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...