Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2 years

Hello everyone- I hope you all had a great weekend! We had fun, but of course it went by so fast. We spent most of the weekend at the lake with just my immediate family. It was nice, but of course with three children under the age of 5 it was not really relaxing. It was just nice to be with each other.
To me, this was a celebration weekend. It was two years ago that I had my colonoscopy the friday before the long weekend. Then I had to wait the long weekend to find out the results of the colonoscopy that showed I had a large mass that the nurse described as "an angry mass". It was that Tuesday after the long Labor Day weekend that I found out that the results showed that I had a very rare form of colon cancer, signet cell adenocarcinoma. Of course this turned my world upside down, with a very young daughter, only 9 months at the time and having only been married just over two years. I had just started my new career as a nurse practitioner almost two years before. But after my surgery in January when they found that there was more cancer in my abdomen and gave it a Stage IV, they told me I would have maybe two years to live if I did chemo, only one year without chemo. Well so far I am still hear and feel well enough that I think I will greatly surpass that guess. Even though I wanted to know what they predicted my prognosis to be, the truth is they really don't know. Everyone and every case is different. Even though this is not what I wanted in life for myself and mostly for my family, it has brought about some positives and some negatives. The negative is that I can not carry another child which we had hoped to do around the time I was diagnosed. I have not been working which I really miss. I probably could off and on, but I want to be able to commit myself fully! At that point, it was more important to be with my family as well. I didn't know what the future held and I want to spend as much time with my family as possible.
With this experience I have strengthened my faith and believe that God's plan for me is to help others become stronger in their faith after seeing my miracle of life. As I have told you all before, I struggled with my belief's and my faith prior to this. I have since put my trust in God and know that he will take care of me. I know that this is just our temporary life before out eternal life, which I think will be even better than this life. Some of you may disagree with this depending on your religious belief's and that is okay. We all have our own opinions and beliefs and I have learned that too from this blog.
I have gained a tremendous support system from this experience. I wouldn't have all of you in my life, praying for me, thinking about me, etc. I appreciate each of you. Even if you don't always believe in some things I do or say. I am only doing my best in the situation I am in. I have also had the opportunity to bring awareness to Colorectal cancer, especially in younger people who statistically this isn't supposed to affect. But as many of you can tell, cancer does not discriminate and it can happen to anyone. Most importantly you have to listen to your body and be your own advocate when something isn't right for you. Keri- who just commented on my last post, I am soooo glad that you listened to your body and took action when you knew something wasn't right. I am very happy to hear that it has been taken care of and they caught it before it grew from a polyp. That is one reason I am doing this. To hopefully help people learn from my experience. Oh, you don't know how glad I am to hear that my story helped you and others!!! Thank you!
Ella is here with me (she is supposed to go to daycare today but she and I are taking our time). She just finished the United States of America puzzle all by herself, wow, I am so proud of her. She is very good at puzzles, but usually needs a little help with that puzzle but she just did it on her own. Wow, yaaaa Ella.
Anyway, I will let you all get back to your day. I hope you have a good, short week. I hope you all had a fun, safe weekend. Talk to you all soon. Again, I would love to hear about you all and what you are up to. Shawndra

PS. Don't forget that the Jennifer Ireland Golf Tournament is September 20th, so sign up now!
PPS. The new wellsphere site will be up soon, with the new cancer community, so keep checking out the site. I will let you know when it is up. I will also be putting my "Top blogger Award" up on the site soon.
PPPS. Stand up to Cancer will be airing this Friday, September 5th on all the major stations, I believe. NBC, CBS, ABC. Check it out as well, this is a fundraiser to get funding for cancer research which is soooo badly needed. My diagnosis may be able to be considered a chronic disease instead of a deadly disease with the help of research. This is research for all cancers, not just colorectal cancer. Everyone is knows someone struggling with cancer or have lost someone to cancer unfortunately. Please if you can, donate to the cause.

I have to run, Ella is calling.


Anonymous said...

This might be too personal a question, but what kind of symptoms did you experience that led you to get that colonoscopy? And did you ignore symptoms for awhile or did they just come on all of the sudden? I'm just curious as it seems that with this type of disease, the symptoms tend to be vague, could be the flu type of symptoms then when they really flare up is when it's pretty late stage?

kelley said...

Wow, two years have gone by. We will continue what we are doing to help make it many many many more "two years"! The fact that we all know someone that has been affected by some form of cancer is quite scary. But with people like you bringing awareness and hope to the game, maybe someday it will be a thing of the past.

Michelle said...

Hi Shawndra,

I was thinking about you this weekend, as I knew it was the weekend 2 years ago that you were diagnosed. I'm sure there are alot of mixed feelings that go along with that weekend for you, but what a testament to both your strength and your doctors that you are doing so well!

I hope and pray you have many, many, many more years of health. So many advancements are being made in cancer research everyday, as you know, and I really hope these will help to cure your cancer.

You are in my thoughts and prayers every single day...


oh, and I didn't comment on your last post, but want to say that Ella is a beauty!! She has grown so much since you've last posted pictures, and is a little girl now, not a baby! :)

Angie said...

I still remember your phone call that Friday after your appointment and thinking it wasn't fair that you had to wait the whole holiday weekend to get your results and then hearing your results on that Tuesday...you have proved the doctors wrong and you will continue to do that!! You've made a difference in so many lives (especially when you hear that because of your story people have listened to their own bodies and been checked out) and you're going to keep doing that too!!

I'm so proud to call you my friend!!


PS-maybe you could put a text box or something under your picture that briefly explains your symptoms and what your blog is about for when you get the always asked symptoms question-just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Praying for many more blessed years for you and a cure around the corner!

What a sweet pea your daughter is! Thanks for sharing that pic. =}

Take care,

Andrea said...

I remember this weekend 2 years ago well. I remember you calling me crying in fear, then calling telling me the diagnosis. What sadness overcame me at that moment. My only sister, had cancer?! I yearned to be right there to hug and hold you. I prayed that this was only to help you gain faith and give your life to God. Well, sounds like a prayer is starting to be answered and I hope that you continue to give your fears, worries, joys, hopes, your life to God. He knows your path and all the good you are doing by helping others here and raising awareness. Keep it up! By the way, I had a great weekend spending time with our family too! What fun times at the lake!
Love you so much,

Anonymous said...

Shawndra, You go girl!!! No one does know how long we have and you are one warrior that has defeated those silly odds. I come to your site everyday but don't post as much as I should. You bring me inspiration and hope for humanity and I don't mean that lightly. We all do care on a level that is so deep, it makes me cry sometimes. They say love is fragile but I think it is strong because if people didn't love, there is no way they could have lifted you up the way they have. You, Doug and Ella and all your family never leave my thoughts. You make me a better person girl. Truly you do. Love ya. Melodie Chrisman

Anonymous said...


My prayer today is that you will continue to celebrate these anniversaries...3 years, 4 years, 30 years! You are such a model of grace and strength and I thank you for sharing your story and being vunerable with all of us you haven't even met.

Jeannie from Massachusetts

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing your journey with our family. You have inspired us to live each day to the fullest. Our thought and prayers are with you and your family. Keep Believing!!!

The Mudge Family