Sunday, November 28, 2010


Sorry it is a little blurry, but it says "Blessings- I asked for a Miracle, I got one. It wasn't what I asked for, but it was exactly WHAT I NEEDED."

This sums up my life. Miracles have been so very present in my life. My many miracles include getting through five difficult births. Where we have ended up living. My husband, my girls, my neighbors, my friends, my family, my church, our jobs etc. It's easy to say that Ellie is a walking Miracle. Every day that I have had with her has been a true Miracle. But I need to also recognize the many Miracles in my life. Even if I didn't ask for them but got them anyway.

I cannot forget the many miracles that I witnessed first hand during our stays in the hospital. Some of them were what some would consider a burden but with out them, I would not be who I am today. Part of it, is getting to witness the love and sacrifice of others who rallied around us and lifted us up during these past few years. Those have been true Miracles.

I would like to send out a special Prayer request for a little hero in the hospital right now battling ALL. (leukemia) He is a fighter and needs some extra prayers for him and his momma right now. His name is Skyler. I found out about him through my younger sister who has a class with his Uncle. Who got to swapping stories of their special niece and nephew one day. His blog is Lets cheer him on and pray for continued Miracles.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My cute little "UTES" with their older cousins who are also Ute fans. What a fun game!

I know, your thinking what? I have always loved college sports. And have always loved the Utes! They made my day today. I grew up cheering for the Utes and then literally, I was able to be a cheerleader for them during my college years. I was on the side lines at the Final game in San Antonio. I was right there for Keith Van Horn's .03 second shot to win the game for the WAC tournament down in Vegas. They have made my day many a times over the years and today was one of them. I love going to a football game with my best friend, Nate and love that we can enjoy the crisp fall air and a hot dog (the only time I like hot dogs), and the comradary of being part of a team. I loved going to Costco afterwards and seeing so many in red and having total strangers say, "good game." Awesome! I can sleep good tonight. I had a migraine all last night into today and when I was tossing and turning last night I thought, "this time tomorrow we will know who won." My husband loves how passionate I get over our team, but says sometimes it can be a detriment, when I am as into the game as he is and the kids need something. Sometimes it's good to get your mind off of things and enjoy some football.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful #19-Birthdays!

To see all these hero's at the same table is so amazing! Celebrating another year with your loved one is breathtaking!
Ellie was cruising around the skating rink on this little wiggle car. Today was one of those days that was picture perfect. To see her here and cruising around no less, when last year she was on oxygen and pale.

Enjoying the ball zone! I had to let all my germ phobias aside for the day so I could enjoy watching my girls enjoy life! Boy it was beautiful!
For this Birthday from Hope Kids, she opened up a little doll and Tinkerbell. Man she was so excited. She saw Tinkerbell and hugged and kissed her over and over.
You know those days you want to remember so bad
but no picture or camera can capture the moment. In my mind, I kept taking mental pictures. This was a moment that I wanted to seer into my mind.

Last December when Ellie turned one, I woke up that morning and just started to bawl. I was so emotional. Even the day she was born, our previous baby was stillborn at birth, so needless to say Ellie's birth was extremely emotional. I couldn't believe that we had come so far and that Ellie had made it to her first birthday. This was a day that I wasn't sure we would get to celebrate with her. Two days before we were in the hospital for a scary procedure. I wanted to plan the biggest bash that we could possibly plan, but with her being in the hospital for a week prior, we thought it best to keep things small. This year we got to attend a Birthday Bash for an organization called "Hope Kids." This is an organization for kids fighting life threatening diseases. I couldn't contain the tears when they gathered all the kids to blow out the candles. Looking around the table, there were kids who were in the middle of fighting the biggest fight ever, bald, pale and week from the chemo. There were kids who were in a better stage of their treatments, and parents or siblings who were stepping in for the kiddos who lost their battles. They all give me inspiration. I hope that Ellie can give some of them the "HOPE" that we so desperately needed last year. We were carting around oxygen and wondering if we would reach that ever so important milestone. As you can see, Birthday's have a new meaning for us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

