Thursday, February 21, 2008


Sorry I have left you all hanging. I found out that the PET/CT results look pretty good. No metastasis to other organs. Some improvement in my pelvis and maybe a little more thickening in my omentum. So all in all, not bad. Still, I wish one day it just showed up that there was nothing there, ya know. I am happy to report that Kelli who I mentioned last week had her surgery and is doing very well. They got it early at a Stage I so she has a great chance of being cured. To be honest, that was hard for me to read. I am soooo happy for her but it still popped into my head, why me. Why can't I be cured, why couldn't mine been caught that early. Why, why, why!!!!! I got over that. But something happened again this week, Wednesday was very emotional and rough from the moment I woke up! I even had some anxiety and had to take something to calm me down. It maybe because of my upcoming surgery, but I really haven't been thinking about it all that much. Well, probably more than I realize. It was a tough day. My life has just changed so much. I gave my notice at my job so now I am officially unemployed, no longer a working nurse practitioner. That is so hard, that was so much a part of who I am. I took pride that I was a working mom and had become a nurse practitioner. I am lonely at home! I wish my husband never has to go to work. I am so glad Angie is home somedays but then when it is just me, I am so lonely! I don't want to get out somedays but I don't want to be by myself either. I know, classic depression. Well I got on medication for that as soon as I was diagnosed! It's just hard at times. As much as I do well most of the time, some times it just all hits me like a pound of bricks and I can't help but melt down!

I am very nervous for this surgery for so many reasons. I am sad to be away from Ella for awhile. She got sick last night, pucked all over me and all over her bed and her floor in her room, ugh, it was a mess. But it allowed me to be so close to her and care for her, and that is what I need. To be needed! I feel like I am not needed anymore. It is really hard staying at home and being a mom, I now know how so many women feel that stay at home and raise there children. It is sooooo hard!! We also have our fertility payment for storage of our embryos due. We have to discuss what we want to do, do we want to pay to store them another year or go ahead and stop payment. I always wanted two children. But I can't even imagine right now having another child. I have such a lack of energy so much of the time, I have a hard enough time with Ella. Ugh. Sorry, I am just unleashing so much of my thoughts in the last 24-36 hours. I really need to go to bed, since we didn't sleep well last night because of Ella being sick. Thank you all for listening to my problems. Sorry to put them onto you. This blog helps me get it all out. I was seeing a counselor awhile ago, but I haven't gone in a few months. So you all are my counselor sitting in the chair next to me, listening to my thoughts. Thank you counselors. I think part of all this is the weather and not being able to get out much. Anyone else feeling like they are going crazy? I still have so much to be thankful for. I just wish this was all behind me and I could just move forward with my life! I want my life back!!!!! Good night, everyone! Cherish what you have, your health, your life, your loved ones! love, shawndra


Anonymous said...

I think the feelings you are having are completely normal. When my mom was diagnosed with her cancer and had to put in her resignation she was very sad too. She felt like "who am I now that I am not a Nurse". Keep your head up, it will get easier. I am so glad to hear that the results from yoru scans were good and nothing new popped up. I have been praying for you and your upcoming surgery. Sorry to hear that Ella has been sick, no fun!! I think that everyone is getting cabin fever. Once the weather isn't so bad and you can go outside for a walk or to play with Ella I think that will help you. I know I am anxiously awaiting a nice day where I can go for a wlak to get some someshine on my face. I will continue to pray for you and know that you are always in my thoughts. Oh and I think that your family would agree that yes you are very Ella, Doug, your parents, Doug's parents, and all of your friends and prayer warriors here on this blog. We all love you and are pulling for you. I know I look to your blog to find strength and motivation.
Much love and prayers,
Melody Rusk

Anonymous said...

Well, everytime I try to send something, it gets kicked back, but here is another try. I just read your blog. You have every reason to be anxious and depressed. In fact, you handle it so much better than most. Remember, you may not be working, but you are still a nurse. No one can take that away from you. They are desparate for nurses everywhere and someday you will go back to work. I just know it. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Marny

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawndra,
We do worry when we do not hear from you, but sometimes that has meant good and exciting things are going on for you too, like the suprise trip to Hawaii, was it, awhile back? I am so sorry about all the really rough feelings, though certainly do not begrudge you them. How could you not have such feelings? Without ever having met you, it seems fair to say that we, out here, love you, and support you, through thick and thin. Joyce

Anonymous said...

Well, everytime I try to send something, it gets kicked back, but here is another try. I just read your blog. You have every reason to be anxious and depressed. In fact, you handle it so much better than most. Remember, you may not be working, but you are still a nurse. No one can take that away from you. They are desparate for nurses everywhere and someday you will go back to work. I just know it. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Marny

Karen said...

