I did not see this coming

On Saturday, April 4 at 10 AM I got the confirmation that I have Multiple Myeloma, a rare but growing cancer type. In my case, the markers are still bd&Ceing identified and “how bad” it is, remains in the data of the professional gatekeepers in Kaiser’s blood and medical imaging departments and soon under the evaluative eyes of a new close friend; my oncologist. Hopefully by midweek, April 15 we will have a baseline that will create the orienteering necessary.

But for now, the effort is underway to, in Dr’s words, “keep the thing from snowballing.” It’s hard to hear that since I’ve been in significant back pain for now five months. But let’s get the party started.

Yesterday, began the basic treatment for Myeloma, a twice weekly injection of chemo call Velcade. On Tuesdays I get an oral treatment of steroid called Decadron. For now that’s it, but a third and possibly fourth medicine will be added to cocktail as markers progress or regress.

This will be my start and mainline medical defense for the next six months while I discover what this disease is, what it will do, how it will affect my earning an income and how it will re-direct my ministry and most importantly, my eight month marriage to Meg. For the present time, I’m fighting the pain of broken bones to satisfy the wedding contracts I’ve signed through June 7. I have taken 10 weeks leave from pulpit teaching. After that, I will have to see what nausea and life has thrown at me.

During the day, I work analyzing all the available data and concerns that this produces and try to use the brain as much as I can until “chemo-mush” sets in but please also know that at night, I laugh and weep when I read your wonderful words of encouragement.

28 thoughts on “I did not see this coming

  1. Sounds like you are coping with this new reality. I think and pray for you all the time. You will have new waves of realizations as your treatment unfolds, if it goes like Patty’s experience. Stay close to those you love and walk confidently through this. Easy for me to say, but I think it’s good advice, visualize your treatment working and stay positive. A negative spirit helps no one. Stay in touch.

  2. Thinking of you and praying for you everyday. Thank you for the update(s) so we know what’s going on and how specifically to pray. As for me writing something that would make you laugh, I’m not witty that way – that’s Todd’s department! Sending hugs to you –

  3. When we visited Santa Rosa in February and met you for dinner, you must have been in pain. We had no idea at the time! Love and prayers to you and Meg that you’ll stay strong through this,
    — John & Marj

  4. Dear Dan, Much love to you from Sacramento and the Cagley family. We are thankful you have the love and support of your family and church family. I still remember the crazy days at the old Campus Life office on Arden Way with you, “Big Red” and Ted Smith and the rest of our Campus Life folks. Remembering the Haunted Mansions, MudBowl, Wild Goose Chase, the Southland Trips and bike treks during spring break. I fondly remember the New Year’s Eve High School trip to Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1975-76. Years later, Mount Hermon became our second home for summer family vacations and retreats. Much love and prayers to you, Danny!

  5. Prayers. So sorry you have to face this, but confident you will endure as a good soldier! I know many, many people are holding you up in prayer. With you, cousin!

  6. I’m really sorry to hear this, Dan.There’s a lot of people I know who also be sad.
    But we know s mighty God and we will go to Him on your behalf.
    Jack Swearengen – one of your brothers

  7. Dan, I look up to you as a big brother, both in the lord, and as someone dealing with the curves life has thrown at us. I hope in the midst of all of this you will remember Romans 8:38-39; that the Father will take even this and redeem it and make something unexpected come out of it. And I hope that you can still find ways to enjoy being Meg’s. And seeing beauty. And expressing beauty through your art. It blesses me to see how God uses you to create things.

  8. Danny…it has been a joy to see your life unfold as we became reconnected through Facebook after many, many years. I have enjoyed hearing about your bountiful growing knowledge of the Word and other cultures…..then came Meg. She became a wonderful source of joy to your life and I was THRILLED for both of you. I lived vicariously through your honeymoon to an exotic destination and to even chat with Meg by Facebook before she was able to move to Santa Rosa to be with you in your home together. It hit me hard when I read about your pain that was so vicious and then to find out that it was multiple myeloma. I had questions for God. I was angry. Then, I remembered who God really is. That He has such a bigger purpose than I could ever dream of. I have been praying for you, your church family, your family, and Meg. You seem to be doing all that you can to become knowledgeable about your illness and that empowers you. I am praying that the side effects of the chemo drugs will be manageable and that you will be bold in calling the doctors and telling them when you have these side effects. Will now be praying that you will be able to fulfill the weddings that you have to do and if you don’t feel well enough to do some, that someone else will be brought in. May the financial difficulties be taken care of by our Lord. I agree with someone who said earlier to keep a positive outlook because I don’t know HOW this works but I know it does good things for your immune system and your mental health. Love to you both.

