Thursday, September 3, 2009

Uh oh. We know what the pain was.

Well, I think we figured out what cause the pain that sent me to the emergency room in London. It was what I feared...progress in terms of the tumor on my liver. That one stupid tumor that was not responding to hormone therapy while the rest of them were keeping still or even shrinking. The liver tumor is growing. The ultrasound confirmed. Where it is growing there are a bunch of nerves, so something could have aggravated it and caused the pain. The pain has also come back. Not to the point where it hurts as bad as in London, but it hurts. I really don't care about the actual physical pain. I'd deal with the pain for the rest of my life if I could trade in what the pain meant. That's what's screwing with my mind.

My blood tumor markers are also going crazy which completes all the clues we are looking for to determine that my cancer is no longer idly sitting in my body, but starting to grow again. They went from 440 to about 880. Scary.

Of course I freaked out. Kevin was at the airport getting ready for a nice boys trip to Vegas with some Austin friends and I called him hysterical. Remind anyone of anything???? If you've read my blog back in the day you'll remember when I was re diagnosed, Kevin was on his way to the airport for a Vegas bachelor party and I called him to tell him the cancer spread all over my body and that they said I wouldn't live more than two years. Of course he skipped his trip and I forever felt guilty because he missed his Vegas bachelor party. So, this time I got my shit together and told him to GO and have fun. I should have just told him when he got back, but I can't help it, he's my emotional dumping ground and he plays the part well. He's always been there for me and I know he will always have my back no matter what. He keeps me sane for the rest of the world.

I feel for Kevin. This affects him almost as much as it affects me. I get so caught up in my own fear and sadness that I have no room left to feel sorry for him or worry about how he is feeling. Then, I get all the sympathy from everyone and Kevin I think comes up shorthanded. I can't imagine what this is like for him. I know he wants to make things better for me, but what can he do??? That has to be difficult to deal with.

Medically, what the hell am I going to do?????? Well, I am considering getting the ovaries out which is more effective hormone therapy than what I am currently doing. I manage no hormones pretty well, so I think it should be a pretty doable adjustment. However, now that things are looking a little worse, I have more to consider. I got a CT scan today and I get a PET scan tomorrow. What we're looking to see is if disease in other spots are progressing or just this one liver met. If it's just the one, we might consider RFA (ablation - sort of a surgery to remove the one non-hormone therapy tumor) If there are more spots then I think my doc is going to start speaking the dreaded word chemotherapy. I'm getting a little ahead of myself. We have two major tests to consider, but I've been down this road a few times and kind of know the plan. I pretty much know what my oncologist is going to say and suggest before we make an actual decision. We plan multiple courses of action for each possible way things turn out during every appointment, so we have a plan ahead of time. I'm just very resistant to the chemotherapy plan she always suggests.

Anyway, not a good day for me. I also have to stop getting tests done at Troy Beaumont. It's so close and convenient, but also the hospital my grandpa Joe died in. Every time I walk down that long hallway I remember the countless times I walked down there just hoping for a miracle. I walk past area D where I went up to his intensive care floor and I get immediately choked up. I remember my family hanging out in the lobby with my little sister trying to keep her occupied so she stops asking to see Pupa because it would be much too traumatic for a 4 year old. Honestly, I decided I will start making the drive out to Royal Oak for all appointments so I stop remembering that time. Guess it didn't help having that memory followed by the phone call to tell me my tumor marker results. It set me over.

Wow is this a depressing blog. Sorry. A girl's got to vent and Kevin's on his way to Vegas.
Here's the deal. I get bad news and I'm very traumatized and sad for one day. Usually by the next day I've gotten my head together and I can move on. That's usually when I write in the journal. So, today, you get traumatized, sad, scared Shannon rather than, day after already thinking positive Shannon.

It's a beautiful day and I'm going to do some gardening. Maybe that will take my mind off things. Or, I could just let Chloe keep sleeping on me and take a nap myself.

On a completely opposite note to try to end this happily...........
The Bras for a Cause show is coming along great. It's a welcomed distraction. Saturday September 12th. Come and see what we've worked so hard on for a year. I'll even get up on stage for 5 minutes to talk since I'm the president. I'd love for all you readers and supporters to come.

Check out some of these pictures we took of the planning committee for the program. They got funnier as we kept trying to get a good one. These are some of the people that are making this show happen. (as well as my uncle, my mom, my family and a lot more people as well)
This is your Bras for a Cause Planning Committee.

Then we broke into the art bra selection and all picked one to wear.
Kevin cracks me up. Never worried about his masculinity.
See, there's always something to smile about.
I promise I'll tell you all about the socialized health care in London and my experience in a blog soon. Might be after the bra show. And of course I'll tell you what the CT and PET scan says as well as what route we go to get me back to healthy. You all know I'm a trooper, so please don't worry too much. Things will be turning for the better in no time.

Your determined to be positive friend


  1. Girl-

    If there's one thing you've taught me, it's that the mind is a VERY powerful thing. You can do this!! Think yourself well and everything well follow.

    Besides, snowboard season is coming soon and that's definitely a cure-all!


  2. Hi Shannon,

    I'm a friend of Jen Engdale's and I've been following your blog for quite some time now. I just wanted you to know how much you inspire me. There are so many times that I let the little things catch up with me and you help me overcome them.

    I just wanted you to know that a stranger in Austin, Texas is sending you positive vibes. If anyone can beat this - I know you can.

    Much love,
    Lisa Dreher

  3. I don't remember how I ended up on your blog, but recently did. My heart goes out to you and your husband for all that you are going through. We live in Round Rock (just outside of Austin) and I just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you, too. You seem like such a strong person and I know God grants miracles everyday. Know that someone else in Texas is praying for you to make it through this fight! God Bless!

    Shawna ~ Round Rock, Texas


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