Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Scan

Hello everyone- I hope you all had a great Memorial weekend. We had a very busy weekend, mostly with family. We celebrated my nieces 1st birthday and spent a day and night at my parents lakehouse. It was a bit overcast and rainy but it was nice to just kind of veg out at the house. I don't have much to report, I am a bit tired from the busy weekend and a busy day today. I wanted to let you all know I have a PET/CT scan tomorrow morning at 9:45. I have to drink that nasty stuff again, it makes me nauseous just thinking about it. They have to start an IV on me, they can't use my port. They inject me with some stuff and then I have to drink the barium type stuff. I sit in a recliner in the dark for an hour and then they do the scans which take probably about 30 minutes total. I don't know that I will get the results for a few days, possibly not until next Monday when I have my next round of chemo and I meet with my oncologist.

Please pray for good results with this scan, I pray that the cancer in my omentum is decreasing, that there is no cancer anywhere else and that the chemo is doing its job and working well. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, I need them! I am nervous going into this as always. I want good results. I would love for them to say, oh my, it is gone you can stop chemo and have surgery to take down my ostomy. I don't expect that to happen but gosh it would be a dream come true! Anyway, I will plan for baby steps toward those words! I better go, daddy just called me to come outside to see something with Ella. Better go check it out. I hope you all are doing well. I will try to write very soon. I hope things calm down a bit this week. shawndra

PS. I was just reading up on my diagnosis and possible treatment options. I did this initially when I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer but hadn't really done much research since my surgery. I was reading a book recently that talked about needing to keep up on your diagnosis and treatments. That makes sense, I need to be educated, right. Bad idea! The prognosis for what I have is so poor and the alternative treatment options are supposedly not available for me. I am crying because I am scared. I don't let myself think about it often, but I guess I need to be realistic! I am not scared for myself, but for my family... my husband and my daughter, my poor daughter. I have to keep believing that I can beat this, but with such poor statistics it is hard to be optimistic. I just have to keep praying for a miracle. Please help me pray for that miracle. I want to be just like my grandmother some day... 94 and still at home, taking care of herself and with such spunk. I know God is the only one who can perform this miracle. I can only pray.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Round 8

Well 4 months down! It went well today, I was tired most of the day, even before the chemo but no other major problems. My general labs (CBC) looked fine. They didn't draw the CEA or tumor marker this week. I was a bit sad this morning before chemo. I have felt so good the last week and a half that it was hard to know that I was going to be knocked down a bit again. I hope to bounce back as quickly as last time. I really can't complain, I think I have had it easy, my side effects mostly consist of a few nose bleeds, tingly fingers when touching cold things for a few days and having to avoid ice cream or anything cold to eat for the first few days. I still have some blood in my urine but no infection so I need to go check with my urologist to make sure everything is okay there. I saw my Gyn last week because I was having a few symptoms, I wanted to make sure everything was okay. It turns out I am just going through menopause, duh. But it is a relief that everything is okay otherwise.

We had a great weekend had dinner with a couple friday night as well as another couple sunday evening which were both terrific company. Saturday Doug had a college friend in town so he got to spend a little bit of time with him and went to his old stomping grounds, Baker University for an fraternity alumni event. Sunday we took Ella to our pool, she was a bit apprehensive but finally was okay with the water as long as she got to walk up and down the stairs into the pool. I went to a baby shower in our old 'hood. It was great to see all our old, wonderful neighbors. They were so good to us, we miss them even though we were blessed with equally wonderful new neighbors. We are so blessed!

I better get to bed, I have trouble getting to sleep at night these days, I sometimes have to take medicine to fall asleep. Last night Doug and I were talking and all of a sudden he looked really strange to me, he seems to think i might have been hallucinating. It was very strange! I haven't done that before. anyway, i hope you all are doing well! Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me. I try to get back to each of you! It is amazing how news travels!

Have a great week. Oh, welcome home Greg (my sister's husband). They are all finally "home". I have my whole immediate family home.

Oh, Ella says "no" to you all. That is her new favorite word, much to my shagrin. Once again, stairs are her favorite, going forward this time holding on to the railing, ugh! She is still so fun though, and so loving. What would I do without her, I don't ever want to find out! I love being her mommy.

until next time... shawndra

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wonderful Weekend Weather

I just wanted to tell everyone to have a great weekend. It is beautiful outside and I plan to enjoy it. One of the nurses from Children's Mercy came to drop off food this morning. Thank you everyone at CMH ENT clinic for bringing me food each week. It is so helpful. Debbie said something that hit home... "Today is a gift"! Very profound and right on!

