Tuesday, December 2, 2008

At Home

I spoke with Justin this morning, and he asked me to post an update.

Bruce and Justin met with Susan's oncologist yesterday morning. His opinion was that her body would not be able to endure further chemotherapy, it would do more harm than good. Together they decided that the best course of action would be to take her home where she can rest more comfortably.

Susan has been sleeping most of the time lately, but Bruce mentioned that she overheard this conversation and asked "Does this mean I'm done?" They indicated to her that her treatment was complete, and she closed her eyes and smiled. She understands her situation and is at peace.

She arrived home yesterday afternoon and is receiving hospice care. Her caregivers are adjusting her pain medication to help her have more awake time, which is important to her. Justin, Bruce, and Janet are caring for her together with her nurses.

We appreciate the many prayers and kind words that have been offered on behalf of Susan and our family. We will continue to keep our friends and family members updated through the blog.



Anonymous said...

we have been keeping up with the blog and praying for you the whole time. Our prayers are still with you guys


Jen said...

I can't help but be brought to tears over this whole situation.

I'm glad that Susan will be able to be w/ her friends and family @ home.
Our prayers go out to them. Our Heavenly Father will take care of his little girl, & will only bring her home when the time is right

suzanne said...

May God bless you all.........

Anonymous said...

Susan are prayers are with you.


The Porter Family said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We love you Susan!


I am just a member of Justin and Susan's ward-we barely met them before they got word of this terrible disease. I have been following your blog and keep wishing that you guys could catch a break... Our heartfelt prayers go out to all of you and pray that the Lord will shower you with His tender mercies and that you will be able to see His hand in all your lives. God Bless-
Don and Melissa Mortensen

thearringtonclan said...

Mathew and I are sitting at the cancer treatment center doing chemo and can only think of you at this time..You continue to be in our prayers and Justin, we hope you will be enveloped with comfort from your family and friends.. know we all care.. As a spouse to a cancer patient I know that WE need support..Please lean on those that care so much about you..
This is a kind of final word to Susan but it comes from my heart...I hope she can pass on to the other side without anymore pain and welcomed by those who await her on the other side, to start her journey there as she ends it here.. God bless you all..
Maxine and Mathew

Tiffany said...

Susan, I admire you. You have such strength and faith in God. My prayers are with you all at this time. May God watch over you.
Tiffany (Horn)

Corissa and Spencer Smith said...

We are praying for you both!

Anonymous said...

I'm so grateful for Susan's example in all she's been through the past several months, the things she has written have been inspiring and I trust that Heavenly Father will do what is best for everyone. My prayers have and will continue to be with you all.

Bridgette Solomon

Brittany said...

Our family's thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. May our Heavenly Father watch over and bless you all with peace and comfort. Our hearts go out to you.

Brittany (Lueck) Blackburn

Mike Steph Brooklyn and Carter said...

Our prayers are with Suz and the whole family. We love you all.

Dyan said...

Susan will be Susan to the end...it's just so her to smile at the situation and know what's best for herself. What an example to the rest of us in so many ways. Our prayers, thoughts, and tears continue on for all of you. I know our Heavenly Father is there to help your family through this...let him!

The Corbett's said...


Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated. Cindy and I continue to keep all of you in our prayers. I am glad Susan is able to be home and being cared for by the people who love her. May God grant you all peace.

Kyle said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your whole family! I feel blessed to call Susan a friend...she is a great girl and I pray for her peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Susan - You are so strong, and your blog and life has inspired me so much. You are such a light in this world.

Justin - Carry that light with you always.

I'm praying for you all.

Stefanie Thompson

Brandon said...

We are praying for you and your family. Thank you for keeping us updated.

Anonymous said...


May God be with you during this great challenge you face. May you find strength from you faith, your husband, your parents, family and friends and know you have so much love coming at you. It's been a LONG time since we've talked, but I just found out today and I am going to pray for you relentlessly! You're beautiful and just an amazing person - God will see you through this like He does everything else. God bless you all!

Ann Williams

Brad, Briene and Brayden said...

We love you guys so much and will continue to keep you in our prayers. May Heavenly Father give you the comfort you need at this time.

Nicole Passage said...

Susan, my beautiful friend, I couldn't love you more than I do!! My heart is so full right now for you and your family. My prayers continue to go to you...


Anonymous said...

Susan is amazing! I know that the Lord loves her and has a plan for her. My prayers go out to her and your family.
Tina (I was in University First Ward with her)

Hooked on Merrill said...

