Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back - Leaning Forward

Where to begin...December seems like a blur. With all of the wedding preparations and the usual hustle and bustle of the Christmas season it seems like time has once again slipped quickly away from us. We will start with the wedding...what a great day! Lindy and Cameron were married on December 18th in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. It was a cold day, but we were definitely kept warm by support and love of family and friends. It was especially awesome because Madey was feeling good enough to come to the Temple and she also participated in the wedding dinner and pictures. Lindy was a beautiful bride and Cameron cleans up pretty good too. It was heart warming to see so many family members in attendance, thanks especially to those that traveled long distances to attend. Lindy And Cam are now living in Logan UT, and will start back to school at Utah State in January.
In addition to the wedding we really enjoyed Christmas. We had a memorable Christmas Eve with all of the children in attendance. Landon and Hillary helped us review the Christmas story from Luke 2 and we enjoyed the warm feelings that come as you take time to think of the birth of our Savior. We also laughed a lot as everyone shared their Christmas memories, it was heart warming to hear all of the kids stories about Christmas's past, even about the 'regular orange and a peach too.' Christmas day did not disappoint either. Hillary started waking people up around 7 am, once we got everyone into the living room and Madey settled into her lazy boy recliner we began opening gifts. It was sure fun to see peoples reactions to their gifts. I think everyone got something they wanted and there was a definite feeling of gratitude present. I am always amazed at the good feelings that accompany Christmas and the giving and receiving of gifts. We were especially blessed by many Christmas elves who took a special interest in our family this year and shared timely gifts that will help ease the burden of our battle with cancer.
With all of the good feelings of the holidays still in our hearts, we were again reminded that we cannot escape the challenges of mortality. Madeline has been experiencing more pain than normal lately and having difficulty walking without assistance. We met with her Dr. on Thursday and found that the chemotherapy treatments she has been undergoing are not working. Madeline's cancer has continued to grow and advanced to the point that any treatment she has from here on out will be solely for temporary relief of pain. We are obviously heartbroken and disappointed. The unfairness of it all feels at moments as if it will crush us, and yet we find comfort in our family, our friends, and our faith. Thursday morning before we met with the Dr. Madey wanted to have prayer with us, in the prayer she was promised that we would receive answers to her lingering questions even if those answers were not in line with our personal desires. The answers were definitely not in line with what we want, but we know that God has a plan, and that each of us are part of that plan. Although we don't understand our role in that plan right now, the time will come when we will. We also know that regardless of what happens our family is an eternal family. Our hearts are hurting, and yet we still laugh, we still smile, we still play, we still plan, and most importantly we are still comforted by the love we have for each other and the pure love that God has for each of us.
We wish you all the happiest of New Year's, and thank you for the many prayers, gifts, hugs, smiles, and warm wishes you have sent our way this year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Wow, where does the time go? We made it happily through Thanksgiving and started off December with a new type of Chemotherapy. So far Madey seems to be handling it well, she does have to take a type of steriod during the second week which causes her muscles to ache and seems to make her a bit weak. She goes to clinic once a week for an outpatient treatment, after two treatments we get a week break before starting another cycle. Once she has completed 3 cycles we will run more scans to see how it is impacting her cancer. We feel like we are on the right track. We love having her at home and being able to spend time together as a family. Madey misses regular interaction with her friends and is grateful for those that still text and visit her. It is hard trying to be a normal teenager under abnormal conditions, I guess it allows her to become better friends with her siblings.

We have been working on the final wedding preparations for Lindy and Cam. We made it a girls day out and went to watch the bridal shoot in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Lindy looked beautiful, and Cam wasn't to bad either...

After a transfusion on Friday, we were able to go with the youth in our ward to look at the lights on Temple Square. It was fun to bundle up and let Madey's friends take control for awhile and ooh and ahh at the wonderful sights and sounds of Christmas.

Madey, like the rest of us, is really looking forward to Christmas. The tree is up and George actually put lights on the house this year, something he has neglected for the last couple of years, mostly because of his dislike of high places. We are also anticipating Lindy and Cameron's wedding which is only a week away. It will be a very different holiday with a married child trying to start her own holiday traditions.

Once Landon and Hillary get out of school this week I think all we will need for Christmas will be snow! Which Madey prays for daily...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

Its been about a month since we updated the blog. I suppose there are several reasons for that, the main one being that a little over two weeks ago Madeline contracted a bacterial infection that put her in the hospital, three of the those days we were in the ICU trying to figure out which combination of antibiotics would fight the infection. During her stay the doctors removed Madey's port, concerned it was the source of the infection and replaced it with a picc line. she was able to come home on a series of IV antibiotics. Now that we have her home she is recovering and getting stronger, we are hopeful that her blood counts will be strong enough that she can begin out patient chemotherapy, which will hopefully shrink her tumors and give her relief from the pain she has been experiencing.
In the midst of all this we have still found it possible to continue with life. Landon turned 12 on the 12th of November and was ordained a deacon the following Sunday. Madey made it to Sacrament Meeting where we all witnessed Landon passing the Sacrament for the first time, we were all proud of him, I think we are still in shock that he is old enough to be a deacon.
Lindy still informs us daily of the the countdown until she and Cameron are married on the 18th of December and Hillary finally got her application to BYU all sent in, now we wait to hear about scholarships.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving, not just the day, but the feelings of gratitude we experience on a regular basis, for all that we have been blessed with. Its easy to focus solely on our trials and the things we miss, but there is nothing like the feelings that come when we take time to count our blessings. It may seem like a little thing to some, but the day after Thanksgiving, Madey was feeling good enough to take in a movie with the family. We went and saw Megamind and really had a nice time being out and being together. Its amazing how such a simple thing as a family movie can be taken for granted.
We are grateful for everyday we have with our family and for the blessings of eternal families made possible by Jesus Christ and His gospel. Happy Thanksgiving to all! And thanks to all of you that bless our family with your kindness, faith and prayers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Detours, Directions, & Discouragement

