Friday, November 30, 2007

3 months down

Hey Everyone- Well I have finished 3 months on this chemo. This week was not as bad as the prior round of chemo. I did start of with the agitation I had before but started on Ativan quickly and it went away after the first night. I have been sleeping a lot but otherwise doing okay. No nausea or vomiting thank goodness! I am up and at 'em today with Ella so that is a good sign!

Leisa- I am so sorry to hear about all the stuff going on in your life right now. I will keep you in my prayers, and ask everyone who reads this to also add Leisa and her family to their prayer list. You can read her comment on my last blog to get an idea of how to pray!

There are so many people to pray for, I feel overwhelmed with how many people are becoming ill! My uncle has recently been undergoing problems and had a biopsy. I am not sure the results yet but I am afraid it isn't good news. My husband's grandfather has been undergoing treatment for tongue cancer for the last few months and is probably going to lose his speech and is eating only through tube feedings now. This breaks my heart and scares me that so many people are sick. What is happening? What are we doing in our society to cause all this illness? It has to be something we are doing? Do you agree? I wish I could change it or figure it out. My friend Angie who is living with us is a nurse at Children's Mercy. She works on the floor I used to work on and said that three children came in recently with brain tumors, ugh!!!! It is one thing for me or adults to become ill but for young innocent children that have only been here for a few years to become ill. That just absolutely breaks my heart! What can we do?

My mom and I are heading down to MD Anderson Sunday so I can go in early Monday for an all day event of testing. Drinking the nasty barium stuff again, which I dread! I will have a CT scan and an MRI as well as blood work which will entail a CEA. I will then meet with my oncologist there on Wednesday to hear what he has to say about the tests and the results. I need you all right now more than ever. I am scared that they will say there isn't much change and that the chemo isn't working and I will have to try another chemo. I will soon be running out of options if that is the case!!! I pray this chemo is working, killing the cancer cells in my body, bringing my CEA number down so that when I go see Dr. Foster in Omaha he might consider me for surgery to remove some of the cancer. I know ultimately, I have to keep it in the hands of God. He will do what is best for me, whether it is what I want or not. I have to believe he will be there for me and perform this miracle! He can not leave my daughter and husband without their wife and mother! God needs me here on earth.... "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

I am free from chemo for another week, I am excited to have that week of freedom. I have a lot going on so I have to feel well to be able to do the fun things.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle, it is officially here. Don't get so stressed out about gifts and forget what the holiday is about! This holiday is not about presents it is much more. It is a celebration and a time to relax and enjoy our family and friends! Please don't forget that! I think we have lost that and need to get that back! We need to say, forget the presents, lets be together and enjoy each other. Right!

Okay, I feel a bit preachy so I will end this post! I will email when I get the results from Houston. Take care everyone! Please keep up the prayers for all those who need them right now. we all can use them, can't we, I will pray for all of you! love, shawndra

Monday, November 26, 2007


I am thankful for a wonderful, long weekend. It was great. We had a fantastic time with Doug's family at his Aunt and Uncle's for the holiday. Thank you Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Mal for all you did for us this weekend, we greatly appreciate it! It was a busy weekend, even after the holiday it was one thing after another. But so much fun. Tomorrow is chemo day so I am kind of dreading that since this past week I have felt so good! I love feeling good!!! I have had more pain these past few days, especially in the night. So I am keeping Doug up because I am tossing and turning in pain and then I am doing this twitching thing again during the night. I am not sure what that is about. I thought it might have been a side effect after I went off the Ambien but that went away for awhile and now it is back. That is what is so frustrating, I never know what things are caused by, it is always a guessing game. Like the agitation last chemo round, we think it was caused by the Decadron they put in my antinausea medication, but no one is for sure about it. That is just the only thing we could come up with.

Oh, very important. I did look at It looks like the show Andrea and I attended will be aired this Wednesday the 28th. So tune in Wednesday or record it if you want to see if Andrea and I got on television. We are in the front row on the side next to Oprah. I am in a pink shirt and Andrea is wearing Coral. We tried to cheese it up as much as possible to give us more of a chance of being on tv. We will see, hehe. It will be fun to watch!

This week will be chemo, then next week my mom and I are heading back down to Houston to MD Anderson for a checkup there. I will have CT and a MRI done along with a CEA level drawn with other bloodwork. I will then see my oncologist there to see what he thinks of this chemo I have been on and any progress or regression I have had. I hope there has been progress in killing the cancer and continued reduction in the CEA level.