Hi, Shawndra. I'm a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom and cancer patient, too. Is there any kind of a stay-at-home moms group in your area? I belong to my local chapter of the MOMS Club ("MOMS" stand for Moms Offering Moms Support). Perhaps there is one in your area? You might be able to find one on I don't think I could be a stay-at-home mom without a group like this. We have different activities to attend nearly every day, and lots of friends who understand what it is like to stay at home with a toddler. They also offered huge support when I had to go away to the Mayo Clinic for my stem-cell harvest. I don't know what I'd do without them. Best of luck to you! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family. Wishing you strength and peace always.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawndra,
I am praying for you everyday. When you are lonely go to a quiet place and talk with God about everything you are feeling. A priest once told me to pick a favorite spot in my house and put a chair next to me and talk as if God were sitting in that chair and talk with him as you would talk with a best friend. It felt funny at first but you know what it worked!

Faith said...

Don't stop pay your embryos. I too have two frozen and pay to store them and I too think of women I know who would love to have children that I could donate them too but it is such a hard decision and even God says not to make decisions when you are in a valley and right now that's where you are. You can be cured too with steady faith and the good doctors so you shouldn't give up on your future when one day you will be all better, you just can't feel and see it now. Children are very hard and yet at the same time a blessing that can get us through things.

I understand what you are going through. When I wear my pump and go through treatments, I can't cry because it hurts my eyes so terribly bad, they cramp up and hurt. sometimes I get really sick and lie in the bathroom thinking I can't do it anymore until my brother says he will come and kick mybutt if I don't. Then I feel better on my good week and can have ice cream again and be with friends and I know I can do it.

You have the right to feel the way you do so you don't have to apologize at all or feel bad for feeling whiney.

You CAN do this and you are strong enough. Life throws us things and it isn't fair but we have to get up and face it head on and keep going.

I send my thoughts and prayers for you and find myself addicted to checking on you. I am stage four but it didn't go past my liver that they know of but it could have and it's hard to meet people stage one.

Keep fighting and God is with you always. So you are never alone.

Always in Faith

Paulette said...

You are so precious, we should be honored that you share your deepest painful thoughts with us. I am honored to follow your journey, it is such a tough one. I am so glad you vent, it helps me to know how to pray for you, Shawndra. I pray for you everyday and come by to check on you. I pray that God will totally heal your body completely, and don't you give up on that!
You have such a compassionate Spirit and I love your witness, I pray that the Lord would give me as much grace as you have amidst conflict.
May the Father wrap you safe in his arms today and soak you in his love and peace.
You are not alone and you are right, we are right here sitting beside you and cheering you on.
Blessings Shawndra.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I feel like this also for the same reasons...Sue

Kelley said...

Oh Shawndra, if only we could mix a magic potion and make everything change. You know, I haven't had to babysit you in years, but I would be happy to come hang out....anytime. I am so proud of you. For the most part you are a rock. I think there are a lot of people that in your shoes would have cracked along time ago. So a melt down is more than OK, I think I would worry more if you never worried. While I know that all the well wishes in the world won't change what you are goig through, they will let you know that you are needed. You are a great source of strength for many many people. Staying home with the kids isn't easy at all. It has it's perks....but it's not easy. Hang in there, you will find a routine that suits you. As for that sun, I CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING! We all need to get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. It's coming, hang in there. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. As hard as asking may be for you to do, it would be my pleasure. Hope Ella gets over the crud quickly, that's not a kind of night I miss! Try and think happy thoughts (sounds like sesame street or something) and you are very needed, to us all! Peace & Love

bahama mama said...

I NEED YOU!!! So I'm not your child, but I live with my parents, so that's something...right?! ;)
You are and will always be a nurse and a damn good one. As for lonliness, it can happen to anyone, no matter what their circumstances. I think there are many who have large families and are never alone, but are lonely. You are always surrounded by love - of your family, friends and now people you only know online! Whether we are with you, or you are just in our thougths and prayers, I promise we would never let you be alone.
I know many times it is easier said than done, but I wish you would reach out to someone on days that never seem to end. I would always be happy to email or talk, even if I am at work. While your feelings are real, I just want you to know that you are needed and loved every minute of every day.
The beauty of your unemployment is that you can do what you want, when you want! Maybe this is your time to find a new hobby (i.e. knitting) that you can do when you are by yourself, or with others! Ok, so you may cringe at the thought of knitting (though it really can be relaxing), but you know what I mean.
Please, please, please let me know if there is anything I can ever do. Being able to be there for you is a privilege and nothing else.
I hope you have a wonderful day and a fun-filled weekend surrounded by those you love those who love you!
Love, d

PS - I noticed someone else had trouble posting and I just realized my last one didn't seem to make it either...Doug to the rescue?! :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not much I can do about losing your post comments. This BLOG platform is entirely in Google's hands, not mine.