Last night we had a McDs party... McDesserts, McDrinks and McDocs, for the Grey's Anatomy finale. The show was a disappointment, but as usual the company was a blast. We even wore scrubs for the event, hehe. Yes, you can call us McDorks.

I have been feeling pretty darn good and am enjoying every minute of it. I am looking forward to a fun weekend ahead before I go back to chemo on Monday for my 8th round. Everyone, enjoy your gift of today and every day! Talk to you soon. Shawndra

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Busy Bee & Crawl for Cancer Photos

Hi- Sorry it has taken me so long to post something. Here are the 2007 Crawl for Cancer Photos It has been busy since my sister moved back and with all the events lately. I have to say, the pub crawl was incredible. It was a great time. You should all do the next one, nobody should miss it. I am not a huge drinker but it still is a blast. We rented a "bus" to take us down to Westport area, we went from bar to bar, drank pitcher after pitcher (8 at each bar, cheating only slightly), ended up at America's pub where we all got our groove on and then we were bused home.

I have to thank all the people who went with my two groups. Thank you for supporting the cause and for an incredible day together. Thank you to Chris Ireland for getting us involved in this and to Jan Velander (Jen's mother), who we got to hang out with quite a bit. A lot of my group got to meet her and everyone was amazed by her as I was as well. I am so lucky, we have already become family, Jan and I. We had an instant connection. Thank you to all the people who recognized me from this site and came up to me to introduce themselves. I felt famous almost. It is so nice to put faces with names and know that you all are supporting me. I was so glad to meet each one of you! I hope you continue to email.

Thank you to the Jennifer Ireland foundation for my generous donation and honor of receiving it. I hope to continue to be involved with the foundation and find more people to give to.

I want to give special thanks to Kool Nites Limousine, Inc. owner Gregg Shane. Also thanks to our Chauffeur David B. We appreciate you donating your services for this wonderful cause and for getting us to and from the event safely and being tolerant of our crazy group. This company was absolutely wonderful! If any of you ever need transportation I highly recommend them. Doug put a logo on the side of this site so you can find them easier. Again, thank you!
I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day. I did! I got to spend time with my mother and family, as well as Doug's mother and father. I also got to spend some precious time with just Doug, Ella and I as we went to Deanna Rose Farmstead, walked around and saw all the animals. We had a great time.

Andrea got moved in yesterday and spent her first night at her house last night. They have a nice home not far from us which is perfect.

Anyway, I wanted to get something out to you all to tell you how much fun we had at the premiere, pub crawl and mother's day. I am doing well. I had bloodwork yesterday but don't have results back yet. I amazingly survived all the activity with just a little pain but otherwise I did well. I appreciate everyone's kind words and confidence that I am going to win this battle. I have had so many people tell me they have a feeling that I will beat this, I am doing all I can to win it and I hope you all are right. Usually your gut feelings are right!

Talk to you all soon. Shawndra.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday evenings premiere was fantastic. Chris Ireland and everyone involved in the Jennifer Ireland foundation did a wonderful job. I was very honored to be chosen to be the first recipient from this foundation. The evening was great, everyone looked incredible dressed up (we clean up well). We had appetizers and drinks, I got to meet Chris, Jan (Jen's mother) and several others. I have to say Chris and Jan, you both are amazing people! Jan gave me such a big hug and we just sat there embracing each other. She already seems like a mom to me! She just had that feel about her. The movie was impressive. It was a war movie, so a lot of bloodshed. It was well done and had a great story to tell. I bowed out of the afterparty. It was already my bedtime by the time the movie was over. I have to thank my neighbor Pam W. for doing my hair and touching up my makeup! She did a fantastic job, my eyes did pop!

It has been crazy busy around here. My sister, as you know, is back in KC. She got access to her house Thursday and so we are trying to help get some rooms painted before the movers come Monday. I got to rest in this morning. Ella is still sleeping, she had a late night last night playing with her cousins.