  9. Thinking about you daily Dan. You have the perfect attitude to fight this and I’m confident you will get through this. I’m praying for you. Thanks for keeping everyone updated.

  10. I shall pray for you every day. It is so easy to say to be brave,etc. but not so easy to do. Thank
    God that you have Meg. That was God’s blessing to you. If there is anything I can do for you or Meg, please let me know. The doctors at Kaiser are experienced and know what to do. Much love to you and wish I could do more.

  11. Hi Dan, so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I will be praying God’s strength and encouragement for you, Brother. I have a close friend named Mike that was also diagnosed with MM and is on year four or five of his journey. He is a Doctor from Silverton. I was in a weekly bible study with him and other men for several years when we lived there. ErneRuth & I were in a Marriage Encounter Circle with him and his wife and other couples. And ErneRuth also taught both of their children piano. So we had extensive contact with him over the years that we were living there.
    He is very articulate and has written several long emails chronicling his ups & downs. It has helped me pray for him more intelligently, yet always in faith. I will follow your journey as well, Dan.

    “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16 :33

  12. Thoughts and prayers are with you Dan! My brother-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma about 8 years ago and he is in remission and doing great! There is hope! Let me know if you ever want to speak to him! xoxo

  13. Well…..REALLY glad to see this forum for your journey! I will be in/stay in touch. Some of this will be a breeze, yet parts will be making you tougher than nails. I am very thankful you have a partner who is standing by, yet I realize this battle is also a surprise to her. Thanks to Meg, who will have to keep us all posted in the times where you just need a break. And to Meg….Just Let Us Know….we want to be available and won’t know the exact needs…PLEASE tell us. đŸ™‚ Go, Dan!!!

  14. I’m thinking, “Who needs Henri Nouwen’s blessed, broken and given when you’re living the real deal”

  15. Dear Dan, We will be keeping you and Meg in our prayers! I believe the Lord’s loving hand brought the two of you together “for such a time as this”. May your faith and love grow ever stronger, may the joy of the Lord be your strength, and may you experience blessings you could not have discovered any other way. Love and prayers, Nora 1Peter 5:7

  16. Hang in there, Dan. You have a wonderful team of friends, family, community and doctor’s! So much Love, Healing and Prayers are being sent your way, every day. I only met you a couple of times in Capitola, but I could see the tenderness and Love that you and my dear friend, Meg share. You are so Blessed… I know you know this đŸ™‚ Much Love from Capitola, ~Robin Morrison

  17. Sending you cyber hugs and prayers that you will heal quickly. I am so glad you have your lovely new wife to help you through this. We will be thinking of you and praying for your continued strength and faith.
    Becky Missildine

  18. Dear Dan and Meg,

    It is hard to find words of comfort for the two of you. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. So many people of this world love you both so much. I have been very emotional since learning of your diagnosis. You have a wonderful realistic approach to this.
    I admire your strength. Blessings and Love, Susan and Avery

  19. Yo Dan — A privilege and blessing to add my prayers to the list of caring loving people who are upholding you. Thinking of you with warm memories. I just know God will hold on to you, lifting the heaviness of your heart – lean on him! Evelyn Poderick

  20. Dan & Meg, Daily prayers for healing & strength to get through this disease. We have witnessed healing through our Lord, and know that He is with you. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

  21. Very sorry to hear this news, and will be praying and lifting up you & Meg in the light of God’s love & healing!

  22. Hi, Dan. Jeff Weir here. So sorry you have to go through this. Damn. My thoughts are with you.
    My dad had multiple myeloma. He ended up taking thalidomide. It kept the cancer at bay – basically stopped it. He died of Alzheimer’s complications, not the cancer. (You still seem to have a great mind that deserves to keep on thinking!) I only mention the thalidomide cuz it doesn’t hurt to share.
    And….My mom is praying for you. She’s the best prayer ever!
    Fondly, Jeff

    • Hi Jeff. Yes, Thalidomid based treatment options are on the chemo menu of the future and will remain to be seen whether it is added. In the meantime, greet your mom and bless you for taking the time to reach out and encourage me.

      Preciate it.


      • Thanks, Dan. Glad thalidomide is on the table. It took quite a bit of wrangling to have it prescribed almost 10 years ago for dad. Mom appreciated your greeting and feels deeply for what you are dealing with. We both send our love. J

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