I will write more later. My mom is here helping me this morning with Ella because of my back pain. I better go help out as much as I can! If this chemo round is anything like the past few I will not be much help these next few days. I truly hope it is better than the last round though!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and reflected on what you are thankful for! I am thankful for you all who have entered my life through my blog or otherwise. love, Shawndra

PS. Don't forget to record or watch Oprah on Wednesday!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I hold you

The title is what my daughter says to me and others when she wants to be held. Isn't it cute! Some of you have noticed, we added a few pictures, one on Ella's birthday post and one on the left, from halloween. Enjoy! Thank you for the many emails. I am doing better, thank you! No more agitation. I was still dragging with fatigue on Saturday, but Sunday was much better as well as today. I was disappointed that Saturday was beautiful and all I could do was sleep but I am hoping to enjoy today and tomorrow. Ella is napping (Thank goodness), she wouldn't take her nap yesterday. But when she wakes up we will play outside. She will say "Cold outside mommy" and I can happily say no baby, it isn't cold outside right now, yaaaa! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I am doing better. I am excited that my husband only has another day or day and a half of work and then we will have a long, wonderful weekend together. I love that! I just have my general labwork tomorrow, as well as my rehab appointment (for my swelling). The word rehab sounds so bad. Then I am free the rest of the week and will celebrate all I am thankful for. One thing I am thankful for is this blog. I didn't really realize until yesterday that I have someone to thank for getting me to start the blog in a round about way. If it weren't for my friend and neighbor, Brandi, who found out about Jennifer Ireland, told my sister who told me about her and her blog. I wouldn't have started this blog and wouldn't have so many new friends and supporters! So thank you Brandi, I am so thankful to you for that. I am so thankful for all of you who are supporting, unconditionally. Thank you! I have so much more to be thankful for but I will stop there for now. I need to try to rest a little before Ella wakes up. So I am not exhausted by the time Doug comes home tonight and can't do anything to help. Have a great, short work week and a wonderful holiday!!!! Happy Thanksgiving and Thank you! love and thanks always, shawndra

Friday, November 16, 2007

Major agitation

This has been a very rough week to say the least. I had chemo on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon I started getting this agitation, gittery feeling. I couldn't stop shaking my legs, moving around, etc. It was like my skin was crawling. Thursday I called the Cancer Center to let them know, so they had me come in early to check it out and get my pump off. They gave me fluids and some Ativan for the agitation, which I had been taking at home. It maybe made it a little better but I was so miserable last night I just wanted to be knocked out. I took a sleeping pill and Xanax and I was out thank God! Today I am getting better. The agitation has gone away, I was still out of it a bit this morning, very light headed feeling and it has been an emotional day for me. I hate feeling like that, and being useless to my family. All I could do was lie in bed in misery. Thankfully Doug, Angie and my parents have been here to help with everything. I am glad the chemo is only a couple days every few weeks. If I had to deal with it every day, I think I would give up. It crossed my mind this time. It is so physically hard that I just want to give up and that makes me very emotional. I am starting to cry just thinking about it. How could I give up, with a wonderful husband, daughter and family relying on me. How could I do such a think to Ella. But what good am I to her in this state? Oh it has been a hard week. The good thing is it is getting better and I have to look forward, forget about it and look forward for the good things to come. I can get through a few bad days when there are more good days than bad. I have to, I don't have a choice! I WILL not give up for my little girl!!!!! I WON'T DO IT!!!!
Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have so much to be thankful for. I am alive and I have a great life, a great family, wonderful friends and support system. I have no regrets. I am so very lucky and thankful! I hope you all have a lot to be thankful for too! I will write soon on a more positive note. Shawndra

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Ella!

Today,November 11th is Ella's birthday. It was a great day. She slept in late, so we all got to sleep in a bit. We had her birthday party which was a blast. It was a gymnastics party where she does her weekly gymnastics class which she absolutely loves. After the kids played in there we had our cake and ice cream and presents. Angie's mom made Ella's cake. I wanted a Mickey mouse clubhouse theme since Ella loves Mickey. Angie's mom literally made a clubhouse on the cake, it was incredible!!! Very impressive. Thank you to Angie's family for doing this for her. Thank you to all the family and friends who came and helped us celebrate this wonderful day. I am so blessed to have Ella. The song in my head right now is " You are the sunshine of my life, oh oh oh..." I'm tired!

