Monday, March 10, 2008

Out of ICU and Ready for a Diet Coke

Hello everyone. I thought I would send out a quick update before heading back to the hotel for the night. Shawndra moved from ICU to a private room tonight. She's doing SO well! As I left her room tonight, she asked me to come back early tomorrow, so she could walk around. She's really missing drinking Diet Coke. Her goal is to have the NG tube removed ASAP! :)

Speaking of which... Ella saw Mommy today in the ICU. Now, normally this isn't something the nurses would recommend doing, especially with a 2 year old, but Shawndra was asking for her, and Ella was asking for Mommy. I did my best to explain that Mommy would have a tube in her nose, but that didn't prevent Ella from crying when we walked into the room. I know what you're thinking... bet that was traumatic.. but wait... hold those negative thoughts! About 10 minutes later, Papa Gary carried her out of the ICU (still upset). Forty-five minutes later, Ella asked to "go see Mommy". This time around, she was her cheery, lovable, self. She held Mommy's hand, and asked if she could watch "Mickey" (Mickey Mouse) on the LCD monitor (that was displaying graphs and numbers related to Shawndra's heart rate, saturation level, etc.) I'm laughing now just thinking about that moment. Elizabeth, Shawndra's nurse, also made it easier this time around too, by filling up a plastic glove with water, tying it, and handing it to Ella for her to draw a smiley face. That little glove... this afternoon, she wouldn't take a nap without it! LOL. The nursing staff in the ICU here at Creigton is TOP NOTCH. And of course, it goes without saying, the aggresive treatment options provided by the colo-cancer department here is THE best. (Thank you Jennifer Ireland for leading us to Dr. Foster and team. You have not been forgotten.)

Gary, Carolyn, and Ella will be heading back to Kansas City tomorrow. I'm going to miss Ella, but she'll be back up on Friday to see Mommy. I leave Friday for Southeast Kansas to attend activities for my, recently deceased, grandfather.

I can honestly say, this is the first time since Shawndra's diagnosis that I feel, and believe, that she's going to beat cancer. And for all that have been a part of her "healing"... thank you.

- Doug

42 comments:

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

She's going to beat this. What a fighter!!! I can't wait to hear how yummy the first Diet Coke tastes!

You guys keep fighting and we'll keep praying. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

Congrats on moving out of the ICU; one step closer to being back home! I am sure that you enjoyed your visit today with Ella! Hopefully your NG tube will get pulled soon and you will continue with your recovery. Just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my daily thoughts & prayers!

Jennifer Teegarden MD

Melony said...

Shawndra,

I am so excited that you got to see your "little punks".. That is the best medicine for a Mommy!! I pray that you will get the NG tube out and get your fill of Diet Coke!! Praise God for the meidcal staff that he has used to do great things..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that update, Doug! It was great to read!! I am so happy and thankful that Shawndra is doing so well!! Your last paragraph gave me chills when I read it...I believe she'll beat it too, but to hear you say it, after all you all have been through, is so amazing!! I'll continue to pray for Shawndra's complete and speedy recovery, and for all of your family.

God Bless you all. Take care of yourself, Doug. Shawndra, you're in my prayers each day.

Michelle

Naomi ,Doug and Adam in GA said...

WooHoo Great news to wake up to this morning = ) You go ahead and have your diet coke Shawndra, reminds me of when I was in labor and after my csection for my son, after 21 hours, I was begging for a COKE no more ice crips dammit..Ha ha!
I think it shows shes getting some spunkiness about her back and thats a good thing, keep pushing to get back to normal girl and get that tube out and enjoy your diet coke! Gotta make ya smile hearing your request.
I am soooooooooo happy Ella got to see her Mommy too, having a 2 year old myself, I know how mommy oriented they are and its the best medicine in the world for Shawndra to see her lil girl , I am sure it makes her fight even harder and heal to get out of the hospital and back home to wach Heffalumps and Mickey again = )
Well you WILL beat this cancer, this is a huge step to making it a thing of the past and something that will be gone forever from your body when you now go into remission...I WILL PRAY that cancer is a word you dont have to worry about again in your body and that it is flushing itself away everyday until there is none...We all love you, and I am elated to hear you are out of ICU and getting well! I want to send flowers as soon as you are ready for them,be it at the hospital or at home, let me know whats appropriate for you, if you dont want to travel home with them, I will hold off and send them along later ....but I have something pretty picked out for ya, and a lil something for Ella for Easter as well
((HUGS)) to your entire family,SHAWNDRA,DOUG,ANDREA,PARENTS and everyone else, we all love you and feel Shawndra is a part of our extended families as well...LOVE to you all and GOD is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!

