Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Patiently

Thank you all for waiting patiently, I know as my family has been, you are all wondering what came of my visit to Omaha this morning. I have to say first that we are glad we went up there to meet with Dr. Foster. We really liked him, thought he was very knowledgeable and kind hearted. He basically said that he didn't think I was a candidate for surgery at this time, which is also what my surgeon in KC said on Tuesday when I met with her. The difference being, I believe my surgeon here feels like there isn't any more she can do at all. He atleast gave me hope that there maybe something he can do in the future. He wants me to try a different type of chemotherapy called folfiri, which I know my oncologist mentioned at the very beginning of all this. It is a little different, but Dr. Foster thought that sometimes one person can have better results from one versus the other. He thought that the chemo I have been on has atleast kept my cancer contained thus far but now with the new growth, that it is time to try this other chemo. He said usually the best results occur within the first 2-3 months of being on the chemo. I don't know about all the side effects, and treatment regimen yet, I do think it would be similar to my other schedule though, every 2 weeks. If there is a great reaction to this chemo, there could be a possibility of surgery to debulk the cancer down the road. He seems more aggressive and willing to do this if possible. He was going to contact my oncologist so we can hopefully get started on the new regimen. I am having my dad contact many people, again, around the country to get more evaluation/reevaluations. I might also be going back down to MD Anderson to get another opinion from them.
I am not ready to give up. After my appointment Tuesday with my surgeon here, I felt like that is what everyone is telling me, that there is no more options. But I am not accepting that right now and atleast Dr. Foster gave me a little hope. I still feel like this is a very, very steep hill to climb and one that most don't make it to the top of but I am going to try.
I feel it is even more important though to continue to live my life and I feel almost a sense of urgency about it. I need to live now because I don't know what is to come. Even though none of us do, I am faced with a high probability that I am not only a third of a way through my life.
So yes it was good to go see Dr. Foster, and we will see him again in a few months to check on the progress of the new chemo, which I will hopefully be starting soon once it is coordinated with my oncologist (who is out of town for a week or so,ugh). How dare he go out of town, hehe. This is hopeful news but yet not the cure all. I still have a lot of praying to do, and I do feel a bit like I can pray until my lips turn blue and this still may not give me a longer life. Does anyone else feel that way? I am not giving up on the power of prayer, but it doesn't always get you what you want, you know?
On another note, Doug and I missed Ella so much. We were glad to get back to her and our dog Lexi, who is still at grandma and grandpa's so she can go early tomorrow to get groomed. She is our other baby. I am so glad Doug was with me and could go on this trip (thank you to his boss, Jeremy and his company for being so understanding and allow him to be with me). I need him so much and it was nice to have him by my side. When I don't get the news I want to hear, my eyes always well up with tears and he immediately comes to my side and puts his hand on me and kisses me. I am so blessed to have him with me.
I also want to briefly (because this message is not brief) thank you all for sending your messages in to Oprah. I hope she hears us and responds! I hope she allows me and maybe others to use her platform for this great cause of bringing awareness to cancer affecting way to many people, especially young people. I appreciate your support.
I also found out my "procedure", the endoscopic ultrasound will be next Tuesday, the 24th. The day after my birthday. This is to look at the rectal area to see what is going on down there, even though we have a very good idea that it is recurrence! I've got to stop typing now, for your sakes not mine. I will leave you all with a scripture that I found that I really like and am repeating in my head... Psalm 118:17; I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope this next chemo regimen is the answer to prayer and cures you of this cancer.

I'm not sure if you've read up on the endoscopic ultrasound but I've had one and it's essentially the same as a colonoscopy. You may not be able to eat the day before the procedure so plan your yummy birthday dinner accordingly!

As always, thinking of you and praying for you.

Christy Harrell

Anonymous said...

Girl..you are one tough cookie! Such amazing, undefeatable strength! And God always hears and answers our prayers...He just doesn't do it on our time schedule...rather he does it on HIS because He has the plan! Just be faithful Shawndra...be a faithful...always pray and know you are daily lifted up to Him by thousands of people that you don't even know!!

Anonymous said...

Shawndra...I am sending this message along with many, many prayers. Your neighbor Shelley Lierz and I work together and she has us all rallying for you. I spent over 2 hours reading your blog tonight and just want to say that even though I don't know you I feel you are one of the strongest and most courageous women I have ever met. You will now be a constant in my prayers! Keep up the fight!
Christy Farr

Anonymous said...

