Updates and Info for our Macey Moo

Thank you all for visiting Macey's blog. This page is intended to give family and friends the latest updates on Macey. We look forward to everyone's comments and support and also your patience as we will add any updates as we receive them and are able to post them. There has been an overwhelming amount of support and love for Macey and we want all of you to know that we love you too and are thankful to have such great family and friends. Please keep all comments positive and know that our "Miracle Moo" has only one acceptable outcome. Complete and full recovery. Our family will accept nothing less. There will be t-shirts, window stickers and other items available to help support Macey's road to wellness. These items ARE NOT for profit. Only to show the love and support that Macey needs. Thank you all!







Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Scholarly Moo

So our little Moo Moo decided that she's done with sitting on the couch and being bored out of her mind.  A couple of her family members have either enrolled in or have started college and Macey felt it was time for her to do the same.  So, today we signed her up at Colorado Technical University and she will be pursuing her bachelor of science degree in Business Management specializing in Human Resource Management.  She will be able to complete 100% of the curriculum online. We are so proud of her and look forward to her achieving her educational goals.  She has decided to put a culinary arts degree on hold, because of her current physical limitations and said she would actually be more happy learning how to cook for her own entertainment while she pursues this new plan of education.  We will support Macey in everything she does and are excited to see her stimulate her mind and expand her future prospects. 

Congratulations Macey on your choice to start college! 

We love you!

Dad, Mom and your Sisters

A very Moo Moo Christmas!

Christmas turned out fabulous and Macey had a great time.  Especially since the entire family was here and we got to celebrate together.  Normally I (Dad) am out of town for work on the holidays so it was nice to be home with everyone.  Macey got lots of cute things.  She got loaded up on clothes, bath and body stuff, jewelry, a Kindle Fire (so did Kylah her little Sister), and lots of grippy socks for walking.  She loves all of the gifts from everyone and wanted me to post here and thank everyone again!

Dee Ann and Jay Nye who we met from Macey's benefit at Fat Cats and from the Cancer benefit at McKay Dee, stopped by and dropped off some amazing gifts for Macey.  That was incredibly sweet of them to do and Macey wanted me to personally thank you, if you are reading this and that she loves you all! 

New Years should be fun too.  We will celebrate New years day since that is when I will be home.  We are looking forward to 2012 and will be looking for more miracles with Macey and further improvement.  Macey has done very well and her progress is positive, a little slow at times, but positive.  The good thing is nothing negative has transpired and she definitely hasn't gone backwards.  So we are grateful for even the tiniest of improvements. 

Happy Holidays to everyone and from Macey and the entire family thank you all for everything. 

All our love,

The Steckelberg's

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

McKay Dee Cancer Benefit Held Last Night

We had the privilege of attending a dinner / auction fund raising event for the McKay Dee cancer foundation.  This is put on every year and driven by Dee Ann Nye, an incredibly sweet, caring and loving woman who became immediately attached to Macey when she met her at her Fat Cats fund raiser.  Dee Ann lost her daughter Jaynie, who was only 15 years old, to cancer.  Since then she has used her inspiration, her story to help others in their fight against such a terrible disease.  Macey was an honored guest last night and Dee Ann told everyone at the event during her speech how much Macey meant to her.  It was such an overwhelmingly emotional evening for the entire family.

The wonderful committee of people who all help put this fund raiser together produced a very moving, very powerful video.  Macey and most of the family were featured speakers in it and it turned out amazing.  Please watch the video in its entirety.  Macey and the girls are featured throughout the video and also at the very end.  Click on the URL below or copy and paste into your browser and enjoy.  Thank you. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f1V1UiaSW4&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Belated Thanksgiving

Since I have a very irregular schedule, we weren't able to do Thanksgiving until yesterday.  Even though we were late, it was still just as good as if it were on the actual day.  I don't think the day matters as long as we are all there to do the same thing.  Give thanks. 

Every year I have written up a little something for the family and I read about what I'm thankful for.  This just wasn't happening this year.  The moment I sat at the table, the emotion was overwhelming and the tears were unstoppable.  Alyssa our second to oldest couldn't even come to the table until almost halfway through dinner.  She was very emotional.  I couldn't read two words let alone an entire paragraph on each of my daughters and my wife.  I tried telling the girls why I couldn't read this year and I couldn't even get that out.  If you can't imagine, I can try and explain to you why this was so hard.  It's obviously been a very tough year for everyone.  Especially Macey.  Seeing her sit there in her chair, with her little hat on, eating with her left hand because her right one doesn't want to cooperate very often was already just too much.  But besides the physical obstacles she is working so hard to overcome, the fact that she was sitting there was the biggest blessing any of us could ever ask for.  We are all thankful that Macey has endured so far and this thing hasn't done the unthinkable.  We won't even discuss it in our house because we know in our hearts that not only is Macey going to be ok, but she will be the same old Macey she was before this all happened.  Her mind, spirit, beauty and sweet personality are all still there, but the fact that she doesnt' feel quite herself, makes us all wish she would get better sooner.  We made it through our teary-eyed dinner and we were all so very thankful that our family was sitting there together, enjoying each others company.  

Macey is still working hard to get her walking back in order.  She is still struggling with it all and she gets frustrated because of it.  Imagine wanting your leg to step forward and it just won't.  She still doesn't have the ability to make her leg do what she wants it to yet.  But we are working her that direction.  Also, her last shower as Angie was getting her dressed we noticed on her head that she is getting fuzzy little baby hair sprouting out of her scalp.  This makes her very happy as you can only imagine her wanting her hair back. 

We continue to work hard as a family helping our daughter recover.  Macey goes to the Huntsman center tomorrow for an appointment and to get her next higher dose of chemo prescribed for her next 5 day round coming up in a about a week.  She does tolerate it ok but she definitely doesn't feel that great taking this stuff.  It messes with so many things.  It makes her sensitive to sound, taste, smell, and makes her gums sore etc.  She really dreads taking it but knows that a little discomfort now is worth the tumor being obliterated.  So we press on.  I'm hoping my wife and girls can come down and visit me where I'm working this weekend.  I hate being away even for a minute. 

Remember too, Macey is still having a hard time.  This is not over so please continue to read the blog, show her love and support, call her, write her, email her whatever you can.  It means a lot to her and to our family.  Thanks again for reading and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ups & Downs

We speak so much of our beautiful, strong daughter but what goes on behind the scenes is sometimes missed.  In fact, because we adore our children so much, the supposition of anything bad happening or things not turning out as planned are the nightmares that haunt our every waking moment.  Not that we focus on those moments or give them any validity whatsoever, but the fact that those thoughts exist, creates a tension that compromises our ability to stay positive sometimes.  It's like an emotional war of good against evil going on inside our heads.  As I've talked about in older posts, we learn to focus and concentrate on the positive things.  We have to.  As parents, dwelling on the negative would be nothing short of maddening.  Life is a complex series of events that creates a unique chain, like everyone has there own life DNA.  Each one being completely unique, full of memories both good and bad from start to finish.  We take our individual stories and we filter what we want to keep and purge what we don't.  We will have a lot of purging to do as we work towards Macey getting better.  But there is a lot of good that will be experienced for an eternity.  The entire string of events from the day Macey was diagnosed has taken a toll on our family but has also strengthened us and brought us all even closer.  We have seen friends step up and do some amazing things.  We have seen family put their lives on hold to help us.  We have seen people come out of the woodwork, people we don't even know show their love and support.  Life is really about living and loving isn't it?  No matter how we do it, just the fact that we all get a chance to is the most precious thing this universe has to offer.  As we continue to keep our minds looking at Macey's recovery, we will hold on to all of the love, support, memories and special moments that make our lives meaningful.  We still don't know why this happened to us or why our sweet daughter has to endure such a horrible thing.  I would never wish such a thing on anyone ever.  I watch my wife struggle with emotion and I watch each and everyone of my daughters have good days and bad days.  But how can I or anyone possibly complain?  I think about what Macey is going through and it wakes me up.  I don't have time to complain or pout.  I have to be strong for my daughter who is the one going through this. 

