It has been an exciting and interesting week. I visited Stanford Cancer Center on weds and then flew to Utah and visited the Huntsman Cancer Center and then had a college reunion at BYU with many amazing and wonderful friends!
Several things have happened since my last post...bottom line is I am waiting on additional blood tests to determine if there is a gene mutation to help us determine the proper treatment. If there is a mutation of which there are several that it could be, it would mean a certain path forward in terms of medication that is targeted on the mutation. If there is not a mutation, the path forward will be chemotherapy and then maybe radiation/surgery. I hope to know this by the 19th or 20th of October.
I was very impressed with Stanford and Huntsman and the doctors that I visited. Each institution has different clinical trials they are experimenting with that I could possibly be a candidate for depending on what my tests reveal. This week I will be researching other cancer centers and trying to understand the clinical trials they have in motion or are preparing for to help me determine the best place to do downstream work. Many of you have sent me names of people that have had lung cancer, know doctors, or other institutions that I should further explore…thanks!
My hope is that over the next week or so we will get some answers back and that we will be able to make some decisions so I can get started with a treatment plan. I feel great besides a little cough and some challenges breathing at times, so the doctors are confident that waiting to get the correct diagnosis is the proper path forward.
So those are the facts…the more interesting part of the experience is my own mind and my observations of others and the patience that is required in this period of “creative tension” as we wait.
I have been humbled by the outpouring of love that everyone has expressed to me and my family…it truly has been remarkable. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have such an amazing support group of people that love and care about me and my family. Several people have fasted, prayed, chanted, lit candles, meditated, danced, and sent amazingly positive vibes, blog postings, emails and voicemails my direction. I don’t really have a choice but to go crush this thing…the faith of my team is SO Strong! I am even riding in a cross country motorcycle race in the Sahara Desert as an honorary co-pilot this week!
Life has slowed down as it does when you get focused on the basics and what is most important. To relate to the roadtrip experience, it is pretty easy to say NO to things when you are just trying to figure out the path to your next destination. Peer pressure becomes non existent because you don’t care what others think, and will power to resist foods that are not good for you becomes quite easy as you are fighting for your life. Prayers get a little more sincere, high fives are replaced with hugs and everyone is more gentle, loving and forgiving.
One of my friends said that when he got cancer, “I got much more focused on enjoying the journey of life rather than always preparing for the future.” Not that preparing for the future is not important but we must take stock in being present and appreciating what ever the experience is that we are having because in that experience there is learning, fun, and growth. If we get down and mad, we let the adversary win and we do not make progress. I believe that we all signed up for this journey called life, we had a choice and we said, YES….I will go down and experience the joys and trials of earth life because the payoff at the end is totally worth it!
With another friend we discussed that none of us know the journey forward, and we can’t control all things….so getting comfortable with that reality and living your life such that you are prepared for whatever comes your way is really part of the purpose in life.
My situation is unique in that there seems to be no rationale for why I would get lung cancer…no real cause and effect type of logic. My reflection whether it is true or not is that as humans we are much more loving and sympathetic when it appears something happened outside of one’s control.
For myself, it seems in the past when something has happened to someone or myself I have often times looked at why that happened and tried to understand it…I would judge myself or others guessing what my/their contribution must have been. I have learned over the years that people do the best with whatever knowledge they possess and it is really not our place to judge other people, but instead to love them even when we think that the decisions they made might have contributed to whatever the resulting consequence was. As hard as that might be, for me that is something I want to strive to do more often.
I am excited about where my mind is going, the thoughts I am having, and what I will learn on this journey. Several years ago my son Emmett said, “dad, we need to tell each other every day that we love each other, life is too short to not always be expressing your love and appreciation to others.” That kid is on target!
Until my next set of random thoughts, feel free to reply to the blog…it is really fun to read everyone’s reflections and thoughts…I find that very enjoyable and thought provoking! It is through the conversation with others that most of our learning occurs.
Love all y’all!
Lia and Ryan Young
10/14/2015 09:01:03 pm
When Ryan served as your counselor in the Bishopric he came home one Sunday and said, "Bishop Madsen is not someone you can complain about anything to because he always finds some way to explain why whatever you're complaining about is a GOOD thing!" So, so true! You always have a way of seeing the bright side of life--it's inspiring! Thank you for the example you set and the light you share with all of us! Behind you all the way!