THANKFUL- #11 Patience

I have learned more about this subject in the last few years than I have my whole life! It has been a huge life lesson that I have had to try to implement in my life over and over again. We waited over a year to get pregnant with Eve (which has never been a problem for us) only to have her leave this world prematurely. And then with Ellie, her whole life has been a waiting game. Wait and see what her tumor does, wait for the right time to get her surgery, wait and see what happens to her heart and so on. I am grateful for the ability to be more patient these last few years. We have seen rewards come along the way slowly but surely. I have heavily relied on my faith lately. One quote that has helped me along the way is from one of my church leaders.

"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best–better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His." --Neal A Maxwell

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I am so grateful for this beautiful young girl in my life. She has been a life savor many a times with helping me with the girls. She is very responsible (most of the time) and her sweet personality has been such a blessing in my life. She is the perfect oldest daughter and has carried a lot of burdens in her young life. I hope the worry of what has happened in the last few years hasn't scarred her for life. She has had the worry of life and death and watched us worry. And when asked the question if Ellie was going to die too, all I could answer was I don't think so. When we first moved to St. George, I had talked about getting a job. So to help out she said "Mommy, you can go and get a soft job like Aunt Milli (who worked at a bank) or at a store or something. You don't have to get a hard job." We would always say that Daddy works hard. She has always been so witty. She is such a big help with her little sisters and has always gone by the book. She is a very good reader and you can usually find her nose in a book. I love waking her up in the morning, cause she always wakes with a smile.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ellie's Shortened version of "Her Story"

This was Ellie's segment that ran in the news the day before the big race. She did such a cute job with Kathy Aiken. They came to our house and filmed for about an hour and a half, so it was interesting to see what they ended up with. They did however think that it was irrelevant to mention that Claire was her younger sister. Other than that we think they did a pretty good job. I wondered how they would condense her story down. She has had quite the ride and your welcome to join us...

Video Courtesy of

FARMINGTON -- It's a most difficult family ordeal whenever a child faces cancer -- and cancer is only half the battle a little girl in Farmington is fighting.

Ellie Cason is only 21 months old. Her family calls her their "princess with wings;" but for the near future, this little Tinkerbell will have to stay on the ground.

"When she was two and a half months old, she was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma -- which is a cancerous tumor in her neck," explained Becca Cason, Ellie's mother.

What is... neuroblastoma cancer?Neuroblastoma is a disease in which cancer cells form in nerve tissue of the adrenal gland, neck, chest, or spinal cord. It is the most common cancer in infancy, with an annual incidence of about 650 new cases per year in the U.S. Almost 50 percent of cases occur in children younger than two years old. The five-year survival rate for children diagnosed during infancy is over 80 percent. However, that percentage falls to 45 percent if the diagnosis is made at one year or older. -National Cancer Institute At 5 months of age, Ellie and her parents went to Primary Children's Medical Center to determine the best way to fight the cancer. While there, something went terribly wrong.

"She was really weak, really breathing heavy, had a lot of heart failure; she was in total heart failure," Becca said.

An X-ray revealed little Ellie also had severe cardiomyopathy -- a disease of the heart muscle. Her heart was working at just 10 percent capacity. Twice, Ellie's heart stopped beating.

"It was hard to watch a nurse run down the hallway and yell, ‘We need paddles! We need paddles!" Becca said. "But she survived that too. … She's our little miracle child."

Becca believes Ellie has a guardian angel on her side. Before Ellie's birth, another daughter was stillborn: a baby named Eve.

"I kind of think of it as she's (Eve's) watching over her. She (Ellie) loves wings, so I always thought that her older sister Eve was watching over her," Becca said.

And Ellie's two oldest sisters are taking care of her. Macy and Adrie have taken Ellie under their wings.

Did you know...?Approximately 12,400 children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. Approximately 2,300 children and adolescents die of cancer each year, making cancer the most common cause of disease-related mortality for children 1-19 years of age. "It's hard, hard to see any of your kids struggle," said Nate Cason, Ellie's father. "But I think as a whole it's brought the family together. Her sisters, it's just brought them close together."