With the year round road construction that happens in the state of Utah, we have become very familiar with the Detour sign. Its one that can cause tremendous frustration as well as delayed arrival to a desired destination. It can also give someone the opportunity to travel roads and see sights that they may have missed had they hurried on their way. It appears that we have just run into one of those signs in regards to Madeline's treatment. For a little over a week Madey has been experiencing some unexplained back pain. As she checked into the hospital Monday, to take care of her next chemo treatment, the doctor thought it would be a good idea for Madey to have an MRI, the result was another tumor. Most likely the same type of tumor she had in her pelvis, this time it is attached to one of her vertebrae. Our detour has led us back to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for five radiation treatments that will hopefully reduce the size of the tumor and provide relief to Madeline's back. Madey had her first radiation treatment on Wednesday. She received a lot of hugs from the employees there, they missed her amazing smile, but were sad to see her return under these circumstances. After she finishes radiation we will wait a couple of weeks and then run more scans before meeting with doctors to determine the best route for our continued journey.
Like most detours this one has been discouraging and unwanted, but as we move forward in the journey we know that there will be new sights and experiences that will hopefully enhance our trip. Its okay from time to time to get off the beaten path and look around, their might be an unexplored waterfall, a new landscape, or even a Moose.
While talking to Madey about her feelings, she said "it feels a lot like a hike we took while camping at Tony Grove a few years ago, every time I got tired you told me to keep walking because the lake might be just around the next bend and what a shame if we quit now and miss it. Once we reached the top of the mountain we realized we had to still climb down the mountain and through the was a long hike. " We eventually found the lake, it was pretty and worth the hike, mostly because we were all hiking together. The walk back had its challenges but since we knew the path and where it led we were more than happy to walk it.
We continue to have faith, hope, and courage and we walk this under explored trail. But we know that with the faith and prayers of others we will be strengthened, supported, and lifted on our journey.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finally Seeing the Light

Madey just completed chemo treatment number 12, that means we only have two left! I think the only thing that would make her smile more is knowing she was already done. But enduring to the end is part of the plan and so we continue. It was sure nice to get her home for General Conference weekend. Madey and Michelle watched the first two sessions in the hospital but were able to come home about the time George left for Priesthood. It was a wonderful weekend, not only to listen to the words and counsel of living Prophets and Apostles, but be surrounded by our children and feel that sense of peace that comes from having everyone together, there really is no feeling quite like it.
Life hasn't been all about hospital visits and trials as of late. We were able to take the family to Logan a couple of weeks ago where we spent time swimming, picnicking, and attending church with Lindy @ her student ward. It was sure fun to see our kids playing in the hotel pool together, Madey especially had a great time with her little cousin Avery. As usual she felt at home and 'normal' in the water. Madey also took time to go to Utah county with George to visit her Grandma Slaughter and attend the BYU vs. Nevada game. It was a lot of fun being back at the stadium eating popcorn and cheering for the Cougars, even if they aren't very good (tear). Part way through the game Madey asked George to buy her some blue hair, he told her only if she wore it for the rest of the game, so they wandered down to the Cougar Den and found her a wig of blue hair, which she wore proudly for the remainder of the game.
It has been a long journey which isn't quite done yet, but we can see the glow of the light at the end of the tunnel and we are so grateful for the goodness of God, His healing hand, and the blessings of family and friends that continue to demonstrate their love and support for us in so many ways.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Madey, Music, and Miracles

There are ups and downs to everything we do in life and the answers we seek are not always the answers we get. Sometimes we go into an experience with a certain well defined expectation both for ourselves and the Lord and come away with something not completely unfamiliar of what we had in mind. And yet there is still rejoicing for the all encompassing goodness of God.
Last Friday and Saturday Madey received her 11th Chemo treatment (only 3 more to go!) she also had an MRI, CT Scan, and Bone Density scan done to determine what is going on in this battle with cancer. Here is what we learned, Madey's pelvic bone and hip area where the cancer did the most damage is re-growing itself and the blood flow to that area has increased. The cancer continues to shrink and will shrink even more with the final 3 Chemo treatments. There is still an affected area in her pelvis, but due to the radiation and chemo that area is inactive. So what does that mean? It means that once Madey is done with these last 3 chemo sessions she is done (Yeah Baby!). Doctors will continue to monitor the affected area by doing scans every 3 months, but chances are the cancer will remain inactive but Madey will not! As soon as she gets clearance she would like to start training to get herself in shape to play softball and basketball.
Madey continues to have positive experiences and be a positive example to those around her. A week or so ago she attended her seminary class, inspite of her teacher (dad), and since it was early in the term students were asked to bring to class an item that helps define who they are. Madey chose to bring her guitar and sing for her class. It was quite an awesome site as this cute sophmore girl with no hair, unzipped her guitar case, introduced herself, and began playing a favorite Taylor Swift song for kids she hardly knew. There was quite the feeling of awe in the room, and the applause after was both genuine and heart felt. George has said several times since then, "I wish I'd had my video camera." The comments from the other students were awesome, one girl said, "I don't even like Taylor Swift, but you are amazing!"
We are well aware that there is still more to do for full healing and recovery, but we are grateful for how far Madey has come and encouraged as we run the last few miles of this mararthon. We are so thankful for all the love, support, and prayers of so many.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Four More - -