I am also in Susan and Justin's ward. Susan was my visiting teacher and we started running together in the mornings. I didn't get to know her that well, but I could tell from day one that she was an amazing person with great spirit about her. Justin and her are both great people with strong testimonies. I know Heavenly Father will bless you in the way you need at this time. Our prayers and hearts go out to you.

Brady and Stacy Merrill

Adam and Jessica Cooley said...

We love you so much Susan! You have fought a good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith. Thanks for reminding us all how important it is to live for today and plan for tomorrow. If it is your time to enter Paradise look forward with a happy heart to many joyfull reunions, I'm sure the first being a loving sister who has watched over you and will be waiting with open arms. God be with you 'til we meet again...

Jody said...

It's always tough to know exactly what to say upon reading news like this.

I could go for the lighthearted witty angle: "Well, at least you never lost your hair!"

I could go for the admiration angle: "Susan, you are amazing and inspiring and a truly beautiful person who has touched the lives of so many."

I could go for the religious angle: "I know the Lord will be there for you and your family. I pray you will all feel His love and His spirit close to you at this time."

I could go for the sympathy and support angle: "It pulls at the heart strings to see friends go through such trials. Always remember how many people are there for you and love you and support you."

So, depending on what mood you're in, hopefully there's something in here that will have been said right.

My love and prayers to you and your family.

Adriana said...

I knew there was a reason that Susan and her family were in my thoughts all day long yesterday! I have continually prayed for strength for each one of you... I know Heavenly Father knows best and I will continue to pray on behalf of the Mortensen-Turley Clan. Susan is a Shining Star!

Pam said...

Our prayers are with you and we hope that you can have a peaceful experience during this trial.

Joe said...

Susan, thanks for the memories. You are a hero to all of us. Your smile and laugh are engraved in our minds and will carry us on. God bless you your husband and your family. Thanks for touching our lives forever. You are loved. Forever strong!

Anonymous said...

I am also a member of Justin and Susan's ward. Even though they only attended a short while, I know we have all been affected by Susan and Justin. The prayers of the ward and of the Primary children (who they taught for a few weeks) have been with them and will continue through this very difficult time. May peace be with all of you who are part of their circle.

Anna Gregg

Anonymous said...

Susan and Family-
You have fought so hard and have shown each and every one of us the importance of love,family, friends, and God. You finished a long and hard race, and we are all so proud of you. I will never forget our friendship and how much you and your family mean to me. God Bless!
Rachael Elston Butler and family

Marissa said...

I met Susan in the summer of 2000 when we participated in the Tempe Sister Cities program. Although we went to different countries (I to Germany and she to Macedonia), the group as a whole spent a lot of time getting to know each other during the summer.

Susan was one of the funniest, most kind-hearted people I had ever met. Although we didn't really keep in touch much before communicating a little via facebook this year, I'm deeply saddened by this news. I can't seem to get my mind off the fact that bad things like this happen to such good people.

I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to know Susan, and while I've never met Justin, I know he must be pretty special to have won the heart of someone so amazing. I'm thinking of you and your family, and praying harder than I've ever prayed before.

- Marissa Weeman

Ross and Brittany Chambers said...

I've been so touched and blessed to have you apart of my life. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. We love you!

Lorinda said...

We love you and pray for your peace and comfort.

Gail said...

Susan & Justin,

I wasn't sure if I should stop in at the hospital on Monday, but I am glad that I did. Seeing both of you sitting together holding hands was a spiritual experiance. You both have so much love to share with each other and everyone else that you come in contact with.

Susan, please know that we have enjoyed watching you grow from babyhood into a beautiful and kind young women. Your courage and fortitude have had a positive impact on our lives. After all is said and done, what really matters most is the love that we share with other people. You have done that in so many ways.

Justin, stay strong and know that our support and prayers with you.

Melissa said...

I really can't wrap my mind around this. I've been praying like everyone else and I never had a doubt that things would work out for you.
I guess I never thought about this being the way it would.
I know you are strong and brave and faithful. You continue to touch so many lives Susan. We will remember you for that. You will always be in our hearts....... I just want to hug you right now.

Jennifer said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. We were in the University ward with Susan and her parents. They are some of the best, dearest people I know. God bless you. (Jen & Jake Hawkes)

The Bostock Fam said...

Justin and Susan,

We pray for you. I hope you are both feeling better and that things run smoothly.


Elijah & Jenny Nielson said...

Dear Susan--

May God be with you at this tender time. I cannot imagine your feelings but I have grown through reading your experiences. You have taught me to have a better sense of humor when life gets hard and to be at peace with the Lord's will -whatever it may be. When I picture you in my mind (back when we were in school), I picture you always with a smile on your face. You seemed so positive and upbeat. Now after following your blog closely and getting to know you even better through it, I have seen that smile magnified in spirit. I have seen an amazing outpouring of love from you and for you. And above all I have seen strength.

