Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

As the title says, Happy Birthday dad! We enjoyed spending time with you and the family this weekend at the lake! The kids absolutely love being around you, as we do as well!
Hello everyone- I hope you all had a good weekend with the definitely fall weather! I love fall, seeing all the changing, falling leaves, bundling up with a fire in the fireplace, ahhh! One of those great things on this earth!
As for me, I am recovering quickly, still tired a lot,wearing out quicker but getting around better. Last night I had some really bad cyclical pain, but either the pain medication or some other medication I took helped get rid of it after an hour or so, thank God! I saw my oncologist today, the plan is to get back on the rounds of infused chemo, back on the same regimen, most likely, of Folfiri, which I was on before I started the Xeloda pills which did not seem to be working for me! I got my flu shot today as well, my arm actually kind of hurts a bit from it, but that is okay! small potatoes to everything else. Have you all gotten your flu shot yet? or pneumonia shot if you are sick or older? good thing to do not only for you but to protect your family as well! I go up next week to see Dr. Foster in Omaha. I will have my port-a-cath put back in up there since he was going to put me under anesthesia anyway for an exam under anesthesia. For those of you who may not know the port is how they are able to give me chemo without having to start an IV every time. It is a little pin cushion like thing that is placed under the skin in my chest. They took my last one out when I was in the hospital because i was having fevers and they thought it might be related to an infection from the port, which it wasn't but they weren't sure at that time! I am looking forward to seeing what Dr. Foster has to say. He is a surgeon, so we are going to see if he thinks another surgery to possible remove more cancer in my pelvis area is possible. i know it has risks, especially messing around the bladder, and now that I just had this surgery for the bowel obstruction my guess is he will say we should wait a while and see how the chemo goes and then reevaluate but we will see. I will also be having another CT scan this week sometime so i can take it up to Omaha for them to look at. I hate these scans because I have to drink the contrast which always makes me sick, just because it is sooo much to drink. I will go prepared with Compazine (antinausea) before the fun begins. I am not sure which day that will be yet, I will let you all know when I find out. It looks like I will be restarting chemo November 18th, so I still have a few more weeks to recover before I restart chemo.
I don't know if I have been keeping you posted on Ella. She is wearing big girl underwear most of the time during the day now! She has had a few accidents but does well most of the time! She is going to be a mermaid for halloween and she is very excited. THis is really the first year she really understands it all. She has been very into "Sleeping Booty (beauty)" too. so cute.
Oh, I am still thinking about the whole foundation thing. I would love to start one to bring awareness to colorectal cancer, especially in younger people, and have somewhere that can bring all of us who are diagnosed with this together to support each other. I talked to Doug last night about it, he likes the idea too but is concerned it is a lot to take on for me right now. I am still in the research phase to see exactly how to start something like that and if it is necessary, etc. I will let you know. but I am glad to know that I have a lot of people who would be willing to help out if I did start a foundation. I would probably need a lot of help.
THank you to everyone who has taken their time to help me these last few weeks. I appreciate everything you all have done. I also want to thank you all for the continued support, especially through prayer. It is all in his hands, we have to continue to look to him for the miracle and trust his plan. have a great week everyone. I will talk to you all soon. Shawndra


Lauren said...

Keep on fighting. We are praying for you. !! The foundation is a great idea. !!

Alicia Ruhl said...


My husband Ryan recently started working with your husband, and has shared your blog with me. I just wanted to share a couple quick things with you...

First, and foremost, we're lifting your family up in prayer, and promise to continue without ceasing. If you have time, and are interested, please visit my friend Lori's site: she is a contemporary Christian artist who lives here in Lees Summit. Her music and lyrics have become a source of strength for all those struggling. Anyhow, here's the address:

OK, second order of "business" :) You mentioned starting a foundation at some point. I am a graphic artist, and pledge to offer my services if and when you are ready to start the journey of launching a foundation.

Last, just as a fun fact: we became parents on October 7th of this year. My sister in St. Louis just had her first, also a daughter, on August 16th. Long story short? Her name is Ella Marie!

K, to recap: we're praying specifically for you and your condition, check out Lori's music when you can, remember me when you're ready to discuss setting up the foundation, and give that daughter Ella a big hug from the Ruhl family.

All our best in His name,
Alicia, Ryan & Anaya

Team Piggott said...

So glad to see you are feeling better. I will keep you lifted in prayer as always. You know you guys can call us for anything. I will have to just start intruding into your lives to get you to let us help.

Tell Doug hello and give Ms. Ella a big hug and kiss from us.

God Bless!
We love you!
-Antwan, Roseanda, Micah and Baby #2

kelley said...

Fall blew in quickly! I can't say that I am as excited as you about this weather change, summer is the season I love and fall just reminds me that summer is over....for now!
A GREAT BIG Happy Birthday Gary! I hope it was a great day for you.
We will say a prayer that Dr. Foster has a plan, even if it isn't surgery I know that you get comfort in knowing he is proactive.
I think that Ella as a mermaid is ideal. No wig necessary, perfect.
As for the foundation, yes it will be a lot of work, nothing good is ever easy. You should enlist those that you know will be an asset, get the basics going and then deligate jobs to those around you. There are a lot of people that would love to help, but don't want to be in charge, so it's a perfect combination, chief and indians.
Have a fun, safe Halloween.

Anonymous said...


Our thoughts and prayers are with you always! Keep Believing!!!

The Mudge Family

Astraea said...

We will pray for you always. Even after you beat this!!!

Michelle said...

Hi Shawndra,

My thoughts and prayers are with you this week, as always! I'll be praying especially hard next week that your meeting with Dr. Foster goes well, and that he can find new ways to help cure your cancer.

I leave for NYC on Saturday. The marathon is Sunday. I'll be wearing your name on the back of my shirt (and mine on the front!), so I'm sure I'll hear lots of "Shawndras" being yelled out!!

Have a good week...looking forward to seeing pics of your cute mermaid! :)


Michele said...

Shawndra, My friend Becky's job is to work with people who wish to start a foundation. I don't know the official title but she is a really sweet person and would certainly be willing to talk with you. Here is her email:

Naomi in GA said...

SHawndra, I am so happy you got to celebrate your Dad's b-day at the Lake, and you are doing as well as you can WILL beat this YOU ARE SUCH A FIGHTER!
I want to help your foundation I will volenteer in anyway I can to help : )
I was in the hospital and ER last Thus and Friday I have pre "c" cells so I am scared, but hopeful.
Thanks Shawndra for all your inspiration...Love ya girlie!

Paula said...

I love your idea of starting a foundation! It will be a lot of work, but you know you can count on all your friends to throw their support and energy behind you. Your such an inspiration to all of us. And if there is anything I can do to help, just let me know!

Love ya!