We seem to be in countdown mode, only four more chemo sessions for Madey! (can I get a whoot whoot!) Although there is still much for her to endure we feel like we are finally beginning to see the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel'. Madey completed her 10th chemo treatment a week ago Friday. It was a long 5 day stay and her recovery time at home was short lived. She began feeling sick last week and by Wednesday evening was running a fever of about 103 degrees. Which meant we got to go to the emergency room. They kept Madey at Primary Children's until Saturday afternoon, she is now home resting and receiving 'mom care' which is the best care. We hope to get her feeling well enough to attend some school, in the meantime she will continue to do her assignments from home.
While Madey and Michelle were in the hospital, George and Landon went on a campout with the 11year old scouts. They left Friday about 3:30 pm and headed up Ogden canyon to spend the night. There were 3 leaders and 4 boys. Around 5:45 pm, the boys had just finished setting up their tents and George along with one of the other leaders (Mitch) were trying to string up a tarp to keep the rain off everyone, when Mitch hurt his ankle. After hobbling over to the picnic table and getting seated to rest his leg, the wind began to blow and one of the boys tents began to fly away, several of the boys who had been sitting next to Mitch ran after the tent, George went to help them. A micro burst of wind came whistling though the camp and George looked up as he heard a loud crack and saw the top of a cottonwood tree snap off and begin to fall, he yelled "look out" when the large portion of tree crashed down on Mitch's head and narrowly missed Landon. Part of the tree was full of bees which began stinging George, Mitch, and some of the boys, I think Landon was stung twice, while George received about 8 stings. The boys hurriedly climbed into one of the tents to wait out the storm, while George and the other leader Rob, lifted the tree off Mitch. They then put Mitch in the suburban and Rob drove him closer to Pineview where he was met by EMS from Ogden City and Weber county, they then transported Mitch to the hospital where he received 4 staples in his head. If you want to see pictures you can view Mitch's blog at the bottom of this post. After Rob left with Mitch, George went to check on the boys in their tent, when he asked them how they were doing they replied by telling him they had been sharing happy thoughts about Brother Dorius and taking turns offering prayers for him. Needless to say George had a hard time not crying because of the innocent and faithful gestures of these young scouts. Not only was the campout a small disaster, but the boys still need to meet their scout requirement for sleeping in a tent.
We hope for a less eventful week, but continue to be grateful for the many blessings we enjoy in our lives because of the Gospel of Christ and the many people that watch out for our family.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Treatment Timeout

After completing 31 radiation treatments, and another session of chemotherapy we decided it was time for a break. We loaded up the suburban and took the family to Island Park, ID and spent some time fishing, floating the river, exploring Yellowstone National Park, and of course poking sticks in the campfire. It was a nice break and time seemed to stand still while we were there. Wildlife viewing was great, we saw about 7 Moose in Island Park, lots of Elk and Bison in Yellowstone, and a bald eagle fishing near us on the river. It was a lot of fun to watch the kids taking pictures and laughing in the car, it actually felt like we were normal again. George's nephew was a great tour guide and we are grateful to George's brother for the use of his cabin, I don't think we could have made the trip other wise. We also really enjoyed being with other family members while we were there. If you noticed and extra human in the pictures, that is Lindy's fiance Cameron, yes we are planning a wedding in the midst of all of this (As if it wasn't crazy enough already). All joking aside, he is a nice guy and we are very happy for the two of them.

When we got back it was time for a little reality check, Madey and Hillary went to the High School and picked up their class schedules and had yearbook pictures taken, there is definitely some nervous excitement on Madey's part about starting High School and still trying to finish cancer treatments. So far the school has been great to work with. George will meet with all of her teachers next week so they are aware of Madey's situation. With all of that taken care of Madey received a blood transfusion on Friday and will start her next round of Chemotherapy on Monday the 16th of August, it will most likely sideline her for first week of school, but we know with each passing treatment we are that much closer to finishing this fight and helping Madey become cancer free.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Still Fighting Forward,

After our fun adventure on the 4th of July to see Carrie Underwood and the Stadium of Fire we were reminded that we still have cancer and we are still undergoing treatment. With the combination of radiation and chemotherapy Madey began to get blisters and sores on her body, the chemo had made her skin more sensitive to the radiation. As a result of all this, her blood counts got pretty low and she began running a fever which meant we were once again being admitted to the hospital. It was a very difficult stay, not just for Madey but also her parents, and I think a few members of the hospital staff. There seemed to be one trial right after another and much of the trial came in the form of too many chiefs and not enough Indians. It seemed as if we were constantly at odds with some of our nurses and doctors about the best method of treatment for Madey during this 48 hour stay. Suffice it to say, there were some pretty amazing tender mercies that not only allowed Madey to get the care she needed, but also to provide her parents with the peace of mind they needed to continue to fight forward. The Lord knows who we are and what we are going through, but I am still amazed at how often he uses ordinary people to make miracles happen in our lives.
Madey is feeling much better now, she has been home for a week and has been able to continue her radiation treatments without difficulty. She even felt good enough this last Friday to go to the movie "Despicable Me" with the family. It was nice to get out again and do something normal. Madey only has 6 more radiation treatments after today and she is so excited...
Today is also Madey's Birthday! She was so excited last night to have her grandparents and other family members over to the house to celebrate and eat cake and ice cream. This morning she woke up to balloons, confetti, and streamers placed in the yard by friends over night, it is a sweet reminder of the many people that love and support her, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fun Fireworks & Carrie Underwood!