Once again, you have such a sweet spririt Shawndra. So wonderful to see you a couple weeks ago, and get caught up.

We are encouraged by the input you received in Omaha. We stand with you in praying for continued healing and medical solutions.

As you know, we love you, Doug and Ella!

Tim/Terri/Kendall/Shelby

Lisa said...

I totally believe in the power of prayer and perhaps that is why I finally got around to posting your story on both of my blogs. I hope and pray the new chemo defeats the cancer and has minimal side effects. As always...I'm close in town if you ever need the help of a stranger...I am a mom of a 7 year old boy, RN and I promise...not crazy! LOL. Thinking and praying for you Shawndra!

Lisa in Lee's Summit

Linda said...

I just recently found your blog. I am very touched by your courage and great spirit. I will pray for your healing.

Anonymous said...

Praying as always...I hope this new chemo is the answer.

Nicole M.

Anonymous said...

Still praying that this new chemo is the cure for your cancer. You're so strong and your spirit is amazing.

Lisa Thomas

Anonymous said...

I'm praying this new chemo is the answer. Keep believing...He will take care of you.

Alaina

Amy said...

I emailed Oprah last night!
Sending love and prayers your way...
Amy (Kristoff) :)

Tracey said...

Hi Shawndra, I don't know you personally, but feel a sense of humanity when I read through your blog.

My father has stage III-A colorectal cancer. He's in month three of post surgical chemo. It's so hard to watch him suffer so much. He's a "big, strong man" who wouldn't dare share his emotions with his two daughters and wife. I want to talk about "it" with him so badly, but honor his "way of handling things". My father is a very young man. Much too young for this, as are you.

Your spirit touches my heart and I will pray for you. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us "out there" who feel sad, scared and alone sometimes.

Many blessings to you and yours! You'll be in my prayers.

Tracey

Penless Thoughts said...

Your are a very brave young woman. You cannot find, or stand on a better scripture!!!!!!
Susan

Paula said...

Shawndra--You are so strong to be facing these incredible challenges while still keeping a positive outlook and a great attitude. But that's you--always looking for the bright spot in everything. :) I'm so proud of you and pray for you daily.

Paula

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers daily Shawndra. I have never met you but like so many others who have commented, I know you are one of the strongest women I have every known. I can see it just in your writings and that is all it takes, so I can only imagine your strength in person. Continue your fight with courage and determination. You have the whole world fighting with you! It is hard to understand the path God has lead us down, but one day we will all find the reason. May God continue to bless you and give you strength. Stay strong and FIGHT! You are always being prayed for and thought of, along with your entire family and friends!

Anonymous said...

i've kept up w/ your blog since linking to it from Jennifer Ireland's site. I'm so verry sorry that your recent dr's visit didn't go as you (and everyone around you)had hoped. I'll continue to keep you and your loved ones in my prayers and want to let you know that you encourage me w/ your great attitude and spirit! -Erin Vaughn

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

I will be praying for you & your family as you face new decisions regarding treatment options. Continue to keep the faith and look to God for peace and understanding.

Jennifer Teegarden MD

justme519 said...

Dear Shawndra, You are such a special lady! I am also from KC and I guess therfor feel "close" to you. You are such a kind, gentle sprit. I pray for peace for you daily. Keep strong. With lots of love from KC. Tanya

Anonymous said...

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/852571020057CCF68525710600722D96

Sun said...

Cling to Jesus. He will not fail you. He has a plan for you and for your life. I am praying that through this you will feel His presence above anyone's! May God grant your husband and you and your sweet family a peace beyond understanding. Several people in my family have had cancer and three immediate aunts/uncles/grandparents have had colon cancer. It is a rough journey but with God ALL things are possible. Sunshine

Anonymous said...

Our prayers continue without ceasing for your healing, comfort and strength.

Our Family said...

You keep fighting and we'll keep praying! God bless.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,
Have you read The Secret? It is a book that Oprah featured on one of her shows that is really catching on across the country. I picked it up myself about a month ago when I was depressed and felt that the world was out to get me. I have started practicing the principles of the book and am continually astonished by the miracles that keep happening in my life - some big and some small. Basically, the book is about the law of attraction, the thought that Universe gives us what we think about most often. It is about like attracting like. Good brings good and bad brings bad. No, I am not a quack, I swear. I am an educated Christian conservative who happens to be open-minded. It sounds goofy, but I believe it is worth a try.