We all hope and pray each day for small miracles and signs of improvement.  Macey has done so well but we still are working on her weakness and ability to walk.  It's been so frustrating for her, but she has made some great improvements. 

These are the thoughts that go through my mind each day.  I don't care who you are, you are going to have weak moments and down days.  It's to be expected.  We have them but we try and avoid them.  We continue to fight this thing and we won't stop until it's completely gone and Macey is well. 

Thanks for listening to me.  I normally blog about Macey but felt it fair to let you all know how it effects our family.  We'll continue to update you as she progresses through physical therapy. 

Happy Holidays to Everyone..

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just wanted to show off my daughter

I know that not everyone following this blog has a Facebook account or is "friended" by Macey on Facebook, but I was just perusing her pages of photos and came across a couple photos that I thought were worthy for the blog.  Let me rephrase that, all of her pictures are worthy but these ones stood out in particular. 

Probably the hardest part about this disease is watching someone you love so much go through so many physical changes associated with radiation and chemo.  Even so, Macey has retained her glowing beauty and doesn't realize sometimes just how perfect she is in any state.  We love her so much and I can't express to you how hard it is to tell a 20 year old female, that no matter what she is beautiful and expect her to believe you when she has gone through so much.  When you are in Macey's shoes, the idea that you have lost most of your hair, are dealing with weakness that effects your ability to walk and slight speech issues caused by the neurological effects of the tumor and probably the radiation, is more difficult to deal with than I'm sure any of us could imagine.  Young ladies have that natural, inherent vanity thing that really takes hold when you are so used to being at the top of your game.  I'm speaking for Macey here but hey, I thinks she is stunningly beautiful and I know it's been difficult for her to deal with the after effects of the radiation.  But just as a reminder, I wanted to post a couple pics of Macey just to remind everyone how ridiculously beautiful she is. 

Also, thank you Brock for putting her Miracle Moo sticker on the back of your motorcycle helmet.  That seriously kicks butt!  

Our Beautiful Macey Moo

Macey and her friend Alex
(Macey on the right)

Brock's Helmet proudly displaying the
Miracle Moo sticker
   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Physical Therapy Starts..

Well our Miracle Moo has to start on her road to physical wellness.  As she continues her chemo, the doctors feel it is absolutely necessary for Macey to become involved in physical therapy.  She needs to re-gain some of her strength and they need to really start working her right side.  She is in desperate need of an ankle brace for her right foot too.  Her ankle has been rolling under a little when she walks.  Since she can't really feel her foot, she can't tell that her ankle is rolling.  She can feel the pain shooting up her leg though and knows it could possibly be doing some damage if it doesn't get remedied.  So they are going to do an evaluation and set her up with an aggressive physical program that will hopefully improve her right side weakness.  We are just going in with the attitude that it WILL improve her and Macey, like everything else so far, will surprise everyone with her ability to quickly progress and heal. 

The new higher dose of Chemo that Macey takes for 5 days a month makes her a little weak and a little nauseated.  Even though she only takes the pills for 5 days each month, the chemo courses through her system for weeks after.  I hope she gets more tolerant to the higher doses because I don't want to see her so tired and run down.  It's not terrible at this point but I think she would definitely like to feel a little better than she does now.  But, if this is the payoff for recovery, I guess we all deal with it.  I'll take tired and nauseated if it means Macey gets better.  I know that's easier for me to say, since she is the one who has to deal with it.  But whatever the case may be, we will be by her side, supporting her and giving her strength every step of the way! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

How we survive

Any time you are faced with uncertainty, or life presents one or several of its many challenges, taking control of how they affect your life is key in emotional well-being and survival.  Controlling your own mind, using the power of positive thinking, and projecting the desired outcome before it happens, must be at the forefront of your mental paradigm.

You learn quickly, and I would assume it's chalked up to the instinctual human ability to survive and thrive, to find ways to adapt, adjust, and process in alternate ways when you have life changing events.  It's so critical when you need to focus and as a Father who is looked up to for day to day support and encouragement I find myself re-training my thoughts and processes to eliminate the negative things that can consume and control me.  So the other day while sitting idle, the words in the paragraph above just hit me.  I use them to keep me strong, to help my family and particularly my daughter Macey.  When you can create a phrase of exacting words or a mantra if you will, it's easier to reflect back on those words in times of weakness, negativity and sadness.  I feel like such a psychological neophyte sometimes, wishing I could grasp the true, untapped power of the human mind.  It would probably be much easier to deal with tragedy, struggle, and life's unfair challenges.  But, until we discover those resources, we find other ways to cope.

That's a lot to swallow, but it's how I deal with the trials Macey and my entire family have gone through.  We all have our own personal way of playing the hand we are dealt in life.  This is mine.     

So, this being said, I leave you with a message to my daughter that simply says, "Stay strong sweetheart, your Daddy loves you and will always be by your side".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Almost forgot to mention..

Our daughter Alyssa works at Autoliv and one of her good friends there was able to arrange a Jazzy for Macey to use for the next 3 months.  If you don't know what a Jazzy is, it's a powered scooter that she can cruise around on.  It's pretty cool and she has a lot of fun on it.  That way too, if we decide to go out or take her somewhere, she can zoom around with us.  Thank you Monica and I apologize for not knowing the name of the other person that helped you put this together.  I will find out and post so they get an honorable mention for being so generous.  Macey thanks you and loves you!

Break Over - New Chemo plan started

Macey got through her one month break and it was much needed.  She was so glad to be able to relax and not have to go to the hospital 5 days a week every week.  But, as stated in previous posts and prescribed by her doctors, Macey began her 5 days of chemo this week.  She will take a dose equal to almost double of what she was taking during her radiation.  Macey handles the chemo very well and they want to continue to be agressive to further combat the tumor.  She only needs to take one pill a night for 5 nights and she's done again until next month where she will repeat the 5 days again.  She will continue to do this plan for the next year and a half, maybe two.  It's only one week a month and we think Macey will handle it just fine.  If anything it makes her feel a little tired, but no nausea, or other adverse side effects to speak of. 

In talking to the her doctors at Huntsman, they want Macey to begin Physical and Occupational therapy right away.  They want her to take ownership in her healing process and actively become engaged in getting herself back to 100%.  They believe because of her age, health, strength and attitude, she should be able to regain all of her physical abilites.  That's good news to her because she's really anxious to being able to get around on her own again.  Thanks to a good family friend Teisha Kirk and her Mother, Macey received a BMX style walker complete with hand brakes and a seat.  It's great because she can stand herself up with it and walk around the house etc..  It looks like a walker from the X-games.  So she has enjoyed the independence.  Hopefully soon, we can rid of the walker and she will be up and around without any assistance.

Macey continues to be our saint and we love her so much and continue to encourage her.  I know I've said this before, but we as a family refuse to accept anything less than Macey getting well.  She's already shown incredible improvement. 

Hoodies, should be done.  I'll call today and check and we'll get them out to you as soon as they are in hand.  Thanks for being patient and sorry it's taken so long.  We might need to find a different supplier who's a little quicker on the turn around..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We call her Miracle Moo for a reason....