Well it has sure been a crazy couple of weeks. Madeline started radiation 3 weeks ago, the first two weeks were pretty uneventful. On the 3rd week, she underwent simultaneous chemotherapy and radiation for 5 days. The two together have made her nauseous and uncomfortable. But we still managed to pull off a short family outing to the Stadium of Fire, and not only see great fireworks, but also see Madey's favorite country singer and George's celebrity crush, Carrie Underwood. It was an amazing show, both Carrie and the fireworks, but mostly seeing Madey's
adorable smile. After the show, George got us all lost finding his way back to the hotel, but we soon found our way and had every one bedded down for a hotel slumber party. After returning home, Madey has spent most of her time recovering from our excursion and the continued side-effects of chemo and radiation. She only has 12 more days of radiation left...we can't wait! Michelle has been especially busy taking Madey on her daily drive to Huntsman for the procedure, she is an amazing example of Christ like love in our home.
Madey continues to get stronger, but we are still in need of your many prayers on her behalf. May God bless all of you especially as we celebrate the freedoms of our great nation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wishes Come True...

It has been a busy couple of weeks! One of Madey's wishes was to be able to attend the last week of school and be a part of all the fun

that happens when 9th grade is over. It took some convincing, but Michelle was very adamant that Madey be able to go. So we postponed chemo for a week, and what a week we had. From fishing with Grandpa, to a movie with her cousin Riely and her sister Hillary, to the 9th grade dance, to the closing assembly to the signing of yearbooks, and to top it off a party with friends, that included, volleyball, the trampoline, smores, and an outdoor movie. Madey thought that her week would be complete with all of these events, but there was one big surprise for her mixed in. A few months ago we met with the Make a Wish Foundation and Madey wished for a family trip to Florida. As part of the closing assembly, in front of all of her classmates, Prince Charming, pictured above, sought out "princess" Madeline with her missing slipper. With the help of the students at Fairfield Jr., they announced that "princess" Madey's wish had been granted. It was a really tender moment as her classmates gave her a standing ovation and honored her courage and bravery in this fight against cancer with their applause. It was definitely one of those moments that seemed frozen in time and the emotion of it all tugged on the strings of our hearts. All we can say is Thank You 'Make-a-Wish' and Thank You Fairfield Jr. High.
After all the fun died down late Friday night, reality began to set back in. Madey checked into the hospital early Saturday morning to begin her next session of Chemo, but the good memories of the last week seemed to carry her through and her spirit and attitude appeared to be unaffected. Now that this round of chemo is finished, Madey began the next phase of the battle today at the Huntsman Cancer Institute: radiation therapy. She is feeling tired, and starting to miss her friends, but she said the procedure was a piece of cake. She will continue with radiation for the next 6 weeks, with additional chemo treatments dispersed throughout. We know we still have a ways to go in our battle, but we are confident that through faith and prayer Madey will make a full recovery.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Movie, Church, and a High Five.

It has been a couple of weeks since the blog has been updated, sorry, no excuses I just forgot. This week Madey has been feeling pretty good, she was able to attend the sports recognition night at Fairfield Jr. High, where she was honored as the "Most Inspirational" member of her team, it was fun to see her honored along with teammates she has played with for the last three years, congratulations to Megan, Cheyne, and Shelby for their accomplishments this year and thank you to all the girls for including Madey in spite of everything. Madey also got to go to the Movies Saturday night with her sisters and some friends, they had a blast. It was also a blessing for her to be able to attend the whole three hour block of church on Sunday as well, thanks to our Bishop and Aaronic Priesthood Young men for taking care of the sacrament for her. Its a blessing to have days when she can feel like a 'normal' kid again. We are now waiting for her blood counts to get better so she can do her next chemo treatment. After that we will work on a speedy recovery so that she can attend the last week of school and participate in assemblies, yearbook signing, and all of the other stuff that is monumentally important to a 14 year old girl. When that has concluded she will start radiation treatments at Huntsman for about 6 weeks, chemotherapy will run in conjunction with radiation. There will be lots of trips to Salt Lake, I think our car can find its way there on its own by now. We continue to be blessed and try to do our best to enjoy all that life has sent our way.
Michelle and also got the opportunity to get up extra early on Friday morning to be part of a KSL "High Five" for Staci Hardy along with the committee members that sponsored and organized the 5K FunRun MilesforMadey. Staci had been nominated by her mom and we wholeheartedly supported that nomination. She and her committee have been a tremendous blessing in our lives and it was a small gesture of gratitude on our part for being the beneficiaries of so much love and support. We have learned in so many ways that it is the little things that count, whether it be having dinner together, smiling, laughing, attending church, or watching your kids race each other on the go carts at Boondocks. The little things matter!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Courage to Continue Chemo

We are still battling cancer and Madey still doesn't like being in the hospital. Friday her Oncologist met with us and told us that since her chemotherapy is having such a positive impact on the cancer cells in her hip, he recommends that she continue with her chemotherapy, in addition Madey will start receiving radiation treatments in conjunction with her chemo. The feeling is that the two together will be the best treatment for eradicating the tumor from Madey's hip. He also informed us that it appears from the scans that the bone in her hip has already begun to repair itself. We are thrilled with Madey's progress, but are a little discouraged knowing that we are still not quite half way done with her treatments. Madey knows it will be a long journey, but hopes that as she continues to improve she may be able to begin to participate in 'normal' activities again, like attending school or maybe going to girls camp.
Lindy is done with school for now and still working at America First Credit Union, she is a huge help when Mom and Dad are traveling back and forth to the hospital. Hillary has one more AP test to take and then she hopes to breath a little before starting a six week 8 credit chemistry course at the University of Utah this summer. Landon has been busy playing baseball (watching from the right field) his Red Sox team is 2 - 0 so far, he is also in the school musical this week, he plays President Roosevelt in the musical Annie. We look forward to watching his performance.
We definately feel blessed, the Lord is taking good care of us and we are continually surrounded by people that want to make a difference for Madey and our family. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good News and Gratitutde

