Saturday, December 29, 2007

Post christmas let down and chemo

I hope everyone had a very memorable Christmas as we did! It was wonderful out at the lake. Only thing is we don't get great sleep because the kids don't sleep well. But it was one of the best Christmas's in a long time for our family!!! It wasn't gifts that made it great, it was the family, togetherness, happiness and love. Sounds like a cheesy book doesn't it. I did have chemo starting the day after Christmas. This round didn't go as well I had agitation as well as I got sick the first night. I pretty much spent the last couple days in bed feeling in a fog and agitated. Today I feel a bit better, still tired and today is my emotional day when I have enough energy to let it all out! So hopefully tomorrow will be better. Thankfully my parents were there for me yesterday when I got my pump of and had to stay for fluids and medication. Thank you mom and dad! I am thankful that today is Saturday so doug was home and Angie was here to help with Ella. I am so lucky to have such great help. So hopefully I am on the up swing and soon we will go skiing. weee! I also found out that the doctor I saw recently from KU took my case to the group meeting with a bunch of physicians/surgeons and that a surgeon may consider me as a candidate for surgery as well as the doctor from Creighton. So it looks like I may have a few options. So this is good news. I wish you all a Happy New YEar! Leisa- I hope that you can think of all the great memories of your mother. I know it must hurt and be a very difficult time. You are all in my prayers! I think we are having a New years get together this year, so hopefully I will get my energy up so I will have a good time. Talk to you soon. shawndra

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you all have a very memorable Christmas! I hope your travels are safe, and Santa brings you lots of goodies, hehe. My Christmas wish may come true! I heard from Dr. Foster ( the surgeon from Creighton) last Friday. He looked over my most recent scans and consulted with another one of his partners. They agreed that they want to do a procedure to atleast take a look inside of me and possible do a major surgery to remove cancer, do the intraperitoneal chemo flush, whatever they can do depending on what they find inside me. So it could be a small procedure if they find too much they may not be able to do much of anything. If there is stuff they think they can remove to benefit me, they will do that and it will turn into a much more invasive surgery and more recovery time! I have to finish up some chemo for another month and a half and then I will have to take a month off of chemo before I can have the surgery. So it probably won't be until late February/early March. But this is what i have been hoping for. My biggest fear though is that they will get in there and not be able to do anything because the cancer is too invasive and not removable. But I will atleast know for sure at that point and not be unsure if the scans are showing accurately what is in there. So Yaa!!!

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, I have a few more errands to run then it is time to get ready for Mass and off to the Lake we go to celebrate Christmas with my family! We celebrated today with the extended family and a bit last night with Doug's family. Let the festivities continue! I am so excited though to see the kids open there gifts tomorrow night then get in our pajamas and snuggle in, then wake up christmas morning to open santa's gifts and play all day in our PJ's! Ahhhh, it is going to be the best Christmas ever!!!!

Oh, someone asked about Ella's potty training alittle while ago! She is doing great, she isn't in underwear yet, but she is going more and more on the potty. At her new daycare, they ask frequently if anyone needs to go, and she is the first one to chime in and go. She had kind of forgotten about it for awhile but now she is back into going potty on the big girl potty both 1 and 2. So it is going well, we are so proud of her!

Well, I wanted to wish you all a very merry christmas, or happy holidays if you don't celebrate Christmas! I will say a prayer tomorrow for all of my new found blog friends and family. I will thank God for bringing you all into my life to help me through this challenging time. Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas to all... and to all a Good Night!!!! Shawndra

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hey everyone- Happy Monday to you all! I hope you had a great weekend! We had a great weekend. We did get some snow but it was very cold and not really enough to take Ella out to sled or build a snowman. She did briefly go down on a sled yesterday at Nana's house. I don't think Ella really enjoyed it though. Oh well. We had a fun event last night. Nana and Grandpa's neighborhood had a Christmas pot luck and had sleigh rides. It was soooo much fun to be on a sleigh with horses. It was a bit smelly in the front row and it was interesting being on a sleigh on Switzer Road (a fairly busy street). But it was a great time, thank you Nana and Grandpa!

Thank you all for your loving words, support and wisdom. I am so blessed to have you all in my life, even if some of you it is just a computer relationship. It doesn't seem like it, it feels just like a real relationship, except it does seem a bit on sided, sometimes. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends. Shawny- I understand your frustration with the system, I wish it were better too! I am the very last person to talk politics, but I guess we need to really educate ourselves about our possible Presidential candidates this upcoming year. The next President could make a huge difference in the health care system and changing it for the better. So we need to educate ourselves and vote. I am very guilty of not voting, so I am telling myself this year, it is very important to have my voice heard. One small voice can make a huge difference!

I am off to get cleaned up for the day. I am going to go help my parents decorate the lakehouse, where we are going to be spending Christmas Eve and day! I can't wait. We have that to look forward to and then we are going skiing in a few weeks too! So much to be thankful for and to celebrate. Thank you all for your continuous prayers for the miracle I believe will come! I have to believe it will! I am going to do everything I can to make it happen!! I have so much to live for! We all do! Love always, shawndra

Friday, December 14, 2007


Well, it looks like I might have hit a nerve with someone. I am sorry Shawny, I get as frustrated with the system as you do for many reasons. Most of which, the system can't cure me and allow me to live more than maybe 4 years if I am lucky. At least that is what I was told today. So, I am frustrated too. I did have a connection, but one for Colorectal cancer, and that is partially because I, also, work in the medical field and work with physicians who have many contacts all over the place. Trust me, I had to spread the word far and wide to get the connections I did have. As much as I would love to help each and every person, I unfortunately cannot have my dad call for someone, especially because he doesn't even know the situation. That is why I recommended being persistent, that is what we did and that is how to get through the system, call, call, call! That is how I did it and that is how I think everybody has to do it. I wish her the best of luck, I don't mean ill harm on anyone. Nothing is easy about this!! I make calls almost every day to one doctor or another, I am consistent and persistent in trying to find the best treatment out there for me and monitoring my own care. I have been let down countless times, even today. The doctor basically said the treatment I am on is the best treatment right now until I start to fail with that treatment then there are a few more options. So I guess that is the bright side of it, I still have a few options left to try to keep me alive longer. That is all they can do, try to keep me alive longer. I don't know if that is good or bad. Would I rather pass away now when my daughter won't remember it, or in 4 years after these past several years watching mommy suffer on chemo and when she will know me better and know what is happening? Take your pick! Either way, I am going to break my daughters heart and I can't stand it!!!! I can't believe I am going to do that to my daughter, and I have no control of it! So, please don't add any guilt to my plate, I have enough to last my lifetime! I will keep this girl in my prayers as I do all of you who are suffering with cancer and all of you who help me each day by reading this and supporting me. Thank you. Good night all. I am hoping to wake up to a snowy winter wonderland tomorrow so we can go sledding and build a snowman with my family! Gotta cherish each moment. love, shawndra

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I wanted to answer a couple people who have commented on my blog about something. Sue- I have checked into intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Dr. Foster has mentioned that might be a possibility when/if he goes in to do another surgery. Otherwise no other physician has thought I would be a candidate for that procedure. Thank you for checking into it for me. I greatly appreciate it.

I also just had a comment about someone's sister being diagnosed recently with a type of uterine cancer trying to get into MDAnderson. I would continue to call and be persistent about getting in to be seen. I am fortunate that my dad is a physician so when he calls, usually people respond quicker. I had a few other people calling in for me to get me in so I got in fairly quickly. It took a few weeks but not too long. I think it helps to have a connection if you can think of one or know of someone who can call in your behalf! I hope you get there and get some answers!

I had a much better week than the last several weeks. I rested a lot yesterday and some today but I have felt a lot better. No gittery symptoms or other major problems. I do have a urinary infection again so am going to start more antibiotics. I got my pump off today so I am free until after Christmas. I actually am scheduled to go back the day after Christmas. I will see the new doctor at KU tomorrow to see what he has to say about me. I am anxious to see if he has anything new to say or add. I hope he may have something else up his sleeve. Everyone have a great weekend. Enjoy the beautiful snow we are supposed to get here in KC Friday night and Saturday. It is supposed to be good sledding and snowman weather, wee! Good night everyone! Gotta got peak in on my wonderful punks before I head to bed. Shawndra

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So long

Gosh it feels like I haven't written forever. I actually did write a blog on Saturday afternoon, but as soon as I went to send it an error occurred on the computer and lost it. Ugh, don't you hate that when that happens, so frustrating! Ella has been sick for the past several days with really high fevers mostly. She did have strange skin irritation or rash in the middle of the night one night and one night, as she ended up sleeping in our bed she was breathing so heavily, it scared me. It's one of those things where you sit there and think, do I need to take her in to the ER or wait it out. I am sure all parents have experienced this! She is doing much better now though and we actually sent her off to her new daycare this morning. Long story but we had to change daycare's since our old one was making some changes and it was going to be too far to go for us. She did great this morning, she saw all the fun toys and was off, gave us a kiss and said bye. So we felt good about leaving her, which is always a relief.

I actually have chemo today, it is later in the morning because I also meet with my doctor and he usually doesn't get to clinic until atleast 10 or 10:30. It is actually nice though, so I don't have to get up really early and feel rushed to get there. The weather was threatening to be very bad with a lot of ice this morning, but the roads aren't bad at all from what we have experienced. So I will shortly be off to another round of chemo. They are not going to give me the steroid I believe, this time, so hopefully I won't get the agitation at all. Last time I had it only for the first night but that was definitely enough for me.

Right now I am feeling okay, I am having even more back pain and can't seem to get it under control these past few days. I am also having problems with my bladder/ureteral stent. I am having pain when I go to the bathroom so I am going to once again push to have my urine tested today and if nothing shows up I may have to go check things out with my urologist. Otherwise I am great!