Not only is Macey's nickname Moo Moo or usually just Moo, but also a name that is becoming legendary.  Since we found out about Macey's tumor,  from day one decided to call her our miracle saying that we would accept nothing but complete and full recovery.  Macey's attitude, our families attitude and everyone around her instilled in her that she is strong and this thing cannot beat her.  We have fed her an incredibly healthy diet, kept her positive and along with good doctors and a good healthy regimen, Macey has already proven that she is stronger than this disease.  She looks healthy, she laughs, and she has been determined.  All of this has worked miracles and here's proof..

Macey had her MRI done on Monday.  They did the scan with the contrast dye.  This scan was mainly to establish a baseline so down the road we can see the effects of the radiation and chemo on the tumor.  After her MRI appointment we met with her Neurosurgeon Dr. Welling.  He pulled up the scans in his office and we all sat in front of his monitor scared to death of what we might see.  Was it going to be the same?  Was the tumor going to be worse?  What were we about to see?  Ironically, seeing is what we were having a hard time doing.  As he scrolled through the layers of her brain we couldn't see any dark mass or outline like her original scan back in August.  I thought we were looking at something else and not her scans.  But, yes they were her scans.  The tumor has responded amazingly well to the treatments and all of the wonderful support and love from everyone around her has paid off.  There is no definite outline of a tumor.  What was once a defined mass is now an undefined haze.  Macey is our MIRACLE!  This was the best news we have gotten since we intially found out.  Dr. Welling said, "Whatever it is your are doing, keep doing it because it's working".  So even though we know there is more work to do and she has to do her 5 days a month of chemo for the next year, Macey's strength and will has kicked this tumors a**!!  Pardon my French.  We are so proud of her that the emotions of it all, the good news, was like someone lifting a Bradley Tank off our backs.  We are so excited for her and we will continue to do what we have been doing and making sure our daughter gets better. 

Macey had an appointment today with the Huntsman Cancer Institute in SLC and they wanted to review the slides and talk to her about the upcoming chemo plan.  Her Oncologist said the same thing.  He said they don't normally see these kind of results until several months after treatment.  Well, Macey isn't "normally" and she has proven how tough she is by the MRI results.  Her doctors were very very pleased with the results.  This MRI wasn't supposed to show huge change, but it did.  Macey has an angel and this angel has protected her and helped her.  We couldn't be happier.

We love you Macey.  Keep healing our sweet, caring and loving daughter.  We are winning and we will continue to do so...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

UPDATE

It's been quiet since the big Fat Cats event.  Macey has been taking it easy at the house and letting her body recover from her 5 weeks of treatments.  She seems to be more up in spirits and when we help her walk she feels stronger.  It looks as though she steps more with her right leg now rather than pulling it around like she was doing.  We are all waiting patiently for some signs of improvement.  Her docs have all said there is no set time of when or how quickly she will regain some or all of her mobility in her right side.  It's mostly a watch and wait game.  So that's what we have been doing, watching and waiting. 

Macey continues to get stronger and we still truly believe the outpouring of love she receives everyday is key in her healing process.  Her mental state is good but she still has moments of weakness when everything hits her.  The way you survive an ordeal like this is by keeping your focus off of what is wrong or the negativity associated with this disease.  You can't help but think about it sometimes though and it's those moments that really test a persons will and mental strength.  Macey's ability to stay focused takes an inner strength that is so incomprehensible that her will alone transcends the power of Cratus.  She has been called a hero by many of her friends and family.  I am her father and she is definitely my hero.  We will continue to love her, support her and keep her "will" iron clad.

Hoodies:  Just wanted to let everyone know too that the hoodies you ordered are being completed and we should have them next week.  We'll start contacting you all as soon as they are done.  Thanks for being patient. 

Tomorrow Macey goes in for an MRI and we will give you all an update afterwards.

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fat Cats was a Success!

Amazing turn out at Fat Cats.  I can't tell you how happy Macey and our family is about the turn out last night.  It was so incredible to see all of the love and support for Macey.  Macey couldn't have been more happy and touched by each and everyone of you for being there.  There were even people we didn't know coming by to show their support for Macey.  Last night epitomized the true beauty of the human spirit and the gifts and donations were selfless acts of kindness and love.  Even though I didn't know everyone there, I'm quite certain Macey and my daughters knew almost everyone.  I would like to personally thank the following people for going out of their way to make this event happen and for the wonderful donations and support.

Fat Cats - For setting up the rooms, donating some of the prizes and accommodating our requests and giving us a place to make this all happen.  Thank you Christie and Rachel.

Hazen Photography - For bringing the breathtakingly beautiful framed prints of our girls.  For those of you who didn't know, those beautiful works of art were created, printed and framed literally hours before the event.  Hazen Photography was gracious and kind to do this for Macey and Maranda and we are thankful beyond words.  As you can see too, their work and those photos say it all.  In this case a picture is worth a thousand words.  And our family would like to say a thousand thank you's to Teresa and Ryne Hazen and all those involved in creating those works of art so quickly.

97.1 ZHT and the Morning Zoo - For helping us to promote the benefit for Macey.  They were more than willing to help out and even let us come to the studio to talk about the event on the radio.  So thanks again Frankie, DB, and Jess!

My Family - I would like to thank my wife and daughters for putting this together and for dealing with their impatient Dad when things got a bit stressful towards the end.  You are all beautiful, understanding, patient and the perfect balance of making our family so special.  I love you all!

And last and most importantly, our family and friends! - The Miracle Moo benefit wouldn't have been successful without each and everyone of you.  Thank you for being supportive, thank you for loving my daughter and thank you for the very generous donations.  It will help Macey so much. 

The Travelers - The Cheney family for driving so far, even though you were all exhausted.  Again, no words to describe how thankful we are for you.  Macey loves you all so much and your presence meant the world to her.  Also, Marty Lewis from work who drove a long way with his little girl to show support for my family.  Marty and the guys in the lab where I work are awesome.  So thanks to all of you!

We will continue to fight this terrible disease with Macey and with the love and support we have behind us, Macey's Unyielding strength, determination, and positive attitude, there is only one possible outcome.  Victory!  We will win, we will beat this and we will never accept anything less...

Audrianna Cole, Angela, Amber, Macey and Dad trying to fix
the Wheelchair, moments before I about tore my finger off.. 

Macey, Mom and Kylah on the far right sitting next to
the beautiful prints Hazen Photography donated.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flyer for Fat Cats - Print and Bring with you!!

If you plan on coming to Fat Cats this Friday the 21st, here is the flyer you need to bring.  It's not a must but it makes it easier for Fat Cats to track who showed up for Macey.  If you can't print it, just be sure and mention you are there for the Miracle Moo event.  So here's the flyer.  See you all there!!

Just click on flyer to enlarge, then right click and then click "save picture as" and save it to your pictures or desktop.  After that, open the file and print.  Thanks!

Donation Address Update!

Ok, as we promised we have the PO Box set up for anyone wanting to send donations for Macey.  The address is as follows:

Macey Steckelberg
PO Box 588
Roy, UT 84067

Thank you all so much!  We are getting excited for Friday!  Don't Forget, Fat Cats in Ogden from 6 p.m. until midnight.  Mitternacht if you're German.  Hope to see you all there!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

BIG Announcement!!