Life is definitely a roller-coaster ride and for the last three and half months we feel like we have endured most of the twists and turns that could be thrown our way. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. We were so overwhelmed by the turn out two weekends ago for the MilesforMadey fun-run that we didn't know if we could feel more gratitude for amazing friends, family, neighbors, community and church members. From the messages of love and support, the prayers, the kind words and the meals we have received, it has been obvious that there are many good and generous people in the world that want to bless a 14 year old girl and her family. All we can say is thank you and do our best to be genuinely grateful for all the blessings our Heavenly Father gives us and work to pay it forward.
This last week we received some good news. Madey went to the hospital on Thursday and had several scans done to assess the effects of her treatment on her cancer. We were thrilled when Friday afternoon her oncologist called and told us that her tumor has been reduced by about 70%. Yahoo! We did the 'dance of joy' quite a site if you haven't seen it before, and were immediately filled with gratitude for the progress that Madey is making and the hope that this report gives to us. We know we are not done, but the news was definitely huge. Madey went to PCMC today to receive a blood transfusion and we are hopeful that she will have her final Chemo treatment of this series at the end of this week. Our cancer team is meeting on the results of her scans today to determine what our next course of action will be, please pray for her and for the doctors that they will make the right determination for the best possible results for Madey.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting Ready to Run!
Wow! What a week! We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends, family members, church and community members. On Saturday April 24th a 5K fun run was sponsored in Madey's honor, MilesforMadey. The attendance was unbelievable and the feelings of love and goodwill were contagious as was Madey's smile. The race started and ended at Fairfield Jr. High. I think the highlight for most was to see Madey as she stood in back of a pick up truck, thanks Chad, with a big grin on her face and sounded the air-horn to signal the start of the race. It was also great to have her sitting in the yard swing waving to all the runners as they passed by our house. George and Lindy had trained for the race and both set a goal to not only finish their first 5K but to do it without any walking, they both met their goal, although Lindy finished a little ahead of George, young legs run faster. We cannot even begin to thank all of the people that made this possible. But we do need to give a huge shout out to Stacy Hardy and Rick Smith for chairing this thing and making it happen, your whole committee is amazing! Madey had a wonderful day and although she was exhausted when it came time to go to bed she still had a smile on her face. It was fantastic for us as a family to see Madey being Madey again, laughing and enjoying her friends and family, a priceless gift for us. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the love and kindness of others, thank you somehow seems insufficient, nonetheless, Thank You! Madey's Number One Support Team "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrew 12:1)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pizza, a Party, and Precious People!

We celebrated a happy 20th birthday with big sister Lindy this week!
Make a Wish came calling, now deciding what to wish for - hmmm.
This week was definitely full of nice surprises. Madey's platelet counts were low so she wasn't able to go in for treatment on Tuesday as anticipated. It was a blessing in disguise because this allowed her to attend the year-end basketball banquet with her team. It was nice to see her interacting with teammates and taking time to express our gratitude to the girls and coaches for dedicating their season to her. The Fairfield Girls basketball team and coaches will always have a special place in our hearts. Madey also received student of the month honors at school in Social Studies and was honored by her teacher Mr. Carter at a breakfast Wednesday morning, she wasn't feeling up to attending but was very honored by the recognition.
Having chemo delayed also allowed Lindy to celebrate her birthday twice in one week, since Madey was going in for Chemo on Friday she would miss Lindy's birthday, so Thursday night George grilled steaks and Michelle made a cake and we had an impromptu party for Lindy and even allowed her to open one gift early. We followed that up with a Little Ceasar's pizza (the only thing Madey eats in the hospital) party @ the Hospital on Saturday where our little family was able to gather and watch Lindy open her other gifts. Although conditions were not ideal it was sweet to be together.
Madey was also able to finally meet her friend and fellow Ewing's Sarcoma patient Kaitlin, who was admitted to the hospital on Saturday for her next round of chemo, Madey was pretty tired that morning but was pleased that Kaitlin stopped by her room before beginning treatment to get to know her and say hi. Sunday afternoon one of George's former missionary companion Darryl Mason, who has been battling cancer for several months was able to come by and visit with his sweet wife. It was a such a blessing for us and Madey to have him come and share his experiences with chemo and radiation, when he left Madey commented several times on how much she liked him and appreciated the support of someone battling a similar disease. Also Sunday evening Lindy graduated from the Ogden LDS Institute, yeah! We are so proud of her.
Madey came home Sunday night just before midnight and has spent much of Monday sleeping and recovering. We are happy to have her home and have the whole family under the same roof. We just wish to again say thank you for all the prayers, love, and support. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Miles for Madey fun run/walk this Saturday, you can come cheer George on as he attempts to run his first 5K, should be entertaining if nothing else.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break, Transfusion, and How to Train Your Dragon

