Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today would be Shawndra's 33rd Birthday. I just wanted to let you all know and wish her a Happy day of sorts. We are thinking of her today, as everyday. Praying continually for Doug, Ella, and my mom and dad. Thanks for those of you who continue to pray and support our families!
With love,
(Shawndra's sister)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kansas City Star Newspaper Tribute

Thanks goes out to Frank Tankard for writing an excellent tribute to Shawndra. His article appeared in the Kansas City Star Newspaper today. Below is a link to the article.

Ella and I are good. The past few weeks have been busy. If and when things slow down a bit, I'd like to post some updated photos of Ella and share a few fun stories.

Good night all.
- Doug

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Favorite Photo & Remember MP3

click for larger photo

I miss Shawndra. And so does Ella. Heck, we all do. I'm not sure her passing has completely sunk in yet. I think I'm still experiencing a small state of mental shock.

Flashback to two Thursdays ago, at the funeral, and I remember for almost one hour, Shawndra's cousin, Pastor Les Beauchamp, so eloquently speaking about Shawndra. His words brought comfort and peace, knowing that Shawndra is still with us, in spirit. Thank you Les. Words cannot express how grateful we are.

A recording of Les's "rememberance" of Shawndra may be downloaded as an MP3 file from (Right-click on the link and choose "save link as". Here's a free media player to play it --

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all who donated to Solace House. I delivered the memorial contributions last week. I hadn't intended to use their counseling services, but after a tour, and very informative conversation with the director, I felt Ella and I could benefit. We start group therapy in April. Ella is dealing with this life changing event rather well, but I'm very concerned about her. For peace of mind, I think I need a professional to tell me "she's okay". I question whether my explanations are satisfactory to a three year old, and whether I'm saying the right things.

I photographed Shawndra approximately one hour before I asked for her hand in marriage. This is my absolute favorite photo of Shawndra. It was July 26, 2003. Next to a window, facing west, we sat in restaurant, at The Elms Resort, in Excelsior Springs. The sun cast a warm hue upon Shawndra's face. I remember how her eyes glistened. How her smile lit up the room. She was so full of life that night. I remember how she made me feel, knowing I would soon be asking her to spend the rest of our lives together. Ah... the memories. I must have stared at this photo for over half the duration of the funeral service. I'll probably bookmark this post and click on the photo many times. I want to especially thank my Uncle Malcolm for preparing all the photos displayed at the services.

These past two weeks have been difficult. So many family members, friends, care providers, and even strangers, have made it bearable. And for that, I thank you.

There has been some speculation whether this BLOG would continue. Honestly, I don't know. A few months ago, we were "taking things", one-half day at at a time. I think it's improved to one day at a time. Ella is my number one priority in life now. She and I are figuring this out together, one step at a time.

One last thought before wrapping up this post...

Immediately following the graveside service, several of us released butterfly shaped, helium-filled balloons, in honor of Shawndra. While most were carried up by the westerly winds, mine, and a few others, got caught in the trees, directly above Shawndra's grave. At first I was disgusted with my failed attempt to release the balloon so that it would fly around the tree. Then I asked myself, how would Shawndra handle this situation. Would she have been angry? Disappointed? Of course not, she would have laughed. And that's what I did, as I exclaimed to the remaining bystanders, "Shawndra wants that butterfly balloon stuck in the tree above her so she can see it!" If there's one thing I learned from Shawndra, in our brief years as husband and wife, it's that you have to let yourself see the "good" in almost any situation. Thank you, sweetie. You showed me once again.

- Doug

Monday, March 16, 2009


Shawndra Beauchamp Turner, age 32, of Overland Park, Kansas peacefully passed on Sunday, March 15, 2009 in the comfort of her family.

The visitation is scheduled for 6-8PM on Wed. March 18th at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, located at 9300 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207. Please join us at Rolling Hills Church on Thursday, March 19th at 10:30AM for the celebration of her life. Graveside service will immediately follow at Johnson County Memorial Gardens located at 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66210.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Solace House, 8012 State Line Road Suite 202, Shawnee Mission, KS 66208, a center for grieving children and their families.

