Thursday, May 16, 2024


JUNE 1ST 2024
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
3000 W Richwoods Blvd, Peoria, IL 61604

(To Follow) 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
8305 N Allen Rd, Peoria, IL 61615


JUNE 15TH 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Pollyanna Brewing Co.
431 Talcott Ave, Lemont, IL 60439

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Copied from April 2011

To do:

  • Look through photos for memory boards 
  • Call social security to figure out dumb stuff
  • Go to post office and get stamps
  • Go to therapy

  • Selling two cars and getting one
  • Songs for friends to sing at the service and parties
  • How much I loved my husband


  • Honeycombs
  • Protein bars
  • Coffee
  • Avocado toast

Listening to:

  • Dan's playlists


  • Dan's cardigan
  • Wide legged jeans

  • My blankie


  • My husband's kisses, hugs, cooking, laughter, funny little dance moves


  • Collection of notes and thoughts as I grieve
  • Tags for special gifts at memorial service

Wish list:
  • New book "The Light Eaters"
  • A used Subaru Outback. Dan found me my dream car 8 years ago but it is time to let go. *sigh*

Saturday, May 11, 2024


Dan Herzing, 47, of Washington, IL, passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL.

   He was born on April 8, 1977 in Berwyn, IL to James Edward and Charlene Marie Karpiak Herzing. He married the love of his life, Leah Ruth Hodel, in Metamora, IL on September 4, 2004. She survives.

   Also surviving are his parents, James and Charlene Herzing; son, Raine Herzing; brother, Doug (Rita) Herzing; sister-in-law, Rachel (Tom McCaw) Hodel; three nephews, J.D. and Nate Herzing, and Logan McCaw; niece, Lexi McCaw; and his father-in-law, Don Hodel.  

   He was preceded in death by his older brother, E.J. Herzing; mother-in-law, Mary Hodel; and his grandparents, Dolores and Alexander Karpiak, and Edward and Gladys Herzing.

Dan studied Horticulture and Education, earning degrees at Joliet Junior College and Illinois State University. He became a beloved area manager for Willamette Landscape Services in Tualatin, OR, from 2004-2016 and a talented freelance landscape designer in Central Illinois the past 8 years.

He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in 2014 at the age of 37 and went on to live a full, beautiful, engaging life for ten years while receiving medicine and treatments. Dan relished sharing music playlists, trying new restaurants, talking sports, playing golf, and appreciating a fine whiskey. He surprised his wife with countless romantic endeavors and set an example for his son that reflected his generous, curious, kind nature.

Cremation has been accorded.  A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 1st at 10:00 a.m. at Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria with a Celebration of Life to follow. A Celebration of Life will also be held in Lemont, IL at a later date. Follow Leah Herzing’s blog at for more information.

   Memorial donations may be made to Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

   Dan’s memorial website is available at Deiters Funeral Home where condolences may also be sent to the family. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024



It is with a sorrowful heart but also joyful heart…I share that my sweet husband Daniel James Herzing joined the universe yesterday morning and we see him everywhere now in the trees and blooms he loved so much and the sky that rained so generously upon us through our 20 years together. He died peacefully and with family. Please spend your day listening to music you love and giving yourself in kindness to others just as he did. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024



Last weekend's gang - Doug, Art (CA), Jay (WA), Kevin (MI), Hattie (CO)

Dan made one short outing with his entourage to Sullivans

Family game night with Rita, JD, Nate, and Doug

Corey visited from North Carolina

More games with Nana and Papa

The last 4 weeks have busy. Dan has had a home health nurse, OT, and PT weekly, and had his initial chemo infusion April 10th. It is a combo of Carboplatin and Alimta, at low doses. Biopsy results came back from Mayo with the result "poorly differentiated." Samples were sent out for further molecular testing and we are hoping to hear results in a week. Dan's pain increased significantly so he started morphine ER three times a day and that has proved our best treatment for his pain since this all began. The cancer in his lung has also diminished his breath, so he started using oxygen two weeks ago. We started working with the OSF Palliative Care Clinic and they are a great team focused on making sure his pain is under control and he is as comfortable as possible. There are doctors, a case worker, and a chaplain. 

We are taking everything day by day.

The last 4 weeks have also been full of visitors with some great memory-making and incredible support. We love you all!! Thank you friends and family. We are looking forward to more family and friends visiting this week...!