We are finally starting to understand that nothing goes as planned, ever. We had hoped to start round 5 of Chemo this last week, but Madeline's blood counts were too low, so after a blood transfusion we were told to wait until next week. So we are hopefully going to go in this Tuesday (although we may have to miss the year end basketball banquet, tear) to take care of Chemo treatment #5. I don't know why we act surprised I don't think we have started a single treatment on the day it was originally scheduled. Of course last week was Spring Break for Hillary and Landon, so they were home looking for something fun to do. On Wednesday George took the day off and took Hillary, Madey, and Landon to see "How to Train Your Dragon" while Michelle went shopping all by herself. They all had a good time at the movie and Madey really enjoyed doing something 'normal' like going to a movie in a theater. Later that afternoon it was Hillary's turn for some medical treatment, she got to have her wisdom teeth pulled (Lucky). The rest of the day was spent lying low and recovering from the dentist.
Saturday the weather was nice enough to go to Layton Park, where we had a small picnic, George and the girls spent time throwing a softball around, yes Madey can still throw hard, while Landon played on the playground with a friend. George grilled burgers for dinner that night and we spent the rest of the evening watching old family videos and laughing at each others idiosyncrasies.
Today has been a good day, everyone made it to church, Madey even felt good enough to attend Young Women's, we sure appreciate our priests for bringing the Sacrament to her after the meeting. All in all we continue to be optimistic and look forward to the conclusion of our next two rounds of chemo. We hope to be done with them by the first week in May, but as I type that I am reminded that nothing ever seems to go according to my time frame. We are still in training for the MilesforMadey 5k being held on the 24th of April, hopefully someone will be driving behind the pack to pick up those of us who pass out (hehe).
We are truly grateful for how blessed we are as a family, we are surrounded by so many amazing neighbors, friends, and family members that it is hard to get discouraged. Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers.
We just needed to make a quick addendum, Madeline's Platelets are too low so we need to delay treatment #5, we will let you know when she actually makes it to the hospital. Looks like we will make it to the basketball banquet after all!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This week has been a week of recovery. Madeline came home last Sunday and has really enjoyed being home. She slept for 12 hours the first night, and must have told Michelle at least 5 times on Monday "its good to be home". This week Madey has spent time napping, working on homework, played her guitar, watched the game show network, and gotten to hang out with friends. She has also watched the men's and women's final four and like most of the country was excited to see Butler make the finals. Today has been a nice day as well, watching General Conference and then gathering at Michelle's brothers house for brunch, it was good to see everyone and we were happy Madey was feeling well enough to go, she enjoyed talking with her cousins and being around her grandparents. Madeline is scheduled to go back to the hospital on Wednesday for her next round of Chemo, but just because its scheduled doesn't mean it will happen, we are hopeful everything will go as planned this week.
We continue to be amazed at Madey's good attitude and willingness to push forward in this fight, we are also grateful for the faith, love, and prayers of so many others on her behalf.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boredom, Basketball, and a Big dog.

Madey is in the hospital completing her 4th session of Chemo, it has been a 5 day visit and the days have gotten longer and more boring with each passing minute. This treatment has gone well and we anticipate that we will bring her home later this evening (YEAH). To pass the time she has watched a variety of movies, "The Blindside, What a Girl Wants, and The Princess and the Frog". She also played a little Madden on the XBOX and easily beat her dad who kept complaining that the controls are different on XBOX verses Playstation, but to use his own words against him (excuses are for losers). Madey also watched a few NCAA Tournament games, it was nice to see her come to life and yell at the TV when a call didn't go the way of the team she was rooting for. It appears as if Madey's treatments are going well, the pain in her hip is gone and she is walking and getting around much better. We are grateful for the many prayers and tender mercies that have come her way recently, it is amazing how often we are comforted by others in similar circumstances (Kaitlin thanks for calling the other night & Kirstin's mom thanks for your post) who share their lives and stories with us.

Congratulations to Hillary and her Layton High teammates who took 5th in the State Science Olympiad competition last night! Hillary Medaled in three events bringing home two Silver and one Gold, it was great to be able to go and support her.

On a completely different note, many of you know our big lab Maxwell (Max), apparently while we were gone yesterday he got into the house and had free reign of the place. When we got home and opened the door he greeted us with his usual wagging tail and a "hey whats up" look on his face. When we walked into the house we found dog treats scattered through the kitchen, a few of Madey's hats in the hallway, some garbage on the ground, blankets strewn around, and Buddy (our inside dog's) food dishes missing. On further inspection we also found in the backyard, several stuffed animals from Madey's room, Chinese takeout containers (licked clean), and Buddy's missing food dishes, along with a few other items. Our only real regret is that we didn't have a video camera set up so we could have seen him in action for ourselves, but what are you gonna do?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

'New Moon' and a Blood Transfusion

This week has been a week where making no plans was a good idea. Madey was supposed to go back into the hospital for round 4 of chemo, but that was delayed again. Madeline's blood counts have been pretty strong but her platelets were low so she received some on Wednesday, and then a blood transfusion on Friday, we are now hoping she can start chemo this week. But since the hospital does things whenever they want we will wait and see (no bitterness only love).

Since we have had Madey home for a few extra days and she has been feeling pretty good. The girls have enjoyed watching 'New Moon', giggling, and making giant cupcakes. With the weather being so good today, we took a drive to Antelope Island and had a picnic. It was the first time we have gone to the Island and actually seen Antelope along with Bison and a coyote. Being in the car that much and taking a few shorts walks to observe wildlife on the Island wore Madey out a little, so we brought her home and had a delicious meal of 'hotwings' and chicken nuggets. Nothing like a little spicy snack food and Orange Fanta to bring up the energy level in our house.