Leisa- thank you for your recent post. I am so sorry to hear about your husband's friend and the families two loses. How devastating is that! I am very glad to hear about your daughter on the other hand!!!

I was checking on Ella last night before I got in bed, as I always do. As I was watching her sleep and stroking her hair, I was praying and was at a lose as to what to pray for. I always pray that I survive and beat the cancer so I can live and take care of my daughter. But I realized there have been so many women who have lost there lives who also have young children. As much as I pray and hope I am not guaranteed that I will survive. These other women were needed by there children just like I believe Ella is needed by me. Why would I be any different than these other women, ya know? So I had a hard time with this last night. Thankfully Doug was there and we had a great conversation as we lie in bed but it wasn't a conversation we expected to have. We talked about what if I didn't live. There are just no guarantees. I will do whatever I can do but as Leisa also mentioned nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.

You are all probably so tired of hearing that. But it that is just what was going through my head last night. So I will leave it at that. This is all for now... oh, I didn't make it to the doctor at KU last week. Ella being sick and I was ssoooo tired from being up all night with her, I switched it back to the original date, which is this friday. So I will know more about that after this week.

Thank you for all your love and support. I hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season with the gorgeous lights, decorations, songs and just that feel in the air. Christmas is coming soon. Weeeee. I feel like a little kid again. (Probably because we watch TIgger and Pooh's christmas movie EVERY day sometimes more than once a day, ugh)

Ta Ta for now, shawndra

Thursday, December 6, 2007

MD Anderson

Well I am back from Houston. I got back last night, on an earlier flight, yaaa! But unfortunately came home to a feverish child. She had her 2 year checkup today and unfortunately was sick as well with a sore throat and ear infection along with the fever. Poor thing, she looks so sad, just limp with her rosy cheeks. On the other hand, I love that she clings to me and just wants me to hold her and lean her head on my shoulders. Isn't that one of the best feelings as a parent!

I am sure you are wondering how things went in Houston. Well good and bad. The first impression from the CT and MRI scan was that there was more cancer in my abdomen. Not a huge amount more but more. The good thing is, it hasn't spread to my other organs, just in my abdomen. My oncologist recommends that I stay on the chemo I am on now. My CEA is now 15, so it has gone down from the last number of 23. That is good. He basically said, the cancer could have increased while I took that month off this summer and still may benefit from the treatment I am on now. If my CEA goes above 30 he recommends I add another agent to the folfiri I am on now. The next agen they use,called Erbitux is the one that can cause a bad acne like rash on your face, ughhhhh!!!!!
So I was a bit upset when they told me there was more cancer, but he reassured me when he showed me the CT scan how little it had grown . I am actually going tomorrow (it got bumped up) to another oncologist at KU Med to get his opinion on things. He is supposed to be very good and possibly have some new research coming up on the horizon that may benefit me. So I will see him tomorrow, if I can get all my information together tonight. There is a lot of information I need to put together for a new physician to review. I am also going back to Creighton in a couple weeks to see Dr. Foster and see what he says about the surgical option at this point. I am still praying the CEA level comes down, come down CEA, come down!!!!!

Otherwise my mom and I had a great trip, it was a fast trip, I was in getting tests all day Monday... all day!!! Tuesday we had the day off to sleep in, slowly get around and finally shop a bit before we met my cousin and his family out to dinner. It was so great to see them, thank you Debbie and Mark for going out of your way to meet with us! The girls are so cute and fun to be with!
I am remaining super busy this week, I am so tired but have so much to get done, it seems. I am having a little neighborhood party this Sunday so I need to prepare for that too.
I hope you all are doing well. Leisa I hope you are receiving good news about your daughter, you have been in my thoughts and prayers! I am off to go snuggle up with Ella awhile longer. Good night to you all. Enjoy the snowy weather, I love it! it is so beautiful! talk to you soon. shawndra

Friday, November 30, 2007

3 months down

Hey Everyone- Well I have finished 3 months on this chemo. This week was not as bad as the prior round of chemo. I did start of with the agitation I had before but started on Ativan quickly and it went away after the first night. I have been sleeping a lot but otherwise doing okay. No nausea or vomiting thank goodness! I am up and at 'em today with Ella so that is a good sign!

Leisa- I am so sorry to hear about all the stuff going on in your life right now. I will keep you in my prayers, and ask everyone who reads this to also add Leisa and her family to their prayer list. You can read her comment on my last blog to get an idea of how to pray!

There are so many people to pray for, I feel overwhelmed with how many people are becoming ill! My uncle has recently been undergoing problems and had a biopsy. I am not sure the results yet but I am afraid it isn't good news. My husband's grandfather has been undergoing treatment for tongue cancer for the last few months and is probably going to lose his speech and is eating only through tube feedings now. This breaks my heart and scares me that so many people are sick. What is happening? What are we doing in our society to cause all this illness? It has to be something we are doing? Do you agree? I wish I could change it or figure it out. My friend Angie who is living with us is a nurse at Children's Mercy. She works on the floor I used to work on and said that three children came in recently with brain tumors, ugh!!!! It is one thing for me or adults to become ill but for young innocent children that have only been here for a few years to become ill. That just absolutely breaks my heart! What can we do?

My mom and I are heading down to MD Anderson Sunday so I can go in early Monday for an all day event of testing. Drinking the nasty barium stuff again, which I dread! I will have a CT scan and an MRI as well as blood work which will entail a CEA. I will then meet with my oncologist there on Wednesday to hear what he has to say about the tests and the results. I need you all right now more than ever. I am scared that they will say there isn't much change and that the chemo isn't working and I will have to try another chemo. I will soon be running out of options if that is the case!!! I pray this chemo is working, killing the cancer cells in my body, bringing my CEA number down so that when I go see Dr. Foster in Omaha he might consider me for surgery to remove some of the cancer. I know ultimately, I have to keep it in the hands of God. He will do what is best for me, whether it is what I want or not. I have to believe he will be there for me and perform this miracle! He can not leave my daughter and husband without their wife and mother! God needs me here on earth.... "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

I am free from chemo for another week, I am excited to have that week of freedom. I have a lot going on so I have to feel well to be able to do the fun things.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle, it is officially here. Don't get so stressed out about gifts and forget what the holiday is about! This holiday is not about presents it is much more. It is a celebration and a time to relax and enjoy our family and friends! Please don't forget that! I think we have lost that and need to get that back! We need to say, forget the presents, lets be together and enjoy each other. Right!

Okay, I feel a bit preachy so I will end this post! I will email when I get the results from Houston. Take care everyone! Please keep up the prayers for all those who need them right now. we all can use them, can't we, I will pray for all of you! love, shawndra

Monday, November 26, 2007


I am thankful for a wonderful, long weekend. It was great. We had a fantastic time with Doug's family at his Aunt and Uncle's for the holiday. Thank you Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Mal for all you did for us this weekend, we greatly appreciate it! It was a busy weekend, even after the holiday it was one thing after another. But so much fun. Tomorrow is chemo day so I am kind of dreading that since this past week I have felt so good! I love feeling good!!! I have had more pain these past few days, especially in the night. So I am keeping Doug up because I am tossing and turning in pain and then I am doing this twitching thing again during the night. I am not sure what that is about. I thought it might have been a side effect after I went off the Ambien but that went away for awhile and now it is back. That is what is so frustrating, I never know what things are caused by, it is always a guessing game. Like the agitation last chemo round, we think it was caused by the Decadron they put in my antinausea medication, but no one is for sure about it. That is just the only thing we could come up with.

Oh, very important. I did look at It looks like the show Andrea and I attended will be aired this Wednesday the 28th. So tune in Wednesday or record it if you want to see if Andrea and I got on television. We are in the front row on the side next to Oprah. I am in a pink shirt and Andrea is wearing Coral. We tried to cheese it up as much as possible to give us more of a chance of being on tv. We will see, hehe. It will be fun to watch!

This week will be chemo, then next week my mom and I are heading back down to Houston to MD Anderson for a checkup there. I will have CT and a MRI done along with a CEA level drawn with other bloodwork. I will then see my oncologist there to see what he thinks of this chemo I have been on and any progress or regression I have had. I hope there has been progress in killing the cancer and continued reduction in the CEA level.