10/15/2015 09:42:58 am
Greg, thank you for your inspirational message and for giving us a way to know what is happening as you go through this ordeal. You and your family have been, and will continue to be, in our prayers.
Jen & Jonny Lee
10/15/2015 10:25:43 am
Greg, you were an important part of bringing our family together, and we want you to know we are praying for you and your family daily. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you are an inspiration and I know that optimism and positive attitude that defines just who you are will go a long way in this battle you are up against. We are here for you, and yes, Emmet was right on target, we love you and are behind you the whole way!
10/15/2015 12:00:02 pm
We love you, Madsen family. You are in our daily thoughts and prayers. xoxox Kathleen and Hal
10/15/2015 03:10:11 pm
I love you, man. So cliche and so true. I loved showing my family your family music video. "This is my buddy Greg. He's cool, high character and an awesome father and husband."
10/15/2015 05:38:46 pm
I really like your thoughts and attitude on all this......What can i say, I think we can all say we are uplifted by your words. I needed that. i have not been dealing with this too well.... it's difficult. it's not fair! every smoker i see, i think of you Greg......What the F...! Not fair!
10/16/2015 02:13:00 am
Greg, we met briefly when I started my certification to Mandel.
10/16/2015 03:41:29 am
Oh Greg, I am so sorry to hear this news! And, leave it to you to approach it with the spirit of the adventurer and to be both participant and observer on this adventure. I am inspired by you! My love to you, Jan and family.
10/16/2015 04:42:23 am
10/16/2015 07:55:54 am
Greg, Sending healing energy and love to you, Jan, and the whole family. If anyone can heal themselves and come out even stronger, it is you. I love your approach...another adventure, something to be learned, and an opportunity to deepen love. You are all in my thoughts and heart. Stacy
10/16/2015 08:42:41 am
I just watched the youtube video!!! YOU ALL AMAZE ME!!! What a fun and loving family that I am blessed to KNOW! You are in my Prayers Greg! Thank you for being a beam of LIGHT to ALL!
10/16/2015 08:53:24 am
You are amazing.You are the best bishop ever. I was so saddened to hear about your lung cancer diagnosis. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong. I know you have so much support from all of us and your beautiful family.
10/16/2015 09:01:59 am
Hey Greg, you are the most energetic, upifting, happy, positive person I know. Keep up the positive vibes, you're truly inspirational. Love the updates. Love, thoughts, prayers to you and your beautiful family. WIll you please forgive me of all the pranks I played on you in college? Love ya, Nanette
Rosie aka "Rosita"
10/16/2015 10:10:06 am
10/16/2015 11:00:57 am
You've got quite a mountain to climb my brother. You're the strongest man I know - Strong in mind, body, faith, and family. I'll be wearing the crazy socks to support the cause and the friendship bracelet to keep you #1 in my thoughts and prayers. GO TEAM GREG!!!
10/16/2015 11:27:52 am
10/22/2015 02:38:55 pm
Big Sis this is yet another reason I love you! Greg is the one that brought me YOU. Thanks Greg : ) Your sisters are praying together for you!
10/16/2015 02:12:43 pm
Thira & fam
10/17/2015 01:04:53 pm
WE ARE ALL FASTING FOR YOU TOMORROW GREG! WE SURE LOVE YOU, WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU SAY, & HOW YOU LIVE.
10/17/2015 01:41:29 pm
Greg, You have always been an inspiration to our family and your thoughts and comments here just magnify that so much! You are an example of someone that manifests miracles through faith and your positive outlook! Bring on the miracles and all the love and learning that will come with them.