Shawndra was born on July 23, 1976 and grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas. She graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School, and later received her undergraduate degree from Drake University, where she was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority. She continued her education by obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kansas. She spent five years caring for kids at Children's Mercy Hospital. In 2004, Shawndra advanced her education by receiving a master's degree as a Nurse Practioner. She practiced in the outpatient ENT clinic at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Shawndra married Doug Turner on August 7, 2004. She was committed to her family, friends, and the medical community. Her love of life, spontaneous wit and infectious laugh will be cherished by all who knew and loved her.

Shawndra is survived by her husband, Doug Turner, her precious daughter; Ella, her parents, Gary and Carolyn Beauchamp; her sister, Andrea Kristoff and husband Greg; her grandmother, Beulah Janssen.

Arrangements: D.W. Newcomer's Sons Johnson County Chapel 913-451-1860.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Love You Shawndra Forever

March 15, 2009 at 3:10PM will forever be marked in my mind, and hopefully yours as well. This is when our sweet Shawndra passed into the arms of Jesus, thereby freeing her of pain and suffering. Her family prayed over her. Her family cried for her. And to me, time stopped as images of joyful memories rushed by, as she took her last breaths.

Just a short time ago, I shared with Ella that her mommy was in heaven, without a tummy ache, loving us, and watching over us, alongside Jesus. Ella, in her gentle innocence, clapped and exclaimed "yeah, mommy doesn't hurt anymore!". Thank God for Ella.

Shawndra touched so many lives during her brief 33 years. She will be missed immensely, but never forgotten.

More information regarding a celebration of Shawndra's life will be posted soon. Thank you family, friends, doctors, nurses, and strangers, for your unconditional love and support. Our family could not have done it without you.

"Shawndra, I love you forever." - Doug
"Mommy, I love you all the time... even when I can't see you." - Ella

- Doug

Our Beautiful Butterfly has flown ... HOME

This morning we were all called in because Shawndra's condition had changed. She was breathing differently and the doctor said that this was a sign to look for as we approached the end. Shawndra rested peacefully and breathed quietly for the rest of the day. Both Shawndra and Doug's immediate families came up and we surrounded Shawndra with love and prayer. This afternoon, she took her last quiet breath and peacefully passed away into heaven. It was a blessed moment, one in which we were all surrounding her, crying and yet rejoicing at the same time. She is no longer in pain, no longer has cancer, there are no more tubes, and she is FREE!!

We are ever grateful to all of Shawndra's supporters, prayer warriors, family and friends who have been there for her and for each of us throughout this journey. Thank you to the incredible staff of doctors, nurses, care assistants, techs, and medical staff in every facility that Shawndra was blessed to have care in. Thank you to all the wonderful people out there who have been so compassionate in your blog comments and have loved Shawndra even without knowing her. Remember that this blog is a detailed journey of Ella's mommy to show her how strong, courageous, loving, and selfless her mommy was in her life and how much of an impact Shawndra has made on so many people. She fought a huge fight! We will be reading this as a book to Ella for years to come.

Finally, we will provide information on the service as we finalize plans and complete decisions. Thank you in advance for your patience in this. Please pray for Doug during this time and for his future in taking care of Ella. Pray for Ella. Pray for my parents and for Doug's parents and our respective grandparents. Doug has a sister with a family as do I, please continue to pray for us all as we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Shawndra Turner.

