Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Junior GCT Ovarian Cancer - Maddie's Story

I've had it on my heart to write about Maddie's story from her diagnosis of stage 1C ovarian cancer (junior GCT), and while I've had lots of time to reflect about this last year, I haven't written here because I've been pretty busy.  During Maddie's chemo treatments we had a FaceBook page where I would write updates on how things were going, and basically the process.  I found I would write on her designated page, on my wall, and on a few other private pages.  Basically, Maddie's journal of this whole experience was all over the place.

In February, after her last treatment of chemo, I decided to compile everything.  It's been quite the process of gathering all the information posted on Facebook, journals, hospital papers, get well cards, and photos.  There was a lot of scanning, motivational sayings I would collect off Pinterest, and additional journaling that needed to be done.  I wasn't able to work on it everyday, but throughout the last few months, I have really been focused on getting it done.  Then about a month ago, we were working on an annual program at church, our Young Women in Excellence.  This is a program where the young women, ages 12-18, can show what they've been working on as they move forward in their goals from 8 different areas of achievement.  The pressure was on to finish Maddie's book.

Madisen and I were talking about what she wanted to share, and she said so much was focused about getting back into school, and engaging back into the here and now.  Life pretty much stands still when you are going through big health obstacles.  From our experience, it's a tricky balancing act when re-engaging and transitioning back from long periods in the hospital. Talking about me personally, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be in the present as quickly as possible, but still having to play "catch-up" from a 6-month hiatus.  Anyway, what I'm getting to is that Madisen didn't feel like she worked on any projects or goals during this past year.  SAY WHAY?!?  She finished her chemo treatments like a BOSS!  She recovered, then finished a whole year's worth of school online in 4 months.  During each round of chemo, she helped make blankets with friends for the other children on the oncology floor.  We did a big Scentsy Buddy drive, also for the children on the oncology floor.  She was a Youth Counselor  for girl's camp over the summer, and she has put in hours for National Jr. Honor's Society.  So in looking back at this last year, she has done plenty to reach towards her projected goals.  I finished her book in time to have it shipped and used in the display table.

I'm most excited about Maddie's book because everything is now in one place.  I've been storing so many details in my head, and now I can finally let it go.  Madisen is healthy, and I am free to move on and think about other things. It's also a great reminder of how strong she is in so many areas of her life. We are so blessed and grateful!

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