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.