Anonymous said...

woderful news all the way around!! sue

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news.

Love,

Roswita

Anonymous said...

Shanwdra and Doug,
Again, I'm so elated that Shawndra is now in the capable and loving hands of Dr. Foster and staff. When Jen, Chris and I left Creighton, we felt like we were leaving family members. Doug, you are so correct in saying the staff there is nothing short of AMAZING!
Shanwndra's fighting spirit is her ticket home. To already be out of ICU and walking makes her the "poster child" for Colo-cancer removal. WAY TO GO SHAWNDRA!!!!
Keep up the good work. That uncomfortable NG tube will be out before you know it and one by one all the other tubes will be removed too. Soon, you'll be a free woman. I'm so proud of you Shanwdra. If anyone can beat this disease, you can. Of that I have no doubt. The power of a positive attitude, along with powerful prayers and a great medical team, coached by God himself is an awesome team. Shawndra, YOU GO GIRL!
Can't wait to see you at home. Again, I feel like I'm right there with you. I can mentally place myself in all areas of Creighton, especially the cafeteria with it's yummy food. (Doug I hope you've had their pizza and their veggie burger...yum!)Your prayers warriors all over the world are maintaining our prayer vigils awaiting the post that you're going home. Particularly, you are being watched over by Jennifer, I just know it! She wants you reunited with Ella, Doug and your family. Plus, I know she's happy that our families have grown close. Since she can't physically be here with me, she'd want me to be close with you and celebrate your successess.
I'm proud of you and I love you.
With love and prayers from your earthly friend, Jan Velander, and your heavenly Angel, Jennifer Ireland.

Anonymous said...

You are all amazing!

Love,
Jan

Naomi in GA said...

Jan, I too knew Jen when I was living in KS and got to really feel close to her through her fight and was so sad when she passed ...I actually got to become friends with Shawndra though Jen's site after her passing, I miss Jen so much and I too know she is Shawndra's biggest cheerleader in Heaven and wactching over her...GOD bless the Ireland family for all thier work in this cancer fight.
And again my friend Shawndra, you will BEAT this cancer, and we all love you and pray for you daily!

Adriene said...

I had tears in my eyes after reading Doug's post...especially the last paragraph. I too believe that Shawndra is winning this battle and will continue to pray that happens! Hope you get that NG tube out soon, so you can enjoy that Diet Coke.

Kelley said...

I am elated beyond words that all is going so well. In mind, body and soul. Peace & Love to you all

Anonymous said...

I AM SO VERY HAPPY FOR ALL OF U...TEARS OF JOY STREAM MY FACE AS I READ YOUR MOST RECENT NOTE DOUG, AND SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR FOR DEAR SHAWNDRA AND ELLA TO SHARE THOSE MOMENTS...DIET COKE HERE WE COME.....WITH CONTINUED PRAYER AND CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP, YOUR ANGEL OF PRAYER IN KC, MO...JEN MILLER

JAN VELANDER,
I STILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR U AND YOUR FAMILY...HOPE CHRIS AND THOSE LITTLE DARLINGS ARE DOING WELL...AS WE KNOW ALL TOO WELL GRIEF IS A LONG PROCESS, WITH PEAKS AND VALLEYS...MAY THE GOOD LORD CONTINUE TO LEAD U THRU MANY PEAKS AND FEWER VALLEYS...A PRAYER ANGEL IN KC, MO JEN MILLER

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news! Shawndra, I am so proud of you! I admire your strength, positive attitude, and determination. You are such an insiration!
Hillary

Andrea said...

Doug-
It is so wonderful to hear such touching words from you -that you both can beat this cancer and be cancer-free! That is something that we will be fervently praying for. Thank you for being such a great husband to my sister. She is so lucky! I'm so excited for you Shawny to get out of ICU and on to ice in your diet coke!! Hee Hee! Lots of love and kisses being sent your way. Can't wait to see you again and talk with you! I'm soooo proud of you!! What a trooper and what a fighter. Good job! We owe it all to God - for your strength and for this successful surgery. As Keaton would say - "God is Great!!" Love you, keep up the good fight, and see you soon!
Love,
Dre

Lisa said...