That bond will be needed in the next several months. Doctors must soon decide whether to remove the tumor or first try shrinking it with chemotherapy.

Though her heart has increased to 20 capacity, Ellie must be cancer free, or at least in remission for one year before, she can be put on the heart transplant list.

"That kind of complicates it with the heart issue. The chemo weakens the heart significantly," Nate said. "So we're just trying to keep things in balance."

They also try to keep Ellie smiling. Thanks to the Utah Hero Foundation, Ellie got a visit Thursday from Tinkerbell.

"Our neighborhood friends, family; it's been great. They've really come together in more ways than we can even count," Nate said.

The Casons should learn the next step for Ellie's treatment in about three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Utah Hero Foundation has organized a 5K race in Ellie's honor. It's scheduled for Saturday morning, Sept. 18, in Farmington. CLICK HERE for more details.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am so grateful for this beautiful little girl in my life. She has always been so close to the spirit despite her feisty personality. Her and Macy have been at each other so much lately. So today, she told me that she was going to be better and that she will not fight with Macy for three weeks so that she can get in the habit of not fighting. Then she continued her plan of action. "If we can't do that, than we will not fight for two weeks. And if we can't do that than we will not fight for one week. And if we can't do that we will not fight for one day." A short time later, I hear them fighting over a snack. So I ask her, "I thought you guys weren't going to fight, in which her reply is, "I guess Macy can't do it."

I love how this girl is so candid. She keeps us laughing with her grown up talk and sometimes, I am not sure whether she is seventeen or seven. She reminds us every night about "blessing Ellie's Heart" during our prayers. She adds so much life to the party and with her petite build leads her to use her voice extra loud. She can't whisper for the life of her. I am always amazed at how much volume can come out of one child. Every person in this family is a puzzle piece and we need all of them to see the big picture.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


This is been such a blessing to have insurance. We have never had issues with them not treating Ellie. Even her Synergis Shots, which are two thousand dollars a shot and she gets them for seven months each winter have been approved. This has been a blessing that we have not had to fight it. We do however have bins of medical bills and stacks of insurance papers that are over several feet high. Sometimes we go through them, sometimes we let them stack up, but in the end, I don't know where we would be with out it. This connects to being thankful for meds because the cost for those would definately be more than we could handle.

Friday, November 5, 2010

THANKFUL #5-Sunshine!

"Oh mister Sun, sun, mister golden sun. Please shine down on me." Yes, I have watched to much Barney over the years. Especially with Macy. She would sing every song as loud as she could.

I am so grateful for the sun. With out the warmth and the brightness. It would be so dark and cold. Literally. But I am one of those that needs to see it. I have a hard time when it goes days with out seeing the sun. There's something about it that makes me feel happier. In St. George, it seemed to be sunny almost everyday. I crave the Vitamin D. Love ya sun!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

THANKFUL #4-Medication

When you think about a natural disaster or something happens that requires you to flee your place, what would you take? One of the first things on my list are Ellie's meds. I shudder to think what would happen if we could not get her medication to her. One controls her blood pressure, the other keeps her function going and the other helps her fainting spells (we think). She used to take a very strong drug that I believe was the turning point for her heart called Digoxin. A drug loaded with things that could go wrong but also things that could go right. When they told us that she needed to go on it, I remember thinking, just stop with the side affects and remind me why we are giving this to her? All I heard was that this was an option to possibly stopping her heart from failing. Wow! I just don't know what I would do without these in our life. And if it means that we have to give them to her for the rest of her life, no biggie. It's becoming second nature. We have done it now for a year and a half. We went to Heart Camp in August, and some how, I managed to forget my Enalaprel. We were contemplating running back two hours when we had about five moms who had heard our plight offer to give us some of theirs. Sad to have so many on the same drugs, but very helpful. Every time their is a change to her meds Ellie's body has to learn to adjust. Particularly her passing out spells. We recently saw Cardiology on a Friday, changed meds on Saturday and has a pass out that Monday. Also, two of her pass out spells happened after I forgot her morning dose of Enalaprel. I think there is some sort of connection. That and getting those stinking Synergis shots which also start this month for the duration of the cold and flu season. Yeah! Fun for us. Bring it on, I dare ya to make her pass out exactly five days later. Do ya see a pattern? Even though I hate these shots, I know this will help her in the long run. Meds, we love you for all you do for our little girls. Even Macy is dependant on asthma meds. I am so thankful for modern meds.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THANKFUL #3 Claire Hope