Based on the principles in the book, I ask the Universe for the following: "I want Shawndra to live a long and happy life to see your daughter grow into the same beautiful and strong young woman that she is." (Read the book and you will understand this statement more fully)

God Bless You,
Wendy

jp said...

Continue to stay strong! You have many prayer warriors on your side.
jp

Anonymous said...

Shawndra: I continue to pray for you and your family everyday. You keep trusting in the Lord and he will take care of you guys! As always the offer stands, if you ever need anything please let me know!
Jill Watt

Anonymous said...

Shawndra-

Thinking of you! You and Your family continue to be in our prayers. We are here for you!

The Mudge's

Laurie said...

Prayers continue for you and your family Shawndra. I hope this new regimen works.
Hugs
Laurie

Christina said...

First, let me say you are AMAZING. I just love your attitude. DON'T EVER GIVE UP!!! Don't ever give in to this awful disease. You are tougher than it is.
We should all live every day as if it is our last, and love every moment of it....good or bad. That's how you live.

I will continue to keep you in my daily thoughts and prayers.
God Bless,
Christina
Olathe, KS

Anonymous said...

Shawndra- You always amaze me with your strength and spirit. Keep living strong.
Here is the website I found on Sloan Kettering's site. There is also one your MD can use to refer you there. I can't wait to see you and Ella this morning for our play date! The prayers are also flying and will always be.
Adriane, Kevin, Aidan and Truett

https://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/50484.cfm?ContentFor=Patient

Anonymous said...

Shawndra...I do not know you, but think of you often and check your blog daily...NEVER LOSE HOPE! Keep that wonderful hope and confidence in the magnificent power of God, that you exhibit through your writing....NONE of us know how long our lives will be, but your advice to live each day fully is for ALL of us to live by! Thank you! May you have a wonderful weekend and have 'a peace that passes all understanding' as you go through this waiting time and the next SUCCESSFUL treatment.

Courtney said...

Psalm 30;2, O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. I can relate to what you are feeling when you talked about praying till your lips are blue and wondering if all the prayer will lead to more time here on Earth. I believe that God will heal you whether it be here on Earth or in his heavenly presence. Your strength and perserverance inspires me and many others. Another verse(s) that helps me daily before my feet hit the floor is Ephesians 6;10-20. Put on your armor and know that there are many praying for you and your precious family. My family and I will continue to pray for yours and your strength thru this time.
God bless

Courtney Egelston (Blue Springs)

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you and God's blessing on your life. You are such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you for sharing your journey with others. I was reading some articles on healing today that I thought might encourage you. If you would like, you can go to kcm.org, click on "study center" and then click on "articles". There is a whole section there on healing. God bless you.

Chandra said...

I will be praying for you for peace, healing and anything else GOD lays on my heart. If I read your post correctly I believe we have the same birthday the 23rd? I hope you don't mind me putting a link to you on my blog. Hope you have a blessed weekend.

Marcia said...

Shawndra,
It was so great to see you, Doug, and your sweet Ella!!! Please know that I am praying for you! May you find your strength first of all through Christ, and then through the many, many people that know and love you. I admire your determined spirit and the joy that you have even through this difficult time! You are an AMAZING young woman! I am really trying to spend time in God's word every day and here are a couple of scriptures that I hope will encourage you. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7 And "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

God bless you and your sweet family Shawndra! Stay strong!

Love, Marcia Slack

Indiana Amy said...

I'm just popping over from Heather's site and I wanted you to know you have a friend in Indiana praying for you!

Take care!
http://amyszoo.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Shawndra--think of you often and am praying for you..Jill R

Kathy Ferraro said...

I'll pray that your doctors have all the skil and knowledge that they need to get you through this. See you soon... KF

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

I love the Matthew 11:28-30 scripture, too.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Love,

Brandi

Kerley Family said...

got your link from Especially Heather. Like her, you are a very courageous young woman. I dont have cancer, but have lost 2 family members, they are Home in Heaven. I will be praying for you and your family. A lot of Young people need our prayers. I too will write to Oprah. Everyone needs to know that Cancer can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Jesus has HIS loving arms around you and dont forget that.
Hugs from NC,
Kerley Family

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,
Happy early birthday! So glad you had a great weekend at the lake to celebrate your birthday. Hope all goes well with your tests this week. We'll be thinking and praying for you that you get good results. Last but not least, I too emailed Oprah; hope you will hear from her soon!
Take care and god bless,
Marilyn Kristoff

Mom and said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWNDRA! ENJOY YOUR DAY! LOVE AND PRAYERS IN MINNESOTA. JME

Julie Lindsay said...