I will write more later. My mom is here helping me this morning with Ella because of my back pain. I better go help out as much as I can! If this chemo round is anything like the past few I will not be much help these next few days. I truly hope it is better than the last round though!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and reflected on what you are thankful for! I am thankful for you all who have entered my life through my blog or otherwise. love, Shawndra

PS. Don't forget to record or watch Oprah on Wednesday!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I hold you

The title is what my daughter says to me and others when she wants to be held. Isn't it cute! Some of you have noticed, we added a few pictures, one on Ella's birthday post and one on the left, from halloween. Enjoy! Thank you for the many emails. I am doing better, thank you! No more agitation. I was still dragging with fatigue on Saturday, but Sunday was much better as well as today. I was disappointed that Saturday was beautiful and all I could do was sleep but I am hoping to enjoy today and tomorrow. Ella is napping (Thank goodness), she wouldn't take her nap yesterday. But when she wakes up we will play outside. She will say "Cold outside mommy" and I can happily say no baby, it isn't cold outside right now, yaaaa! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I am doing better. I am excited that my husband only has another day or day and a half of work and then we will have a long, wonderful weekend together. I love that! I just have my general labwork tomorrow, as well as my rehab appointment (for my swelling). The word rehab sounds so bad. Then I am free the rest of the week and will celebrate all I am thankful for. One thing I am thankful for is this blog. I didn't really realize until yesterday that I have someone to thank for getting me to start the blog in a round about way. If it weren't for my friend and neighbor, Brandi, who found out about Jennifer Ireland, told my sister who told me about her and her blog. I wouldn't have started this blog and wouldn't have so many new friends and supporters! So thank you Brandi, I am so thankful to you for that. I am so thankful for all of you who are supporting, unconditionally. Thank you! I have so much more to be thankful for but I will stop there for now. I need to try to rest a little before Ella wakes up. So I am not exhausted by the time Doug comes home tonight and can't do anything to help. Have a great, short work week and a wonderful holiday!!!! Happy Thanksgiving and Thank you! love and thanks always, shawndra

Friday, November 16, 2007

Major agitation

This has been a very rough week to say the least. I had chemo on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon I started getting this agitation, gittery feeling. I couldn't stop shaking my legs, moving around, etc. It was like my skin was crawling. Thursday I called the Cancer Center to let them know, so they had me come in early to check it out and get my pump off. They gave me fluids and some Ativan for the agitation, which I had been taking at home. It maybe made it a little better but I was so miserable last night I just wanted to be knocked out. I took a sleeping pill and Xanax and I was out thank God! Today I am getting better. The agitation has gone away, I was still out of it a bit this morning, very light headed feeling and it has been an emotional day for me. I hate feeling like that, and being useless to my family. All I could do was lie in bed in misery. Thankfully Doug, Angie and my parents have been here to help with everything. I am glad the chemo is only a couple days every few weeks. If I had to deal with it every day, I think I would give up. It crossed my mind this time. It is so physically hard that I just want to give up and that makes me very emotional. I am starting to cry just thinking about it. How could I give up, with a wonderful husband, daughter and family relying on me. How could I do such a think to Ella. But what good am I to her in this state? Oh it has been a hard week. The good thing is it is getting better and I have to look forward, forget about it and look forward for the good things to come. I can get through a few bad days when there are more good days than bad. I have to, I don't have a choice! I WILL not give up for my little girl!!!!! I WON'T DO IT!!!!
Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have so much to be thankful for. I am alive and I have a great life, a great family, wonderful friends and support system. I have no regrets. I am so very lucky and thankful! I hope you all have a lot to be thankful for too! I will write soon on a more positive note. Shawndra

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Ella!

Today,November 11th is Ella's birthday. It was a great day. She slept in late, so we all got to sleep in a bit. We had her birthday party which was a blast. It was a gymnastics party where she does her weekly gymnastics class which she absolutely loves. After the kids played in there we had our cake and ice cream and presents. Angie's mom made Ella's cake. I wanted a Mickey mouse clubhouse theme since Ella loves Mickey. Angie's mom literally made a clubhouse on the cake, it was incredible!!! Very impressive. Thank you to Angie's family for doing this for her. Thank you to all the family and friends who came and helped us celebrate this wonderful day. I am so blessed to have Ella. The song in my head right now is " You are the sunshine of my life, oh oh oh..." I'm tired!

To tell you more about Chicago. Andrea and I had a great time. We ended up spending the rest of Friday lounging around Sara's condo in our pajamas until it was time to get cleaned up to go out for dinner before we had to catch our flight back to KC late Friday night. Even though we didn't do much, it was a perfect trip.

I do have to say though, it was a dream of mine to get to go to the Oprah show. So I am so grateful that I got to go but I was a bit disappointed in her. She didn't interact with the audience at all. It was as if we weren't really there. It was quite a process to get into the studio and get our seats. We waited a long time in this room while the audience piled in. Andrea and I were one of the first one's to arrive, actually we were the first ones to arrive but because we went to the wrong door, a few other people ended up, greedily, in front of us. They called a bunch of names to be seated before they started seating by number, which I thought was odd. We were getting a bit frustrated, wondering if we arrived early for nothing. We weren't going to be very happy if they continued to call other people who arrived 30 minutes to an hour after they told us to be there before those of us who were there prior to the time we were supposed to be there. Anyway, that part was frustrating and then her not really acknowledging us in the audience kind of put me off a bit. I even overheard a few people behind us when we were leaving saying they would never come back and weren't impressed. Again, I am still glad I got to go and have my dream come true!!! Thank you again Diane and family for the opportunity.

This week is chemo week starting Tuesday. I feel so good besides my back pain it is so hard to face chemo week knowing I will be run down and tired. But I am going to do my best to not let it get to me. Good night everyone. Have a great week....
Oh, Miki, Happy Birthday to you too!!! shawndra

Friday, November 9, 2007


Hey Everyone- Well, we had our Oprah experience yesterday. It was a great experience. We didn't get the favorite things episode, darn!!! Our show was The Best Life Weight Loss Challenge Finale with Bob Greene. They didn't know when it would air, they said we would just have to keep watching for it. THe good news is that Andrea and I were lucky enough to get in the front row on the side next to where Oprah sits. So you may see us on TV. We tried our best to be very candid with our expressions like they told us to do to have more of a chance to get on TV. I will give more details later. We just got out of bed and are hanging out, Sara, Andrea and I drinking coffee in our pajamas, getting ready to indulge in monkey bread. aahhhh, what a great morning. I don't know what we are going to do today, we may stay in our pajamas and watch a movie and just hang out. Or... maybe we will go shop. Either way is a win.. win. We are having a great time, it is so nice to be able to sleep in and just have some fun girl time. Even though we miss our families tremendously. Tell you more soon. shawndra
PS. pictures to come of Andrea and I at the Oprah studio in our Oprah outfits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A couple things to add.

Hey everyone- I forgot to acknowledge Sue's question in my last post. She asked about Chris Ireland, since he hasn't posted on Jen's blog in awhile. I actually called him today, to find out how he is doing. We don't talk often, just once in a great while. He said he and the girls are doing well. He said he switched up the daycare situation a bit but otherwise things are good, same old work and home stuff. He did also say that he has been meaning to post some pictures of the girls soon. So that is the update, you can keep checking for the pictures. I think he is a private person and the blog's purpose was to tell Jen's story. So, not to worry he is doing well!

Back to me, hehe. That sounds horrible doesn't it. I got my weekly labs today and asked to do a urine sample as well since my back pain has gotten so much worse in the last few days. It looks like I do have an infection so they put me on antibiotics. Otherwise things look good.

Andrea and I leave tomorrow for Chicago. Oprah here we come!!! I am so excited, I get to also see my friends up there, which will be great too! Sara- thanks for putting us up and picking us up! Gotta just get a few more things done before we head out. Anyone know the weather up there? I am off to go lay down and rest on a heating pad to try to get rid of some of this pain in my back. Then I have a massage with my cousin this afternoon. She is an incredible masseuse. ahhhh, that will be so nice! have a great day, I will keep you all posted about Chicago and Oprah! One of my dreams is coming true.... dreams do come true! shawndra

Monday, November 5, 2007

Prayer Warriors

Hey Everyone- This week is better than last week! I am feeling much more rested, not so fatigued. I am unfortunately having a lot of back pain, more so than usual. I don't know if I have a kidney infection or something but I am having to take more pain medication which doesn't always seem to be working, ugh! Otherwise I am doing well. I did a bit more shopping today to find the rest of my Oprah outfit. Thank you Kelly for helping me find the rest of my outfit! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your fashion sense, hehe. I now only need to find a pair of boots and I will be set! You know, the new fashionable knee high boots. weeee!

On a serious note, I would appreciate everyone guiding their prayers to another woman with a young son who just moved to a new city and has gotten very sick. She is going to have a few tests done but is concerned that it may be cancer. They did feel an abdominal mass and again will be doing a few tests to figure out what is going on. Please pray hard for Naomi. I pray that the doctors are able to figure out what is causing her sickness and that it is something that can be easily treatable. She is alone in a new city, sick and scared. She found me through Jen's blog and contacted me. Naomi, I have a huge group of wonderful prayer warriors that will pray for you! We wish you the best tomorrow morning for one of your tests and then on November 13th for another test. Thank you, my dear friends, for extending your kindness and your faith to help Naomi and others who need us! As I told Naomi, I am glad she contacted me, I feel like my situation maybe helping others and there is a reason for my illness. Knowing that this reason is to help others makes it so much more bearable. As a nurse and nurse practitioner, I was all about helping others. Now that I am not working, I have lost some of that but thankfully through my site have been able to maybe help a few others and get my identity back as someone who cares for others and helps them. It's not just about me all the time. Just to clarify, I am not wanting anyone else to become ill by any means. I just want to help when I can!