On another note... hi baby. I love you! Just say the word and I'll be on my way home to be with you.
- Your hubby and #1 supporter

Astraea said...

Keep those embryos frozen. Only God knows His plan for you.
Much Love & Prayers,

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey there, Shawndra!

I agree with Melody, you are NORMAL! Fighting this illness or not, I doubt there isn't one female in the world who doesn't ask herself multiple times in her life "who am I if I'm not ____?" I was unemployed for 5 months back in 2005 and boy do I understand. I had spent 18+ years of my life allowing my life to be dictated by my work. It was who I was. Everything else came last, especially family and friends. Then one day, poof it was gone. It was an eye-opening experience that I truly believe God wanted me to experience. I needed to refocus and find balance in my life. Am I there yet? Goodness NO, but I work on it every single day. It's like the Mary Kay philosophy: God first, Family second, career third. Find your balance and everything else will fall into place.
However, just to answer your question "who am I if I'm no longer a Nurse Practitioner?" You are Shawndra Turner, one of the most amazing, caring, giving, inspirational women I have ever met. It's sad to realize how many of us reading and listening to you on an ongoing basis would have never known this side of you, or really YOU if it weren't for the circumstances you have been given. I wish I could say that I could be as incredible a person if it were me in your shoes, but that I doubt. Having listening to you, I know it is the person I want to be whether healthy, sick, poor, rich, employed, unemployed, alone or surrounded by family and friends. So please don't doubt who you are or why you are where you are. Even though there are many who would say the same thing, I can only speak for myself and for ME, you are a WORLD CHAMPION of all great things! You juggle sickness, a beautiful baby girl, a pretty hillarious and supportive husband, all of us Shawndra-Stalkers out here, on and on and on with grace, dignity, an amazing personality and BEAUTY!
Hang in there, Shawndra. You are MY gift from God and we all need you and the love you share with each of us.
Anissa Lomshek

Anonymous said...


If I was in your situation, I'm sure I'd be feeling what you feel. I want you to know I'm praying for you. I'm praying for a true miracle!..That when you have your surgery, they won't find any cancer at all! What a testimony that would be, wouldn't it??
Jen in Indiana

Andrea said...

First of all, you and Doug know that my birthing hips are here and ready for you at any time you want!! Maybe they'll finally come in truly handy! Hee Hee. I do think though that you need to be praying fervently about the issue, for He knows the plan. Second, I understand the loneliness and the change in self identity with being a stay at home mom. It just makes you stronger, better, and more willing to rely on GOD which is where we need to send not only our woes, but our thanks for the opportunities and things He has provided us. You know that I pray for you all the time, for peace of mind, for time, for healing, and for the MIRACLE. I think as a team of prayer warriors that all of us readers are for you, we need to start our focus on praying immediately for there to be No MORE Cancer invading your body. I would love to see that testimony, as Jen wrote, when Dr. Foster opens you up and goes - It's a MIRACLE!! Let's joing praying forces that Shawndra's cancer will be gone. His will is the way!! All my love,

Forrest said...

The mind is a powerful thing is it not shawndra? It can play mighty tricks on us. I wish I could write something that could change your situation, but of course I cannot. I grew up in a Stauffer Mennonite community in Osceola county Iowa until I was 17 and then I left and went to the University of Kansas. I used a horse and buggy for transpo until I was 17 years old. I wore same clothes without buttons or zippers just hooks. My mother was a strict mennonite. The Stauffer gang are the closest to the Amish. I left my background and I was probably was cursed as my mother said that I would be. Anyway, although I now drive a car and wear different clothes and struggle with modern problems now I never ever left my love for God and for Jesus. Your salvation Shawndra is in Jehovah Jira your provider. I have this to comfort you. I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, The three in one and one in three. I bind this day to me for ever, By power of faith, Christs incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan river; His death on cross for my salvation. His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heav'nly way; His coming at the day of doom; I bind unto myself today. I bind unto myself today The power of god to hold and lead, His eye to watch, his might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need; The wisdom of my God to teadh, His hand to guide, his shield to ward, The word of God to give me speech, His heav'ly host to be my guard. Against all Satans spells and wiles, Against false words of heresy, against the knowledge that defiles, against the heart's idolatry, against the wizard's evil craft, against the death-wound and the burning, the choking wave, the poison'd shaft, Protect me, Christ, till thy returning. Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all the love me, Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger. Shawndra God wants you to have life and have it abundant. This is not what God wants for you. God is the greatest physician. Paul tells us that when we are in this body we are away from Jesus. How much better it is to be with Jesus and we long for it. God chose you to be his child even before you were born he knows your life every day and every minute. Your special and your a child of God. We give thanks to Jesus for hardships and troubles in good times and in bad times because he knows suffering. I will pray for you and fast during your upcoming surgery if you let me know the dates. I will pray in the spirit although I will not know the words my spirit will be praying to God in tongues. I will pray for you Shawnra with all the power the Lord has given me. I believe in miracles and our God is one of miracles. I have seen them many many times in the Mennonite church. I wish I could take you to my home and have the people of the Mennonite church lay hands on you because they are the most godly connected people I know. They love the Lord with all their heart mind and soul. Peace to you Shawndra but not the peace this world gives but the peace Jesus gives. remeber we don not fight against flesh and blood but from the evil that is not seen as said in Esphians.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no need to apologize; that's what we're here for - to listen! You are an inspiration to so many! I continue to be one of your prayer warriors. I hope Ella feels better soon.
Amy K.