I am back at work as much as I can while also trying to stay home with Dan and also support Raine and my dad as best I can. Please continue to help us locally with meals or online monetary donations! I also have Venmo - @Leah-Herzing

Thank you for your support!


Sunday, April 14, 2024


Tuscany, Italy 2022

I have updated our How to Help page for those of you who have been asking. 

Thank you everyone for your kindess and generosity!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


The BEST NEWS is that Dan is home.

14 days in the hospital was a new record. Now he is adjusting to life at home with a fancy hospital bed situation, weekly occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nurse care, many medications to take, and a pretty sweet walker that is actually tall enough for him. He remains in pain but it is manageable with a whole lot of painkillers and (cross your fingers) a medical air mattress we are getting. I don't know what part of the BED SORE WOUND and PAIN FROM SPINAL TUMORS isn't clear enough in the notes for insurance, but I am confident it will get worked out because this is Dan. And the Universe loves Dan.



He has completed his 10 rounds of radiation! For that, he recieved Little Debbie's Easter cakes. He was so excited. He beamed at me and smelled the box. He was so brave. He told me he would mostly close his eyes, say to himself a mantra "You can do this. You are medicated. It's only 15 minutes. You can do this," over and over again. Despite all of the painkillers, he still needs an additional special opiate dose right before the procedure so that he can lay flat on his back. This was a delicate situation with timing and sometimes it didn't work out very well. Instead of rescheduling, Dan laid down and stayed still, clenching his body, grunting, crying, and at times yelling out. I can't express to you how much he just wanted to get it done. So he got it done. It is my hope of all hopes that the radiation works and his literal sweat and tears will be worth the sweetest, lightest ease of pain in the coming weeks.    


The HARD NEWS is that a PET scan revealed he has additional cancer spreading in his body.

Sparks of cyan, red, blue, magenta, yellow, neon green. 
In a body of black.

I really didn't expect everything to light up again. It was all my mind could do to process the results of the three separate MRIs (abdomen, lumbar, and thoracic): cancer active again in and around the spine. It was the moment that we knew would occur in the future of our cancer journey--like a switch getting flipped--I just expected it to be gradual. However all of the cancer showed up as an aggressive spread of color. The results were confusing to me at first. How did they know what was necrotic tissue and what was active cancer? How could they tell the difference? It is the presence of those colors--showing the high metabolic rate of activity. 

  1. 1.
    the condition in which things are happening or being done.

So it is happening--this sort of very diligent production--in his left lung, scattered lymph nodes, and bones like the ribs and pelvis. They took a biopsy from a tumor in a lymph node in his neck, and it had necrotic tissue in the center. The new cancer had grown around the old. If all of this has grown, what about those quieted lesions in that soft, nervous tissue of his brain? I have scanxiety for his MRI next week. I have biopsy-xiety, if that could be a thing, too, for results that will tell us the genomic driver of the cancer. 

[NERDY THINGS: That will tell us if the situation is that the Alsenca (chemo-in-a-pill) is no longer working for his ALK cancer or the cancer mutated. If it is still the ALK gene, we have another medication like Alcensa to try and then some. These "nibs" as we call them, have lined up in the treatment world since Dan was first diagnosed: Loratinib, or Crizotinib, or if it fails, Ceritinib. If it fails, Entrectinib. And so on. In a chat group I found another peson on Brigatinib. Many people are in clinical trials using future nibs. If his cancer mutated, we will need to target therapy toward a new gene. Some known genes for lung cancer are ROS1, BRAF, KRAS, EGFR, MET, for example. Each of these may or may not have targeted medicines on the market or in clinical trials.]



Help moving furniture to get Dan's bed set up. Jim and Char visiting. Surprise candy on my desk at work. An elementary school friend giving me flowers in the parking lot at Kroger. Stormy happy to have his person home. Home cooked meals! A surprise visit from Doug. Help with chores and errands. Surprise boxes of goodness in the mail--everything from fancy beard soap to a bunch of candy that Raine devours. Sipping wine from Oregon. Amy, who also surprised us visiting from SC. Kind and generous donations.

Every single one of all of your Messages. Comments. Shares. Emails. Letters. Cards. Texts. 

All the good vibes in the Universe. We feel it. We feel it most when we hug each other and Raine. It's all the same!