Audrianna Cole

We are trying to get Audrianna Cole to come out to Fat Cats on Friday.  She just finished her Christmas album which will be exclusively sold at Neiman Marcus stores.  Audri is good friends with Macey and our family and we know she will be on the radio in mainstream rotation within the year.  So if you want to be up close and personal with a superstar, now is your chance.  This isn't confirmed yet but we are confident Audri will make an appearance.  Another reason to come to Fat Cats.  We look forward to seeing you all there and we are excited that Audri may make an appearance.  Google her, Facebook her, YouTube her, she is doing a lot of exciting stuff.  I will leave a link to one of her songs/videos. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59h2QuZwPhg

Just a Reminder. Fat Cats on Friday! Don't MISS THIS!!

 
2261 Kiesel Ave Ogden, UT
(Just off of Washington Blvd and 23rd St)
Date: Friday October 21st, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. until Midnight


Hey Everyone!  Just wanted to let you all know that we are holding a benefit/fund raiser for Macey this Friday, October 21st at Fat Cats in Ogden!  If you haven't been there, it's a great time and full of games, activities, bowling, arcades, etc.  It's a great family place and fun for all ages.  So please come join us.  It starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at midnight.  Bring your kids, friends, anyone and MAKE SURE you say you are there for the Miracle Moo benefit.  If you don't let them know you are there for Macey, she will not get credit for your attendance, plus we are going to be giving away some incredible stuff!  So if you say you are there for the Miracle Moo benefit, they will give you a raffle ticket.  Must be present to win.  This would be a great time for anyone and everyone that knows us to come say hi, come see Macey and show her your love and support.  It would mean so much to her and the rest of us to see all of our family and friends.  We will have her t-shirts and hoodies there for sale and her stickers too.  All of the proceeds will go to Macey and deposited in an account set up at America first CU on her behalf.

ALSO...  Friday the 21st is Macey and Maranda's birthday too!  So come out and wish them both Happy Birthday!  This will be a double whammy event!  We are going to have a great time!  Also, if you want to eat at Costa Vida right next to Fat Cats, please let them know as well that you are with the Miracle Moo fund raiser and they will donate a portion of the nights proceeds to Macey. 

Please, everyone come out!   It will be such a great time!  Hope to see you all there..

THANK YOU HAVEN ESTATES!!

The Tree of Life

So one of our wonderful neighbors and good friends Angie Swift stopped by tonight and gave Macey a Dappled Willow tree.  The tree was aptly named "The Tree of Life".  As instructed by our awesome neighbors, we are to plant the tree somewhere special and watch it grow healthy and strong, just like Macey will do.  The tree was beautifully decorated with gifts, all of which Macey loved!  Our subdivision is called "Haven Estates".  Even though I know there were many others who donated and didn't leave their names, we want to thank everyone of you for helping Macey through this trying time.  A special thank you to Angie Swift, The McGavins, The Mclellans, and Country Gardens Nursery for the beautiful tree.  We took a picture of it, and it really doesn't do it justice because it was breathtakingly beautiful.  Macey was very touched and so happy that so many people, even those she doesn't know, have shown her so much support and so much love.  Thank you neighbors!  We love you too!
 

Macey and her Family,
Ken, Angela, Erica, Alyssa
Maranda & Kylah.

A BIG thanks to The Morning Zoo on 97.1 ZHT!


Macey and our family wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to Frankie, DB, and Jess from the Morning Zoo.  Our family has listened to this incredibly entertaining trio for a very long time.  Since the girls were young and Angie was driving them to school, we have listened to the program.  These guys (and gals) are incredibly funny, real, down to earth DJ's and hands down have the best morning show in Utah.  We wrote them about Macey and they responded to us within a matter of minutes (on a Sunday nonetheless), about posting information regarding Macey and her Fat Cats event on their website, along with saying some very sweet, very kind words in support of her.  You guys seriously rock!

Listen in on Friday morning around 9:45 a.m.  We might be live on air talking in person to the Morning Zoo about Macey and her event that evening. 

Thanks for everything ZHT!!!   

Donation Information for Macey

We've had several people ask about how to make donations to Macey.  For those who can't attend her event on friday or just want to contribute to Macey's cause, we have an account set up at America First Credit Union.  Any America first will accept donations.  The account is under Macey's name "Macey Steckelberg".  If you aren't near an Amercia first or out of state we will have a PO Box address set up tomorrow where you can send donations.  If any of you are PayPal users, you can also send to paypal.  The PayPal email address is contrablues@gmail.com.  So there you have it!  We really hope to see everyone at Fat Cats this Friday the 21st.  If not, keep Macey Moo in your prayers.  Thank you everyone for your wonderful support! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finally got Macey on a boat!

Well it's a measly 4 days after 5 weeks of intensive Radiation and chemo therapy and Macey is doing great!  Our Macey Moo was feeling good enough to come out with us and enjoy a day that could only be described as an artist's rendering of a perfect fall day.  Today was magnificent!  It was so beautiful.  Mother Nature at her finest, showing off her colors with breathtaking water, skies,  and mountains. Mother Nature today, like our daughter Macey, were both pulchritudinous!  Macey was glad to get out of the house and it couldn't have been a better day for her to do it.  We found a nice little cove on the lake, anchored down and sat and enjoyed the scenery.  It felt wonderful having Macey with us finally.  It's been a day long overdue.  We are truly blessed and blessed beyond words.  The fact the we are spending such a glorious day with our daughter and enjoying each others company, personifies the fragility of life and the power of existence.  We are thankful for every day and our family will never live another day without making sure we respect the power of life and the tranquility of love.

Macey and Family

Our Beautiful Daughter!

It's not a painting, it's real

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come to Macey's Fund Raiser at FAT CATS in Ogden next Friday!!

2261 Kiesel Ave Ogden, UT
(Just off of Washington Blvd and 23rd St)
Date: Friday October 21st, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. until Midnight


Hey Everyone!  Just wanted to let you all know that we are holding a benefit/fund raiser for Macey next Friday, October 21st at Fat Cats in Ogden!  If you haven't been there, it's a great time and full of games, activities, bowling, arcades, etc.  It's a great family place and fun for all ages.  So please come join us.  It starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at midnight.  Bring your kids, friends, anyone and MAKE SURE you say you are there for the Miracle Moo benefit.  If you don't let them know you are there for Macey, she will not get credit for your attendance, plus we are going to be giving away some incredible stuff!  So if you say you are there for the Miracle Moo benefit, they will give you a raffle ticket.  Must be present to win.  This would be a great time for anyone and everyone that knows us to come say hi, come see Macey and show her your love and support.  It would mean so much to her and the rest of us to see all of our family and friends.  We will have her t-shirts and hoodies there for sale and her stickers too.  All of the proceeds will go to Macey and deposited in an account set up at America first CU on her behalf.

ALSO...  Friday the 21st is Macey and Maranda's birthday too!  So come out and wish them both Happy Birthday!  This will be a double whammy event!  We are going to have a great time!  Also, if you want to eat at Costa Vida right next to Fat Cats, please let them know as well that you are with the Miracle Moo fund raiser and they will donate a portion of the nights proceeds to Macey. 

Please, everyone come out!   It will be such a great time!  Hope to see you all there..

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Radiation.... COMPLETE!!

So yesterday was a pinnacle moment in Macey's ongoing treatment.  She completed her radiation!  She was excited the entire week leading up to this day and you can't blame her.  This is a huge relief for her and the rest of us.  Even though we know the treatments were very much needed, the day in and day out routine of going to the hospital started to wear on us all.  But, like the true hero she has become to so many people, she braved her way through the last appointment.  Even more amazing is you hardly ever heard her complain.  She just wanted to get it done, get it over with, and start getting better.  She has done so well her spirit and courage literally transcend anything definable.  We are proud of her and love her so much.