Anonymous said...

I am the mom of twins who were adopted through embryo adoption. If you decide that you don't want to have any more children, before you stop payment on your embryos that are in storage please consider giving them up for adoption. You can check out for more information about this. Our childrens' genetic family gave us such a blessing by giving their frozen embryos up for adoption!

Emily G. said...

You do have a job, the MOST important one in the world, you just don't get paid in dollars and cents. You get it in hugs, kisses and even throw-up. LOL Enjoy these days being her MOM. Next thing you know she will be walking down the stairs in her prom dress.......hopefully with her undies under the dress!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Shawndra,
That is great news about your PET/CT! I know you're frightened about your upcoming surgery and you have every right. Jen was scared too but she wanted to get that cancer out of her body. You have responded well to chemo and you'll do great after surgery too. Once you're at Creighton and in Dr. Foster's gentle care, you'll feel a lot more confident. That hospital is wonderful and the staff are very caring. The cafeteria food is really good too! Omaha isn't that far away and someone can bring Ella up to see you. Jen had visitors who came from Blue Springs.
Try to keep your chin up. You've come a long way and your positive attitude has helped you so much. Remember you have thousands of people praying for you daily.
You have my continued love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

Stay strong! You can do it. You have a lot of support and prayers coming your way. A friend of Jan V.'s.

Anonymous said...

Shawndrea, I have not written in a while but think of you every day. You have been on my heart thinking of your up coming trip and surgery. I guess with it being Jen's birthday last week and reliving that time, you always come to my mind. You have surpassed so many obstacles and are still a fighting warrior. It is only natural all the feelings you are having and thinking. You are normal!!! What an incredible inspiration you are to us all. Ella and Doug are so blessed to have you and you are doing what so many others just could not, being strong, loving, caring, funny even through all you have been through. You are beautiful sugar and I will lift you up in my prayers and ask for that miracle you so deserve. Things change and miracles come along and you will have that. Remember, that feeling has never left me and we are still talking a year later!! I believe, truly I do, in you!!! Love, Melodie Chrisman

Naomi said...

I''ll share a quote with you my friend told me, as I am going through this scare of polyps on my gallbladder/pancreas..and gi issues they just dont have answers to yet...nucular medicine in my future now..
I am praying for you Shawndra, I know it can feel you have the world on your shoulders, I too have a toddler, and know somedays its hard to smile when your scared and keep a happy front when you just want to cry, but thats being a mom, and she needs you, thats a good thing!
Heres the quote.
"If God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it"

Leisa said...