Thank you for the time you have taken to share even a small part of this experience with us. I believe I am better because of who you are. I know that Jesus is real and there is great purpose in His plan. May our Savior bless you on your journey. You are an inspiration--

Jenny Dustman Nielson

JJ and Parie Johnson said...

My heart go out to your you and your family...I'm a very dear friend of Natalie and I knew Susan briefly from the singles ward. I can't express how much Susan's story has touched my life. Thank you for sharing her story...It has been an inspiration and strengthened my testimony to live each day to the fullest. You guys are in our prayers.

Lee and Anne said...

We love you Susan. God bless you for all you are!

Kristin Hamblin said...

Susan, I hope the huge bouquet of Sunflowers brings a smile to your face every time you look at. They were beautiful and such a fitting flower to be your favorite. Whenever I think of you, I think of a happy and smiling person who always could liven up the room--just like the flowers. You and Justin have shown amazing strength throughout this whole ordeal and really taught me the power of love that marriage can bring. May you continue to feel this love throughout your journey. We love you two!

Nate and Lori said...

I remember the first day that I met Susan. We were on the swings at Kyrene del Cielo and I was so excited to have a new friend at church and school. I have been following this blog closely and have not been surprised at all with how Susan has reacted in this difficult time. She always had a big smile on her face and was always joking around and making the best of each situation. It is hard for the rest of us to comprehend but it seems like Susan has found the peace. I pray that her family will also be able to feel that same peace. Thank you for all that you have taught me over the years and through this journey.

Lori Dastrup Miller

Our Family said...

I just wanted you to know how much I love you and how much I treasure our friendship. You and Justin have been a true inspiration to everyone! I know you already know how much our Father in Heaven loves you. You are so special to Him and to everyone else. I'm so grateful that I could be there to see you in the temple for the first time and to see you be sealed for time and all eternity. You have been blessed with a very special husband, and I'm so glad that you have him. You and Justin and your family are ALWAYS in our thoughts and prayers. I wish I could give you a big, fat hug right now!! We love you SOO much and are always thinking of you. God bless!

ericjo5@aol.com said...

All our hearts are turned to you and your families. May you be comforted and feel peace!
JoAn and Eric Ellsworth

Michelle said...

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your families. We love and admire you more than words can adequately express. Your friendship has always been and will always be one of our most treasured gifts. Much love, The Skinners

erika said...

We will continue to keep you guys in our prayers. Thank you for your strong example of faith and courage. We think about you guys often and know that Heavenly Father has a plan for everything.
Much love, Erika (Wallin) Fellars

Anonymous said...

Susan, though the last I saw you was in high school, I think you have one of the best personalities out there. Don't lose hope in discouraging days, there's always a way to stand up over trials. Even when a few come together in prayer, God is there, and I know your world is rooting for you!!

Much love to you and your family!


Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Los Peña said...

Susan and Justin, Jose and I have you in our thoughts and prayers always. Thank you for the blog for your thoughtfulness to share this challenging and difficult experience with everyone else. You are an inspiration and we are blessed to know you. You will continue to be in our prayers and whatever the Father's will is I pray that you will feel His and our love always.

Gabby (Diaz) & Jose Pena

Anonymous said...

We have been following your blog since we first heard about Susan's cancer through Bruce. Our hearts have been touched and our tears are shed with yours.
Through our son’s past bout with cancer the scripture from Psalms 46:10 has taken on a deeply personal and profound meaning. “Be still and know that I am God…”. Our lives truly are in His hands. He knows each of us in a very personal way and is mindful of all of our needs both spiritually and physically. Through trials we learn in an even greater way, than any other, to trust, believe, hope and exercise great faith in God’s plan. We can tell through your words that you have learned these same principles.
Our daily prayer for you is that you and your family will be blessed with peace and comfort in the coming days and weeks.
You are truly loved,
Blaine and Margene Bushman

Kadi Johnson said...

You are beautiful.
You are inspiring.
You are admirable.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kadi Jo

Mike Jones said...

Hi Susan! Just wanted to say Hi and that we're thinking about you. God Bless.

Kadi Johnson said...

Susan- This is one of my favorite songs. I was just listening to it, thinking of you. It's by Patty Griffin and it's called Heavenly Day.

