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.