Shawndra, I am so sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time. My heart goes out to you. But I'm glad you are sharing it with those of us who care so much about you. What you are going through is a huge challenge. You are doing the right thing by not keeping your feelings in. I hope you feel better after getting it off your chest. After seeing all of the heartfelt responses from your caring supporters on this blog, it just reminds me of how much good there is in people. I am so glad to have come to know you and I will say again that I have extremely positive feelings about the outcome of your treatements. I was very happy to hear that the pet/cat scan went well. You have been fighting this ugly disease for over a year and there are no signs of it spreading. That's huge. Unfortunately, there are so may others who do not have these results from their scans over a year in to their treatments. And there's a reason yours aren't overly concerning. I know the surgery is scary because it's going to clarify a lot of uncertainties. But it could end up being the light at the end of this very difficult tunnel and improve the chances of a cure. It definitely can happen. It does happen. You deserve for it to happen for you. And I feel good, really good about that being a strong possibility of what's on your horizon. It's totally understandable for you to be depressed and to be scared. You've done so well with it all. Unfortunately the bad days are a part of it and they stink! But don't ever lose hope. Hope is a very powerful thing. Pray, pray and pray some more and we will all be praying with you. The "why me?" question is a tough one. I've thought about that so many times since losing my Mom. Obviously it's an impossible question. But I try to think about the reason behind the "why her?" because she wasn't ready to leave this world. And I wonder if she got to the other side and it was instantly clear and ok with her. My 11 year old daughter and I were talking yesterday about that because we still grieve together and talk through it. We shared our visions of heaven and what it must be like for her there. We picture there being sunshine, lush greenery and flowers all the time. But it never feels hot and the grass never needs mowed and the flowers and greenery never need water. They just stay that way all the time without it taking any work to make it like that. We picture there being areas where there is snow that is fresh without any footprints in it that just stays that way and never gets dirty or slushy and it doesn't feel cold as you walk on air through it. I think about being in an ocean and going underwater enjoying marine life with no need for oxygen and no fear of drowning. Who knows if it's like this? But it's supposed to be unlike anything we could even fathom in our earthly minds ability. So since we can imagine all the stuff my daughter and I did, it has to be even better. And maybe this is the answer to "why Mom?". God was ready to share all of this glory and euphoria with her for whatever reason and she is totally happier than she could have ever been here. It still hurts every day not having her with us, don't get me wrong. But it just helps get us through the difficult moments. Not that this answers any of the "why, me?" questions for you. Just some thoughts about how we try to use positive thoughts to get through some difficult days and answer difficult questions. Hang in there dear sweet girl. I do hope you're feeling better by now and that you have a fun weekend planned. I hope Ella is feeling better by now too. It's amazing how those Mommy instincts kick into full gear the minute our babies our sick, isn't it? I'm still that way with my older girls now. There's just no one like Mommy when your sick. And you are a wonderful Mommy. Ella is a lucky little girl. Try to keep us posted on how you're doing. There's lots of people who care so much about you and want to be here for you on all the good as well as the difficult days of your journey. God bless you Shawndra! You'll be in my prayers. Leisa

Anonymous said...

My Dad told me when he had cancer, to live each day to the fullest as if God was visiting your home. And he is, he is always right by your side. I don't think that you remembered my Dad but he was your Mothers Uncle Eldon.
My Mother-in-law was a housekeeper for Fr. Dwyer, and he gave her this prayer. Fr. Dwyer said, it was a special prayer given to him from the Pope (John Paul).

A prayer to Blessed Virgin

This is one of my foundest prayers I pray daily.
We are all so proud of you for all you have occomplished in your life, with much more ahead for you.

With much love and lots of prayers

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Stephanie. I am from New Jersey. I am 38 years old, married to a wonderful man named Carl and have a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Carly. I too have cancer. When I was 35 I was diagnosed with stage 4 appendix cancer. This cancer is very rare, but it behaves sort of like colon cancer. I had a huge surgery done by Dr Paul Sugarbaker at the Washington Hospital Center in DC. During the surgery I had a full hysterectomy, splenectomy, gall bladder removed, greater and lesser omentum removed, portion of colon removed and diaghprams scraped. I had heated intraperitoneal chemo followed by 6months of Folfox. I am happy to say that was in 2005 and he was able to remove all the cancer that the eye could see (Dr Sugarbaker is wonderful by the way) and I did great and was able to somewhat get my old life back. Unfortunately, on a recent CT scan they spotted a small 1.8 cm area in my porta hepatis area. Dr sugarbaker recommends that I have cyberknife radiation done and I am currently in the process of arranging that. I couldn't believe it. For over 2 years everything was fine and boom - I get hit again by the beast. I just thank GOD that it is only one area. I just want you to know that me and my family will be praying for you and yours. I started reading some of your blog, but have not finished. I know you said you are going for surgery (not sure what kind) so if you ever want to talk pleas feel free to email me at Unfortunatly I have been thru alot and I know it is sometimes easier to talk to people who have walked in your shoes. I am sorry this message is so long, but I wanted to let you know you are definately not alone. I am fighting right along side of you from NJ. Take care, keep fighting and GOD BLESS!!! Stephanie Castellano

Anonymous said...


I am sorry that you are having a difficult time. I know being a stay at home Mom is the hardest job but, it is the most rewarding job. Please know we are here for you and would love to have playdates with you and Ella. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep Believing!

The Mudge's

Nancy said...

Don't let your fear be stronger than your faith. You are in my prayers.