Shawndra~

I am just catching up on your blog and I just want to let you know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I know many people did the same for my daughter when she was going through this. I truly believe, deep down that it helps. I also pray that this new chemo will work wonders, (and hopefully those side effects won't be as bad or any worse than with the other). I am just so amazed at how positive you are in your postings, considering what you are dealing with. I know it is tough to do and tough on you, but you are an amazing person with incredible strength, a true inspiration! You are right up there by my daughter on my hero list! You have both endured so much and yet manage to give the world a smile! Take care and God bless you and your family.

Julie

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWNDRA! I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY AND YOU GET TO HAVE SOME FUN! I WILL PRAY THAT THIS YEAR BRINGS YOU HEALTH, HAPPINESS, JOY, AND STRENGTH! GOD BLESS!!!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR SWEET, STRONG, COURAGEOUS, INSPIRING, LOVING, ALLAROUNDSUPERFANTASTIC SHAWNDRA...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!

Hugs and Love,

Brandi

***trust me...you'd rather read this message than hear me sing it :-)***

Leisa said...

Happy Birthday Shawndra. I read your blog faithfully and pray for you often. I found out in one of your recent posts that today is your birthday. So I see that we share something very special as today is my birthday as well. Have a wonderful birthday.

Leisa

sue said...

Shawndra, when you have time please come to my site and read my latest post. It might help you...Praying for you, Sue

http://sue123.blogforacure.com/weblog

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWNDRA!!!!
MANY, MANY BLESSINGS AND MIRACLES TO YOU THIS YEAR!
jessica in nebraska

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Shawndra! Hoping that you have a wonderful, relaxing day! Our thoughts and prayers are with you each day! Much love,

Susan

Anonymous said...

In spite of everything, I hope you are having a good birthday. Bless you and your wonderful family.Keep a stiff upper lip. I know how hard it is having been fighting a different version of this terrible illness, breast cancer.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!! May your day be full of nice things and may you be surrounded with love and peace. You are truely AMAZING!!!
Miki

justme519 said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR SHAWNDRA HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!! Praying your day is blessed. Tanya

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Shawndra! I hope your spirits are high today - your birthday is a time to celebrate your life and all the blessings you have in it! I also hope the flowers the girls brought over put a big smile on your face.

Nancy

Anonymous said...

Sending you birthday wishes from Blue Springs, MO! I check you site often, having found it through Jennifer Ireland's site. I think you are amazing! Many blessings to you and your sweet family...

In Christ,
Kali Murry

Anonymous said...

i am a friend of Jen I. I know someone who works in Oprah's studio. I'll see what I can do...

Anonymous said...

Hi Shanwdra!
Ever since discovering your blog from a link on Jennifer Ireland's site...I think of you and pray for you often. I'm not sure if you're familiar with ITunes, but a song which really encouraged me while going through a particularly trying time was called "He Will Carry You" by Mark Schultz. It was a wonderful song for me to listen to whenever I was feeling down, especially. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and a blessed year!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLFRIEND!!!
Hope that your special day is even half as special as you are!!

Blessings and Hugs to you and the family!!

Tanya Y. from Omaha
: )

Peggy said...

Dear Shawndra, I've been checking your blog everyday. You are such an amazing sweet person. I pray for you and your family each day, and will continue to do so. Just keep the faith that the Lord will heal you and he will. "Think Positive"
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWNDRA"
Have a great day; I know you will enjoy with your beautiful famiy.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra - Happy Birthday! Hug that special little Ella - and know that many people are thinking of you and praying for you. You have such an amazing spirit..you are truly an inspiration to all of us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Allyson Ellis

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday and I wish you the miracle of many, many more to enjoy with Doug and Ella.

When you are down and discouraged, the scripture you mentioned is a great one.

We will keep on praying.

Jean...an e-friend in Blue Springs

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

Thank you for dancing in the rain with me this afternoon. I know your mom was thinking "what a couple of goofballs" and you know what...she is 100% right!
Every drop is a blessing from God and I will cherish that moment in time for ever. Thank you for creating yet another awesome memory.

Enjoy your chocolates and "tomato juice" LOL.

Love,

Brandi

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Shawndra,
We hope you have a great birthday.
Have fun with your family.
Love,Victoria

Kristi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I hope the week goes well for you. I am thinking and praying for you.

jill r said...

Happy Birthday girl!