We continue to be amazed at the blessings we receive as we move forward in this journey. The times we have together as a family to laugh, love, and tease each other seems more delightful all the time. Thank you again for all the love and support! And keep training, the 5K will be here before you know it. George actually ran 1.8 miles yesterday without collapsing, he might actually do this.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friends and Angels

Cancer is an unpredictable fight, Madey has had several really good days since her last treatment and we are still optimistic about her starting round 4 of her treatments this upcoming week. However, she has been feeling pretty lousy today, one of the side effects of chemo is mouth sores and they are not only uncomfortable, they also make it really hard to eat or relax. We hope this all passes soon so that she can continue to move forward in this fight. Thank you to her friends who came by and spent some time with her this week, Madey really enjoys those opportunities she has to feel like a "normal" teenager again.
We are truly blessed to have so many amazing friends, neighbors, and community members that demonstrate their love and support in a variety of ways. We just found out this week that a 5K funrun (oxymoron) and silent auction has been scheduled to show support for Madeline and her fight with cancer. I have included the information in this post and welcome anyone who would like to participate. No one living in our house has ever actually run a 5K but George and Lindy began training this week and hope to be able to run the entire distance.
Thank you again for your love and support we are confident that with the combined faith and prayers of so many on Madey's behalf we can win this battle with cancer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hairless Heros!

Faculty members who shaved their heads for Madey at the assembly.

On Wednesday March 3rd Fairfield Jr. held an assemly to honor the girls basketball team for their runner up finish this season. The student body was also commended for their fund raising efforts on behalf of Madey and our family. Many students and faculty members shaved their heads to the delight of the students, there was lots of cheering. Some didn't just shave their heads they had Madey's basketball number shaved into their heads as well. We were also pleasantly surprised when the girls team from Central Jr. awarded us with basketballs signed by each of the teams in our region, what a beautiful show of support. The Fairfield team and coach Osborne presented us with a ball signed by the Utah jazz and one signed by the state high school girls 4A and 5A champions. While all of this was going on Madey was in the hospital receiving her 3rd chemo treatment in less than favorable circumstances, but she pulled through it all like the champion that she is, and is now home resting and feeling pretty darn good.
We are grateful for the wonderful show of support Madey has received from the school, community, and church members. Thank You for your prayers and genuine acts of service on our behalf.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cheering For Champions.

Go Falcons! Madey got to go cheer her team on yesterday as they played the Millcreek Mustangs at Davis High for the Jr. High girl's basketball championship. She sat with the team and had a blast! The girls played a good game but sadly, lost in over time by 6. We're so proud of them! I don't think the team, coaches, and students of Fairfield jr will ever really understand what they have meant to us and Madey during this ordeal and how truly inspiring their service and love on our behalf has been. It was a big day, full of smiles and adventure. KSL came to interview Madey again and take more pictures. It was a thrill for Madey to have her name and number called as she was wheeled onto the floor and through the tunnel of cheerleaders, SBO's, coaches and teammates. We all would have liked to see her smile under her the surgical mask she had to wear to keep the germs away. At one point coach Osborne asked her if she was ready to go into the game she responded "sorry I promised my dad I wouldn't try to play today". At the conclusion of the game we were touched when her fellow captains wheeled her out on the floor to recieve the second place trophy. What a special moment. We will be ever grateful for the Falcons Girls basketball team, although they came up short in the win column yesterday, they will always be champions in our hearts! We Love You!
Madey will continue her chemo treatments at the beginning of next week. The battle continues and just like her Falcon teammates madey will continue to fight also.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fevers and Frustration

We ended up in the hospital agian last night and are still here. Madeline was running a little bit of a fever and since that can be a sign of infection we brought her back last night, and we are still here. There is no other evidence of an infection but her blood counts are low, so we are doing blood transfusions in an effort to get those counts up, to help her body fight potential infections but also to get her ready for her next round of Chemo, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday morning. Madeyis resting well and feeling good so we hope we won't be here much longer.

On a happier note, the Fairfield Girls basketball team won their semi-final game in overtime on Thursday which puts them in the championship game this Wednesday at Davis High. We are so thankful for the support Madey's teammates, friends, coaches, and others have shown her and our family in this trial, it is very touching to know that the girls aren't just playing to win they are playing for her.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hats, Home, and Happiness!

We got Madey home from Primary Children's today! This is the Hat she wore home.
As you can see Madey has become a fan of hats, she has received a few from friends and family and is excited about her growing collection. You can also see that she is a little thinner since she started chemo, now that she is home she will start eating again, fruit loops apparently taste normal, so we have that going for us.
She wants to post a few pics of herself without the hats, we will get those up soon. Thanks again to everyone for your love and support. The meals, the messages, and the Prayers are all making a significant difference in our lives. Thank You!!
She is sporting the hat Hillary made for her, cut sisters!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Round 2

We checked Madey into Primary Children's Hospital Monday for her next round of Chemotherapy. This session will be for five days. So far the treatments are going well. Madey is feeling tired and nauseous and she is getting a little bored sitting here in her hospital room. She has had a steady diet of disney channel and fox family television shows. We have also watched some animal planet and classic xgames. Madey is looking forward to coming home this weekend and continuing her recovery. Thank you again to everybody for your kindess words, prayers, and loving support.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Home and Hairless

Madey has now lost all of her hair (tear) it was difficult and in support of her George and Landon decided to shave their heads. They have both mentioned that their heads get cold when they go outside, but they were thrilled with the fact that they didn't need much in the way of hair care products anymore. I wish we had a picture of her expression ther first time she saw her dad with no hair.
Madey is now home and we are happy to have everyone under the same roof again.
We have a few days to recover before we start round 2.
Thanks again for your prayers and support.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It will soon be time for a hat.

Madeline is still in the hospital recieving antibiotics to fight an infection in her system. We are told this is pretty common for Chemo patients. They will continue to monitor her progress and let us know when we can bring her home again.

