TODAY   |  December 20, 2011

Amazing news for parents diagnosed with cancer

Elisa and Nathan Bond were given a grim diagnosis – they both had cancer. But now, the parents reveal the good news they received right in time for the holidays.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back at 8:10. this morning on "today's good news" the young mother and father who received life-threatening cancer diagnoses within a few days of each other. we'll catch up with them in a moment. first nbc's janet shamlian has their story. good morning.

>> reporter: this is a heart-breaker that touched so many of us. elisa and nathan bond thought life was about perfect until a dual diagnosis of cancer . after we met them, their situation became even more dire. and yet if there is such thing as a christmas miracle, the bonds are believers.

>> same thing.

>> reporter: for elisa and nathan bond, it's as if they have already had christmas.

>> good job!

>> reporter: decorating with 2-year-old sadie is just the trimming on the tree.

>> look at daddy. does daddy look silly?

>> yeah.

>> reporter: we met the brooklyn couple in april, not long after their lives were turned upside down. just nine days after nathan was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer , elisa would receive an even worse diagnosis, stage four metastatic breast cancer . and yet from the start they seemed unflappable. elisa shaving her head even before her hair started falling out from chemo treatments.

>> we are determined to get through this.

>> reporter: despite that optimism, elisa 's condition worsened this summer. they celebrated sadie 's second birthday in september amid devastating news. the cancer had spread.

>> the liver was the worst place. it had the most cancer . and that's not good. and then the brain tumors emerged.

>> reporter: elisa lost her last shred of independence, she could no longer drive. treatment followed, chemotherapy and the drug per ce pchl tin. just days ago news from her doctor sharing news she had dreamed of but was unprepared to hear.

>> they got the brain tumors . they're all gone. beyond that, i had a new pet scan and all my active cancer is gone.

>> liver?

>> liver. that's exactly what i said, liver?

>> breast?

>> breast.

>> brain?

>> brain.

>> so what does this mean?

>> i am what they call n.e.d., no evidence of disease. it's the best news that i can get.

>> reporter: elisa posted the news on the blog they use to update family and friends and, it turns out, thousands of well wishers the world over.

>> i thank all of the people that wrote to us.

>> the road is not over.

>> no.

>> but it looks well paved.

>> yes. it looks like a sandy beach now as opposed to a rocky hill . yes.

>> reporter: as for nathan , his surgery is scheduled for january and he says just routine checkups after that. the couple says they're looking forward to a long overdue vacation in 2012 and something elisa was sure she'd see, the end of the preschool year for sadie in the spring.

>> janet , thank you for that. janet shanley an. elisa and nathan bond are here with us this morning. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> you would love to hear you just say it out loud, your health right now, how is it?

>> it's great. again, my status is n.e.d., no evidence of disease, and with stage four cancer , that's the best diagnosis one can get.

>> any idea how common this is for it to disappear within the first year?

>> i have never -- no one ever mentioned it to me. i have a friend who after seven years of chemo was able to receive this news, but it's within a year so i think it's pretty remarkable.

>> and how does it feel when you hear yourself say that, n.e.d.?

>> yes, it's surreal. it's just as surreal as when i found out i had cancer . so it 's wonderful . it 's wonderful .

>> no better way to put it. we saw sadie in the piece, who's beautiful, by the way.

>> thank you.

>> nathan , talk to me about sort of how she's absorbed whatever you would absorb as a 2-year-old in this family, this news.

>> i think probably it's made her -- she's very sensitive. kids are very intuitive. she's handled it very well, remarkably well. we've tried to keep the home joyful.

>> she knows mommy and daddy have boo-boos.

>> yes. when one of us isn't home, she says mommy at the doctor? so she knows we're at a doctor but probably doesn't grasp quite what a doctor is.

>> and janet got to it in the piece, but summer was tough. and losing your driving privileges is tough.

>> it was almost worse than finding out about the cancer , because it was a real loss of independence for me. i am a driver. i love to drive. the minute i got my license, i was out the door. so i felt, you know, hamstrung, and that was almost worse in my everyday life than the cancer was.

>> nathan , you've got one more surgery left.

>> yep.

>> so has watching how things have gone for her helped your own faith in your own battle?

>> oh, yeah. it's made it a lot easier. i've kind of always just been waiting to get over my treatment so that i can be there to support her more and it definitely makes it a much more happy time to go into a surgery knowing it's all good news for her.

>> and the response you got after your appearance on this show, obviously a huge outpouring of support. how big of a role do you think that played?

>> oh, huge. we get e-mails every day, phone calls, letters, and a lot of the people will say i saw you on the "today" show, i've been following you since i saw you on the "today" show. i saw a clip of you on the "today" show so it really was an outpouring of support.

>> well, we'll be thinking of you. we're so happy for you, elisa and nathan bond. thank you for sharing your