You might have noticed that it’s been a little while since we’ve published a post here. We thought it was time to catch you up on what’s been happening with us, and why you may not have heard from us in a few months. We’ve always been pretty open here at LoCoMusings about our life and family, so we can’t really *not* share this story. Bear with me…while it starts out a little rough, I promise you it turns out okay in the end.
This is our middle daughter, Maddie.
As the school year drew to a close, it had been an incredible experience for her as a freshman. She was finishing the year with nearly straight A’s (one B!) and had just finished her varsity softball season, earning her letter and leading her team in batting average and on base percentage. Completely normal kid stuff, our 3rd child in high school, rocking and rolling.
Except when we took this picture, it was in the midst of our family being enveloped by a tornado. Maddie got her letter at the team party, which she attended at Top Golf before heading straight for Kaiser Permanente’s Reston facility to have a contrast CT scan done. She had a huge mass in her abdomen that suddenly appeared over the course of about 6-8 weeks. As the scans quickly showed, she had Stage 3B ovarian cancer.
The last day of school was June 13th, and she was formally diagnosed on June 15th. She had surgery to remove the mass on June 18th, and then surgery to install a port on June 27th. She started her first round of chemo that day, too. The next nine weeks were spent in a haze of infusions, medications, hydration plans, fever monitoring, and just basically toughing it out. We will be forever grateful to the large team of doctors, nurses, and specialists that surrounded Maddie on this journey. We are equally grateful to all of our friends and family who surrounded us with love, well wishes, messages, cards, gifts, and delicious meals. If you’d like to read about this journey in more detail, there is a CaringBridge site that we used to keep everyone informed of the progress. You can find it here: Maddie’s CaringBridge. You can also do a search on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the #tealfor2 hashtag. (Teal for Ovarian Cancer, #2 for her jersey number.)
The good news is that after she completed her three 3 week cycles of chemotherapy, her scans and blood work showed no signs of cancer in her body. She was fortunate that despite losing her hair, her side effects were not too bad. She was even able to travel to California with our family in late July, and began practicing with her travel softball team in August. School started on August 23rd. She took the field again several weeks ago at the First Responder’s cup tournament in Arlington, and caught the ceremonial first pitch. Life is returning to normal at our home.
In a nutshell, that’s why we’ve been quiet on our LoCoMusings social channels, and definitely quiet here on our blog.
So, now that Maddie’s back to feeling like herself again, she wants to celebrate kicking cancer’s butt. She understands that while she was very fortunate to have a great support system as she was fighting, not every kid with a cancer diagnosis is as lucky. So we are going to celebrate with a cause.
On Sunday, October 7th, starting at noon, we are going to be at Coach’s Corner in Purcellville. We’ll have raffles, giveaways, face painting, football on the TVs, but also a ton of hugs and smiles.
The proceeds from the day will go to support pediatric cancer patients here in the DC metropolitan area. We would love for you to join us for a bite to eat, a drink, or even just a hug or high five. It’s been a heck of a summer; we are looking forward to blue skies and sunshine in the future.
Heather (and Mike, and Maddie, and the rest of our family)