Thursday, December 6, 2007

MD Anderson

Well I am back from Houston. I got back last night, on an earlier flight, yaaa! But unfortunately came home to a feverish child. She had her 2 year checkup today and unfortunately was sick as well with a sore throat and ear infection along with the fever. Poor thing, she looks so sad, just limp with her rosy cheeks. On the other hand, I love that she clings to me and just wants me to hold her and lean her head on my shoulders. Isn't that one of the best feelings as a parent!

I am sure you are wondering how things went in Houston. Well good and bad. The first impression from the CT and MRI scan was that there was more cancer in my abdomen. Not a huge amount more but more. The good thing is, it hasn't spread to my other organs, just in my abdomen. My oncologist recommends that I stay on the chemo I am on now. My CEA is now 15, so it has gone down from the last number of 23. That is good. He basically said, the cancer could have increased while I took that month off this summer and still may benefit from the treatment I am on now. If my CEA goes above 30 he recommends I add another agent to the folfiri I am on now. The next agen they use,called Erbitux is the one that can cause a bad acne like rash on your face, ughhhhh!!!!!
So I was a bit upset when they told me there was more cancer, but he reassured me when he showed me the CT scan how little it had grown . I am actually going tomorrow (it got bumped up) to another oncologist at KU Med to get his opinion on things. He is supposed to be very good and possibly have some new research coming up on the horizon that may benefit me. So I will see him tomorrow, if I can get all my information together tonight. There is a lot of information I need to put together for a new physician to review. I am also going back to Creighton in a couple weeks to see Dr. Foster and see what he says about the surgical option at this point. I am still praying the CEA level comes down, come down CEA, come down!!!!!

Otherwise my mom and I had a great trip, it was a fast trip, I was in getting tests all day Monday... all day!!! Tuesday we had the day off to sleep in, slowly get around and finally shop a bit before we met my cousin and his family out to dinner. It was so great to see them, thank you Debbie and Mark for going out of your way to meet with us! The girls are so cute and fun to be with!
I am remaining super busy this week, I am so tired but have so much to get done, it seems. I am having a little neighborhood party this Sunday so I need to prepare for that too.
I hope you all are doing well. Leisa I hope you are receiving good news about your daughter, you have been in my thoughts and prayers! I am off to go snuggle up with Ella awhile longer. Good night to you all. Enjoy the snowy weather, I love it! it is so beautiful! talk to you soon. shawndra

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear things went well overall Shawndra, I'll continue to pray that things improve. It must be so exhausting going from Dr. to Dr. wondering what's next, is it good or bad news this time. You are sucha trooper and I really admire you.
It was funny that you mentioned visiting family " Mark and Debbie". That's mine and my husbands name...
I am enjoying the snow, it's been weird how unseasonably warm it's been...now it feel more festive and Christmas like!
Anyway, have a great weekend and have fun with your neighbors. We'll be going to a neighborhood party tomorrow as well, this time of year there's something to do every week. I love the holiday season!
God bless and continued prayers.
Deb

Anonymous said...

Shawndra-

We are praying for you and your family! Please know we are here for you all! God Bless You! Enjoy snuggling with you little Ella!

The Mudge's

Anonymous said...

KEEP YOUR MIND AND THOUGHTS, STRENGTH AND LOVE DIRECTED TOWARD OTHERS, YOUR BABY GIRL RIGHT NOW. ENJOY. IT'S WORKING, JUST LOOK BACK, IT WILL GO ON WORKING. WE'RE IN THIS WITH YOU, AND GOD KNOWS ALL YOUR NEEDS, HIS YOUR FATHER, HE'S WITH YOU, HE'LL GO ON BEING WITH YOU.
LOVE,
ROSWITA from a sunny Florida. We can't live without the SUN.

Kelley said...

Well, the trip offered many opinions. The levels coming down is great! It is odd how they say the cancer increased a bit but the levels are down, it is so complicated. I wish you the best in the new consult tomorrow as well as the Neb. visit. Just try not to worry too much. Enjoy the beautiful snow (even though I MUCH prefer summer!) I wish it would snow once a year.....a ton, so all you can do is sit inside with your family and enjoy each others company. It really forces everyone to slow down, something we should all try and do this holiday season. Peace and Love until next time

Our Family said...

We will add Miss Ella to our prayers tonight. Enjoy the snuggle time!

You will beat this...God's will is so good. We will keep knocking on His doors with our prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Shawndra, I have been thinking about you so much this week. I was waiting anxiously to hear what you found out and it does sound like there are some good things going on. Hopefully Dr. Foster will give you some more options for surgery to get rid of this stuff. I will pray like no other that God works his miracles this holiday season. Hug that baby tight and know that your prayer warriors are going into action. Love ya. Melodie Chrisman

Anonymous said...