Such a great blog to wake up to this morning! Congrats on moving out of ICU! WHOOHOO! I am having a diet coke for ya RIGHT NOW. So, you get busy at the task at hand to get that NG out....lots of walking, stay out of bed as much as possible and make some "noise" (to put it polietly for the non medical bloggers..he he) and you will have that tube out and diet coke in hand too!

Anonymous said...

ShawnD - So proud of you and pleased to hear all the good reports!

Diet Coke is an excellent motivator. As is the love of Doug, Ella, Andrea, Carolyn and Gary and the list goes on...

Praying hard for continued progress. love - dawner

Anonymous said...

Shawndra...YOU GO GIRL!! Everyone knows how strong you, but dang girl you are a healing machine!!! I am so proud of you and once again in complete awe of your strength!
Keep moving..I know that you know what it takes to get that tube out. I will be out before you know it..maybe they can swap it out for a continuous infusion of Diet Coke!! I am so glad you got to spend time with Ella; I am sure that was the best medicine for you!
I am continuing to pray daily and can't wait for you to get home!
Always - Michelle B

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that everything is looking better. I think about you all the time. Doug, I'm sorry about the loss of your grandfather. I just lost my father two weeks ago, and last Thursday my 26 year old daughter found out she is in the early stages of cervical cancer. Keep her in your prayers. I pray everyday for you that you beat this thing so you can be there for Ella when she grows up. Every child needs their mother.

Forrest said...

So glad that your health is so much better. Strange you would say Jen is not forgotten. I was with the mutual friend that I met Jen through in Blue Springs so so long ago. No, she will not be forgotten. Beautiful woman and beautiful soul. Nor will Paige my
mate be forgotten. Beautiful woman and beautiful soul. God has shown mercy and grace on you. Gods grace is new everyday. My mother is in the hospital in my home in Iowa. I will be going back to my Amish roots to run the farm. I will not have access to anything anybody would consider a part of everyday life in this "world" There will be no phones, tv, papers, electricity or anything remotely similiar. But, I will always keep you in my prayers and my fasts. God is so good and so mericful. I will leave you with this:
I asked God for strength, that i might achieve; I was made weak that I might obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things
I was give infirmity that I might do better things
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise
I asked for power that I might have praise of men
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy all things
I received nothing I asked for, but all I had hoped for
My prayer was answered, Iam most richly blessed.
poem from unknown Confederate soilder
Please say a prayer for my mother and know you are being prayed for Shawndra by the Amish community.
Remember God is good all the time!!
I will TRY to keep up with you because I care.

God richly bless us all.
Forrest. RIP Paige and Jen

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

I pray for you and your lovely family every day and I am so happy to hear how well you're doing!! You are so strong and such an inspiration.

One suggestion: You are fighting so hard to beat this cancer, please don't drink diet soda. You & Doug have mentioned drinking diet soda a few times on your blog and while fighting cancer, you may not want to put artificial chemicals into your body. Some of the sweeteners used in many diet drinks have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, but the test conditions are far from similar to the real world, so don't frighten yourself too much. At the same time, remember that these are artificially created chemicals, and ask yourself if you really want them taxing your body while fighting cancer.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra-

We are so proud of you and your accomplishments after surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep Believing!!!

The Mudge's

jas said...

As I have thought many a time, Shawndra will beat this. I have full confidence in BOTH of you, as well as God to have you cancer free. You are a lucky woman in many ways- a 2nd lease on life AND a LOVING family. Keep fighting the good fight, and have a toast with that Diet Coke.

Jess in Nebraska said...

YES! I too think that Shawndra will one day SOON be cancer free...I am so glad all is going well and she ahs such a wonderful family to support her.
May God Bless you and we'll continue to pray!
Can't wait to hear how delicious the Diet Coke was!!!

Anonymous said...

Bless you & your family Shawndra! I'm an internet lurker & have never posted, but felt the need to today. So happy to see Doug's post on your amazing progress. I agree with the other poster that you should NOT drink that diet soda with artificial sweetner (known to cause cancer & be really bad!) Try some yummy juice or ice cold water - yum yum!
keep getting better!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I'm a believer too.

Love, Dustin

PS - Sleeping with plastic gloves isn't normal?! ;)

Anonymous said...

the great news continues... love it. stay strong, sister. you show 'em who's boss.

stassen

Sherri P eh said...

I am so thrilled to read postive post after post! If it keeps brightening my days, you all must be over the moon! Congratulations, keep on fighting, and we're all right behind you! Hugs and prayers!!