Today is the other big event. The pub crawl. I am looking forward to that. I will let you know how this event goes. I better get up and going, it is going to be time for us to drink soon. I won't be partaking in much of the drinking as you can probably guess. But I will sure encourage others, hehe. Thank you to Nana and Grandpa for taking Ella for us today. They have been a tremendous help to us.

I think Ella is up, I hear Doug talking in his "little girl" voice in the other room. I will try to get pictures out maybe Sunday from the premiere.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers! I hope you have an enjoyable day and thank your mother's for all they have given you. I know I will thank my mother, she is the greatest! shawndra

Monday, May 7, 2007

Thursday Night Movie Premiere

Ladies get your fancy dresses out, or use this as a great excuse to go buy a new dress and make your husbands dress up for a change. Make it a date, get a babysitter, you don't want to miss this event. I have posted about the movie premiere before on my blog. It is this Thursday. Details are on Jennifer Ireland's Blog. Chris Ireland and the board of the Jennifer Ireland foundation have worked extremely hard to make this a success in honor of Jennifer's life! The proceeds go to young men and women fighting for their lives with cancer. They have asked me to be the first recipient and will be honoring me at Thursday's event. I am extremely honored and hope this brings awareness to her foundation so it can help many people.

I know it is last minute but please consider purchasing tickets and attending this Thursday's premiere. It is organized to be similiar to a Hollywood Movie Premier. I am going to buy a dress so I can look famous, hehe. It will be so much fun to feel like I am in Hollywood for a night. Don't we all dream about that, well, maybe not all of us. You can purchase your tickets by going to www.jenniferirelandfoundation.com. There is a link to get tickets. They are $100 of well spent money and I believe tax deductible. Thank you all for your wonderful support of Jennifer and me. (Again Bartles and James statement, ha)

Thank you Chris Ireland and the board for considering and choosing me for this honor. I only hope that it will bring awareness and help many others.

I had my 7th round of chemo today. It was a bit more difficult. I had a few more waves of nausea today than in the past. I am doing fairly well now though. It just didn't go quite as smoothly as the past several have been. I met with my oncologist today. I have a urinary infection, evident with blood in my urine (you already know about my BM's, I might as well not be shy now). I will be taking antibiotics for a few days. Otherwise things are pretty good, we are sticking with the same regimen for as long as I can tolerate it and/or until we notice that the cancer cells have shrunk or have disappeared. Thank you mom for being with me, and having a small break down moment together. Thank you dad for being Mr. Mom and taking care of Ella. You are an incredible grandfather to her as well as Keaton and Avery (my sister's kids). I love you both so much.

I noticed two younger girls in the treatment center today. One, I already met, has the same cancer I do and is only 38 years old. The other girl I haven't met. It was the first time I saw her. My nurse stated that there seems to be many more younger patients in there lately. I don't know what is going on, but nobody is safe. Not to scare the bejesus out of you all. It is just shocking and not fair! Please pray for all these people, they need it as much as I do. Also please continue to keep my family including my husband, parents, sister and family, in laws, etc. in your prayers, they are going through this with me and suffer sometimes just as much. My husband often bares the brunt and I do feel guilty that I am putting him through this. It isn't fair to him but he sticks by me and unconditionally cares and loves me. I am blessed.

click for larger photoHere are a few recent photos of Ella, Mommy and Daddy. As you can tell, she loves her daddy. Mommy got a new haircut. (Still all mine, yeah!)

click for larger photoEveryone have a great work week. I hope the weather improves so we can all get back outside and get some sun and Vitamin D to perk us up. I hope to see you all Thursday evening and of course some of you for the pub crawl which is coming up this Saturday (I will get details out to you all later this week when I get more info). Live life to the fullest! Shawndra

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Welcome Home!

I want to first and foremost welcome my sister and her family home. Andrea and her two kids should be arriving tonight in KC for good, yaaaa. Greg had to stay back for a couple more weeks to finish up his year at Rice University as assistant swim coach there. I can't believe this day is actually here, I have been begging my sister for years to return to Kansas and today is the day it has turned to reality. I am very excited.

I am a little late in doing this, but I got an email from someone at Discovery Channel recently. They wanted me to post some information about a show they are airing tonight on Discovery and I believe Discovery Health about "Living with Cancer". Ted Koppel is the host. Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Edwards are just a few who will be on the show. It is on tonight, Sunday May 6th at 8pm. So please watch if you can. If you want to find more information, you can go to Discovery channel's website, I believe, www.discoverychannel.com .