"Heavenly Day"

Oh heavenly day, all the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone
The smile on your face I live only to see
It's enough for me, baby, it's enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here's a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
All we've got right now, the only thing that
All we really have to do
Is have ourselves a heavenly day
Lay here and watch the trees sway
Oh, can't see no other way, no way, no way
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

No one at my shoulder bringing me fears
Got no clouds up above me bringing me tears
Got nothing to tell you, I've got nothing much to say
Only I'm glad to be here with you
On this heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly
Heavenly day, all the trouble's gone away
Oh, for a while anyway, for a while anyway
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

Nick Kagal said...


Words are difficult to come up with. You know the prayers of myself and my family are with you and your family. You have amazing strength and have obviously made a difference in the lives of so many. You have an unbelievable network of friends and family that care about you and love you and that is the ultimate measure of a person.

Nick Kagal & Family

Rohner Family said...

My heart goes out to you and your family.
You don't know me but you might know my brother Dane Alvord.
I have been following your story and admiring your strength and faith. You are a shining star on earth. Thank you for being so brave and letting us into your life at this difficult time.
Mandy Alvord Rohner

Josh and Melissa said...

We hope you know how much we love you. We are so grateful for your example.

Josh and Melissa Skinner

thearringtonclan said...

Hi Justin and Susan
Mathew here,Maxine keeps me updated on the blog but I wanted to say that even though we haven't met you in person, we feel we know you and thanks for your e-mails of support as I go through chemo. You have encouraged us to be positive.
I look forward to meeting some day.
God bless you all
Mathew Arrington

ajbourne said...

I feel so blessed that I have had the opportunity to know you Susan and your family. I was looking at my photo albums yesterday and seeing your smiling face made me proud to know that you completed your mission, and that you did it with a smile. I will always think of you laughing and making a joke and feel blessed to have had my life touched by yours. Look out for all your loved ones when you get to the other side. Bruce, Janet and fam, my thoughts and prayer continue to be with you, and Justin my heart goes out to you.

Kempe Naegle Nicoll said...

You both are a great example for us!


Melanie said...

I am sitting here with tears running down my face wondering what I could say to make you feel better and the only thing I can come up with is that I am deeply sorry for the pain you are all going through. Cherish these moments together and know that there are many prayers being said on yours and Susans behalf. Take care and good luck. Lots of Love

Anonymous said...

May God bless and comfort you. I don't know you too well but following your blog has helped me see the positive side of life. You are so strong and such an awesome example.
Thank you!

Patterson's said...

The Patterson Family sends their love and prayers your way. We have known you since you were just a baby and you have always been special to us. It has been a blessing for us to have you as a friend and example. We all think you are a marvelous person. We love you and your family so very much.
Charley, Sharla, Aaron, Ben and Tessa Patterson

Randy and Sarah said...

I can't really think of a way to describe the feeling I had when I learned of all this today. I am so grateful for the Plan of Happiness that will make sense of this situation. I love you and I am so grateful for you. Yeah for UofA grads. You and your husband are in our prayers.

Sarah Swann (Ellsworth, second cousin)

Ben and Maggie said...

I am a member of Susan and Justin's ward. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet, but we know who you are and we've been praying for you. I am so sorry for the pain your are experiencing. My heart goes out to you

Jim and Maridee Brown said...

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this most personal time with those of us who have been following Susan's journey. We feel blessed to be a part of your life even if it is only through written word.

Though we only knew Susan through our daughter, we have known her parents, Bruce and Janet, for years. We will continue to pray for your family that peace will come to Susan and that her pain will be lessened. I have not known a young woman whose life has touched so many others. Susan's strength and courage has taught us all so much.

May Heavenly Father watch over all of you and wrap His arms of comfort and peace around you.

Jim and Maridee Brown

Anonymous said...

Our prayers and wishes go to you and your family in this very sad time.


Em said...

May you both be blessed with the feeling of peace and comfort you need now and in the time to come. I found your blog through my sister telling me about you. I just lost my husband due to complications from his cancer treatments a month ago and I know the heartache that comes from loosing someone you love. My heart goes out to both of you and I hope and pray that things will turn out. But most of all I hope you have that much needed peace. May the loving arms of Heavenly Father wrap around you and lift you up at all times.

thearringtonclan said...

We were just reading all of these comments and we both agreed that you need to print this blog as a book of rememberance.. A legacy of Susan..It is so obvious that Susan is very special to many people.. She has touched lives and given hope and courage to many because of the person she is.
Justin.. know we say Prayers for you also.. Maxine and Mathew

Teresa said...

I'm a friend of a friend, but my heart is breaking for you. I've cried and my prayers are with you and your family and friends. I truly wish you the best. I'm glad that you are able to spend time with your family and friends. Sincerely, Teresa

Anonymous said...