Also, we are so profoundly thankful for the staff in the radiology department at McKay Dee.  You have all been so very nice and so helpful with Macey.  It's not hard facing such an arduous task when you're greeted with wonderful smiling faces and warm, fun personalities every day.  And thank you from all of us for the gifts and flowers you gave Macey as she was wheeled out of her last visit with you.  You brought tears of joy to her eyes and all of us.  Thank you for making it easier for her and thank you for being so thoughtful.

Now, Macey gets her month-long break.  A little R and R is definitely in order.  She is really beat and the treatment's have taken a toll on her.  But I must reiterate, she has done so well and looks better than any of us could have ever imagined.  I think too that her health and diet have played a HUGE role in this.  We have her on an incredibly healthy diet and she juices at least twice a day.  We're talking vegetable drinks that only someone very brave like Macey could consume.  Imagine if you will, a drink containing the fresh juices of Kale, Spinach, Celery, Jalapeno, Bell Pepper, Carrots, Green Apples, radishes, ginger root, cucumber and garlic.  The fruit drinks were much more appetizing and usually more like a dessert, but very very healthy.  Juicing is a chore and takes a lot of prep, cutting, cleaning of the veggies before they are juiced.  Hats off to Macey's twin Maranda for being our juicing pro.  She makes the majority of the juices and has been adamant about Macey drinking them each and every day.  Macey does so with a smile and loves all of them.  You can see it in her smile, her eyes, her skin and her attitude.  There are incredible powers in natures foods.  Even if you aren't sick, juicing is a very powerful thing.  Try it, we are believers now. 

So now the family takes a break.  We relax.  We enjoy the serenity of having nothing to do and nowhere to go.  We are looking forward to it.  Especially Macey.  She needs it more than anyone.  It will take her a little bit to recover from all of this, but we're hoping to see some improvements very soon...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Scary Relief

Well as most of you know, Macey is an identical twin.  On our last visit to the Huntsman Cancer Institute they brought something to our attention that they were waiting for the right timing to tell us.  Since Macey is an identical twin, just for peace of mind and to be sure, they asked us if her twin Maranda would be willing to do an MRI to make sure she is ok.  We had already pondered this and wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea.  So the doctors wrote us a prescription for the MRI.  Yesterday, Maranda went into the giant tube at McKay Dee Hosptital and had two scans performed, one without and one with contrasting dye.  To our relief, she was clear.  No problems, no tumors.  Whew!  I honestly think I would have found a very tall, very rocky cliff and tossed myself over the edge.  This has been the most difficult thing our family has ever faced with Macey and the thought of anyone else having a serious health issue would just send us over the edge (Pun intended).

Macey has only 4 radiation treatments left and she is done!  Wooo Hoo!  We are going to celebrate.  We are going to do dinner and when we are through, get Macey another massage.  She really liked the last one.  From there, we'll just watch her and hope that she starts to show signs of improvement and starts to get some use back into her right side.  She is one tough cookie and has endured this process better than I could have ever imagined.  When they told us she was doing chemo and radiation at the same time, I pictured her sick, bed ridden, skinny, sleeping 24/7, bald and weak.  Macey sleeps a normal 8 hour schedule, doesn't take naps, eats healthy and eats frequently (which is great for a chemo patient), has great color, is only slightly tired sometimes and gets around on her own for the most part (even though we are always there to help her).  She has only lost some of her hair, mostly where the radiation is concentrated and is still as beautiful as the day is long.  We are so very proud of her. 

And to Mr. Marcin and Cooperview Elementary, thank you so much for the reply and the thoughts and prayers.  You guys are all incredible and we love each and every one of you. 

We'll let you know how the last treatment goes and keep everyone up to date on her progress after the last treatment.  We have a lot of incredible family and friends and want to thank all of you who have stepped up and done so much to show your love for Macey.  We will never forget your kindness and selflessness. 

Much love,

Macey and the Steckelberg Family

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cancer is like a new car

Like most things in life, when you first get something, hear of something, or discover something, it's new and sometimes exciting and exhilarating whether positive or negative.  Like buying a new car, the excitement of it, the smell, the newness all just consumes you.  You wake up in the morning and check the garage to see if it's really there or if it was just a dream.  You're instantly relieved when your shiny new car is still sitting there, waiting for you to turn the key and cruise around feeling like you just went to school in a new outfit. 
On the flip-side, Cancer is something that some people have the shocking and usually terrible news of discovering.  You wake up every day and it's there waiting for you.  No matter how much you try to wish it away or hope it's not you that was diagnosed, the reality of it, just like opening the door to your garage, grips you and no matter how hard  you try, can't escape the fact that it exists.  For the people that face this horrible reality, like our daughter, your only means to cope with it is hope, support, love and continual reinforcement that "IT CAN BE BEAT"!  To beat anything in life or to succeed you have to be tenacious and you must persevere at any cost.

My point?  New cars are only new for a short period of time.  The excitement wears off.  So too does the news of someone getting cancer.  My daughter still wakes up every day and has to face this terrible disease and no matter how hectic her family and friends lives become, she still sits here and fights everyday.  Your support is desperately needed and your love to her is as precious as life itself.  Macey is still here, and anything from anyone reading this means so much to her.  A quick note on the blog, a card, a visit, anything that lets her know we are all still behind her means the world to her!  We continue to receive wonderful thoughts and prayers from so many people.  So please, don't forget about Macey, she needs all of us. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Comfort Doc

We bumped into Dr. Welling the other day at the hospital as we were leaving and I just wanted to say something (and I know the doc reads this blog).  Macey commented on how just seeing Dr. Welling puts a smile on her face.  She really feels comforted and knows that he isn't just one of her docs, but a true, caring friend.  Dr. Blake Welling is very genuine and Macey feels it and so do the rest of us.  His warm smile and welcoming presence means so much to Macey and our family.  I believe sometimes in life things happen to bring people together.  Although the most unfortunate of circumstances, Macey getting sick has brought so many great people into our lives.  We know they are all important to her and each and everyone plays a key role in maintaining her attitude and keeping her spirit high.  We know deep down that Macey's ability to fight and overcome transcends all that is normal but so does her ability to draw people into her beautiful world.  Thank you Blake Welling for being a true gentleman, a great doctor and a presence that warms our daughters heart.  It means the world to her and our entire family.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Visit with Aunt Lori and Cousin Michael

We had a great few days with my Sister and Nephew (Macey's Aunt and Cousin).  It's been almost 4 years since I have seen them and our time together was priceless.  Macey was so excited to see them and as I mentioned in an earlier post was overcome with emotion when they walked in.  Lori got to go see firsthand one of Macey's radiation appointments and she sat in disbelief as she experienced what Macey has to go through 5 days a week.  The initial shock was hard for us too but once you go through the procedure it becomes routine, even for Macey.  There is no pain involved but the emotional stress of seeing such an elaborate concoction of machinery with your daughter affixed to it is a little alarming at first.  Aunt Lori too was overcome with emotion but at the same time was comforted knowing how much love and support Macey has at the hospital each day.  The staff has commented numerous times about how rare it is to see so much family coming each and every day to Macey's appointments.  She is always surrounded by family and friends and will never ever feel alone or like she has to face this thing solo.  We are there for her 24/7 and we even rotate sleeping next to her at night.  We all love our Macey Moo so profoundly, there really are no words to describe it.

Macey has her last regular radiation appointment today and will begin her "boost" portion tomorrow.  The end of the treatments are nearing and Macey is so relieved.  We can't wait for her to get some of her strength back and start feeling good again. 

AGAIN, please pick up a t-shirt or hoodie.  It would mean  alot to Macey and it will help her out more than you know.  With love from all of us, thanks!

