Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ella's Cast is Off

Hey everyone - Ella got her cast off today. Her arm is completely healed. She was given a sling to wear, but it didn't stay on very long. Not to worry though. It's not mandatory that she wear it. Her arm was a bit stinky. It's nice to have that weapon off of her! Thank you Dr. Latz, Kevin and Adriane!

Doug is better, his bug didn't last long, thankfully!

I forgot to tell you all yesterday, Monday, my blood was drawn to take a measure of the CEA level. CEA is a tumor marker to detect certain cancers. My level has never been tremendously high. The normal range is less than or equal to 2.5. My CEA when I was first diagnosed this past September (year 2006) was I think around 13. After surgery, my level was around 5.4. This week it was a bit elevated to 19. This doesn't necessarily mean too much, but they want to continue to watch it and make sure it doesn't continue to go up. I am not getting concerned yet. I am also going to have a PET/CT scan on this coming Monday. Again, this may not give me much information. It will tell us if there is more cancer, but the cancer I already have may not show up, so it isn't all that helpful either. That is the question... how to follow my cancer... if it is going away with the chemo or getting worse. The doctors aren't sure exactly how to monitor it. The only option may be later to go in laproscopically to take a look.

Please keep the prayers coming, that the cancer is shrinking or going away in my omentum, and not spreading to other places. Thank you for your prayers. Shawndra

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

1/3 of the way done

Hey everyone - I had round 4 yesterday and will get my pump off tomorrow. Things have gone pretty well, only very slight nausea yesterday evening and tired this morning. Otherwise I have felt good. We got outside quite a bit today. We took a walk with Grandma Beauchamp, and Ella got to play on the trampoline with her neighbor friends, Owen and Miss Jenny. She got her first "kiss" from Owen, or maybe she gave him a kiss, but it was her first official kiss, oh boy! Thank you to my mom who was with me all day and thank you to Nana, Doug's mom, for cooking a yummy dinner this evening. We got to sit outside on our new patio set and eat while Ella played in the yard. Doug came home sick with a stomach bug today. He never gets sick but it sounds like it is going around the office. They need to stop having such close contact at his office! Ha!

I don't have much else to tell you all, but I wanted to put in a couple quotes that I really like, from a quote book I was reading last night... I hope you enjoy them.

1. Courage is being scared to death- and saddling up anyway. (John Wayne)

2. I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done goes away with fear. (Rosa Parks)

3. You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or When. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. (Joan Baez)

I really like this last one. Again thank you all for your comments, I love hearing from you all and I appreciate everyone's love, support, thoughts and prayers. I pray for all of you who are praying for me as well! Thank you. Shawndra

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Life is Good

Do you ever have those days that are so nice that you just feel like everything is wonderful? I guess it has been one of those days or weeks. I hope you all experience this, it is a great feeling.

Round four of chemo therapy is tomorrow. I hope it goes as well as last time. I did well. Only a little bit of tingly fingers for the first few days otherwise no other major side effects. We had a grrrrreaaatt weekend. I love weekends. Doug is home and now that the weather is nice, we can get outside. Ahhhh. We had some neighbors and family over for the KU game last night. The game didn't end well, but some of the guys got over it quickly with just a touch of whisky, hehe. It was a good time. We got our patio furniture put together, so now we can have dinner outside on the patio, another one of my favorite things.

Ella still has her cast, our neighbor Brandi did a nice design on it with a butterfly. It is very cute. We will see the orthopedic doctor this week to see if the cast can be removed. It doesn't seem to bother her though, so it hasn't been too bad.

Thank you to you all who signed up for the Crawl for Cancer. It sounds like there is going to be a great turnout. I read Jennifer Ireland's blog tonight. Apparently there is at least 170 participants participants on her team. That is incredible! I am proud to be a member of the team.

I hope everyone has a good week. Spring break is over and all the teachers and kids are heading back to school. Good luck this week, especially to all the teachers.
- Shawndra

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crawl for Cancer

Hey everyone- I was just reading Jennifer Ireland's blog (if you haven't heard of her, a young woman who recently passed away with the same type of cancer I have) and saw that her husband, Chris, is setting up a team for the Annual Crawl for Cancer to honor Jenn. Doug and I are going to join the team and we encourage you all to join in the festivities. Chris would like to have the names by March 23rd, only one day, sorry such late notice. If you don't get it done by this time, you can still sign up for the crawl, just not on her team. As Chris said in his blog, " the more the merrier". The event is $50 per person. The proceeds go to the American Cancer Society as well as other charities. This is sooooo important. We need to raise funds to help the millions of us affected by cancer. Please read this blog entry for information.