I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR U ON A DAILY BASIS SHAWNDRA...SOUNDS LIKE THE TRIP HAD A COUPLE BUMPS IN THE ROAD, BUT I TRULY FEEL THE NEWS OF THE FUTURE WILL BE WHAT U HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR....YOUR STRENGTH AND LOVE WILL GET U THRU IT ALL...I REMEMBER THOSE SNUGGLE TIMES WITH MY KIDDOS....ENJOY EVERY PRECIOUS MOMENT WITH DEAR ELLA..THEY GROW UP SO VERY QUICKLY AND AS A PARENT WE LOOK BACK AND SAY YIKES...WHERE DID THAT TIME GO?? IF THERE IS EVER ANYTHING I COULD DO FOR U AND THE FAMILY PLEASE PLEASE JUST POST IT....AND YOUR KC ANGEL WILL DO HER BEST TO HELP OUT.....HAVE A BLESSED AND SAFE WEEKEND...GET YOUR REST AND KEEP THE FAITH....WITH CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP, YOUR ANGEL IN PRAYER, JEN MILLER

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

I pray you will feel well during this holiday season. I feel the same way you do about Christmas.If we could all focus on the Love of God and being with family, friends, etc. It's the little things like giving a smile a hug or just encouragement to one another. Our world has lost focus on the simple things of life. I will be praying diligently for a Christmas miracle for you Shawndra. Psalm 20 says May he give you the desires of your heart. Have Blessed Christmas

Naomi in Georgia said...

Well sounds like you have some good news to go on and give you the stength to keep fighting this nasty disease, sounds like you are going in the right direction in brining down those levels!
I added you to our church prayer group list,so you will have 100's of new prayer warriers pulling for you as well...GOD does her us!
Hope Ella is feeling better this morning, nothing worse than seeing your little one sick and not being able to take it away for them.
Hugs and Prayers are with you ...keep up the good fight!

Mom2 said...

My dear Sweet Girl, Great to have you back. The news was good if you really take a moment to think about it. The cancer isn't much worse and that is so positive. Also, your organs are still not affected, which is so positive. The KU visit I think will be great. You are leaving no stone unturned. Your strength, drive and will are to be admired. I do. I love you, Shawndra, Mom2

bahama mama said...

I am so happy to hear you are meeting a new doc today who might have new information!! I'm sorry your little punk is sick, but I'm sure she'll be back in her bouncy mood in no time! :)
I hope you are able to relax and enjoy some time with Doug and Ella this weekend. Please let me know if I can help you prepare for your party. I am baby-sitting that night, at 5, but other than that can be at your disposal.

I never thought this would be an appropriate thing to say outside of a sporting event, but...
ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU!!!! :)

Love you loads! d

Kristen said...

Shawndra -

This is the first time I have posted but read your blog daily. You are such an inspiration to all of us, sick or not and you have made me realize how to appreciate my health and beautiful family more and more each day. How wonderful that you can touch a complete stranger in such a way. It's beautiful. Hang in there. You can do this. You are going to show how cancer can be beat.

God Bless and Happy Holidays from another blogger in Kansas City.
Kristen

Anonymous said...

Shawndra, I'm so glad to hear your numbers went down. I'll continue to pray that Dr. Foster's treatment option is possible for you, and will work! I hope that KU offers you more knowledge and options yet. Keep up the fight, God hears us.
Love you, Julie

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawndra- I'm glad you had safe travels and while I was hoping for better news, I'm glad it's not worse news... You, your family and doctors continue to be in our prayers. (Aidan never says much during prayers except when he hears Ella's name he repeats it sweetly. I hope she is feeling better) May God Bless you and keep you and cause his face to shine upon you. Keep up the good fight! Looking forward to reading your next blog. xo Adriane

sue said...

Shawndra--can you have:

Removing the omentum is called omentectomy

sue said...

Shawndra have you heard of: intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy?
I can send you some links if you'd like or google it...sounds interesting and maybe for you...?

Leisa said...

Shawndra,

I hope Ella is feeling better by now. I was very glad to hear that your CEA level was down. I know you've been really discouraged when it has gone up on the past. So it's really good news to hear this wasn't the case this time. Of course, we all want the cancer to just go away and not grow. But it's a really good thing that it hasn't spread anywhere else. And I'll continue to pray that the ongoing treatments will turn that one in the other direction as well. I'm glad your meeting with another doctor at KU. New ideas and new research can be a big plus. At some point, everything that works now started out as research and it worked on someone for them to figure it out. And if he does have something good to try, you definitely deserve to be the one for it to prove that it works on. And I'll pray and pray that this is the case.

As you know I pray a lot. And yes, I prayed over and over for my daughter and my prayers were answered. Thank you for your prayers and support during my stressful time. Her OB/Gyn didn't see anything in her Colposcopy that concerned her. She just wants to see her in 6 months for another check up to make sure whatever caused the first positive reading has resolved itself. Again, thank you and everyone who reads this blog for your prayers on Lindsey's behalf. It really helped me to know that others were praying also.