Madeline has a new trick she can do, she can run her fingers through her hair and then hand you a beautiful nest of brown hair. Yes that means her hair has begun to fall out. George has already been asked by the kids when he will shave his head. His response was soon.

We also want to let everyone know that Madeline will be featured on the 10 o'clock news tonight on KSL Channel 5, Michelle is a little bummed because Madey's hospital room doesn't get channel 5 for some reason, she may have to sneak out and watch it in the lobby.

Thanks agian to everyone for thier love, support, and prayers, keep them coming!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Setback Saturday

Madey has had a rough couple of days. She has been unable to keep much of anything down and running a fever. After a priesthood blessing, we took Madey down to Primary Children's. She was given an IV and began receiving fluids. She stayed at the hospital last night and we are unsure whether she will be home today or tomorrow. She is doing much better and we all hope that she will be home soon. Thank you for the prayers and please continue to keep her in your thoughts!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Madey is Home!!!

Madeline has completed her first chemotherapy treatment and we got her home today around 12:30 pm. It was overwhelming for her as well as our family to see all the blue ribbons tied to trees and posts in the neighborhood. She was especially touched by all the signs welcoming her home and the expressions of love. Madey really liked the blue balloons. We want to send out a special thank you to all the members of the Creekside Ward for not only supporting Madeline but for the meals, phone calls, the kind words, and especially the prayers. We also want to thank the many others that are supporting her and our family at this time, it is a lot to take in, but we are truly grateful. We recognize that we are still in the early stages of our battle with cancer, but we feel as if we are already making progress thanks to the faith and prayers of others. We are also grateful to the coaches and players of the Layton and Davis High School girls basketball teams for encouraging cancer awareness by honoring many who have battled or are currently battling cancer. The T-Shirts and wristbands that were sold on Madey's behalf by her teammates and coaches from FJH girls basketball team were great. Madey is also grateful for the many cards, gift baskets, flowers, and balloons that she has received as well.

Baring no set backs we are scheduled to begin round 2 of Chemotherapy on February 4th. In the meantime we will continue to move forward exercising faith that the Lord will help us through this ordeal.

We also would like to let anyone who is interested know that Madey will be featured on 'Talking Sports' tonight at 10:30 pm KUTV channel 2.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010

Today, Madey started her chemo treatments. Things were a little behind due to a hiccup but everything is fine now. She's super tired because of the drugs they've got flowing into her system but they're definitely helping. This round of chemo should last a couple days and we hope to have her home this weekend. The Fairfield Jr High basketball team had another stellar win today over the North Layton Longhorns. The Lady Falcons have dedicated their season to Madey, so far it seems to be working. They're 4 and 0. Thanks girls! We love you all and are so thankful for your support!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Fight Begins

Today, Madey went to the doctor. Again. As they sat in the waiting room, Madey practiced wheeling herself around in our borrowed wheelchair. She stopped in front of our parents and looked down at her hands to see that they were lined with charcoal colored streaks. She yelled "Ew! Dad! I need hand sanitizer!!" He jumped up (ish) and got a humongous bottle of hand sanitizer out of one of the offices. He sat down and slammed the pump down to squirt out some of the stellar cleansing goo. Instead of squeezing out of the pump and into Madge's hands like normal, the giant glob shot sideways and splatted all over mom's pants! Dad looked shocked, Mom just stared at it and Madey about pee'd her pants she was laughing so hard!!
Hand sanitizer helped relieve the tension that filled the empty waiting room before the doctors came to let us know what comes next. We learned Madey's tumor is about the size of a small football, close to the same size as the one Landon got for Christmas (thus all the pain she's been in). Her tumor is in a "good" spot (if you can say that a tumor is a good thing...) This will help the doctors treat it easier and we're so thankful for all the little blessings that we've seen during this 'hard thing'.
Tomorrow, Mom, Madey, and Dad will go back down to Primary Children's Hospital where Madey will have an echocardiogram. Big word, not scary meaning. It just measures and watches Madey's heart to make sure she's strong enough to undergo chemotherapy. After that they'll meet with the oncologist, aka: the tumor doctor. He's kind of a genius! Then Madey will be admitted into the hospital because they rock at what they do! She will begin the first round of chemotherapy. The doctors described her tumor being like the sun baking the insides of her body. That's why it hurts so darn much. The chemo will be like pouring water onto it and will make her stop hurting. I really need the tumor to stop hurting her because when she hurts, I hurt. She will be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days. She's not allowed to have visitors once she starts the chemo treatments. Our house has to basically be quarantined and sanitized (maybe we should've kept that big bottle from the waiting room.. haha) We greatly appreciate everyone's love and support. Your prayers have carried us through so far and will continue to do so. Please remember Madey by wearing blue tomorrow and keep her in your prayers always.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Fighter and a Forward

The title of our blog has many reasons. The first being that our Madey plays the position of forward in basketball; one of her favorite sports. The next reason is that on January 14, 2010, we learned that Madey has a form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. Since we've learned this its all felt like a whirlwind. It may only have been a few days ago but it seems like years ago. We've received much love and support from neighbors and friends. Shortly after we got the diagnosis, Madey received a forwarded text message from her friends telling everyone at school to "wear blue for Madey". She told Dad, "Dad I'm a forward." To which he replied, "Of course you are, you've always been a forward!" This gave us all a good laugh. We are determined to move forward with faith and to fight the cancer with all the resources we've been given. Madey has also told us that she's no baby and she's going to fight with all she's got; thankfully, she won't have to do it alone. Our family is growing stronger as the days go by. Everyday is a new challenge, a new experience, but we are moving forward, facing our fears, and keeping the faith...