I am going to bed early, this time change is hard, isn't it. It is about 9:30 and I am exhausted. Thanks prayer warriors for your help. Good night. Shawndra

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Down days

First I want to acknowledge Shanna's post about Megan Rooker, my thoughts and prayer go out to her and her family. I also got another email about another young woman who passed away from Cancer. Again my heart goes out to the family. I pray for all the people suffering from this horrible disease. It just isn't fair and no one is immune. We can do all the right things, eat right, exercise, not smoke, etc. but you can still get cancer. I am the perfect example of this. We are making strides to try to catch cancer early but it appears that cancer is affecting people younger and younger. We can't rely on the statistics and when they say we should start being screened. We need to rely on ourselves listening to our bodies and reacting when it is telling us something. I truly hope that we can cure cancer someday and I will try to do what I can to help make this happen. Awareness is the first step... Oprah!!!! Okay, I will step off the soap box now, hehe.
Well, I think I got through my down days. Chemo was okay, no vomiting this time. A bit of nausea but it was kept under control. Not a huge appetite for a few days and extreme fatigue on Thursday and Friday. Thankfully I made it through Halloween. We had about 20 people over, family, for trick or treating. It was a lot of fun. Ella is a bit under the weather too with a nasty cough so we carried her a lot of the way around the neighborhood. But she did wear her Strawberry Shortcake hat, which I really thought she wasn't going to do. So she was adorable! Again, pictures will come soon, hopefully. After Wednesday night, the extreme fatigue hit. Thursday I couldn't keep my eyes open. I am so thankful to have Angie here, she watched Ella all day while I slept. Then my mom came over to help on Friday, which was a bit better, but I felt like I had a hangover all day, tired and a headache. So again, I slept a lot on Friday. I don't like those days. I get so emotionally upset because I can't do what I want to do, and especially I can't be the mommy I want to be or the wife I want to be. I can't do anything and I hate it!! Today I am feeling better. We switched Ella's gymnastics class to saturday's because I am just too tired on Thursday's to take her on chemo weeks. I am glad Doug was with me today because about half way through I got a bit faint feeling, clammy, sweaty, light headed. I think that was just that I hadn't eaten in awhile and I had coffee this morning, so my bloodsugar dropped. So Doug got to do gymnastics with Ella. Grandpa came to watch too and helped me when I wasn't feeling well, thanks Grandpa Turner.
Soon, we are going to be heading to the mall to find the Oprah outfit for Andrea and I. Very important! I am looking forward to this week. I can not thank Diane and her family enough for giving me these tickets and making one of my dreams come true!!! That is truly an unbelievable gesture and I am so grateful to her and her family!!! Thank you Diane.
The weather is gorgeous, so I hope all of you in KC are enjoying it while we have it.
Ella's birthday is next weekend, she will be two on November 11th, yaaaa! The terrible two's. We have actually already started that I think.
Have a great weekend. Thank you for all your prayers this past week. You got me through it. Enjoy your weekend, Shawndra

Monday, October 29, 2007


click to enlarge photoIsn't my punks a cutie! I love this picture. Ella just got some kitchen items along with a hat and apron from Angie. It is hard to get that great smile in a picture, she is too quick to catch her looking at the camera and smiling all at once. I will look at this picture all the time. (You can click on it for a larger version.) I love it.
Anyway, I am getting ready for bed because chemo starts fairly early tomorrow. Gotta be there around 8:30 for labs, then chemo at around 9am. Gotta keep reminding myself, only a few down days then some great days ahead, and Oprah next week. I gotta shop this weekend and find the perfect outfit.. something stylish and bright.
I had another appointment today with Cancer Rehab. This time it was with a physical therapist. It was basically a massage trying to redirect the fluid in my lymph nodes. It was pretty relaxing, not a bad appointment to have to go to.
I hope you all had a good Monday, I know it is hard to get the week started sometimes. I always think Tuesday is Monday, when I take Ella to daycare.
Okay, I am blabbing. I will talk to you all soon. I just wanted to show off my punks! I am so proud of her. Ella, if and when you read this... You mean everything to me and I can't be a prouder mother of you. You are everything I could have hoped for and dreamt of. I love you forever and always. Your mommy, Shawndra

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fun at Halloween Party

Doug and I, or Victoria and David Beckham, had a good time at our Halloween party and dressing up. That was the most fun, being someone else for a night and spending it together. It has been awhile since we have gone out together like that. This was a party that Doug's boss put on. I want to thank him and the VP of the company for allowing Doug to be with me thru most of this ordeal. We are so lucky that Doug found this job at Sourcecorp. They have been incredible to us and we can't thank you enough for helping to ease the stress of the situation.

Anyway, it was a great weekend, celebrating my dad's birthday at the lake Friday night and going to the halloween party Saturday night. We are headed into the 4th week of chemo on Tuesday. I hope it isn't too bad like last time.

Enjoy the pics, I still want Doug to add some more of our outing to Deanna Rose and another pic that I love of Ella and me.

Have a good work week everyone. Talk to you soon. Shawndra

PS. That took some major duck tape to get that cleavage. Major (as Victoria says a lot) ouch, it hurt coming off, but it looks good, doesn't it.hehe.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

As always- thank you all for your wonderful comments. I always like to write something, if I can, before the weekend. I am excited about this weekend. Tonight we are going to go out to my parents lakehouse to celebrate my dad's birthday that is tomorrow. Happy Birthday Dad!! I don't talk a lot about my dad but recently we have become closer than ever and I want to thank him for that. I am very proud of my father, he is a hard worker, good at what he does, he has a great personality ( I like to think I have his personality) and he is a great Papa! Dad- I hope all your wishes come true this year and every year. I am looking forward to celebrating with you tonight. We are also going to do some pumpkin carving with all the kids. What a blast.

Saturday night Doug and I have a Halloween party to go to. I want to go as something kind of sexy this year since I rarely get to dress sexy. I decided to be Victoria Beckham and Doug is going to be David Beckham. I had a few people helping me out with my costume, thank you JJ, Brandi, Angie, and the lady who cut the wig for me who wants to remain anonymous. It wasn't the easiest wig to work with!! But she did a great job with what she had to work with. Anyway, I am really excited. I still need to go get a few things, a huge fake ring for my wedding ring... I am sure hers is huge as well as I have to go get a bra that is going to push mine up and together .... a lot!!! They need a lot of work. We actually tried duck tape last night and that didn't do the trick. Oh, after having Ella... well most of you mothers know. Anyway, I better get to Target to get those things to finalize the costume. I can't wait. I was also excited when I went to get Doug's costume, I was going to pick out an Adidas shirt and thought I would have to get tape to put the number and his name on the back. Well, I found out that Dick's Sporting Goods has t-shirts with all that information on them. So that made this costume very easy.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Have fun if you have a costume party to go to. In the past I haven't cared that much to get dressed up but I am very much looking forward to it this year.
Next week is chemo week so gotta live it up these next few days. Have fun and be safe. Shawndra
PS. Jen Miller, I will be thinking and praying for you on October 29th. Please keep her in your prayers everyone. That has to be a difficult day for you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You Inspire Me!

You all have brought tears to my eyes. I just sat down and started reading all of your responses. I am so blessed to have you all with me through this. You all tell me how much I inspire, but you all inspire me. Ella and my family is my ultimate inspiration and motivation to live and fight. But through this blog, I have found countless other inspirations and motivations, each of you! So, I thank you and I thank God for each of you.

I have to tell you, I am almost glad that I have Cancer. I have realized so much in my life and put things into perspective. I have learned that so many people are incredible. I wouldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams that so many people would check on me daily and want to read what I have to say. Just a year and a half ago on my 30th birthday, I was thinking I had a great life but I had no friends. I have realized that that is so far from the truth. I have realized who my good friends are and have gained so many more friends in the process. I believe God brought this into my life for a reason. I still wish I didn't have Cancer, but now that I do, I have found the positive aspects that it has brought to my life.

This week has been a wonderful week. I think it was Tuesday ( I lose track of my days sometimes), I had an appointment with Cancer Rehab to address the swelling issue I have had in my lower abdomen. The Occupational Therapist I met with was absolutely wonderful and I found out that she can help me in so many other ways. I have been very very stiff, especially when I get up in the morning. She said we can work on that. She will actually help me get started doing some exercises again and possible get to start Yoga, which I have been meaning to do on my own, just haven't done it yet. So, I was very pleased with this meeting, and I will see her several times in the next couple months to help me with some of this problems.

My bloodwork came back okay, except my protime is a little higher than we want it to be meaning my blood is a little too thin. I have had more bleeding because of this, especially nosebleeds. But I am working to get it back in range through my medication, Coumadin.

I thought I would tell a funny story from my meeting with the Occupational Therapist. Some of my family might be a bit embarassed by this but I think it is very funny and since we are all such good friends, I feel like it is okay. hehe. I was in the room, I had undressed with just my gown on and my bra. After she was done with the education part, she had me lie down to do the massage part to help with the swelling in my lower abdomen. As I was lying there ( no underwear) she said, "You are a redhead", oh my gosh. I couldn't believe she said that. In my eyes, it was funny and maybe she didn't mean to say that at just that moment, but I was a bit shocked and what do you say to that. I just said, a huh. Oh, it was funny. I haven't even told Doug that yet, I have been meaning to I just haven't gotten around to it.
Anyway, this is getting very long. I want to thank all of you for writing Oprah. Terra, your message was incredible. Thank you for sharing what you wrote. Again, thank you all for being in my life and following my blog.
Oh, last night we finalized our plots at the cemetary. It was actually kind of fun and exciting to have it picked out and to know where I will be some day for eternity. I encourage you all to look into this, it really is a great thing to do, for yourself and to relieve the burden on your family!

I feel like I am forgetting to tell you something and I know I have more to tell, in time.
Oh, one last thing. I just got out of the shower a little bit ago and was looking in the mirror. I realized the way I am living my life, I don't feel sick. Come next week, I will probably have a different feeling after chemo. But right now, these past few days and today, I feel like I am living life as a healthy human being. Nothing is wrong with my health. What a great feeling that is! I am going to hang on to that feeling as long as possible! If I believe it to be true, it can become reality. Thank you for listening to this lengthy message. Talk to you all soon. Shawndra

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Favor

Hello Everyone- I will write more later. I feel like I have so much to tell you all but I have limited time right now. I do have a favor to ask of each of you who follow my blog. A few people have commented about this idea on the blog as well as other people I know. I would love it if you all could each write to oprah, I think there is an area that says email oprah on her website If you could email her and tell her how you got connected to my blog and if I have affected you, how I have done so. Or something about my story. I would also like you to tell her that I will be in the audience with my sister Thursday, November 8th. I don't know that this will do anything but it can't hurt, right! Thank you for doing this for me. You never know what can happen until you try. I will write more soon. Gotta go run a few errands while Ella is in daycare. Doug is going to help me hopefully tonight to get pictures up. There are some really great ones. Talk to you all soon, my email family. Shawndra

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Big Secret.....