We have known each for many many years, back to the elementary/middle school City of Tempe basketball days, high school track and field, going to our senior prom in our track uniforms straight from the State track meet, to UA track and field, and our trip to San Fran for NCAA leadership meeting. These are just a few memories that I can think of. You brighten up any room you're in and always put smiles on peoples faces. Thank you for being such a great person and a joy to be around. You are very inspirational and reinforce the meaning of living every day to its fullest. I know you will continue to be strong and keep smiling even if God chooses to take you early, it just means you have a new group of people to inspire!

Whitney (Schauer) Shields

Jenny Lynn said...

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us, you are so stong and inspirational. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, as are many many others. You have touched so many people, we love you!
Shawn and Jenny Brown

Kimber Brown said...

Thank you for your inspiration and for letting us into your lives through this blog. May you be in peace and without pain. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Take care of yourself.

Dayley Family said...

I am so very sorry to hear the news, but at the same time so very grateful that life continues on the other side. So very grateful to know that there is more to life than here in our mortal bodies. I wish your whole family comfort during this time of difficulty. What an incredible trial to have to face. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

mom-jayne said...

Thank you Susan for showing us that trials can be met with courage, determination, hope, dignity, grace and even a smile.
We are honored and blessed to call you our friend.
Know that we love you.
-Paul and Jayne Sargent

Marissa Marie said...

Ah, what to say? Susan is such an example of cheerfulness and helpfulness. When I was thinking of moving back to AZ I contacted her on facebook asking her if she knew of any good places to live? She immediately responded with enthusiasm and several good suggestions. I was and am impressed with her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. She is such an example to so many. My family (the Larsen family) has been thinking of and praying for Susan and her family. We love you guys and wish you peace and comfort at this time.

miss kacie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I have been reading all your blogs and I admire your strength, determination and faith. I know its been many years since I have seen you but whenever I think about you and how much fun you made those cross country runs. You always had a smile on your face and make everyone feels so welcome and comfortable. I used to look up to you and wish I was like you, and now I do so much more. I have been praying for you and your family. Your strength inspires me and God bless!

Katie Morgan

Coach Harvey said...

I just want you all to know my HEART is with you... I think about you all at all times of the day... Susan you are very much Loved here in Tucson... You need to know that!!!

Anonymous said...

Susan...you are a beautiful, righteous, faithful, inspiring, courageous woman inside and out. Please know how much you have inspired all of us and have made a difference in our lives. I have always enjoyed spending time with you and our fun laughs and memories i.e. roller skating, the toilet paper convo, playing games, ridiculous, boy humor, Fergie ferg, Sista RS memories, and the list goes on. Heavenly Father is highly aware of you and Justin and He loves you dearly. I'm praying for you constantly...to feel His love, peace and care. Lots of luv to you and Justin. God Bless You, my dear sister in Zion. xoxo, Summer

Chazilyn and Patrick said...

Susan, we think of you everyday. You are constantly in our prayers, and we are so thankful to have you in our lives. You are an inspiration to us, and I can't tell you how much love we have for you and your family. You are amazing, Susan, and we are grateful for your wonderful example.
Much Love,
Chazilyn, Patrick, and family

Joseph and Tiffany said...

We are praying for you everyday at our house.

Cassy Taylor said...

Susan, you never would have known this but back in junior high, you were such an example to me. I admired your courage to always do the right thing no matter what others thought, to always look on the bright side, and to befriend everyone you met. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and for the example you continue to be for everyone. I think of you often and pray for you and your sweet family. -Love, Cassy

Kelli Hansen said...

May peace and LOVE surround you all during this time. You have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Steve and Brindy said...

You probably dont even know who I am.. but you probably know my brother, Clint Lepetich, from school! I'm his sister.. Ive been following your story and i think you are so amazing. You are such a great example and I admire your strength through everything. Our prayers are with you!
Brindy (Lepetich) Arnett

thegoulds said...

we are thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers

Brew 1 said...

Justin, after reading this post I called Callie and confirmed that we were both sitting at work crying for the two of you. I really wish I could be there in Arizona for you, but give me a call if you wanna talk.

scott and lindsey said...

Its been hard for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, but I want Susan to know that I am so grateful to have had her in my life as an example, a "sista", and a friend. My thoughts are with all of you at this time. Heavenly Father has an amazing plan for her.... I know that. Our prayers stay with you.

auntandy said...

your family is in my prayers

jacque said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Thanks for being such a great example of courage and faith.
Skye and Jacque(Sargent) Fagrell