To tell you more about Chicago. Andrea and I had a great time. We ended up spending the rest of Friday lounging around Sara's condo in our pajamas until it was time to get cleaned up to go out for dinner before we had to catch our flight back to KC late Friday night. Even though we didn't do much, it was a perfect trip.

I do have to say though, it was a dream of mine to get to go to the Oprah show. So I am so grateful that I got to go but I was a bit disappointed in her. She didn't interact with the audience at all. It was as if we weren't really there. It was quite a process to get into the studio and get our seats. We waited a long time in this room while the audience piled in. Andrea and I were one of the first one's to arrive, actually we were the first ones to arrive but because we went to the wrong door, a few other people ended up, greedily, in front of us. They called a bunch of names to be seated before they started seating by number, which I thought was odd. We were getting a bit frustrated, wondering if we arrived early for nothing. We weren't going to be very happy if they continued to call other people who arrived 30 minutes to an hour after they told us to be there before those of us who were there prior to the time we were supposed to be there. Anyway, that part was frustrating and then her not really acknowledging us in the audience kind of put me off a bit. I even overheard a few people behind us when we were leaving saying they would never come back and weren't impressed. Again, I am still glad I got to go and have my dream come true!!! Thank you again Diane and family for the opportunity.

This week is chemo week starting Tuesday. I feel so good besides my back pain it is so hard to face chemo week knowing I will be run down and tired. But I am going to do my best to not let it get to me. Good night everyone. Have a great week....
Oh, Miki, Happy Birthday to you too!!! shawndra

Friday, November 9, 2007


Hey Everyone- Well, we had our Oprah experience yesterday. It was a great experience. We didn't get the favorite things episode, darn!!! Our show was The Best Life Weight Loss Challenge Finale with Bob Greene. They didn't know when it would air, they said we would just have to keep watching for it. THe good news is that Andrea and I were lucky enough to get in the front row on the side next to where Oprah sits. So you may see us on TV. We tried our best to be very candid with our expressions like they told us to do to have more of a chance to get on TV. I will give more details later. We just got out of bed and are hanging out, Sara, Andrea and I drinking coffee in our pajamas, getting ready to indulge in monkey bread. aahhhh, what a great morning. I don't know what we are going to do today, we may stay in our pajamas and watch a movie and just hang out. Or... maybe we will go shop. Either way is a win.. win. We are having a great time, it is so nice to be able to sleep in and just have some fun girl time. Even though we miss our families tremendously. Tell you more soon. shawndra
PS. pictures to come of Andrea and I at the Oprah studio in our Oprah outfits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A couple things to add.

Hey everyone- I forgot to acknowledge Sue's question in my last post. She asked about Chris Ireland, since he hasn't posted on Jen's blog in awhile. I actually called him today, to find out how he is doing. We don't talk often, just once in a great while. He said he and the girls are doing well. He said he switched up the daycare situation a bit but otherwise things are good, same old work and home stuff. He did also say that he has been meaning to post some pictures of the girls soon. So that is the update, you can keep checking for the pictures. I think he is a private person and the blog's purpose was to tell Jen's story. So, not to worry he is doing well!

Back to me, hehe. That sounds horrible doesn't it. I got my weekly labs today and asked to do a urine sample as well since my back pain has gotten so much worse in the last few days. It looks like I do have an infection so they put me on antibiotics. Otherwise things look good.

Andrea and I leave tomorrow for Chicago. Oprah here we come!!! I am so excited, I get to also see my friends up there, which will be great too! Sara- thanks for putting us up and picking us up! Gotta just get a few more things done before we head out. Anyone know the weather up there? I am off to go lay down and rest on a heating pad to try to get rid of some of this pain in my back. Then I have a massage with my cousin this afternoon. She is an incredible masseuse. ahhhh, that will be so nice! have a great day, I will keep you all posted about Chicago and Oprah! One of my dreams is coming true.... dreams do come true! shawndra

Monday, November 5, 2007

Prayer Warriors

Hey Everyone- This week is better than last week! I am feeling much more rested, not so fatigued. I am unfortunately having a lot of back pain, more so than usual. I don't know if I have a kidney infection or something but I am having to take more pain medication which doesn't always seem to be working, ugh! Otherwise I am doing well. I did a bit more shopping today to find the rest of my Oprah outfit. Thank you Kelly for helping me find the rest of my outfit! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your fashion sense, hehe. I now only need to find a pair of boots and I will be set! You know, the new fashionable knee high boots. weeee!

