ten stories they think is the most incredible. The winner will go on to compete against other countries. If you would be willing to click on the link below and vote for me (just scroll through the pictures until you find the bald guy with the cute girl at his side), I would really appreciate it.
Here's the link: http://www.insearchofincredible.com/us/the-search#finalists_item01
Everything else is going well here. Melanie is still working as a Medical Assistant to an Orthopedic Surgeon and she enjoys her work. We've graduated to just plain, boring folk. We rather like it. We've had enough excitement for a while!
Your continued prayers and support have helped more than words can adequately express, and the love and appreciation we feel for you is equally as difficult to express. Just know that we feel incredibly blessed to have experienced the outpouring of love that we have during the last four years. As we celebrate our four year wedding anniversary in November, and the four year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis in December, we wouldn't trade either of those anniversary dates for anything. We are better people because of both.
Daniel and Melanie
Written Jun 7, 2011 9:57pmWell, I thought that it's about time that I give an update. We seem to be concluding this treatment. It's good news. I'm so happy that healthy life is once again in front of us.
Dan is done with chemotherapy! Woo hoo! So the next step is to take care of those two nodules. We were originally thinking of doing lung surgery like we have done in the past. This is when the surgeon makes about an 8 inch incision between his ribs in the back and feels through his lungs, taking out anything that feels suspicious. To be frank, this is just going in and hacking away at his lungs. This was a great method when he had 45+ nodules, but now that there is only two, we have decided on a different procedure. It's called radio frequency ablation (RFA). RFA is an outpatient procedure (another big woo hoo!) in which the surgeon basically sticks a needle into the two nodules and heats up the tip. This will cook the tumor and kill any remaining cancer that may still be there. This is a great thing because it saves a lot of precious lung tissue. You can only hack away so much!
We are excited about this procedure and the fact that Dan is pretty much a perfect candidate for it. This means that there is only one minor outpatient procedure to go and then we are home free! They will then watch him with scans every three months and we will pray and pray ... and pray that it never comes back.
I haven't really felt motivated to blog much about chemo. Sorry for those of you who love Dan and live far... I promise he has been and is currently doing well.
Dan has had three bouts with cancer. I feel like I have learned something very distinct each time. I have had experiences that have helped me to come to different conclusions. I think I can sum up the three conclusions I came to with each occurrence of cancer in three sentences:
Faith if He doesn't.
Faith that He can.
Hope that He will.
All three have been very important in my progression through this experience. First, having the faith that things will be okay even if God doesn't heal Dan. Second, having the faith that it's totally within His power to heal Dan. And third, working to develop the hope that He will heal Dan and we will live a long life together.
Here's to many, many more birthdays. Happy Birthday, Dan! I love you!
Deseret News Article
Written Apr 21, 2011 8:01pmHey everyone,
Just thought I'd post a quick link that's kind of cool.
So in case you didn't know, the hospital I get treated at is the Huntsman Cancer Hospital founded by billionaire Jon Huntsman. The man is one of my heros and an incredible human being. Today he donated another $41 million to the hospital (on top of the $300 million he's already donated).
So the Deseret News (Salt Lake's paper) did an article on it and wanted to interview a cancer patient being treated there so they asked me if I would do it. Well, you know how I hate to be in the lime light...but I said yes anyways. :)
Here's the link to the article if you're interested:
PS - This last treatment went well...at least I'm still breathing, so things can't possibly be that bad, right?