I am like you, I can't wait for secrets. I am also not good at keeping secrets. It really isn't a secret. Some of you alread know and some of you have already guessed it. I am going to Oprah Show!!!! Thanks to one of my incredible neighbors who gave up tickets her and her sister received so I could go and take one other person. What an incredible gift. I didn't think I could accept it at first but she apparently insisted and had been to the show before, otherwise I would not be taking someone else's opportunity to go! So I am soooo excited. I am going to take my sister, my mom declined so Andrea could go. THe only the I wish is that I had so many tickets I could take everyone. I guess I can't be greedy though. We are going in early November, they don't tell you the topic of the show.
I heard that today's Oprah was about the girl who had a documentary called "Dirty Sexy Cancer", which I did watch. I missed Oprah this afternoon, but I will watch it tonight. I wish she would have picked me to be on to spread the word, but that is okay. At least it is getting some exposure! I am curious to watch and see what they talk about. It is interesting to watch things about cancer, fiction and nonfiction. I watch Desperate Housewives, Lynette has cancer now and I can actually relate to some of it. Anyway, once again, I can't hold in a secret. I have to share with everyone. Thank you Diane and her sister and their family for giving me this incredible opportunity. Now I have to figure out what to wear. Any tips about being on the show? I hope you weren't disappointed with the surprise. Tomorrow I have a few appointments with different people so it will be a busy doctor day. Labs too. Nothing too important though. Have a good evening, I hope it rains again tonight. shawndra

Pumpkin Patch

We had so much fun at the pumpkin patch. I will try to have Doug help me get a picture or two up from this weekend. We went to Deanna Rose Farmstead, rode the hayride to the pumpkin patch which had a maze and all sorts of fun activities. It was a blast and a beautiful day for it. It was so hard to wake up this morning. It was dark and rainy out, I tried to get Ella to snuggle in with me after she woke up but she is not good at sitting still once she is awake. I am not a morning person these days!! It is also hard when Doug goes back to work. It is so nice on the weekends to have his help getting her up and all snuggling, having breakfast together, etc. Ya know. It makes you think, wouldn't it be nice to win the lottery so he wouldn't have to work and we could just live as one happy family all the time, hehe. Wake up Shawndra, right! Just kidding. You can't tell me it hasn't crossed your mind too. Anyway, I felt good this weekend, besides the pumpkin patch we went out to the lake for a little bit and Sunday after church we celebrated Doug's grandma's birthday. Busy weekend as always. I have lab work tomorrow, it will just be my basic labs, CBC and Protime level since I am still on the Coumadin (blood thinner) which it sounds like I will be on for a long time, since I am at high risk for another clot.
I have my appointment set to go back down to MDAnderson first of December, Mark I hope you are in town that week! I have to call today and set up an appointment at Creighton for a follow up in a few months too.
I have very exciting news. I haven't decided when to share it with you all. But it deserves its own title and blog. So I am sure I can't keep it secret much longer, so it will be out soon.
I hope you all have a good week. I am being called to "sit Mommy" next to Ella to do a puzzle. Gotta go. You are all in my prayers. Thanks for your prayers, they are working my miracle will come. Shawndra

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just soooo tired

Hey everyone- I hope you are on your way to having a fun weekend. We don't have much set in stone, but I think we will try to go to a pumpkin patch with Ella this weekend. It has been a long week for us, Doug and I are both tired. His grandfather is in an assisted living place at the moment while he is going through radiation for his tongue cancer. Then with this being chemo week, he picks up a lot of the slack that I am not doing. I just get soooooo tired. Yesterday I drove to the cancer center to get my pump off and snoozed at every light, that probably wasn't a good idea. It is hard, I just want to stay in bed all day but with Ella I have to get up and get moving. It is a struggle. Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend. I am sure we will. talk to you all soon. shawndra

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Round 3

This round went much better than last. I got a little nauseous yesterday, so they gave me some additional medication to help. I got to sleep most of the day today, under the rain, so that was nice to catch up. Ella is at daycare so I can rest. Nothing much else to report. We are looking into another daycare or nanny for Ella and my sister's children. Our daycare is splitting up. Anyone know of anyone with a childhood education background that would be willing to come to my sister's house full time to watch 3 children. Let me know. I am off to continue to veg on the couch until I pick up Ella from daycare.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Prayer Request

I hope you all are having a fun filled Saturday night. It is about 11:30 pm and I am still awake. This doesn't happen very often but we just finished watching a movie. I thankfully got my second wind so I didn't fall asleep watching it. Speaking of sleeping, apparently I now twitch a lot when I sleep. Doug has informed me of this. It was so bad last night he left and slept on the couch. I don't know what this is about but I guess it is something else I will have to mention to my doctor. I do see my doctor on Monday so this will be on the "do tell" list.

I got an email from Jan Velander (Jennifer Ireland's mother) today. Her father was just diagnosed with a late stage adenocarcinoma in multiple areas of his body. I asked for her permission to say something on my blog. But I want to request prayers for Jan and her family at this time. Jan has been through so much in the last few years, she does not deserve more tragedy in her life. Jan- your family will be in my prayers and I have such a tremendous support system of prayer warriors that will pray for you as well!
We have to stop cancer, it is truly our worst enemy right now. There is so much talk about war and other countries, etc. I am not much for politics but we need to open our eyes to what is really killing us and cancer is often in the lead. It makes me sooooo ANGRY!!!!!!!

I will end on a positive note... today was a great day. I woke up to rain, which I love. We went today as a family, Doug, Ella and I to her gymnastics for open gym to make up for one session we missed. Doug had never gone before. It was so fun being there all together, watching him with Ella. He is so great with her, he is a little kid at heart at times and comes up with such fun things to do (some a bit dangerous) but it was just one of those moments you will cherish for the rest of your life.
I better get to bed, before I know it Ella will be crying out Mommy, Daddy or lately she says "Hello, anyone". isn't that cute. it makes me laugh. Good night everyone! shawndra

PS. Miki I was awake with the thunder and lightening last night and the hail. My dog, Lexi, made sure we were up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well I got my labwork back for the week. My white blood cell count and neutrophil counts are low which means I am vulnerable to illness/infection. I am on precautions, I have to wash my hands more, stay away from crowds, sick people, lots of children, no fresh fruit, etc. Hopefully that will come back up soon. This is pretty normal with chemo, so it isn't too concerning. I also got my CEA level done this week. It came back as 26 which is double what it was when I restarted my chemo. My nurse practitioner tried to console me, because I practically screamed out when she said the number. She said, is this good or bad, I said "bad". She told me it is just a number and that lots of things can affect it, constipation, diarrhea, lots of things. It was still pretty upsetting to me. I know the numbers can get soooo much higher, but I am wanting the numbers to come down, not up. I know also that the doctor from Creighton said it may take a few cycles to see real results, so I am trying to go on that and not get to worked up over it. I ask though for continued prayer that the chemo is working by killing the abnormal (Cancer) cells in my body and bring my CEA number down. Dr. Foster is basing his decision to operate on me on my CEA number, so I want it to come down so he can atleast go in and take a look. I know though that God has the plan and so whatever happens is supposed to happen. I put my faith in him.
My parents, Doug and I went to a cemetary again to find a nice place to rest. We think we found this place. I have to admit, I am a bit excited to know that is where I will be someday, it is a nice spot, near trees, central to were I grew up. Kind of wierd to be excited but that is how I felt. I am also excited to know that some of my loved ones will be nearby. We haven't figured it all out but I think some of my family will be next to me. Now I just have to figure out what to wear? I am a planner! You are probably reading this thinking I am twisted, aren't you. But, I promise, I am not, I just don't want to leave this burden to others, and this is one thing I can have control of what I want, ya know.
Today, I got to relax. Ella was in daycare and I literally rested all day long!!!! It was great, but it went so fast. Tomorrow Ella has gymnastics, which is always so much fun, then we may take Ella to get her hair cut. It is so nice having Angie here. I think Doug agrees that he is getting nagged less about being around now that I have her here with me. Hehe. He has a new found freedom.
Thank you all for you comments on the blog. I love all my new friends that follow me, I appreciate you all. I know everyone has such busy lives, knowing that you take time to check up on me and think and pray for me means so much. It doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Enjoy these beautiful cooler crisp days, aren't they wonderful! shawndra

Monday, October 8, 2007

Beautiful day

It's raining, overcast, dreary, drab but at the same time it is a beautiful day. I bet if I look back at my blogs, I could see a pattern. Negative titles on chemo week, positive titles for off chemo week. I am feeling pretty good today. I haven't been taking my sleeping pill for the last several nights and I think I wake up better without them. My parents, sister and her family, Doug, Ella and I went to Branson this past weekend. My dad had a meeting there so we went with him and stayed at a condo near his meeting place. We had a good time, I was pretty tired on Saturday, I could hardly keep my eyes open in the morning, so I rested while everyone else took the kids to swim and play on the swingset. The swimming pool had a cool slide, I guess Ella went down but seemed a bit shocked at the end,hehe. Then we got out in the afternoon and took the kids on a short pony ride, which Ella cried through most of, then played some putt-putt golf. I haven't done that in years, it was fun.
Today, Ella and I had a great morning. We just played with lots of her toys, colored, did puzzles, helped mommy clean out the closet, etc. I was just sitting there playing with Ella and thought to myself, this is such a great day. I also had this thought.... I am going to live! It just popped into my head. I am going to live!!! What a great morning, I get to play with my daughter, I feel good, it doesn't get much better than that.
After last week, feeling bad, when you just feel normal it is a great feeling. I get so down when I don't feel good. It makes just feeling normal a terrific feeling.
Ella just went down for a nap, so I think I am going to go rest too. I don't want to overdo it and then be too tired later when Doug comes home.
I hope you all have a great week. I just have lab work tomorrow, my family has an appointment at the cemetary to think about our plots, gymnastics later in the week. It is a fairly slow week. That is good! I will talk to you all soon. shawndra