10/17/2015 04:27:34 pm
Dear Greg. Thank you for sharing your journey, so clear-eyed and honestly. Your willingness to include us is a true blessing to all who know and love you; the opportunity to reflect and love, fast and practice gratitude, to live a little more purposefully each day because our friend Greg is. Every day I have reminded myself to say your "yes" to life - as it is; to remember I am choosing it all, and in that, to choose love...as your beautiful son reminds us. Every day I send love to you and your family, and I imagine the wave of love that is coming your way from all the people you have graced over the years...and know that you will be borne up and ride that wave as you have many others!! My 4th grade teacher wrote me a note when I had to move on that I was reminded of recently... "Neither distance of space nor latitude of time can lessen the bonds of those thoroughly convinced of one another's worth." You are an exceptional man, and no doubt, your journey will continue to be an exceptional one as well. Another one with you in spirit...Love, JJ
10/18/2015 04:59:53 am
Dear Greg, stay positive and keep on fighting! Keep tour positive vives! Norbert, Alexandre, Pia and I send you all our love, energy and good prayers! Big bugs from France!
10/18/2015 10:59:02 am
Love your attitude, it's really inspiring for all of us. As a family we are praying and fasting for you. If anyone can beat this cancer, it will be you. Thanks for sharing your journey.
10/18/2015 05:16:33 pm
Greg, I just read your blog...your life condition seemed to shine through in your words! It/you reminded me of a quote I have reread a hundred times:
Julie and Randy Reneer
10/18/2015 07:55:13 pm
It was a sweet sacred experience joining in on the fast today. We are inspired by your words you have shared on your blog. You have always been one of our favorite souls. Only positive thoughts and memories come to mind when we think of Maddog. Thank you for building and lifting always. Even now.
10/19/2015 07:29:31 am
10/19/2015 10:43:06 am
Greg, so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. thank you for posting this update. of course, your approach of positive strength and doing everything with committed resolve is just who you are - the best in everything you do! your son, Emmett is spot on target! sending you positivity, love and appreciation. stay strong!!! -Carol Tong
10/19/2015 11:26:13 am
What great insights as always Greg. It is a journey with lot's of learning opportunities. One thing you've already learned (and am sure you knew) is what wonderful wisdom your children have developed with you as their Dad. Emmet's words are so true for us all. Sending healing prayers and wishes for peace to all of you.
10/19/2015 03:08:15 pm
Greg, so good to see your sparkling blue eyes and contagious smile last week. I am thankful for the hug, rather than high five that we shared.
j9 (Lindsay) Wynn
10/20/2015 12:08:20 am
You know that you have always played a huge part in my life, really from the very beginning but it was not until I had my first two boys that I became much more aware and grateful for my brother, Greg. They do everything that I remember you doing:: Seminary in the Dasher, Pinewood Derby Cars, High School Sports, (wish it was tennis) Skiing in Park City for Winter break, trips to Maui (only with a little more than $100 in their pockets, not much though), getting ready for missions, surf whenever they can and the best yet, with the help of their dad, Steve, they freely share their beautiful, heart-warming smiles. When I look back at these memories, you never failed to share your positive attitude, warm grin and optimism with me. You made me believe that I could beat anyone in tennis, ski any mountain, hit any free-throw and the list goes on and on. May I return the favor now by saying that you can beat this with the faith and optimism that you have always lived by and have freely shared with all of us . May you rely on us when the uncertainties get overwhelming just like we have relied on you. We love you, Greg, and will be right here with you the entire way. You may get tired of these Lindsays, but we're to stay. Love you Madsen family!
Michelle and Tom Bradley
10/20/2015 06:06:33 am
Love and prayers are being sent your way. Thank you for sharing your self in the blog. It is a gift. Your attitude is inspiring and realistic in its practice. When I think of you and your family my first thought is beautiful smiles, infectious fun and living life to the fullest. We will pray for you daily and be there in whatever way is helpful.
10/20/2015 08:05:32 am
Hi Greg, I missed Matt's email on the fast, However I am familiar with a product that could be of help to you. There is some conflicting reports on this technology how ever there are many reports of benefits and compelling research that has been done on a product called ASEA. Redox signaling is at the forefront of medical research, and interest in it has exploded in the last few years. More than 10,000 peer-reviewed papers have been written supporting its vital function in every major system of the body. In fact, an entire research journal is dedicated to redox signaling findings. Multiple Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work in this burgeoning area of biological health.