I would love to have all of you out there with us. I am not a big partier...anymore, but I am all for something like this event! I would love to have all of your support for me as well as for Jennifer Ireland. Chris and her blog are what got me started on my blog. She has been a huge inspiration to me. I admire her courage in her fight with cancer.

Please sign up soon. I hope to see you all there!!!! love, shawndra

P.S. Thank you Doug (my husband) for your help editing this blog... he was helping me with my english, sorry grammar (he just corrected me) and run-on sentences, hehe.

may be brief

Hey everyone- I saw last night NBC aired a story about a man with colon cancer. (This is for the March awareness series.) It lasted only a few seconds, so my claim to fame may be very brief. I just wanted to warn you all who are looking for it. I still haven't heard an official date so I guess if you want to see me for a few seconds, stay tuned to NBC on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Some of you are curious (people ask me a lot) if I still have my hair. It still may thin or fall out but so far I have a full head of hair. That's just a little side note to make this blog a little more interesting.

Have a great day, Enjoy the rain (if you are in KC)! Shawndra

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Well I haven't heard back to know when my story is going to be on NBC but I do know they are doing a series of stories for Colorectal Cancer month over the next three weeks. I would stay tuned every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 5p, 6p or 10p to see it. I wish I could give you more specifics. That is all I know.

I got a day to myself today, Nana took Ella for the day. I got to shop with my mom, have lunch with Doug and rest most of the afternoon. It was wonderful, thank you Nana! To top it off, it was raining, a nap with rain, it doesn't get better than that! I am still doing well, my lower back seems to be hurting quit a bit so i have increased my pain med's but otherwise just a normal girl walking around.

We had a great weekend, we hung out at the lake, had smores on the firepit, wheeled ella around in a wagon, and just relaxed. Sunday we had some neighbors over to watch the KU game, it was a blast.

I hope all of you out there on spring break or not have a great week, and enjoy every minute of whatever you are doing. shawndra

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ella's Arm

I just wanted to let you all know, we saw Dr. Latz, the orthopedic surgeon, yesterday (thank you Adrianne for helping me see your husband, and thank you Kevin for taking your time to see us). He had good news. The growth plate isn't affected, phew, and it should heal quickly. It was broken all the way through the humerus but, no surgery or tweaking is required. What great news!!! I needed that. They put on a little harder cast on her; one that is a little more sturdy and water resistant. They only had white, but all her friends can sign it if they want. She is doing great. I am so proud of her. What a tough girl she is. On the right, Ella is hanging out with the neighbor girls.

I am doing well. This week flew by, as always. Nothing else really to report. Doug and I look forward to watching KU basketball this weekend. Let's hope they make it past the first round, ugh. We are planning on going to my parents lakehouse Saturday night for a little getaway. That will be fun. Maybe a little weanie roast and smores on the firepit. I can't wait.

I hope everyone enjoys their St. Patrick's day. Get a few kisses if you are irish! I am going to try to work it with my "Kiss Me" shirt. Love always. Shawndra

IMPORTANT: I forgot to tell you all this month is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Andrea suggested I inform everyone, which is very important. If you are 50 years old or older OR if you are having any GI symptoms you aren't sure about, please, please, get a colonoscopy. As with everything, if it is caught early it can be treatable. It is so important and it isn't bad. A little sleepy medicine is administered, and you take a nice needed nap, wake up and it is over. If you need a doctor, I have one I highly recommend. I don't want anyone else to go through this if they don't have to! Most importantly, take care of yourself. No one is going to do it for you! (Okay enough preaching) Happy pooping. Hehe.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

round three

Hey everyone- Well, round three is done and didn't go too bad at all. I was a bit tired yesterday day but no nausea. They put me on a longer lasting anti nausea med to help. I had a little bit of finger tingling and stayed away from cold drinks but all in all it went well.

Ella is back to normal just with the arm cast only slowing her down slightly! We got outside and met Doug for lunch and swang and went down the slide. She absolutely loves being outside! She grabs our hand and leads us to the door, hint...hint...

Thank you all who came to the church service, it was so nice of you all. I am amazed at all the people who haven't even met me who took the time and came as well. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people and such a strong support system around me. I think if nothing else that can cure me!

I am going to try to get a few things done while Ella naps, or maybe a nice nap myself.... hmmmm, tough decision. Thank you Brandi for coming to help with Ella this morning and running to get diapers. It could have been catastrophic without them!

Take care, everyone enjoy the weather! Shawndra

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Hey Everyone- Well it was definitely an eventful weekend. We celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday with my family on Friday, which was very fun. Andrea and her family were visiting last week. They had an opportunity to do some house hunting... weee, it is so awesome that they are moving home.