So far it has been a great weekend. Last night, we celebrated Doug's birthday by going to Zona Rosa's comedy club. We had a great time with a lot of laughs. It was so hot yesterday, we finally turned on the air conditioning before we left last evening. We got home and it was no cooler in the house, I think we need to call and get the air conditioning fixed, yikes. Ella and Lexi (our dog) stayed over at Nana and Grandpa's last night. Thank you Nana and Grandpa for watching them for us, we appreciate all you do for us!!!! But it was kind of sad waking up without our lexi dog in our bed snuggling and not having Ella in the other room and seeing her wake up with a big smile on her face. I was also nervous because the weather was a bit creepy this morning. Dark, windy and almost green. yikes. Anyway, Doug just got home with the two of them, Lexi just jumped on my lap. I think she is nervous with the storms. I am going to go, play with my family.

I have chemo tomorrow and meet with the doctor. I will let you know how all goes. Enjoy your stormy Sunday.

Welcome Home Andrea, Keaton and Avery! shawndra

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

CEA is down

Hey Everyone-(I think Doug doesn't like this introduction but it is wierd to just start writing without some type of greeting). I feel like it has been awhile since I wrote last. Some of you tell me you check daily, I hope your not disappointed that I don't write more often. Sometimes the blog makes me feel like I am all out there for the world, kind of like that movie with Jim Carrey, do you know which one I am talking about? Anyway, the only news is that I got lab results back from my blood draw this past Monday. My nurse practitioner just called me at around 8:30pm, she was still at work, ugh. What a woman! My INR (thinness of my blood) is still only 1.4 (I want to have the number between 2 and 3). So I have to stay on these stinking shots that I give myself once a day that cost an arm and a leg, even with insurance. It brought me to tears last time I picked them up from the pharmacy. Just the fact that I don't really have a choice in taking them, and I would much rather spend my money on other things, ya know. I really feel for diabetics who have to give themselves shots all the time, it really isn't much fun.

The good news is my CEA ( cancer marker) is down from 19 to 7. That still isn't normal but that is pretty darn low and going the right direction. So yaaaaa! I am working on the hormone thing so I can stay as balanced as possible. I go for my 7th round of chemo this coming Monday and I will see my Oncologist then, basically just for him to check to see how I am doing with the chemo. I probably won't have much to report after that visit.

One of my great friends from as far back as I can remember is here in town this week. Thank you Dustin for hanging out with Ella and I and helping us out. It is so wonderful having you around. This week some of the neighbor women and I are going to what I call.. lunch and lift (for the breasts). That should be very fun, I am looking forward to that. I could definitely use some new bra's to help me out a little, hehe.

Again, I need to address my mom, I just can't stress enough how much she has helped me and what a wonderful mother she is. I am already baffled at what to get her for mother's day, what do you get such an amazing mother who is so selfless that she is with you every day of the work week, giving up most of her plans and life for you. Thank you mom, you are truly a fantastic mother, friend and person. Any great ideas of a gift, let me know.

I can't believe that my sister and her family will be moving this coming weekend and I think be officially her this next Sunday. It is so unbelievable to me that she will finally be around more. I have been begging her for so long, it is a dream come true. I know she is going to miss all her terrific friends in Texas but we are sure glad to have her back in KC.

Doug's birthday was yesterday, so Happy Birthday to you Baby! For his birthday we are going to go to a comedy club this weekend, one of the things we love to do. I hope this guy is funny!

As usual, I am enjoying my baby girl, she unfortunately bonked her head on the edge of the firelplace today and got a bruise over her eye. She also has scratches all over her legs from being outside and falling on the concrete. Poor thing, it's rough growing up. She is a doll though. Again, I will get pictures out soon. I promise! She and I visited daddy at work yesterday and brought them cupcakes for his birthday. She loved it.

Okay, enough rambling. I am just trying to get all my thoughts out, this blog is much like brain diarrhea, isn't it. hehe. Everyone sleep well and have a good work week. I hope it rains tonight. ahhhh. "Oh, I love a rainy night", anyone know that song. Enjoy the weather, sleeping with the windows open and the fan on, another one of my favorite thing. Good night. shawndra