From Left to Right - Maranda, Aunt Lori, Macey

Friday, September 23, 2011

T-Shirts and Hoodies ready today!

For those of you wanting the Miracle Moo t-shirts or a hoodie, they will be ready today!  You can email us or give us a call.  801-732-2858 or maceymiraclemoo@gmail.com  Please buy one and support Macey. 

T-shirt prices:
Regular mens cut - $12 (all sizes)
Ladies Cut - $14 (all sizes)
Hoodies - $23 (all sizes)
Miracle Moo Stickers 11" size (border cut) $3 ea.

Thank you!

Time to catch up!

Hey everyone, it's been a few days since we have updated the blog so figured it was time to get everyone current on what's going on with Moo Moo's treatments.  There hasn't been much change other than the fact that she is in her 4th week and the treatments are really wearing her down.  There are days when she really has to reach deep down to find the will to go to these appointments.  But, like the amazing individual she has proven to be, Macey finds a way to get herself focused and pushes forward.  Her good attitude and continued love and support from friends and family are key in what gives her such strength.  She only has a few more radiation treatments left and she will then begin the "boost" portion of treatment which generally focuses the radiation more directly on the tumor itself.  The other treatments do this as well but are expanded to treat areas outside of the site just to be sure there isn't any residual growth.  Macey is more than halfway through her treatments so that is good.  She will get a one month reprieve coming up and won't have to do chemo or radiation.  After the month break, she will do just the chemo for another month.  This is ok because she handles the chemo much better than she does the radiation. 

Macey had a nice little visit from Tyler and Blake Welling last week and it was so great to see such dynamic, charismatic, sharp young men stop by to bring her flowers and some amazing fruit sorbet.  For you girls who don't know who Tyler is you can check out this link and see him on the red carpet.  He appeared in High School Musical 3 and is living in Los Angeles pursuing a career in acting.  This clip shows him with Ashley Tisdale and then posing in a group photo op.  Macey was awe-struck to say the least and really likes him.    Link to Tyler Welling.  And as Macey's Dad I wanted to thank both Tyler and Blake for taking the time to come visit her.  I know she was supposed to go on a date with you all and just wasn't feeling very good that day but the fact that you still came by and brought the flowers and gave her a rain check was very noble and caring of you.  And you other guys reading this blog, take note.. Chivalry is not dead, as proven by these two young men.  So from Macey and all of us, thank you! 


Picture of Tyler

Wednesday was a good day too for Macey.  We hired a great masseuse by the name of Paul Kekacks to come to our home, set up his table and give Macey the full treatment.  She had a look on her face like she was laying on a table sent straight from shangri-la.  She really enjoyed this and had never had a massage until now.  She is sold.  She wants them all the time now.  We figured she has been through so much lately it was time for her to get something that was relaxing, that left her feeling wonderful.  Paul accomplished this and we want to also thank him.  We'll be calling you soon.  So be ready!  :)

Well my Sister Lori, Macey's aunt arrived from Alabama yesterday with my nephew Michael.  It was so great to see them both and it made Macey cry.  Macey loves family so much and when she got to see her, and it was long overdue, she broke down.  They both look great as usual and Michael has sprouted like a weed and is taller than his Mom now.  We all sat around and visited and I had Michael play on the four wheeler for a bit and we finished the night playing 21 with my 8 year old Kylah.  These two, even though minors should visit Vegas soon.  They both are amazing card players.  They both ended up money ahead and did very well understanding the concept of the game. 


Michael and I playing on the 4-wheeler

Well it's Friday and Macey has her last treatment for the week and gets the weekend off.  So we plan on laying low, taking it easy and enjoying the beautiful summer-like weather we're having in the fall.  We might even take the boat out tomorrow.  It depends on how Macey is feeling.  Until then, we'll update you all with more later.  Continue your support and please keep Macey in your thoughts and prayers.  We love you all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family and Friends are Potent Medicine

Yesterday Macey's Aunt Alisa and her Daughter, Macey's cousin Analee stopped by to visit Macey.  Also Macey's Grandma and Grandpa Webb came to visit too.  Analee brought her new baby boy Callin (spelling? sorry if it's wrong) with her and everyone spent most of their time Oooing and Aahhing him.  He was very cute and looks just like Annalee.  Macey was having a very rough day yesterday and she was very emotional and feeling under the weather.  Even though Macey seemed a little distant and didn't visit much, you all must know that your mere presence means so much to Macey.  To win any battle, the size of ones army is imperative for victory.  Strength in numbers holds true for many things and with Macey feeding off of the love and energy that everyone brings her is literally emotional fuel for her to stay positive and strong.  When it comes down to it, family and friends are all you really have in this life.  Everything else becomes so trivial in times of crisis.  It really puts perspective into a person's existence and answers the many questions of why are we here and for what reasons?  When you face uncertainty and your days are nothing but endless trepidation, all of the material things in this world provide no comfort.  What is comforting is knowing the people you love and care about are ok.  Life is really simple when you look at it and our daughters say it all the time.  It's also hung on Macey's bedroom wall and it has been posted on their Facebook pages.  It's three simple words with very real, very personal meaning.  We should all live by these special words and when you, God forbid, ever have to face trying and difficult times with those you love, they will ring through when you reminisce about your past.  Always show those you care about love and never let a day go by where you don't tell them how much you love them.  A life with regrets is a life undone.  So I will leave you all today with this thought and let those three amazing words sing out to you.  

LIVE  -   LAUGH  -  LOVE

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Miracle Moo T-shirts and Stickers Soon!

Just wanted to update everyone on the T-shirts and stickers.  We should be getting the stickers made in the next few days and might even have the shirts ready too.  There are a few things Macey needs to help her get around so we are selling the shirts and stickers to help fund these items.  The mark up on the shirts and stickers is very small and most of the money is going to pay for the actual printing and for the work done to create them.  So please, feel free to let us know what you want, how many of each, and sizes.  The t-shirt image below is obviously shown in a woman's style, but we have regular, men's style tees too.  We can also do Hoodies, sweatshirts, you name it.  For now though, I have prices on shirts and stickers as follows:

T-shirts sized S-XL are $12.00  XXL and larger $14.00
Stickers are $2.00 each.  They are a nice, edge cut sticker for windows or wherever you want them.

Hoody and sweatshirt prices TBA.

Thank you everyone for supporting Macey!

You can request items in an email to maceymiraclemoo@gmail.com or call 801-732-2858

Ladies style T-shirts

Stickers

Twinkle Toes

So we all just hung out on Saturday, relaxed a little and reveled in the fact that we had no place to be, nowhere to go.  The skies looked a little temperamental so we nixed the fishing trip for the day.  Nice thing about fishing, you don't need 90 degree weather like you do water skiing.  So we'll just wait for a pretty day, regardless of the temperature. 

Macey's Aunt Amber and Alisa visited and brought her some beautifying products.  Alisa worked on Macey's toes with some pink sparkle and Amber worked on Macey's twin Maranda with some purple sparkle.  I've included a pic (Sorry about the blurriness, not sure what happened).  But we all just visited, watched the girls get their toes done and then had my youngest and her best friend (who just so happens to be Julianne Hough's Niece) get their toes painted by Alisa and Angela.  Amber was tired of sitting on the floor with her butt up in the air working on feet... haha..  Macey's Aunt's have been so giving and so sweet to her.  We are so thankful to have such great family with big hearts and genuine care and concern for Macey.  They are all on the same "Macey will get well" band wagon and we appreciate them so much.  