Claire in her bouncer. She loves to be outside and loves to watch her sisters play.

At Halloween Claire got to dress up as Snow White. What a cutie and she left the wig on for quite a while.
The girls having their morning bottles. Yes Ellie still takes a bottle but it's the only way she gets down one of her meds. Plus the girls always have some good bonding time in the morning.


If you saw the recent news clip on Ellie, they forgot to mention Ellie had a sister born after her named Claire. We wanted to clarify that for those of you wondering what happened. She was born sixteen months after her. And let me tell you it has been a lot of fun having two babies. My life the past seven months has been quite a blur. Lots of diapers, lots of poop, lots of blowouts, lots of throw-up and a whole lot of laughing to help us get through it. One of these days I will get my side bar updated to show that she is part of our family also.

This little one has been such a blessing to our family. She is such a happy baby. When she wakes in the morning, I check on her to see if she is awake because she usually will not cry to let me know that she is up. Family has given her the nickname "Smilely." Her demeanor was exactly what we needed, when we needed it. She gave us a good distraction during some very trying times. There were many a nights at the hospital, where I had to remember the new life growing inside of me. Even though I wanted to stay up all night and watch my Ellie sleep.

Claire at six months is already scooting around. She started crawling on her seventh month mark. She loves to laugh at her sisters when they throw a plastic ball in her face. Or when you rub your nose in her neck. She has the cutest laugh. She sleeps fairly well despite her very scary start. She would sleep all day and cry (literally) all night. It was pure torture for about a month. Nothing would quiet her down. The swing, holding her, sleeping on us, gas bubbles, nothing! Then we discovered it. Rays of light are coming down this moment and the heavens are opening up to blue skies. As we were facing another night of no sleep, I happened upon a bin of clothes that my sister gave me. I pulled out this glorious garment that was white and had velcro tabs on it. It was a snuggie! We wrapped it around her that night and instantly she settled down. Nate and I looked at each other and with a glimmer of "HOPE" for the first time in a month and crashed. We woke the next morning at five to find her sleeping snuggly her snuggie. Best invention ever!!! This saved our Claire Bear from a disastrous beginning and into the beautiful little girl we know today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful #2

THANKFUL #2-Technology

This may sound like a funny one, but technology has been my saving grace the last few years. I had the pleasure recently to hear Paul Cardall's mother speak at a Heart Mom's lunch and I realized how lucky we are to be able to reach out and find other mom's and support groups out there to be able to lean on, cry to, vent to, learn from, mourn with and so on. I recently found a mom that started a group for Mom's with Cancer Fighting Kiddos. Awesome! I do feel a little lost when it comes to Ellie's particular type of cancer. I have only met a few with this rare type of childhood cancer. Technology has saved me many a times like when we moved to St. George and we were able to stay in touch with so many friends through Facebook and cellphones. And I get to still keep in touch with all our St. George friends that we made while we were there. In the hospital, I was able to skype Nate almost every night at home over three hundred miles away. I am so amazed at how far technology has come.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thankful #1

I am going to make a THANKFUL list for the month of November. I may not get to post everyday due to our limited internet access but I felt like it was a good idea to note all that I am thankful for right now.

#1-My Family

I have been so blessed to have this beautiful family that Nate and I have helped create. Four beautiful girls and one angel make for such fun and chaos at the same time. I can't believe how far we have come as a family and how they have given me a reason to get up in the morning. I love them more than I can ever imagine I would.
In all that we have been through, this is the life that I chose and I have learned and loved so much!