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Round 2 roughed me up

Well, I had chemo yesterday. It started off okay. I actually had a great visitor, a cancer survivor herself, she actually got to just visit the cancer center, not be a patient. Thank you Christy for coming to visit and chat with me. Towards the end of my treatment I start to feel strange, it is hard to describe. I feel out of it, hazy, like there is nothing in my head besides maybe air, I feel like that at other times too, hehe. I started getting a bit sick feeling to my stomach which persisted most of the evening. I tried to take some compazine before I went to bed, then I got sick and took another compazine since I probably brought that one back up. So it was a bit rough yesterday. I just hate feeling nauseous and vomiting, it is up there as the worst in my experience. I am feeling a bit better today, not nauseous. I still feel abit out of it. I am going to try to rest most of the day besides a dentist appointment. Ella is at daycare so I can rest. Daycare is so great, she loves it and I get a little time to recouperate. Win win situation. Since there isn't much going on in my head, I think I am going to leave it brief today. I hope you all have a good day. My prayers are with all of you who support me. I pray each day for all you who support me, I pray to God that he keeps you safe, happy and healthy. I hope you have these three things in your life. I know God is going to pull me through this and perform a miracle on me. Again, one of my favorite quotes... "I shall not die, but live, and declare the work of the lord." I struggle on these days when I don't feel so good from chemo. It gets me down and sometimes I think it would be so much easier to give up the fight. I truly feel like I am fighting on these days. Thank God they are few and far between. I am sure there are so many more people who suffer much more than I have. Until next time... shawndra

Monday, October 1, 2007

MRI results

Well, late last Friday I finally received the MRI results. Basically it stated that there's thickening in my pelvis, which substantiates the results of the previous CT scan results. And the edema is most likely due to post radiation cell changes. Well, this at least this sounds better than the remarks the ob/gyn gave. What it comes down to is nobody knows for sure, and none of the scans can tell us what is causing the swelling. I think the only way we will really find out is if I have a surgeon go in and look.
I want to send my condolances to the O'Reilly family. They are long-time family friends. Michael passed away today of lung cancer. He was diagnosed only a few months ago or less I believe. His sister, Kelley, comments often on my blog. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you all right now. We are so saddened to hear about Michael. If there is anything we can do, please let us know! Please pray for this family right now with this loss of their loved one.
I have round two of chemo tomorrow. The last few days I have been really tired. I don't know if it is from the chemo, the increase doses of pain medication (which doesn't seem to help all the time), or if I am just too busy and need to slow down more. I am trying to live life to the fullest... literally. I try to do as much as I can and enjoy as much as I can. I'm doing that, but I suffer as a consequence.
I will let you know how this round of chemo goes. I need to go get Ella from her nap. We went to the zoo this morning so she is very tired. So is mommy. That zoo will wear anyone out. Gotta run.... Shawndra

Friday, September 28, 2007

Health Care System

We need to change our health care system. I am glad that it is becoming a hot topic these days because our system is screwed up!!! I don't know what I can do to change it but if I could, I would be a member of that committee or board to give my two cents worth!! I also think I should work for an ostomy company to help them figure out how to make these products better, more practical for all occasions. I just hope to live to be able to have these jobs. I also would like to be a patient advocate for cancer patients, someone they can go to when they are having the problems I am having: unsure which physician to call for different problems, not getting answers, confused, frustrated etc. with the system and not getting the treatment we deserve. ugh! I feel better venting a bit.
I went to see my ob/gyn who is actually the physician who did my total hysterectomy in January along with the rest of my surgery. She specializes in gynecological oncology. I saw her because of the swelling I was having around my left lower abdomen. Every other physician kept telling me I needed to see someone else for this. So they got me in to see her yesterday. She took a look and said she thought it was lymphedema, or swelling because of a possible blocked lymph node down there. She seemed to think this was because of the abnormal cells (cancer cells). She wants to see the results of the recent MRI I had, which I don't even know what the results are yet, they haven't called me to tell me anything. So I called yesterday. I need to call again because I haven't heard from them. I also had to call MD Anderson back because I have tried to reschedule my appointments that are set in November, but I need to push them back a few weeks. I have called 3 times already. They sent me another, I received yesterday in the mail, it was the same schedule as before, ugh!!!
I am just so frustrated right now, I really have to do it all myself and really be my own advocate and that is really hard with so many other things going on. It is hard to keep up with it all.

On a lighter note, Angie, my friend from Children's Mercy, who I used to work with just moved in with us for a little while. Ella absolutely loves her and it is nice having her here. She will live here for a few months to help so she can save some money and she will be helpful to have around for me as well.

My mom is doing okay. She has been getting up and about more, but still gets achy and tired and needs to take it easy still. She thinks she should be up and well by now, she says she feels useless. She said she was sorry she was being a "panty waste", hehe, isn't that hilarious. ahh mom, I love you, you are funny. Now I know where I get this same attitude.

Thank you to all of you who have shown me so much support lately. My neighbors are, as always, amazing to me. They always rally for me and I truly hope I can be around to be there for you all someday. All you bloggers, I love your support as well. I really don't feel the need to see my therapist that much, I think my blog really is like my therapy. As you can tell, I like to use it to vent all the time.
Everyone, enjoy this weekend. I will talk to you all soon. shawndra

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Celebrating a wonderful life

Steph Beauchamp, this one is for you, hehe. I am plopping down on my chair to write a brief note. Doug and I are exhausted. We just got back from the Celebration of my uncle, Jack's life. It was a great tribute his family gave him!!! It was great to have all the family together again as well. I am so proud to have such a wonderful family on both sides! I want to thank you all for your love and support and being there for me. That is a good, strong family, who loves and supports each other unconditionally. I would like my funeral to be like today's, telling stories, laughing, crying and celebrating my life. Jack, you will be missed by so many but I hope you are enjoying heaven. We will see you again soon.

I am drawing a blank on what else to write for now. Usually I have so much going through my head. I think it is just because I am tired. I am feeling pretty good, just the same old pain, otherwise plugging along. Ella has daycare again tomorrow, it is nice to have that time to get a few things done as well as some time for myself. I just have to get my labs done in the morning but these aren't very interesting labs. So I won't have much to report. They aren't drawing my CEA (tumor marker) for a couple of weeks. Sleep tight everyone. It won't be as nice though as last night, sleeping with thunderstorms, ahhhh. The only bad part of that was Lexi, our dog, kept us up part of the night. But then Ella and I slept in, I almost forgot she had daycare this morning.
Please keep my dad and his family in your prayers. Enjoy hump day tomorrow. Take it how you will, hehe. shawndra

Monday, September 24, 2007

Who ya gonna call... ghostbusters

Snappy title, huh. I will get to that in a minute but I want to let you all know my mom is doing very well!!! They did find in her knee surgery that her meniscus was twisted and pushed up into her knee socket basically. The doctor came out and said, " she is one tough old bird for walking around with that". She is one tough... young.... bird. hehe. I unfortunately couldn't be there for her like I wanted to. I took her to the surgery and stayed until she went to recovery. My dad was able to be there and I was having this strange abdominal pain, partly felt like a pulled muscle or hernia, the other was a cramping pain. I was hoping it would pass, but then after talking to my husband who says, shawndra you have to get that checked out, I called my doctors and got in to see my surgeons partner who took a brief look at my abdomen and said, I don't see anything. You could have strained something, ugh! First of all, I never know which doctor to call, hence the title. Do I call my surgeon, oncologist, ob/gyn, GI doc, psychologist (joke), who is going to take care of this problem? And it always seems if I call one, they pun me off to another, "oh, I think you need to call so and so about that". Ugh, I am a nurse practitioner for goodness sakes and I can't figure it out. How do older people who aren't in the field figure this out, that's just it, they don't and they fall through the cracks!! I am telling you, this is a full time job, just taking care of myself, between all the phone calls, schedule, doctors appointments, bills (which Doug's dad helps us organize thankfully!!! Thank you Steve!) It is a full time job!!!!
Anyway, the pains are gone thankfully but I forgot to tell them I have been swollen for over a week on the left side of my abdomen. I am my own soap opera. That is why some of you read this, it is like a soap opera. Before all this, my life was plain and boring, now it is constantly something. It is actually embarrassing. anyway, but my dad took care of my mom all weekend, I think she is like me, I kept asking if I could help, she kept saying, no I am fine. Now I know where I get it, thanks mom!
On a very sad note, Friday my Uncle passed away from cancer. This is my father's brother who fought a long time with prostate cancer. I saw him in July during our family reunion at his farm. He was weak at that time and we all feared it was coming. The positive side is he is not suffering any longer and he is in a wonderful place. He is, once again, the strong, tough as nails, buffalo farmer I remember him as. Tomorrow is the service for him. I pray for the whole family, his dear wife, 3 children and his grandchildren as well as his brothers and sister who are all grieving immensely. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. He was an amazing man and is now home.
Good night everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Super Dad