I shall leave you with a verse: Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away!
Bye my sweet butterfly,
Love you,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taking in the Moments with Shawndra

Dear Faithful Ones-
It is with a heavy heart that I give you the latest update. The procedure did not produce much of anything out of her G-tube. Therefore, they have given her a medication to try to dry up the digestive enzymes so that she does not have nausea/vomitting. In addition to this, she, Doug, the doctors, and our family have decided to no longer give Shawndra any IV nutrition (TPN) nor any IV fluids. The only thing she'll be receiving are pain meds from now on. This is a hard decision, but an appropriate course at this time.
Shawndra's battle with cancer is coming to a close. Her poor body is just no longer able to withstand infection. She will be getting the sole care of hospice starting this evening. We have a wonderful place for her ready. The entire family asks that you respect the fact that this is OUR - FAMILY time. We know so many of you want to say good-bye, we understand, however, we need to have peace and time with our beloved mom, wife, daughter, and sister. Thank you for respecting this. You may email myself, Doug, or post on the blog, we will respond when we can/feel up to it. I will continue to keep you all up to date with the major happenings but for the moment, please remain in prayer for each of us as we learn to let go and let GOD.
We appreciate what each and every one of you has done for us, be it prayer, meals, childcare, counselor/someone to talk to, helper, and friend. We have had an amazing journey and felt such love and faith surround us the past 2 years. May God continue to bless each of you and your family's as well.

One of our daycare provider's left this verse on the blog a while ago and I just remember it and want to leave it for you all!
Matthew 6:25
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Enjoy today, let God handle the rest!

Taking in each moment with Shawndra,


Hello all. Shawndra was hospitalized yesterday due to some complications. We'll know more late in the day tomorrow (Tuesday). In order to control her pain, she's been heavily sedated.

You know Shawndra... she's the toughest fighter you'll ever meet. Her fortitude never ceases to amaze us. With that said, though, she needs your prayers now, more than ever.

Please, no visitors at this time.

Shawndra sends her love.
- Doug

Thursday, February 26, 2009

difficult recovery

Hey everyone- I am back. It has been a difficult few weeks. I have been sleeping a lot (ya right, difficult you say), but I get tired so easily it is frustrating. Especially in the morning, it is difficult for me to get up and going.

I feel like I am confined to my hospital bed, in my room. I can't help even less than before. I finally yesterday walked down the stairs holding onto my dad's arm and doug monitoring so I didn't fall. I barely made it back up the stairs later, that was a feit. I did get out to enjoy the sun and warm a little while, which was great.

I have my nephrostomy tubes (for urine) on either side of my body, the dressings for that on my back with my epidural on my back as well. I have the g tube hanging from my front left side which I have to hook up to a suction machine when I feel full or like i am about to throw up. Then there are the ostomies, the colostomy which only requires a small dressing but I have had some problems with it lately. Then my active ileostomy which requires the full ostomy dressing. After my last hospital admission, I had so much swelling in my legs from my feet to my pelvis. It now only remains in the pelvis area which we are unsure if that is tumor or not.

I feel like I am losing my relationship with my daughter, I can't help her. She does come sit with me in my bed to watch a cartoon, read a book or occasionally I will get on the floor to do a puzzle or play candyland. I still get to see her as she is growing so independent, beautiful and smart. I still get a morning hug and kiss and an evening kiss but my time with her has gotten much more limited and that makes me so sad. I am trying to get things done for her, a journal, video, something for her to remember me by, it is difficult though.

I am starting to get better, to the point where I may be able to have more visitors. I know that I have had a few people who have called but it hasn't been the right time yet. I am just getting strong enough now to have visitors more. It's just hard to know when, I never know when I am going to feel good or not. I fly by the seat of my pants these days! I hope all of you out there haven't given up on me. I need to go read all my comments. My computer hasn't worked the last couple of days when I finally felt well enough to get back on.

So this is a glimpse into my life right now. It has been very mentally difficult to go through, many emotions not only with me. Thank you all for your continuous support you give my family. I believe it is getting closer to the end of this journey and we are going into it blindly, trying not to fear but to give up our control and take it day by day.

Take car everyone. Thank you all who have helped us with Ella, meals, etc. My parents have especially gone out of their way to drop everything and help us almost every spare moment they have. love you all. Shawndra