The most eventful was yesterday. We ended up spending the day at my place of work... Children's Mercy Hospital. Ella fell down the stairs. If you remember last week she was scaring me by standing at the top of the stairs. This time she was going up and Mommy didn't follow her (bad mommy). She tumbled and broke her left arm, right above the elbow, her humerus bone (not so humerus, ha). So we spent pretty much the whole day in the urgent care and then the ER waiting to see the ortho doctor to see if it needed to be set. Thankfully though, he said it didn't look displaced so she has a soft cast on it now and we will see an ortho doctor in clinic in a week. Ugh. What a day. Ella was such a good girl though, for all she had to go through! Today she was back to her normal happy self, gotta love her, what a girl! Jenny, I am so sorry I missed your baby shower! I wanted so badly to get to see you and the rest of the family.

Today, I hosted an open house for my co-workers. It was great to get to see everyone who came! I miss everyone. I miss work too, even though I am cherishing my time at home with Ella and my mom.

I have to say ya for KU again, what an exciting game, beating Texas.

Well, round three of chemo is tomorrow. I am ready to go in and fight. A week and a half off seems like a long time. It is nice to feel somewhat normal for a few days though. I will let you all know how this round goes. Doug is going with me, which is nice.

I hope everyone has a great week. I will see some of you at Cure of Ars on Tuesday for Mass. Everyone, take a little time to enjoy your family and friends. Don't miss a moment. I will try to post a picture of Ella with her cast to you all sometime soon.

Thank you all for your love and support. (I sound like a Bartles and James commercial). Shawndra

Friday, March 9, 2007

Church Service

Hi everyone- I wanted to let you all in Kansas City know that my parent's neighbors, the Siebens, have dedicated a church service to me. The Mass is this coming Tuesday, March 13th, at 5:30PM at Cure of Ars (93rd and Mission Road). Thank you Siebens for doing this for me. Anyone who would like to attend is welcome.

This has been a good week. I am feeling very good, and I have been able to handle taking care of Ella on my own for the past few days. I have to say, I still take pain medication to help me get through it all but it works for now.

Next Monday I go back in for chemo so hopefully it will go well like last time with minimal side effects.

Thank you all for all your comments, I love hearing from each of you!

I better go, Ella keeps heading for the top of the stair, making mommy a nervous wreck! I have to say though, she brightens my day so much. She is talking up a storm, again, in her own little language, but it is so funny to hear her and see her acting so serious when she is trying to tell us something. I love it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, live it to the fullest. Love, Shawndra

Monday, March 5, 2007


click for large photo
Hey Everyone- I hope you all had a great weekend. It seemed busy, even though I can hardly remember what we did. I know we watched KU beat Tex-ass (that's for my cousin Mark) in basketball, yaaaa! Here is Ella taking her baby and Lily the frog to watch the game.

I had a busy day today. I had my weekly blood draw. My general labs looked good, nothing concerning. I met with my surgeon. She was hopeful that the chemo could remove the cancer, but unfortunately she did not recommend removing the ostomy yet. She seemed to think I would be miserable if I had it reversed before chemo was over. So, to my dismay, I have to hang on to it for at least another 4-6 months. UGH!!! Oh well, it could be worse, right!

I had my big interview today. Thank you Brandi and Jenny for helping pick out my attire. And thanks Pam for the fabulous job on my hair. I looked so glam! I lucked out and did not have to cook anything. I think they got the hint that I could not cook so they just interviewed me about my story and filmed me, my friend Angie, and my mom playing with Ella. There's no definite air date yet, but they'll let me know. I'll keep everyone posted.

Well that is all for now. Just wanted to keep everyone updated. It is warming up so Ella and I are able to get outside some and play. She loves it. Thanks Ang for spending the day with Ella and me. Fun times at the Cancer Center, isn't it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Round two- knocked down

Hi Everyone- Just wanted to let you know round two went much better than round one. I didn't get sick that day in front of everyone, yaaa! I did, however, feel nauseous yesterday most of the day and really tired (in bed before 8pm) last night. I am doing much better today though, I got my pump taken off so I am free for another week and a half.

I want to thank all of you who have made comments under the posts, it is great to receive them from you all. I cherish your comments and wish I could return an email to you all, but know that I appreciate each and every one of you who read my blog and/or send your comment.

I also want to point out that next to my posts there is another site named "Jennifer Ireland". She is a girl I recently heard about who was battling the same type of cancer I have. I read her whole blog. If you are interested in hearing her story, feel free to go to her website. Her husband recently posted my website on her blog as well. She is an inspiration to me as I know she has been to everyone who read her site.

So as you see, I am doing well. Just same old stuff, watching ella run all over and talk her own language (my mom says she is speaking German), laundry, dishes, all that fun day to day stuff. I guess that's part of livin'.

talk to you all soon. shawndra