I am dragging today. I got my pump off but all day I have been out of it. I took a different kind of sleeping pill last night, and it made me so groggy when I woke up and I haven't gotten out of it all day. I am just really tired and this morning I had quite a bit of abdominal pain. I think it is just constipation, just a really good BM could solve all my problems, hehe.
I am so blessed to have Doug, who has come home from a long day at work to mow the back yard, while watching Ella (with the help of Ed and Libby, Doug's brother-in-law and niece), then he gave Ella a bath and now he is at the store. Isn't he wonderful! I am also so thankful to my mom who drops everything she is doing at a moments notice if I need her. Today, I took Ella to gymnastics but wasn't feeling well, as I described above, I called my mom and she met me there to help out with Ella. It is amazing what just an extra person there to help can do. I am so blessed to have them as well as the rest of my family. One of my friends, Angie, who just moved back from doing some travel nursing is coming to live with us for a few months. Ella absolutely loves "Gi Gi" who actually babysat Ella when I went back to work after maternity leave. I think it will be really good to have her here, for both of us, we can help her out and she can help us out. Anyway, I wanted to get something out before the weekend. I will be helping my mother out tomorrow. Thank you Krissy (Doug's sister) for watching Ella tomorrow so I can care for my mother. Please keep her in your prayers as well as Doug's Papa who just had surgery this week for tongue cancer. Lots going on, it is never a dull moment in my life anymore, it seems.
I hope the Jennifer Ireland Golf Tournament on Saturday is a huge success. I am hoping to go and volunteer but it all depends on how I am feeling. I need to lay low to save my energy, but this is a very hard task for me to sit and watch everyone else do everything. I don't like it one bit. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. I guess enjoy the warmth while we have it, I am hoping it cools off after this! Good night everyone. Shawndra

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chemo... again

Hey all- I got my first round of chemo since I have been off for two months, I consider this starting over. I am doing well. I had a brief problem on Tuesday while they were infusing my chemo. I got lightheaded, dizzy and I felt like I was having a hard time talking, my tongue felt strange. They couldn't figure out what was going on, the only thing we came up with was that I hadn't eaten much that day. It did eventually go away and no other major problems. I got to rest some today since Ella was in daycare. That was much needed! I have been trying to clean out Ella's closet so I got that done for the most part too. Aren't I the go getter, hehe.
I also got in to see a pain specialist today. I was a bit concerned about the pain medication I was taking. I feel like I have built a tolerance and it takes more to get my pain under control. I am also very afraid of addiction, and don't want to feel like I am using it unnecessarily. Anyway, he reassured me I am not going to get addicted and that I was taking a small dose. He said I should increase my dose and take it before I get pain or as soon as I feel pain so I can remain comfortable and how I describe it "normal". Really that is how the pain medication helps me. When I take it the pain and discomfort all over my body but especially in my left lower back goes away. I just feel like I am normal and that I can actually function as normal. That was great to see him and get this confirmation and reassurance. I don't want to end up in rehab after the cancer goes away, ya know. Anyway, I still have my chemo pump, infuses continuously over 46 hours. I go to get it off tomorrow. Then I am free for another week and a half until I go back and do it all over again.
I got to meet Christy, a fellow cancer fighter who blogs and comments on mine from time to time. She seems to be battling a nasty infection, she had a horrible cough. Please keep her in your prayers as well as all the others fighting this nasty disease.
I am off to take my new sleeping pill and get some z's. I'v got to get my energy up to take care of Ella tomorrow and then help my mom who is having knee surgery friday. It is finally my chance to care for her! I need to feel like I am helping others, ya know, not just receiving all the time. Take care everyone! Talk to you soon. Good night. shawndra

Monday, September 17, 2007

I love MRI's

I had my MRI today, it was so much better than getting a CT. Besides the noise of the MRI machine, I didn't have to drink anything, I didn't have to not eat and I just could lay there with ear phones on, relax and nap. I have my first day back to chemo tomorrow. I should start getting the chemo around 10am. It will probably start later knowing them. I haven't dwelled on the thought of restarting chemo, but I might get nervous tomorrow before I go in. When I do think about it, of course I dread it a bit, especially because I am starting a new chemo and the "fear" of the unknown. I hope I don't have many side effects like the last time. I was pretty lucky last time with only minimal side effects. But I do want to get started so I can get it over with, especially with the potential of having surgery. Anyway, I would appreciate all of your prayers! I am so grateful to you all for sticking with me and keeping up your support. I will let you know how it goes. I am going to go have a bowl of captain crunch before I head to bed. I don't know how hungry I will be tomorrow morning. I am addicted to Captain Crunch!!!! so good. I used to be a fiber fool, now I avoid it like the plague. I hope you all have a great week. I will try to have Doug put up more pictures of Hawaii in the near future. Ella is so much fun, but full of energy. I believe she is getting into the terrible two's. She is quite independent always saying "mommy back" when I try to do something for her. She is still using the potty once in awhile and is bouncing all over our furniture. Wow, I wish I had her energy. But our family is doing well and will take this next round all in stride. The fighting gloves are back on. Ding.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am back from Omaha! It was a worthwhile trip. Thanks again, Mom for going with me. My dad got up early this morning so he could be there for my procedure and for the meeting with Dr. Foster. Thank you dad for coming up for that! I love you both soooo much. Yesterday I just had to have my history and physical done, so another poke of the needle and then just the usual questions and stuff. This morning I got the IV, twice, often they have trouble getting it the first time. You would think with a port I wouldn't have to get so many IV's, but there are so many things they can't use the port for. Then they gave me some sedation, so I didn't remember anything. I wasn't completely asleep like I was Monday, but I was enough asleep that I didn't feel anything or remember anything, thank goodness. I have had a rectal exam without the sedation, and as you all can imagine, it is no fun. Of all places to have to be examined, ugh, it's the worst. I think I might get a tattoo saying exit only!!!! Not an entrance, something like that. Anyway, Dr. Foster did get a good look and spent a good hour talking to us about his thoughts. He did think that depending on how chemo went the next few months, meaning if my tumor markers go down and the chemo seems to be working, he may be able to go in surgically in a few months and take a look and possibly remove my omentum, do intraperitoneal chemo, etc. Keep in mind, this is all maybe's and depending on this and that, but hey, it is something so I felt really good about it! He is the first person to give us this answer. We did ask about recovery, because many have said it may be a very difficult surgery to recover from. He seemed to think that since I was young and otherwise healthy I would fair pretty well in the recovery process. It would probably be 7-14 days in the hospital again, but it sounds possible. There are many more things we discussed but that is the gist! I love Dr. Foster, he is great and I think my parents were impressed with him as well as Doug and I were. So this is good news. I just have to pray that this new chemo regimen is successful and reduces my tumor markers and hopefully the cancer in my body! I pray that the cancer does not spread to any other organs or any more in my abdomen. I feel though, that if this doesn't work this way, then it isn't meant to be. So, I am not getting my hopes set to high on this surgery, I don't want to be devastated if the tumor markers don't come down and then he can't do the surgery. I have to believe that it is all in God's hands and he will guide me the way it needs to go. Please keep praying though for me, we need to continue to inundate God with prayers. Continue to pray for this miracle that only he can do. My mom and I got to have dinner last night with my cousin, Les, who is a preacher in Omaha as well as his wife, who has battled breast cancer twice and their son, Blake. It was wonderful to get to talk to them, they know about what I am going through and they gave me so much encouragement and spiritual guidance. I again believe God played a part in this meeting! I better go, I had to take extra pain medication. I have been hurting more since my stent was replaced. I am getting a bit fuzzy in my head since I had to take more than usual. I think I need to go see a pain specialist that I saw after my surgery to maybe change my pain med regimen. I think I getting a tolerance to what I have been taking. I don't like taking anything, but I have to if I want to keep functioning and caring for Ella. Otherwise, all I would want to do is stay in bed.
Next step, MRI on Monday and chemo starts Tuesday. As much as I am dreading starting back up, after today, I am ready to get on with it and see how things go. have a great week everyone. Enjoy the great weather as much as possible. We don't get it very often, don't take advantage of it! Love you all! Shawndra

Monday, September 10, 2007


It is so good to be back to read all your comments on the blog and my email. I truly missed that! I hope you all had a good monday. It was actually cool this afternoon outside, wow! It felt good. I think I gained a few pounds on my trip, some things aren't fitting as well as they did. JJ, you keep opening your fridge, I will be closing mine. It is hard though because my neighbors made me the best banana and pumpkin bread and cookies for when we returned. They are trying to fatten me up. It is simply irresistible. Thank you all! I don't need anymore fattening though.

I had my procedure for my stent replacement this morning. I had a bit of a panic last night. I had forgotten to stop my Coumadin (blood thinner) a few days before the procedure and remembered about 10pm last night. It was too late, so I had to just get up at 5am and show up at 6am to see if they could still do the procedure. Thank you mom for getting up so early to go with me, she is the best mom as a lot of you know! But they were able to do the procedure, I got some "happy" medicine, weeee, next thing I know I was awake and had to go to the bathroom. The nurses gave me my clothes and sent me to the bathroom to go and put my clothes on. Looking back, that wasn't smart on the nurses part. I was a bit tipsy from the medication, I could have really gotten hurt but I did it. The doctor said he didn't see cancer anywhere near my bladder, so that prayer came true. Thank you Lord!!! No urostomy at this time, phew! I was in some pain this morning and took more than usual pain medication and slept all morning at my mom's house. Krissy watched Ella this morning, thanks Kris! She came back home early afternoon, but I could not keep my eyes open, I was still soooo tired. Thankfully Ella napped awhile as well! Phew. I got to see my friend, Angie, who is back from travel nursing. She has been gone 8 months and I have missed her. It is great having her back. Another friend, Dustin, just moved back recently too. I am so lucky! Gosh, the power I have, hehe. Anyway, I feel like I am rambling. I am leaving tomorrow for Creighton with my mom. I have an "exam under sedation" Wednesday morning with Dr. Foster. I will let you know what I find out when I get back. Have a great week everyone. It is so good to be back blogging again! strange how we have become so addicted to computers and email. shawndra