You were probably wondering what took me so long to blog considering her test was last Thursday. The reason is that we went to the Billy Joel concert Thursday night (awesome) and then left for New Jersey on Friday to visit my husbands parents for the weekend and got home at 12:30 last night. Unfortunately, since the last time I wrote, a good friend of my husbands, younger sister in New Jersey passed away last Wednesday. She was only 35 and had breast cancer. We went to the visitation yesterday and I am still reeling from it. It is not fair. Life can be so unfair. She was beautiful and full of life. I knew my husbands friend well. But, I had never met her. My husband had known her for years. But there were hundreds of pictures and it was so hard to see such a clearly happy, full of life person be in that funeral home. Even sadder is that her 38 year old sister passed away a month ago in her sleep. We haven't pressed for info. It's not something you do when a family is grieving. But we gather that it was an accidental overdose. She left behind a husband and 2 children who were only 1 yr. & 3 yrs. old. What do you say to a family who is enduring such pain? It was difficult and so very sad. It reminds me and I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone else as you often do to live every day to the fullest. Show your love to those around you every day in every way. Be at peace with your faith. Don't wait for another day as they aren't guaranteed. Be grateful and feel blessed for each and every day. God loves us and knows whats best for us. But he doesn't guaranty us that we'll have the amount of time here that we and our families desire. So don't ever take it for granted.

Have a beautiful day and a blessed holiday season. God bless you Shawndra. You will be in my prayers daily. As I've told you before, I have such good and positive feelings about your situation. Take care and keep that smile on your face.

Leisa

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

I thought I would share an inspiring story with you and your fans.

My neighbor is a young mother who was diagnosed about 2 years ago with Breast Cancer. She is in her early 30s with no family history of cancer. She battled it like a warrior and has come out on TOP...A SURVIVOR!!! She is such an inspiration to me as a young 25 year old who is looking forward to the future of being a wife and one day a mother. And all of us hope and pray that we are not affected or diagnosed with cancer...but I know after having met and spent countless hours with this woman that anyone can beat the beast!

She always tells me that she takes time everyday to just watch her child play, watch him walk, watch him learn, listen to the silly stories he tells, hug him all the time and tell him that she loves him more than anything. And as a curious and amazingly smart 4 year old, he wonders sometimes why she gets so caught up in the moment...but she explains to him in a way that a 4 year old understands...Mommy may not always be with you but I want you to know that I LOVE YOU so very much and that I am so proud to be your mommy.

I strive to live my life like she has taught me in the short time I have gotten to know her and not that I took everything for granted beforehand but I definitely see things in a different light now.

She has taught her 4 year old son to live life like there is no tomorrow. He even preaches it himself. I was watching him one afternoon and I said out loud to myself without knowing he was listening to me, "Oh man, tomorrow I am have to do so many things...laundry, cleaning, errands, etc." He said to me, "You know you may not be able to do those things tomorrow because something else may happen. But you know what?" And I asked, "What?" He responded "but we should do lots of fun things today so that you will be happy and I can do fun things with my best babysitter!" I almost burst into tears at that moment...but what an amazing thing for a young child to know and understand. I looked at him with absolute amazement and just saw his total innocence and wonder come shining through this little blonde haired, blue eye boy. He knows that he should have fun and enjoy everyday, and not because he might die tomorrow but because he should just enjoy what he has now. And when I left at the end of the day...he told me, "I love you and I had SO much fun with you...Can you come back tomorrow?" and I told him, "I love you so very much too! I had SO much fun with you today too! Thank you!!! And I will see you tomorrow and we can have even more fun!"

I am thankful for the blessings in my life and small miracles like my 4 year old neighbor boy who taught me in just a few minutes that life is short and we should enjoy what we have now. I wish I had a video recorder going at that moment...it could have been a great commercial for some kind of ad! :)

I pray everyday for you Shawndra and I pray that God gives you time with family and friends, healing of your body, courage to fight on and even harder, and strength to continue surviving even on days where you might feel you can't anymore! God hears all prayers and He has a plan for you...a mighty one it is!

Enjoy the holidays...enjoy every second of it!

Much love and prayer,
Rebecca
(From Western Kansas)

Gail Ezell said...

Shawndra,
I have missed talking with you lately but faithrully read your blog several times a week...that lets me update everyone at work as you are always on our minds and in our hearts. It is a wonderful gift to be able to comfort Ella as only a mother can. Your passion for mothering her comes through in all your writing. I pray daily to our Blessed Mother on your behalf asking for your miracle...and I know she hears those prayers and takes them to Her Son. She is such a beautiful role model for all mothers. Bless all of you this Holy Season. Enjoy the best of what the season brings...even though that isn't the ice that we have now. Talk to you very soon. Gail