10/20/2015 08:23:02 am
Janna Madsen Hargadon
10/20/2015 03:13:50 pm
I love reading your blog posts Greg. Who knew my little bro was such a writer! I am also inspired when reading all these comments. I have always been energized by these words from Gordon B. Hinckley that he would say everyday to himself and wanted to share them. Positive affirmations are powerful:
barb pridham POWPOW
10/20/2015 10:14:42 pm
Mary Alice Hatcg
10/21/2015 07:48:30 am
I love how you are looking at this trial with spiritual eyes. You are right, we did choose to come to this earth and we knew it would be hard but that it would be worth it. I love how you have a positive spin with everything in your life. You inspire us. You have a smile that is full of love and you are the most non-judgemental and excepting person I know. You make everyone in your presence feel loved and valued. It is a gift that you have. We love you and can't wait till we can see you again for a "loose hang. "
j9 (Lindsay) Wynn
10/21/2015 11:36:43 am
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!!!!!
10/21/2015 03:34:38 pm
Cassia Blake Nielsen
10/21/2015 05:21:49 pm
Heidi and Craig springbett
10/23/2015 12:57:13 pm
Greg And jan, your family is in our thoughts and prayers. after guards this summer when I was fortunate enough to spend the day with you, I said to Craig " I had so much fun volunteering because Greg is such a fun positive and uplifting guy. Thank you much for your blog it really helps clarify everything, i also felt your strength in those words. You and your family are obviously quite loved. You have the support and love of the entire community.Xoxo heidi and Craig
Molly Brett Ellie Jake Nicholas Tucker and Grace
10/21/2015 10:03:01 pm
Happy Birthday dear Greg…..we celebrate you today and all of the blessings you bring to our lives. We spoke about joy tonight - in the midst of our tears - Joy, which is so evident in the picture of your family and in each interaction we are blessed to enjoy with any Madsen. Sending love, as always, and prayers constantly….
Theresa DeLeone McGrath
10/21/2015 11:34:42 pm
Theresa DeLeone McGrath
10/21/2015 11:38:18 pm
Make the Birthday! :-x
Barry R Jenkins
10/22/2015 09:29:25 am
Hey, you and I were supposed to ski together-what happened? Not to worry;lets do it this winter after one of your Huntsman visits. Tough guy like you wont let a thing like cancer get in the way of a great powder day! I remember a few great ones years ago with you...El Nino is supposed to be a sure thing this year :)
10/22/2015 10:08:36 am
Greg -- I love reading all of your random thoughts -- they all gel together perfectly and help me get a glimpse of your experience as well as apply them to my life. I was staying with an old BYU roommate in Mesa last weekend and mentioned my fast (when I declined their offer for breakfast) to her husband. When I asked him if he knew you at BYU, his response was like my experience at BYU "No, but I knew of him." :) (He said he even saw a bunch of emails with you name in them recently with the reunion you planned -- he was in Sam Hall and I told him, yep, that's the guy). Anyway, you have influenced people for good for so many years and are continuing to do that in this journey. I, too will work more at not associating cause and effect judgment and hope to make peer pressure non-existent in making the best use of my time for me and my family and with choices for my body.
10/22/2015 11:58:14 am
Greg, I love reading your thoughts as you ponder this journey. Your conviction in peace and strength will aid you as pick a path to heal your body! So much love from my family to yours!!
10/22/2015 03:14:38 pm
Hi Greg The Jones Family of Midway, Utah, great friends of Bill and Palma, parents of your old friend Nate, want to tell you that we are praying for you. You are the most positive and intelligent person around. I loved reading your posts and will continue to follow you in this "new experience" If anyone can beat it it sounds like you are the one. Keep the faith and our best wishes for a speedy cure -- Ditch that nasty "C" bug. We think you can kick it out of the park> I talk to your Mom alot and am watching the construction behind their house and mine. Wish Palma could get back up here. I miss her. Love, Nancy
10/22/2015 10:41:10 pm
Dear Greg and family,
10/24/2015 10:02:26 pm
The McLeod Family
10/29/2015 11:57:43 pm
Dear Greg and Family,
Jen Berkley Jackson
11/13/2015 10:06:12 am
Leave a Reply.