My friend from work, Steve Calarino stopped by too to say hi.  He is going to hook Macey up with loads of Blu-Ray movies!  Macey enjoys a good movie so thanks to Steve it sounds like she'll have plenty to choose from soon. 

We're slowly switching Macey off of her current seizure meds because we feel they are the cause of her getting rashes and breaking out a little.  She is very self conscious about things right now so the littlest issues really upset her.  We are doing everything we can to keep her happy and healthy.  What she doesn't realize is she is the most beautiful girl in the world and there is nothing that can change that. 

Overall a good day for her.  We had a good time visiting with family and friends and we encourage anyone to come by anytime to say hi to Macey.

 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Made it through a full week

Well our Macey Moo made it through her first straight week of radiation.  She gets the weekends off and is very happy about that.  She was pretty run down yesterday and you could see it.  Today however, Macey finished her treatment and has been very upbeat and full of energy.  She went to the store with the girls and was glad to get out of the house.  She is still struggling with her right side which makes walking very difficult.  Regardless, Macey marches on and doesn't let the little things slow her down.  She is determined and focused and you can see it. 

The weekend should be nice and relaxing and maybe, just maybe the weather will be good to us and let us go fishing.  So please Mother nature, open up your Motherly arms and tame your squalls for just one day.  Macey deserves a day of relaxation and some hanging out with the family.  Not to mention I want to see her land a fishy.

Also, thanks to my girls (Macey's Sisters) who have shown her so much love, so much support and have been so incredible with her.  There is no sibling rivalry here, only sibling compassion and love.  So from Mom and I, thank you and we love you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

About Macey

So I've talked a lot about what Macey is going through, her treatments, friends, family etc, but haven't spent a lot of time talking about our amazing Miracle Moo.  One of the most difficult things for me to understand, grasp, or comprehend is why this dastardly disease chose my daughter.  Why would it target such a young, beautiful and sweet young lady?  Macey has the most gentle and calming personality I have ever known.  She is sweet and loving to the core.  She is soft spoken, always polite and has a heart the size of Texas.  Macey has always been very active and she is very athletic and very talented.  She was literally weeks from enrolling in The Salt Lake City college of Arts for Cullinary school.  Yes, Macey wants to be a chef.  She's a good singer, loves music and has an incredibly fun and funny sense of humor.  Macey has a confidence about her too.  It comes through in her pictures.  She is so beautiful and so sure of herself.  Seeing her struggling to walk and seeing the curious passersby's stare at her is really difficult.  It has made her cry.  I'm sure it's hard to go from being the all American girl to feeling like the girl that everyone stares at because she is being helped along due to her right side weakness.  As a Father it's the most helpless feeling I have ever experienced.  Macey is very brave, very beautiful and has so much to live for and plans on accomplishing many things in life.  Macey is the epitome of the perfect young woman.  She is an example to many and intimidating to others.  But when you get to know her and see how selfless she is and how eager she is to be your friend and to never let you leave without a big hug, you'll see what I mean.  Macey is not afraid to show love, to say I love you and to let everyone know around her that she is genuine and giving.  Macey has given my family and so many friends all of the irreplaceable, non-material gifts of life.  She has given us all her beautiful spirit, coupled with a smile that creates a ubiquitous wave of positive energy that turns this planet in the right direction.  We love her so much and are blessed to have such an amazing daughter.  We love you Macey.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A picture of the letters Macey received from Cooperview Elementary

Macey received the letters from the Copperview Elementary students and we sat and read through each and every one.  I have to say that these were some of the sweetest, funnest, cutest, and creative letters I have ever read from a group so young.  The minds of children are absolutely fascinating and the cards are living proof.  Thank you again to Fred Marcin and his class for doing such a touching and thoughtful thing for Macey.  She LOVES them!  We've read them several times and we read them to everyone that comes over.  You guys are AWESOME!!


Macey's nails for you U of U fans!

 I know there are a few of you out there who like the Utes (Dr. Welling), so Amber decided to redo Macey's nails yesterday and add some Ute flair to them. 



A quick note to everyone

For those of you who have posted, please know that we read everything written on here and are thankful and very grateful for your sweet thoughts, comments, and prayers.  For whatever reason this blog won't let me reply to your posts.  So please know we have read and re-read all of them.  So from Macey and all of us, with much love, thank you.

An Eventful Day

Never got a chance to post anything yesterday because quite honestly it was a pretty busy day.  We had Macey's radiation appointment in the morning, plus it was Alyssa's birthday.  Aunt Amber came over again and her and Angie went shopping for the girls.  The radiation appointment was quick and easy and thankfully this time Macey didn't get a headache afterwards.  She took a pain killer right before so we think that helped to offset any pain she might have experienced.  Little Sister Kylah has been a big help and has stayed with us most of the time and wanting to be with Macey at the radiation appointments.  She also likes pushing Macey in the wheelchair.  Macey can walk but it's difficult for her right now because of the weakness in her right side caused by the tumor.  The doctors said too that it might get a little worse before it gets better because the radiation will cause swelling which could increase the pressure on the already vulnerable area in her head.  She did good through most of the night but always dreads the cocktail of pills she has to take before bedtime.  Macey used to have a fear of taking pills but recently has become quite the pro at it.  Not like she has a choice.  We have been taking turns sleeping with her so she isn't alone.  She likes to lay on the couch and watch TV until she falls asleep. 

During the latter part of the day we all celebrated Alyssa's 21st birthday.  It was a great time and we had the whole family plus Maranda's boyfriend Zack over plus Camden who now is officially Alyssa's fiance.  It was a really cute evening when Camden put together an elaborate way to ask Alyssa's hand in marriage.  They've been together 4 years now so it's long overdue.  He played their first song and they slow danced out on the deck.  After the song he knelt, pulled out the ring and asked if she would marry him.  The whole family was very emotional and our little Macey Moo cried too.  I held her as Camden proposed and she sobbed right along with the rest of us.  It was a very special evening for everyone.  All I could think of besides giving away one of my daughters in the distant future was a wish that Macey had a good guy that loved her and was beside her through this ordeal.  Macey has so much to give and her sweet personality would be a gift for anyone worthy enough to receive it.  For now, we'll work on getting her better and give her all the love a family can give. 

A special thanks to everyone who has been so thoughtful and so helpful.  Even the tiniest things, a short email, a phone call, a post on facebook etc, expressing your love and support for Macey not only helps her, but gives the family the needed fuel to strengthen our wills and encourage our already tenacious state of minds.  You can knock this family down, make us sick, challenge us in any way imaginable, but our love, our bond, is eternal, unalterable, and unyielding.  Strength and love are juxtaposed in this house and will remain so.

Alyssa and Macey showing their matching diamond heart pendants

Camden giving Macey a big hug

Kylah wheeling Macey to the exit of McDay Dee

Mom, Dad, Kylah and nurse Karen, escorting Macey out

All the girls last night
Left to Right: Erica, Alyssa, Macey, Maranda, Kylah.

Alyssa and Camden showing Macey some love.

Camden proposing to Alyssa.

The newly engaged couple with Mom and Dad

Camden and Alyssa slow dancing.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A closer look at Macey's Radiation Treatments

Since it's the weekend and the hospital was pretty quiet, we were allowed to go back with Macey again to see her get set-up for a treatment.  Also, we took some pictures of her on the table so everyone can see exactly what it is she has to deal with every day.  Alyssa and her boyfriend Camden also got to go and see her getting prepped for treatment.  These treatments have apparently been more broad in scope, targeting a larger area.  The upcoming treatments will start to entail more focused areas of the tumor, destroying its mass.  Macey has started getting pretty bad headaches following the treatments but it seems that a little rest, some good pain meds and some peace and quiet, she starts feeling better within an hour or two.  She has done extremely well on the chemo (no nausea whatsoever) and she's been a real trooper with the radiation as well.  We'll continue to look for little signs that Macey is improving.  We are still pretty early in the game and are hoping to see significant improvement down the road a bit. 


