Day 8- Stem Cell Transplant

How will we tell the story of today?

Ian and I have often asked ourselves this over the last years. We are aware that we are living through a time in our lives that will shape us forever. We think of how we will explain it all to Tyler when he is old enough to understand.

Today was the biggest day so far. Transplant day. The doctors call it Day 0, as in the beginning. Every day afterwards is day 1, day 2, etc., but today your new life starts. Many survivors call it your new birthday because every year afterwards you celebrate the miracle of life on that day. I’ve never met a survivor who can’t tell me their age post-transplant.

As I thought about today this morning, I thought about beginnings and it took me back to the beginning of our journey with cancer. Ian found his diseased lymph node in February 2013 but our story actually began in October 2012.

I had just finished a doctorate. Ian and I were both working in jobs we loved. We had friends that we went out with and had plans to travel and just like that (boom) I was pregnant.

It was so utterly surprising. We had not planned it by any means and I remember as we stared in disbelief at one, then two, then three positive pregnancy tests.

We had wanted kids but like in the sense that you want to retire someday. There was no sense of urgency. We watched as what we thought we knew of our lives turned into nights researching cloth diaper brands and reading about the phases of labor.

As somebody who likes to stick to a plan, it took some getting used to on my part. It just did not make sense. When Ian got sick it took us a few months to realize the miracle that this pregnancy would be. Before Ian started treatment he had to sign consents that detailed the effect of the medications on fertility. We realized that we may never be able to have kids again and that the surprise of Tyler was really an unimaginable gift. The kind you could have never known to ask for, but that you so desperately need.

We were a sad sight those last months leading up to Tyler’s birth. I was a big pregnant beast in the blistering heat of an Arizona summer and Ian was bald and eyebrowless. We definitely turned heads at the mall.

Tyler was born on July 2, 2013. I was actually induced because Ian was scheduled to have chemo on July 5th. Having Tyler born on a chemo weekend would have broken me. His birth and life has been a miracle. He fiercely loves Ian. He is a daddy’s boy. I don’t know if we would have been able to keep going if it weren’t for him.

So as I sit here in Ian’s hospital room and reflect on these last 2 years I wonder, how will I tell the story of today?

Will I tell Tyler that we met daddy in the lobby this morning to give him an “it’s a boy” balloon and sing him happy birthday on his new special day? Will I tell Tyler that daddy had so many pastors, friends, and family who came and prayed a blessing for his transplant and for his new life ahead of him? Will I tell him that daddy received back cells through the miracle of stem cell transplant that will cure him and save his life?

I will tell him that so many people who love Ian told him that he has more to do. They told him that they look forward to the great things God will do with his new life. I will tell him that his Nani, Kit, felt “aware of the miracle she was experiencing”. I will tell him that his Uncle Colt cried.

We are grateful people. These last few years have had darkness but there has also been the soft glow of the light of hope that cannot be extinguished. We cling to that light.

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for loving us in this time. We now start the first days of Ian’s new life. His hardest days are ahead of him as the chemo goes to work on his body and his stem cells begin to incorporate into his bone marrow and engraft. Ian still asks for visitors. You all bring him so much joy!

We love you.



The stem cell blessing ceremony


Getting annointed with oil


Stem cells arrive


Getting Benadryl which made him super sleepy…


Taking out stem cells


Checking and double checking stem cells


Transplant begins




Transplant complete!

73 thoughts on “Day 8- Stem Cell Transplant

  1. 👊Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
    You’re not going under
    ‘Cause God is holding you right now
    You might be down for a moment
    Feeling like it’s hopeless
    That’s when He reminds You
    That you’re an overcomer!

    Can’t help but think of this song every time I read your post.
    Love you guys!


  2. Beautifully written. Thank you. What an amazing testimony of your faithfulness and God’s sovereign guidance. Prayers for Ian’s excellent health , and for you and your family: deep, rich peace and joy in your trusting walk with Christ. He is using your faith and love mightily. God bless you each. Prayers from Austin!


  3. I just got caught up on your beautiful posts, Shiloh. Your family has been on my mind and in our prayers. What a beautiful and inspiring story you are living. We will continue to pray and check back as the story unfolds. God bless your sweet family!


  4. Happy New Birthday! We constantly lift you and your amazing family in prayer. God bless you all in this miraculous journey. Shiloh thank you for sharing with us.


