Wednesday, April 4, 2007

pulmonary emboli (blood clots)

Hey everyone- I wanted to send a note of what I know so far from my PET/CT scan. I don't know yet the final result about the cancer. I do know, however, that they found a couple pulmonary emboli (blood clots) in my lungs (hence pulmonary). This can happen with an abdominal surgery, like I had. We don't know how long it has been there, it may have happened shortly after surgery. My doctor has started me on blood thinners, Lovenox shots for atleast 7 days as well as Coumadin, which I will probably be on for about 6 months or more. They will be monitoring my PT (Protime or clotting level) fairly frequently. I am on "bedrest/low activity" for a few days, so I don't have to into the hospital, I told him I could do this from home. It is concerning, but I haven't had any symptoms and it is nothing to be too worried about. It is under control.

The scans also showed something in my liver, which did not show up on the PET scan but did show up on the CT scan, they are getting old CT scans so they can compare them to figure out what is going on with that as well as what is going on in my pelvic area. Since surgery, things look pretty messy down there so they aren't quite sure what they are looking at without comparing. I should know more today or tomorrow and will let you all know.

One more thing they saw was some fluid in my pelvic cavity, which is possibly infectious. This could be the source of my low back pain. My nurse practitioner started me on antibiotics (for those medical people out there, we know there is an interaction between them and it is being monitored), so if the pain starts to go away, we know that this was probably the cause. If not, they may have to drain the fluid and culture it to see what it is.

Are you all confused yet? Like I said, this is the initial report, I should know more soon. They did adjust my pain medication, so I am taking a long acting pain medication and short acting as needed for breakthrough pain, that is doing the trick at the moment... I feel gooood! hehe.

That is all for now. I do want to remind all the people that signed up for the crawl with us who have not paid need to get that in ASAP. Doug put a link on the site so you can all go look at the teams. We had enough people I know want to join, so we have two teams of us. For those of you who don't know each other, we are all together on the two teams and I will request that we go around together that day. I will talk to Chris about transportation plans, but I think we might want to find our own transportation from my house so we don't have to worry about driving. If any of you have questions let me know.

I will post more when I get more information and Doug and I are going to work on getting pictures out tonight.

Thanks for staying posted. I am doing okay, just having a hard time staying on "bedrest/low activity". I hope you all are doing well. We are very much looking forward to Easter weekend. I will tell you all more about that later. love always, shawndra


Andrea said...

My dear sister,
It is at moments like this that I long to be right by your side, holding your hand and letting you know that all will be ok. Know that you are being prayed for from afar and loved ever so much! We look forward to seeing you next week. I can't wait to just give you a hug! Remember that God is on your side and through Him ALL things are possible. You have such strength and courage as many have said and I admire you for that. Hold on! We are in it to win it!!
All my love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear the pain medications are working better for you. Have a good week and a Happy Easter!! And just know that Kansas City is praying for you and I for one admire you for your strength as well.:)
Kristi Eggleston (Lee's Summit)

Anonymous said...

Sending love and prayers your way. I hope you can feel all the hope and encouragement around you just like a big hug.
Dee Smith

Christina said...

Just a stranger here, thinking positive thoughts and saying prayers for you that all your tests return with good results. I'm glad to hear your pain is under control. Since you have to stay in bed maybe you can enjoy a little extra snuggle time with your little one and your husband. :)
God Bless
Olathe, KS

Marilyn said...

Hi Shawndra,
Love your updates on your blog site and think it is such a great source of encouragement for you. I hope you can feel through your computer screen how many people are praying for you and loving you and your family.
"Keep on, keeping on"........
Love you! Marilyn

Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog since seeing it on Jennifer Ireland's site. I will be praying for you and keeping you in my thoughts throughout your journey. You and I are about the same age and I think you are so brave and courageous to share your story with so many others! I look forward to meeting you at the Crawl for Cancer. I, too, will be there in honor of Jennifer Ireland.

Jennifer Teegarden

Anonymous said...

Shawndra--Praying for you every day---Jill Rilinger

James said...

It seems that pulmonary embolisms are all too common, but as scary as they can be, the meds work great. Have a Happy Easter! My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Your courage is an inspiration to everyone you have touched. You are in my thoughts constantly, my hopes and prayers are with you and your family.
Much Love, Stay Strong!

Anonymous said...


We want to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter. Please know that you and your family continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Lisa Mudge

Anonymous said...


Love from Texas. We wish you three a blessed Easter Weekend. We remain prayerful for your continued improvement. We love you!

Tim, Terri, Kendall and Shelby

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawndra,

I have been following your blog since I discovered it on Jennifer Irelands website. I followed her blog as well for many months, she was a true inspiration. I wasn't sure why I was so drawn to them in the beginning, other than just the simple desire to love and support two couragous woman that needed my prayers. On April 4th, 2007 my father was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer....we are now waiting to hear if it has spread to other tissues.....I know now the other reason why I was so preparation for the journey my family will now endure. I have learned a lot from the two of you about courage, drawing on support, and remaining positive even when times get tough. Thank you both for that. You are in my prayers and I will continue to drop by in support.
Take care~ Deborah

mn4aa said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Your so brave and strong and are admired by so many. God Bless you and your family and have a Blessed Easter Weekend.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra...there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you...please know you are in our thoughts and have an amazing spirit. Know that you have so many people praying for you. I appreciate your openness, honesty and letting us all be a part of your life...

God Bless...
Allyson Ellis

Anonymous said...

I have been keeping up with your blog since I heard about it on Jennifer Ireland's site. You both are truly inspirational! I have a son who is 15 months and know that I would not be as couragous as you with a small child AND cancer. But you are amazing!!! AND, you look very familiar??? Maybe I have seen you with similar friends?? Anyway, you and your family are in my prayers as well as my bible study's prayer list.
Thinking of you,

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you all the time. I truly cannot imagine what you are feeling and going through. Giving you and your family a big hug thru the intranet. Stay strong Shawndra!

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter to you and your family. I think about you all of the time. Know that the Montgomerys in Oregon are sending love and good thoughts your way.
This poem on my starbucks cup this am made me think of you.
"Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It's the mastery of fear. It's about getting up one more time than we fall down".

Much love,
Your cousin Hayley