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Posted 2016-05-15T18:22:00Z

Dan's Story

Thank you for coming to this space to offer your love and support to Dan, Roxanne, Conor, Cole, and the rest of their extended family. Over the last few months, we have appreciated everyone’s thoughts and prayers: a flow of positive energy, which Dan has said he can feel.

As you probably know, Dan was hospitalized in mid-November for acute anemia. It wasn’t until December 18 that we received the final diagnosis of intermediate stage liver cancer. Surgery was not an option, and there were few other treatment methods available. With Roxanne at his side, Dan began treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January, bravely enduring two rounds of radio embolization.

We were devastated to learn in April that the treatment had not been effective in slowing the disease. The doctors themselves were shocked at how hyper-aggressive the disease had become in just one month. Dan’s cancer had moved from his liver to his pelvic bone and spine. Because his liver function was so compromised at this point, new trial therapies would have been more damaging than helpful. It was time for palliative care.  

Doctors urged Dan to move into hospice immediately because of the unpredictability of the cancer. Leaving home was very painful, but, as Dan said, the beauty of hospice is that Roxanne and the boys are able to spend nights there with him. The staff at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home has been very attentive, and his pain is being managed well.

As Dan wrote us last November while we were still waiting for a diagnosis, “All of our prayers will be answered in one way or another.” We can’t make sense of this terrible trial; we can only trust. 



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Comments (27)

  • Monique Moore
    Monique Moore

    I love you Dan and continue to keep you in my prayers. I just wish I could be there with you and the family, but I know you are surrounded with so much love. You are my very favorite brother- in- law and I keep you in my heart. With so much love and prayers, Monique

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Ray Miller
    Ray Miller

    Oh, Danny boy we love you so...... I was able to have dinner last night with Ed, Litz and Doe, our hearts and prayers are with you, Roxy and the boys. I have not called or texted because I do not care, rather I am sure Roxy is inundated with contacts. Thinking of you all the time. Love, kisses and prayers. Ray

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Lindsay Nevells
    Lindsay Nevells

    You were on my mind just today, friend! I've missed your smiling face and surely hope you are getting that quality time with Roxy and the boys. We love you all and continue to send positive energy and prayers.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • doris black
    doris black

    Dan, Our friendship of 40+ years has been one of the most important of my life. You have made a difference. And although I am sad that you will be leaving us I believe that where you are going will be so much more wonderful. I love you and will one day see you again. Until then you have all my thoughts and prayers - Doris

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Amy Cusack
    Amy Cusack

    My dear sweet friend, I hit the jackpot having you as a next-door-neighbor for the last 8+ years. You and Roxanne are the best friends I have made since moving back to Peoria. I will miss our conversations - whether the topic was food, music, art, politics, world events, spirituality, or just the mundane (or how it is all connected) - they were always interesting and lively. And I will miss your calm, matter-of-fact demeanor...and your wit. I will definitely miss your wit. I am grateful to have known you and am proud to call you a friend, and I feel privileged and humbled to have been able to spend a few hours with you at the hospice center. I have a few things I want you to know: 1) I love you. 2) I love Roxanne. 3) I love your boys. 4) Remember I live next door, and I will be here to help them. 5) Feel free to haunt me. (You know where I live.) Kind spirits are always welcome. And I have a request from you: My Bennie-dog will be crossing that rainbow bridge sometime in the near future. Please be there with Zelda to welcome him. Wishing you safe passage.. Peace and so much love, Amy

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Barry Pearson
    Barry Pearson

    Dan, youve given us a lot of fond memories over the past 40 years! Your Trevor Denman will always be the best "Danny's Boy will ride with no whip!",that's the one I liked the best!You're intelligent, witty and funny my friend! Thursday night dart players won't be the same without your presence! Keeping you, Roxy and the boys in my prayers! God bless you my friend! Barry

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Alitza Blough
    Alitza Blough

    Hey Dan... I picked the wrong few days to try to see you, but know that I love you and Roxanne so much more than I've likely ever said; and I'm just gonna miss you. I'm with Amy Cusack on so many things... if you see my kitties... Lector and Starling (their original owner got the genders backwards) please give them a hug for me; they are both gentle souls, like yourself. If you visit me in Iowa, there'll be bees, and Jersey cows... and you won't get poison ivy or stung by any wasps. And if you visit me on the boat... well _that_ will be an adventure; don't even know where to start with that. :) I'm sure there are many of us who would welcome a haunt from time to time, so I expect you could be quite busy... except I'm not sure what "busy" or even time is going to mean... just one of those conversations I'll miss. I'd love to post a few pics of the cows and bees in case you'd be up for seeing them. I'll poke around here and see if I find that; if not, there are some in the photo/video section of my facebook page... if you're up for some of that. Love, Peace, and Prayers, Alitza

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Laura & Neal Miller
    Laura & Neal Miller

    Dan, we just heard about your illness and we are heartbroken. Even though we haven't seen you in years we both remember our often, animated conversations about everything from antiques (a common interest), sports, politics and art to early family life (we all met before our families started). We miss you and wish we could be there to see you, Roxanne and the boys. We will never forget you and will treasure every memory we all shared together. We thank God you are surrounded by Roxanne, Conor, and Cole during this difficult time. We will miss you and hold onto our memories of our visit to Peoria back in 1991 (exactly 25 years ago in May). Our first trip to the heartland. Take care and pain-free Dan. Love The Millers, Neal, Laura, Jordan, Jake and Lillian

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Margery Allen
    Margery Allen