  5. Shiloh, thanks for sharing I’m reading all that you went through as a family and trust God with you. God is in control. Ian happy birthday here in Kenya our intrecessory team will be praying for the family throughout this process. God’s blessings and happy new year
    Aila and family


  6. Dear Shiloh,
    You probably don’t remember me but I have known and loved your parents and Kit for many years. I have kept up with your blogs through Donna Kimmel on FB. Praying for Ian’s new life and all of your family.
    Blessings to all and strength in your joy in The Lord
    Sue Micetic


  7. Under His wings He gently sustains you. Hidden in the cleft of the Rock. Let all of us come and adore Him for His tender care of Ian and all who love him…and for the days of LIFE stretched out before you. I hold you all in my heart from Indiana.


  8. As one who helped string a gazillion lights for your wedding, and then witness your marriage, I am reminded of the amazing plan the Man has for our lives. The script of the story may not be the way we would have written it, but then as an actor we aren’t always aware of all the movements of the story, much less the parts. I love hearing how you guys have remained faithful to your parts, and am excited and anticipating the next movement of ya’lls story (since I now live in Oklahoma I felt obliged to through that In there!). God’s blessing on all of you!


  9. Shiloh, thank you for sharing this with us and allowing us to bear witness to your lives. I am thinking of you and Ian every day. Praying for your strength and courage. I would love to come visit. When is a good time?


  10. Thank you for sharing your story and journey with us. I continue to marvel at our great God and Savior, Creator of all things who has created man in His image and likeness–without which this miracle of regeneration would not be possible. I am so grateful to be one of the many who are praying with and for you all. Much love and prayers from the Morris family.


  11. Hello there Ian n shilo I’m so sorry to hear that u all r going threw this..Ian to c u back then n how u was out there doing gods work no one would ever thought u was going threw this u was always smileing n laughing n serving the Lord ……but I would like to say may our father put his healing hands on u n bring u threw this …I pray that all gose well n may our father keep gveing u the strength to deal with this…..n ms shilo it’s good seeing u n the kids r so big know…U looking good n may our father continue to gve u the strength to b by his side threw this n i want to ask our father to continue blessing u all threw this ……. n Ian it’s gna b ok…..

    much love to u all……
    From Me Tootie Rat’s mom…..


      1. Hello there how is he feeling did it go ok n how r u holding up my prayers r with u my son darnell said hi n to tell Ian to stay strong….U continue to stay strong remember god is good….tke care n much much love to u guys….


      2. He is doing very well. We still will have a Few weeks in the hospital but we continue to fight. Thank you for your prayers


  12. Shiloh you are a genius, I am so grateful this blog exist! Thank you for the story, the pictures! I feel overwhelmed with joy and happy tears I might just burst! Happy new flippin birthday Ian T Danley!!!


  13. I am utterly in awe of the courage and the power the Lord has given you all–Ian, Shiloh and the whole Danley family. YAHWEH is with you. You are all in my mind and my conversations with our God on your behalf. And a special welcome to the new stem cells! : ) Let the cell proliferation begin!


  14. Plenty of light and love your way! I can sooooo relate I’m 2 years remission of non hodgkins lymphoma now! I too have 3 babies(19yrs,17yrs,7yrs) that kept me going! Blessed at least twice a day I say once when I wake and once going to bed! I’ve also besides cancer have had a few near deaths and I’m still here! Just my pep talk to u and ur family! Hugzzzzz!


  15. Yesterday was a day of much prayer for all of your family. Today the word I embrace is HOPE. It is a good work. Much love sent your way.


  16. Reading Biblegateway and praying for Ian. “This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

    Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 NIVUK
    Today’s passage is from the New International Version – UK. Read by David Suchet. Provided by Biblica, Inc.®.


  17. Much like Advent, you have been in a liminal these past two years. Much like Hannah and Mary came to know through their miraculous pregnancies, you have endured trials. Today there’s no doubt regarding God’s special favor and unconditional love toward you as new life begins!


  18. Seems like yesterday I was putting a clutch in your car (on my back without a jack) then yelling at you for giving the car away. .. I hope you feel better soon cousin


  19. Shiloh, your story is a gift and inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your amazing story with us. Love and prayers coming your way. Bonnie


  20. Dear Ian:

    You are in our thoughts and prayers and as we were reading today these words from Psalm 66 turned our hearts to you. ” For you, O God, tested us, you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads, we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a point of abundance.”

    Praying for comfort and the blessings of God’s grace,

    Bill and Grace Thrall


  21. Sending you all the most wonderful and powerful blessings I can. You both are forces in this world and I am praying for good things! Xo


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