On a serious note, I would appreciate everyone guiding their prayers to another woman with a young son who just moved to a new city and has gotten very sick. She is going to have a few tests done but is concerned that it may be cancer. They did feel an abdominal mass and again will be doing a few tests to figure out what is going on. Please pray hard for Naomi. I pray that the doctors are able to figure out what is causing her sickness and that it is something that can be easily treatable. She is alone in a new city, sick and scared. She found me through Jen's blog and contacted me. Naomi, I have a huge group of wonderful prayer warriors that will pray for you! We wish you the best tomorrow morning for one of your tests and then on November 13th for another test. Thank you, my dear friends, for extending your kindness and your faith to help Naomi and others who need us! As I told Naomi, I am glad she contacted me, I feel like my situation maybe helping others and there is a reason for my illness. Knowing that this reason is to help others makes it so much more bearable. As a nurse and nurse practitioner, I was all about helping others. Now that I am not working, I have lost some of that but thankfully through my site have been able to maybe help a few others and get my identity back as someone who cares for others and helps them. It's not just about me all the time. Just to clarify, I am not wanting anyone else to become ill by any means. I just want to help when I can!

I am going to bed early, this time change is hard, isn't it. It is about 9:30 and I am exhausted. Thanks prayer warriors for your help. Good night. Shawndra

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Down days

First I want to acknowledge Shanna's post about Megan Rooker, my thoughts and prayer go out to her and her family. I also got another email about another young woman who passed away from Cancer. Again my heart goes out to the family. I pray for all the people suffering from this horrible disease. It just isn't fair and no one is immune. We can do all the right things, eat right, exercise, not smoke, etc. but you can still get cancer. I am the perfect example of this. We are making strides to try to catch cancer early but it appears that cancer is affecting people younger and younger. We can't rely on the statistics and when they say we should start being screened. We need to rely on ourselves listening to our bodies and reacting when it is telling us something. I truly hope that we can cure cancer someday and I will try to do what I can to help make this happen. Awareness is the first step... Oprah!!!! Okay, I will step off the soap box now, hehe.
Well, I think I got through my down days. Chemo was okay, no vomiting this time. A bit of nausea but it was kept under control. Not a huge appetite for a few days and extreme fatigue on Thursday and Friday. Thankfully I made it through Halloween. We had about 20 people over, family, for trick or treating. It was a lot of fun. Ella is a bit under the weather too with a nasty cough so we carried her a lot of the way around the neighborhood. But she did wear her Strawberry Shortcake hat, which I really thought she wasn't going to do. So she was adorable! Again, pictures will come soon, hopefully. After Wednesday night, the extreme fatigue hit. Thursday I couldn't keep my eyes open. I am so thankful to have Angie here, she watched Ella all day while I slept. Then my mom came over to help on Friday, which was a bit better, but I felt like I had a hangover all day, tired and a headache. So again, I slept a lot on Friday. I don't like those days. I get so emotionally upset because I can't do what I want to do, and especially I can't be the mommy I want to be or the wife I want to be. I can't do anything and I hate it!! Today I am feeling better. We switched Ella's gymnastics class to saturday's because I am just too tired on Thursday's to take her on chemo weeks. I am glad Doug was with me today because about half way through I got a bit faint feeling, clammy, sweaty, light headed. I think that was just that I hadn't eaten in awhile and I had coffee this morning, so my bloodsugar dropped. So Doug got to do gymnastics with Ella. Grandpa came to watch too and helped me when I wasn't feeling well, thanks Grandpa Turner.
Soon, we are going to be heading to the mall to find the Oprah outfit for Andrea and I. Very important! I am looking forward to this week. I can not thank Diane and her family enough for giving me these tickets and making one of my dreams come true!!! That is truly an unbelievable gesture and I am so grateful to her and her family!!! Thank you Diane.
The weather is gorgeous, so I hope all of you in KC are enjoying it while we have it.
Ella's birthday is next weekend, she will be two on November 11th, yaaaa! The terrible two's. We have actually already started that I think.
Have a great weekend. Thank you for all your prayers this past week. You got me through it. Enjoy your weekend, Shawndra