    I love you, Dan. I have 40 years' worth of love for you. I have decades of dart party love for you. I have giggly-kids-in-the-back-yard-looking-for-Easter-eggs love for you. You are a true friend, always kind and creative and bringing fun times, even good looking and smart, if you really want to know. The truth is that you have no peer in my eyes. I love you, Dan.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Steven Svymbersky
    Steven Svymbersky

    I am so sorry I am far away and am not able to be there because I really wish I could see your face, hear your voice and hold your hand. I love you and you will always sit on the pedestal I put you on when we were teenagers. You encouraged all my vices and opened all my doors of perception. You are my hero. I know we will dance together again because in heaven the band plays all your favorite songs. And Bowie will be there to sing them.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Edmund Barr
    Edmund Barr

    Dan, You are surrounded by love! I was deeply saddened to hear about your illness and what you have gone through, but I am so glad that you are with Roxy by your side. You two have created a beautiful family. The world is a kinder place because of your presence. I think of all the time we shared together joyfully and I send my family's love to you and your family.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Patti Scott
    Patti Scott

    Hi Dan. Thinking of you all the time. Sending positive energy your way! Please let us know if we can do anything to help out. We can mow your grass or whatever you need - just let us know. Patti and Bruce Scott

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Amy Lacefield
    Amy Lacefield

    Hey Dan, We all miss you at PCC. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Amy

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Jenny Winne
    Jenny Winne

    But my hand was made strong By the 'and of the Almighty. We forward in this generation Triumphantly. xoxoxox

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Beth Anderson
    Beth Anderson

    Hello Dan, it's been awhile since I was at the PCC, but I always enjoyed our time working on the wide variety of theater events and your keen insight on music. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I'm sending comforting vibes your way. Please know I'm thinking of you and your family Dan. . Beth Anderson

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Mindi Baumann
    Mindi Baumann

    Hi Dan. I miss seeing your smiling face as you bring me all of those Io's! I think of you often, and will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers!

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Tom Phillips
    Tom Phillips

    For my Dear Friend Dan ~ I am so grateful I got to spend some time with you last fall. I was touched by your compassion on the passing of my Dad. For all the people whose lives were enriched by the presence of this sweet, strong man ~ The grief we share on his passing is heard as praise on the other side ! Wail and cry, hard and long ! Sing his songs as loud as you can ! Tell his stories of glorious success and spectacular misadventure ! Let the spirit world know that someone well loved and sorely missed is coming to join them !!!

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Allyson Peffer
    Allyson Peffer

    Dan, I don't exactly know where to start. My heart is broken to know the pain and suffering that you and your family are experiencing. I have so many fond memories of working with you, first through PSO and then side by side at the Civic Center. I always looked forward to comparing stories of what restaurants we visited and laughing about any number of things. When I left the Civic Center, you wrote me one of the most thoughtful notes that I've ever received, complete with a link to the Jaan Pehechaan Ho video, which you said reminded you of me because of the dancer's energy and spirit. It is my favorite compliment I've ever received, and I've often looked back on that video when I've had a rough day. It really lifts my spirits, and I thank you for that. You, Roxanne, Conor and Cole have been in my constant thoughts and prayers. I have so much love and respect for you, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to know you and have your friendship. With love, Allyson

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Mike Mehl
    Mike Mehl

    Dan, I don't know what to write. The trial you and your family are going through is beyond words. I pray for comfort and peace for you all. - Mike Mehl

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Kate Darling
    Kate Darling

    Our thoughts are with you and your family, Dan. Sending positive energy and all our very best wishes.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Polly Burkey
    Polly Burkey

    Dan, I'm not sure you'll remember me, but I'm Judith Fischer's daughter. I have fond memories of you in my early years and have heard your name over the years, repeatedly. I'm so sorry. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Heather Boore
    Heather Boore

    Been thinking of you and your family Dan. You have such an incredible spirit and heart that will sustain you through this journey. Been praying for you, Roxy, and the boys. If there is anything else we can do.....we are there. God has you in his hands. Hugs to you all.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Alitza Blough
    Alitza Blough

    Been thinking of you and your family, Dan. Prayers, Peace, and Love... most of all Love. If there is anything you or your family need now or in the future, I'd be honored to be asked, and I know that I'm just gettin' in line here :) the strength and gentleness of your soul touches so many.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Ed Ringness
    Ed Ringness

    Dan, I will miss you but there are so many good memories with you over the years that I'll spend the rest of my life remembering you and your life well ived. When we meet on the beautiful shore, we'll have a lot of catching up to do. We are thinking and praying for you and your family every day. Love, Ed.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Craig C. Black
    Craig C. Black

    Dan, I always enjoyed going outside and playing trivia with you because you seemed to know more answers than everybody else combined. I am still listening to "Transformer" by Lou Reed and he is growing on me. Roxy is such a sweet and friendly lady. You were lucky to have found her. You're in my thoughts and prayers Dan. Love, Craig

    5 years ago · Reply

    Jan and I just spoke about our memories of your last summer visit with the Raniks. If I recall correctly,an Aspell chameleon escaped it's cage and had wrapped itself around one of mom's artificial flowers.We were all intrigued on how it had adapted .....the Aspells had shown us something new, as they did when we visited Peoria and had RED HOT DOGS...WHAT??? Just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. your cousin, Mimi

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Binney Stumpf
    Binney Stumpf

    Dearest Dan - I have thought of you fondly for decades since our lives took different roads. You inspired me to find, follow, be my own muse. You're the first person I ever knew who spoke other languages and opened worlds to me. You brought me the magic of theatre, and I've grown a community of friends in Tennessee around it. I can't imagine all the joys you've discovered with Roxanne and your boys, but I've always known your life is rich. Sweet journey, dear friend.

    5 years ago · Reply