Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hawaii!


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.

22 comments:

Joyce said...

Dear Shawndra,
It is wonderful to hear from you again. I have missed you, and I don't even know you! How wonderful that you and your husband have had such a magical time and that you are now with your darling Ella again. May your week be blessed in every way possible, and thank you for blessing so many with your words. Joyce

nancygrayce said...

Oh, how wonderful to have that precious time! I prayed everything would go well tomorrow and in the days following and that God would show you many miracles!

Dinah said...

Hey, what a great week. So glad you enjoyed it and I'm sure it was hard to be away from Ella.....

I will pray for you this week. Have a safe trip to Omaha, and know we are thinking of you and praying for you.


Dinah

Laurie said...

what a great trip! prayers continue
laurie

Becky said...

Shawndra & Doug,

I am so glad you guys were able to have some one on one and renew your vows......just the two of you. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Kelley said...

what a great week! It makes me happy to know you were able to put your stresses aside and enjoy the week together. I agree on the sand issue...the thought of it sounds great, but I do not like it sticking to me and everything that you have with you! But if someone said they were atking me to Maui and the beach. I would have to say OK! Your week ahead sounds busy and we will keep you in our prayers through out your tests. Keep that fightin' spirit.

Anonymous said...

Oh Shawndra, I am so very glad to hear your trip was great. I have thought about you a lot since you left town. I will keep you close to my heart this week and say lots of prayers. Have a safe trip to Omaha and I hope you get all the answers you want. You are one of the brightest, most positive people I have ever met. I'm honored to call you my friend!
Miki

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and your courage and grace has been inspiring! I have been praying for you and your family and will continue to do so. I live only an hour NW of Omaha and wish I could help you or your family somehow when you are up this way.. I know the city fairly well. Take care and know that although there are many who post comments, there are some of us out here in "bloggerland" who admire and love you!!!

Hugs, Terri

Anonymous said...

Shawndra, I am so glad that you had a great week. My husband and I went there for our 10th anniv. It was great, and so important to have that alone time. I will keep you in my prayers everyday.

Leisa said...

Maui? How awesome! And you look radiant in your picture by the way. Isn't Hawaii beautiful? Hubby and I were there last summer on a cruise and the ship stayed overnight in Maui for a night. So we got to enjoy it for a couple of days. The sand is so fine there. I remember having a hard time getting it off of me well after we were no longer on the beach. I don't know what beach you went to. But they're all beautiful. We went to Kaanapali. I was really excited to hear where you'd been and that you had such a wonderul time. I had sent you a message about enjoying the time you and Doug were about to have together before you left. But I had not idea you were getting ready to go away to paradise for a whole week. Good for the two of you. I'm happy for you.

I know it's hard to go back to reality this week. But how lucky you are to be well enough to be able to fit a week like this in after all you've been going through. You are truly an inspiration. I'll be praying for you this week and I hope that you get all the answers you're looking for as you continue on your journey to fight this thing. You have everything it takes and you so deserve this. God bless you! Leisa

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

How exciting for you & Doug that you were able to go to Hawaii and have such a wonderful trip together. I am sure it must have been so relaxing to "escape reality" so to speak, if only for one week. I will be keep you & your family in my prayers this coming week. Stay strong & keep the faith.

Jennifer Teegarden MD

Our Family said...

Your trip sounds like Heaven on Earth! I was starting to worry about you. So glad you had a wonderful time. We will continue to storm the gates of Heaven with prayers for you. God bless.
-Astraea

Anonymous said...

Shawndra....what a blessing to be able to get away with Doug to such a lovely place. Renewing your vows had to be an incredible experience.

I'm praying for you ...
hugs
Jean, an email friend from Blue Springs

Anonymous said...

Shawndra, You go girl!!! How wonderful for you and Doug to have such a spiritual time together to renew your vows and rekindle your love. I know you have a tough week ahead but you can do this and I know you will overcome any obstacles that may come up. You can use your faith and all the love coming your way for your strength and know we are all walking with you. Lots of love. Melodie Chrisman

Anonymous said...

So very good to hear from you again Shawndra...The Hawaii get away sounds just like what the doctor truly ordered for you and Doug...May the good lord bring you comfort and healing this week with all your doctor visits...With christian friendship Jen Miller, KC, MO

Anonymous said...

Wow what a wonderful trip for you and Doug! That is so wonderful and much needed and deserved! I continue to pray for your healing and miracle! God is with you always.....stay strong and I hope you get all the good news possible in the coming weeks with all your appointments! God bless! You are such a wonderful young woman, wife, mother, friend, and perfect stranger!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Hawaii! What a wonderful trip! Sounds like it was a fantastic time! Please know you'll be upheld in prayer this week...please keep us updated with your progress!
Thinking of you!
Jess in Nebraska

jj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jj said...

Dear Shawndra,
I pray for you every time I open my refridgerator. I will gladly gain lots of weight if God will make you well!
You are a contstant inspiration to me. You make me want to be a better person. I am grateful to know you.
I will open my fridge a ton this week while you're in Omaha!
J.J.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra-

I am so glad that you and Doug had a wonderful time in Hawaii. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family! We are so blessed to have you in our lifes. Thank You!

The Mudge's

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawndra,
I am so glad that you and Doug had such an incredible week. It sounds like this is just what you both needed! I thought about you everyday and prayed that everything was going well and that you would return rested and that God would give you renewed strength to continue fighting. I am so thankful that your bladder tests showed no signs of cancer. That is great news. I pray that the rest of your appointments go well this week. Keep up the fight and let me know how I can help. You are amazing!! Love, Kelly

Anonymous said...

shawndra, hi it is Kari Engelhart, andy's wife, we talked to mike boggs last night and he told us about you. I HAD to look you up and let you know our prayers are with you and doug and Ella is beatiful! look me up on myspace if you get a chance! (babes53) Hang in there, you will beat this!