Alaina said...

Shawndra & Doug,

I just wanted to let you know about a cleaning service in the KC area. I am going to leave a couple of links I found off of another website. She offers four free housecleanings (Once a month for four months) to women undergoing cancer treatments. Might want to check it out! Her name is Jan...
913.961.4397.

http://www.cleaningforareason.org
www.jancleaningservices.weebly.com


Alaina

Laurie said...

WOOHOO!!!

SoCalSunshine said...

Hi Doug,

How wonderful that Shawndra's already moving out of the ICU! I think it's great that Ella got to spend time with her mama; kids are a lot tougher than we give them credit for, I think. I bet Ella's visits provided a much needed lift for Shawndra, too. There's nothing like mama for a little girl, and there's nothing like that little girl's smile for her mama.

I will pray that you and your family are able to celebrate your grandfather's life and to heal from his passing. He held Shawndra's hand during her surgery and he continues to be with you all now.

We continue to send you prayers, happy thoughts and rays of sunshine from California,

jg

Anonymous said...

We love hearing all of the good news on Shawndra's recovery. We miss you all and can't wait to have you back here so we can celebrate!

We continue to send our love and prayers. How great is our God!!

Kelly, Mark, Kayla & Grant

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,

Just checking in to see how you are doing. I hope today brought more progress and possibly removal of the NG tube. You are so strong Shawndra. Keep up the positive fighting spirit and lean on your loving family and friends for support. Hoping to hear more good news and updates soon!

Jennifer Teegarden MD

Leisa said...

I'm so glad to hear that Shawndra is doing so well, It's great that she is wanting to be up and around and feels well enough to crave diet coke. That's wonderful that she got to spend some time with Ella. I'm sure that was a real motivator to recover even faster. I hope she's feeling even better by now. I'm very happy for you Shawndra if you're reading this blog. God has definitely blessed you and answered all of our prayers. I hope we get to hear from you soon. My prayers will continue. Leisa

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear Shawndra is doing so well! I started reading your blog after finding it on Jennifer Ireland's blog - it is heartbreaking to see such young people go through this awful, awful disease, but heartwarming at the same time to see how it brings people together. Keep up the good fight, Shawndra - and enjoy the diet coke!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawndra - So glad to read that everything went so well! I hope you get the rotten NG tube removed soon. I had mine for 17 long days. I know sometimes it is hard and exhausting, but walking the halls is the best thing you can do! I don't know if you know this, but in the "appendix cancer world" we call this surgery the Mother of all surgeries!! You should be very proud of yourself!!! I am so happy you got to see your little girl. That was very hard for me too. My daughter was 5 at the time and I felt just like you did. I did not want her to see me with all the tubes either. I am praying that everything continues to go well so you can go home to your beautiful family. Remember when you get home if you ever want to talk or ask me anything about my recovery, I would be happy to help. Take care, keep fighting and God Bless!!! Stephanie Castellano from New Jersey

Anonymous said...

You guys don't know me, but I check in on Shawndra's progress often. I just wanted to let you know that your story has touched me so deeply. As a wife and mother of two little ones, I can't imagine the strength you have Shawndra. I want you to know I am praying for you from central California, I pray the Lord COMPLETELY heals you from this cancer!!!

Anonymous said...

Shawndra,
I am sooo happy for you and your family. It is so wonderful to hear such Great news!
Praying for you.
Wendy

Anonymous said...

SHAWNDRA!!!!!!!!!

YOU MADE IT GIRL!!!!!!!!

YOU ARE GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!

YOUR PERSISTANCE, YOUR FIGHT, WHAT A STEP FORWARD!!!!!!!!!

WE'RE ALL SO DELIGHTED!!!!!!!

I CHECK YOUR BLOG DAILY, NO NEWS SINCE THE 10TH?

IT'S GOT TO BE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

WHAT GREAT WORDS DOUG WROTE- NOW, I REALLY BELIEVE SHE'S BEATING IT.

YOU ALL ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE,

ROSWITA

Paulette said...

I am still in prayer for you everyday Shawndra, checking often to make sure you are ok. I loved your post Doug, and your openess to let us see what is going on. I am so elated for you guys, and I so rejoice at Shawndra's success in this surgery!
May God continue to Bless you all richly.
I am sooo proud of you sweet Shawndra.

Anonymous said...

Shawndra come and visit me at my new blog:
http://cancersucksbigtime.wordpress.com/

sue