Macey in what I like to call the "Face Cage"


A look at the entire contraption

The table turned sideways for different angles of treatment

Macey just relaxing and letting them do their thing

The white cross on the side of her head is where they line up the laser
beams so the computer is aligned with the beam administering the radiation.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day Two of Chemo and Radiation

Well our Miracle Moo is churning right along with her treatments.  Don't know if it's coincidental but when Macey woke up this morning I asked her if her leg was still sore from sleeping on the couch and she answered me immediately, clearly, articulately, and very concisely.  I stood there shocked for a moment and said "you just spoke to me without thinking and had no issues whatsoever articulating yourself to me".  Macey too said  "wow I guess I did".  So we're thinking that maybe the treatments are starting to do some positive things for her.  Don't get me wrong, Macey can talk and have conversation but she gets frustrated at times and has to stop herself once in awhile and concentrate to get the words out.  Today as well she seems to be doing much better having conversation.  The Dilantin that she takes for seizures we believe is causing issues with rashes and it's frustrating her.  We're hoping her body will adjust to these new meds and start having little or no reaction from taking them. 

Her second treatment was much faster and me (her Dad), Maranda (her twin), Kylah (the youngest) got to see Macey go through the entire treatment via a computer monitor.  This machine that is treating her is about as high tech as it gets.  The operator told us the machine alone, not counting all of the extra attachments, the table that Macey lays down on, the software, room, etc, costs around 3.2 million.  We could see where the radiation was focused with each scan and how it is attacking the tumor at multiple angles.  She was only on the table today for maybe 10 to 12 minutes.  The staff there is very friendly and very helpful and informative.  They are great about letting us in on what is going on, how everything works and making sure we are thoroughly informed.  So it really creates a comfort for the whole family knowing that Macey is OK along with knowing what the procedure entails. 

During the procedure, the radiation which generates energy, can stimulate the brain causing bizarre effects to the patient such as seeing lights both white and blue as well as triggering smells.  Macey said she could see a blue light followed by a smell of something similar to floor cleaner.  Even though the lights and the smells don't exist, the do to Macey because of the areas of the brain that are being stimulated by the radiation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank you Mr. Marcin and students at Copperview Elementary!!

A very good friend of mine Fred Marcin, is a school teacher and was so very nice to present Macey with a bear named "Red" and cards made by his entire class for her.  Your very kind and sweet gesture is part of all the wonderful miracles that we have seen since Macey got sick.  Her name "Miracle Moo" is comprised of all the little miracles that our great friends like Fred and his students have given to our daughter.  With all the love in the world from Macey and our family, thank you all. 


Mr. Marcin's 6th grade class at Copperview Elementary
holding up the cards they made for Macey.

After Radiation, this is what we did. Thanks to Dr. Welling!

So we had a great time at the Utes Game.  It was a little difficult for both Macey and Daddy.  I mean I'm not completely out of shape but if you've ever been to a stadium, there is nothing really in close proximity from where you get out of your car to where you have to sit.  I had to drop the girls off close to the front, then go find a parking spot a half a mile away.  When I ran back to where I dropped the girls off I had to piggy-back Macey up to the stadium.  I enjoy it believe it or not but going up the stairs really brings out the burn in my quads and hammy's..  lol.  We saw Dr. Welling there (Blake) and he got us sideline tickets for the pre-game and Erica got to meet his oldest son Blake (Jr.)  It was a good time for the family and we all enjoyed the game, the electricity of a college stadium and the sea of red that graced the stands.  The Utes stompped the Montana Bobcats too.  Below are some pics we took at the game.

Dr. Blake Welling and the Girls

Daddy and Kylah

Macey and Maranda (Alyssa too caught off guard, sorry Lyss)

Macey's first Radiation appointment

Well, another step towards getting Macey better.  She started her radiation therapy today.  It went well even though it took a little longer than usual because they had to do some initial set-up since it was her first time.  They showed us everything and let us in to see Macey before the radiation so we could see what it looked like for her.  She was on a tall table in a darkened room and they had that plastic, mesh face cage holding her head to the table.  There was a bright green beam of light crossing her face as to mark where the beam was going to transmit.  It honestly looked like something out of  a sci-fi movie.  Macey was laughing and staying calm.  The set-up is very intimidating to look at and Macey handled it all very well.  Me, Angie and Kylah stayed in the waiting room and tried to assemble a 100 piece puzzle of a tree frog while we were waiting.  We almost had it complete when they wheeled Macey back in.  The puzzle kept us preoccupied while they were beaming our daughter.  All in all though, it went well and Macey is already acting more positive just knowing that something is finally being done to kill the "blankety blank blank" tumor.  We go again tomorrow. 

To everyone

Sorry I have to create a post to say this but for some reason now I can't reply to your posts.  Even though I'm the administrator and am signed in.  Anyway, thank you Fred (Mr. Marcin) and all of your students at Cooperview Elementary for the very nice post and for "Red" the bear.  We appreciate you all and Macey was very happy to read the post.  It means a lot to her and our family to get such wonderful feedback and comments from our friends.

Chuck and Louise, thank you both for your post too.  Macey is a strong girl and we know she will kick this things butt.  She laughed when she read the end of your post and it made her smile.  Her happiness and positive attitude is reinforced and sustained by great friends like you who help her to stay upbeat.  So thank you both very much. 

All our love to all of you.  Macey and family.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let the HEALING begin!

Well, it's the night before Macey goes in for her first radiation treatment.  It's also the first night that she begins taking her chemo pills.  Along with these she has to take anti-nausea meds, steroids for swelling, anti-seizure meds, antibiotics, and sometimes Oxycodone if she feels uncomfortable.  Mix this with the radiation treatments starting tomorrow and our Moo Moo has her plate full (of pills).  All of them serve a purpose and all of them will make her more comfortable and protect her.  The doctors were positive that because of her age, great health, strength and good attitude, these treatments shouldn't effect her much other than making her feel a little fatigued.  Macey is sweet to the core, but also very athletic, has great muscle mass and has pushed several doctors over when they ask her to push with her legs or arms.  She is incredibly strong and this will be a great attribute when she begins to conquer this thing.

Another beautiful pic of Macey

Another Big Thank you!

We would also like to let the staff at the Huntsman Cancer Institute know we are very grateful to have such a reputable, experienced, confident, and personable team working hard to get Macey well.  Dr. Howard Colman, Sean Strope, Jill Pane and the rest have been very caring, very concerned and like the others seem very genuine and helpful.  We are blessed to be so close to such an amazing hospital.  Thank you all from Macey and our entire family!

A HUGE THANK YOU!

Macey and the entire family would like to give a big shout out to Dr. Blake Welling and his staff.  Dr. Welling has been so unbelievably kind and caring.  Not only is he heads and tails above the rest in the medical world, but he is profoundly altruistic and genuine.  Just want to give one example and we'll follow it up with pictures tomorrow.  Dr. Welling got Macey and our entire family tickets to the U of U opening game against Montana tomorrow for both the pre-game (sidelines) and sideline tickets for the game!  Can you believe this??  We are all excited and even visited the Red Zone U of U store in Layton and bought a bunch of clothing so we will be representing in full attire and colors.  Again, from the bottom of our hearts to you Dr. Welling, thank you so much for being such an amazing doctor and friend. 


GO UTES!!