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Aloha everyone. Doug and I just returned from a week alone, together in Maui, Hawaii. I haven't read my email yet. I wanted to get something out to you all so you knew I was okay. I haven't checked my email or even been on the Internet in a week. I didn't want to tell you all ahead of time for security reasons! Let me tell you, it was very hard to not tell you all too! I am a person who can't hold anything inside without telling! Especially when I am excited! I hope you all are doing well, I really missed my huge support system. I know you are wondering what it was like so here it is......
It was INCREDIBLE, FANTASTIC, AMAZING! Doug and I had probably one of the best weeks of our lives. Here is the run down... we hung out on the beach (I decided I don't like sand, it gets everywhere, ugh, but I do love being near the ocean and seeing it and hearing it, not a big swimmer either, especially in the ocean). We took a snorkel/boat trip. It was great but the snorkeling sights weren't wonderful. We did, though, see a lot of dolphins swimming around our boat, that was very cool! We, I take that back, Doug played golf at a gorgeous course. I road along and enjoyed the view and the weather. We played tennis, ziplined, took a helicopter tour over parts of the island, and drove the long road to Hana. This was a true adventure week. We also got to relax a few days and sleep in. We stayed in a condo, thanks to Kris and Ed (Doug's sister and brother-in-law). It was really nice to have a kitchen so we cooked and ate in a lot which was really nice! We did go to dinner at the elite Four Seasons for the view of the sunset. It had great ambiance, but I probably wouldn't go again. It was a bit pricey but it was worth it once! Anyway, Doug and I had the times of our lives. We missed Ella a lot. She stayed with both sets of grandparents part of the week. I cried when we left KC, but quickly got over it and enjoyed myself. We talked to Ella on the phone every day. We were so excited to see her and Lexi today! We couldn't wait.
On the flight back to KC, we managed great seats too. They were the flight crew seats that pilots use to rest on the flight to Maui (since it is a long flight from the Dallas airport). We asked about them and told them if there was anything like that available on the flight home to KC, we would be grateful because I was undergoing chemo. The flight attendant was so nice and said on the way there they were reserved for staff but they would be open on the way back and that we should check on it. So I did! It was great, just like being in first class but not paying for it. I also got a comforter blanket, both to and from, usually only for first class members. That makes a huge difference, let me tell you!
Oh, Doug and I also renewed our vows, just by ourselves. We didn't find a priest or anything. Yesterday morning before we left we took one last walk along the beach. We stopped and turned to each other and said our own vows and expressed other thoughts. It was a fantastic ending to the week! We really needed this time to ourselves. Everyone should do this. It was like a second honeymoon. We really got to go back to when we first met and fell in love, just having fun, no worries or cares ( at least for a few moments).
Well that is all for now... back to reality...
Tomorrow, Monday, I have to be at the hospital early, 6AM, for my ureteral stent replacement. I am a bit scared, I have been having a bit of pain when I go to the bathroom at times. I am concerned he is going to tell me that the cancer is invading my bladder and I will have to get a urostomy, I am really scared about that. I don't want another ostomy. Yikes! Pleas Lord, I pray that the cancer does not invade my bladder but continues to shrink in my body and eventually will be gone from my body! I pray, Lord, that your plan for me is to perform a miracle and heal me and let me live many years so I can see my daughter grow up and be there for my family!
On Tuesday this week, I go back to Omaha, Nebraska, to see Dr. Foster. I have a history and phyiscal on tuesday so he can do an exam under anesthesia or atleast sedation on Wednesday,to see if there is any type of surgery he thinks he can do. Remember, all the other surgeons are saying no, and if there was a surgery, it would be very difficult to recover from. He is a bit more aggressive and may not think there is any surgery he can do, but he wants to take one more really good look (exam) when I am sedated so he can really make a good assessment as to if there is anything he can do, removing some of the cancer to prevent future side effects (such as effecting my bladder). I will also ask about my colostomy, if he thinks it's a possibility to reverse it. Again, everyone else has said no, not suggested at this time for fear of the cancer blocking me off again. Even Doug is leary of this, but I have to ask!

So, I have a busy week ahead. The following week I will have an MRI and start up the next regimen of chemo. Ahhhh, sigh. It was so nice to be away from all this for a whole week. It is tough getting back to my reality... that I have cancer and I am fighting for my life. I will continue to do what it takes. I want to live to take Ella to Maui and enjoy it over and over again. I am glad to be back though, reaching out to you all and sharing my life, and hearing from all of you who are supporting me and keeping me lifted up! Thank you.
Oh, Ella is awake, gotta run. I love being mommy! Talk to you all soon. I won't wait so long this time! Shawndra
P.S. Thank you to all my family and friends for the flowers waiting for us at our room in Hawaii as well as the food and flowers here at our house when we returned. Thank you to Nana, Grandpa, Grandma and Papa for taking such great care of Ella and Lexi. It appears there are some extra things that were done. change of flowers, maybe carpet cleaning, whoever did that, if it was done, thank you! I never thanked the person who left the anonymous angel on my doorstep on my birthday. Is anyone going to admit who it was? Thank you for my angel, I love it! Sorry it comes so late. Thank you Steve for mowing our lawn too! Again, we have the best neighbors, family and friends. We are truly blessed in every way. Thank You.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I just found out my CEA level is up to 10.7. Yikes! That is not a good thing. I am a bit emotional today for a few reasons but that kind of just put the icing on the cake. One of the reasons is Doug and I are going to have a little of ourselves time this week which is great but I am going to miss Ella tremendously!!! I have already cried once today about it. Now that I know my CEA is rising, (possibly meaning the cancer is growing, not absolutely the case though) this scares me and upsets me. Just having a bit of an emotional day or atleast a few moments. I just wanted to let you all know what I found out. Shawndra

Labor Day

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I have written anything. It has just been crazy in my life lately, between all the travel for medical opinions and caring for Ella I haven't had much time. When I do get time, I take that time to sleep!!! I love sleep. I need a lot of it. I visited yesterday with my oncologist in KC and gave him the plan that my oncologist at MD Anderson suggested. My doctor here played devils advocate and asked why I need to do chemo at this time because my CEA has been down and the scans aren't showing much. Everyone elses opinions though have been to go back on chemo and surgery isn't really suggested at this time. I am going back in a week and a half to see the doctor at Creighton again, he wants to take another look, an exam under sedation and make sure there isn't anything he can do surgically at this time. So, most likely I will be starting up a new regimen of chemo in a few weeks. This week is a relax week from everything then the following week I have a left ureteral stent replacement procedure Monday then I will go to Creighton Tuesday and Wednesday. The following week I will have a MRI and probably start chemo. I had bloodwork today, I hopefully will know the results before the weekend.
You know, I just realized, this is my year anniversary from being diagnosed. It was actually this day a year ago I had my colonoscopy, I rememeber because I had to wait the long holiday weekend to find out that the biopsy was positive for cancer. We knew it looked really bad in there and that everyone was very concerned. I can't believe I hadn't remembered that until just know. So I have survived one year of this ordeal. I plan to live many, many more!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. Please be safe! I don't know if I will write next week, but I will let write soon when I have more to tell. Thank you all who faithfully check my blog. I appreciate it so much. I am so grateful for everyone's support and love they have shown me. I am doing well right now, I love feeling normal now that I have been off chemo for almost two months, ahh!!! I know though, that I still have more of a fight ahead. I have just been getting all the information together to figure out the next step! I will be praying for you all, my support team. You are in our prayers every day. Ella and I say our prayers at night before she goes to bed and we pray for everyone out there praying for us! Go out and have some fun! Enjoy the weather while it is still warm. As much as I look forward to fall, I will soak up the warm weather for a few more weeks! Until next time...
Love always, shawndra

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Well, we are back from Houston. We met with the oncologist on Wednesday and actually felt like he made the trip worthwhile. He had a plan of action, restarting chemo, with another regimen, similar to the one I have done before but with a couple different medications. We didn't get into side effects, I have looked into the side effects of these and they are fairly similar to the folfox that I had been on. This new regimen is called Folfiri. I made an appointment with my oncologist in KC to tell him the game plan. I plan to continue to follow up with the oncologist at MD Anderson, since we really like him and the way he didn't waver on what to do. I will get my treatment here but then go to Houston every few months to have him check and see how I am doing, get testing done to follow my progress on this drug.
We got back on Thursday, then Friday night, I had a group of girls over for a "Desperate Housewives" slumber party. I am kidding about the desperate housewives part though. Then Saturday the husbands and kids all came out to the lake. It was a really great time. I really love this group of women that I have gotten to know, they are incredible people and they just make me so happy. Thank you to you all, I think you know who you are.
I have noticed that some of my fingers and toes are starting to go numb a little, I believe this to be after effects from chemo. It is a very strange feeling and it makes it more difficult to get Ella's little buttons on her clothes, etc. Otherwise I am feeling pretty good with the same old pain. I have a really hard time getting up in the morning, my body is so stiff, it hurts to get up and it takes awhile to get myself going in the morning.
I feel like there is so much to say, but I am working on getting all my paperwork organized on my desk, nightstand, etc. I have stuff everywhere and never sit down to just go through everything so I can throw things away. I hate clutter!!
I hope you all have a great week!!
Oh, I forgot to tell you all. Ella started a tots gymnastics class. We went to a make up class friday since she missed her first day when we were in Houston. She absolutely loved it, especially the trampoline. I knew this would be a hit, she loves jumping on our couches, to chairs, etc. I hope this keeps her from doing that and keeping that energy in the gym, hehe. Thank you for your continued prayers. I will continue to need them as I am still fighting for my life and hoping to prove all these doctors wrong that there is little chance of long term survival. I need all your prayers to help me win this battle. I appreciate you all so much, I wish I could personally tell each and every one of you! Please pray for Christy and Michelle, two other woman who are fighting Cancer who I communicate with from time to time. We mothers need to stick together! Shawndra