Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How Can YOU Help ME

Feeling sick, but trying to smile for the camera.
My nephew Miles is getting so big. He's such a love bug.
Beautiful fall tree at the park by my mom's house.

I don't want to go into the health situation for too long because I have more important things to discuss on this blog. Well, I don't think the enzymes worked for me. Honestly, I think I was too far along to rely on enzymes removing the cancer from my body. All the fevers were not from the enzymes, but from tumors on my liver. They have doubled in size and now my liver is partially compromised. I guess liver tumors cause fevers and also cause a TON of pain when they get so large. I got a CT scan and PET scan. The PET scan showed that they were more active than before. I also have a lot of fluid in my abdominal area. It make sense, because I have lost a lot of weight from lack of appetite, but my stomach sticks out. My legs and arms are smaller though.

I started chemo last week. I don't feel like I had much of a choice. I love how many times I have gone back and forth between not doing chemo and then doing chemo. I'm taking Gemzar. I got another port because my veins are very small and I'll get the chemo often and Gemzar actually burns your veins as it goes in. HURTS. I got to experience that last week and man was it fun.
So, enough about that. Here's hoping to me getting better, liver tumors shrinking, fevers going away and fluid disappearing so I don't feel like my abdomen is trying to explode.

Now what can you do to help? Well, Kevin and I have started a 9pm ritual. So far for 5 nights we have meditated/visualized together. We lay down in silence with our eyes closed for 20 minutes. First we just focus on our breath until our minds are clear. Then, we start the visualization. We visualize the chemotherapy eating away at the tumor cells around my liver and then swooosh they get swept away to be taken out of my body. The other thing we visualize is the cancer cells right on the liver turning into healthy liver cells. Cancer cells are gray to me and the liver cells are red. I mostly vision the cancer cells there, but more like dead cells where the liver cells are very much alive. Every time my mind starts to wander I focus back on my breath and then get back into the visualization again.

Once again, how can you help?? Join us. You can stay in your home, but join us at 9pm and do the visualization with us. It has been proven that more minds don't just duplicate the power by the extra number of minds, but they exponentially increase the effectiveness. Please don't look at this and say, "Oh, that's nice. I'm sure someone is doing this for them." Don't assume someone else is doing it. I NEED your help and I am asking you for it. You don't have to do it every day, but please join as much as you can. You don't have to do the full 20 minutes either. If you have the time, please from 9pm to 9:20 focus your thoughts on my cells turning into healthy cells. Some people are into meditating, some visualization, some like to pray, either way, we all have the same goal and I think us doing it together will increase the effectiveness.

Here are some tips on visualization:
1. Make sure you are in a quiet area where you won't be disturbed
2. Set an alarm, so you don't have to worry if the time is up yet and you can focus
3. If your mind starts wandering, just let the thought lightly pass, focus on your breathing and start again.
4. ALWAYS have a positive attitude while doing this and try to internally smile.
5. If my picture doesn't work in your head, create your own picture of chemo, cancer cells and healthy liver cells
6. Think in the present moment. (VERY IMPORTANT). Think that at that moment all my cells are turning into healthy cells. If you keep thinking about it in the future it will always b in the future and will be less likely to happen

I don't really ask people for much. I get a lot of "please let me know if there is anything I can do" offers. Well, here I am taking them all up at once and I need them all. Please do your very best to help us with this as much as you can. I will have so much hope doing this knowing that I have so many of you out there helping me make this happen.

Thank you all so much
Lots of love and healthy liver cells

Monday, October 19, 2009

New York Trip and Health Update

First - All the pictures are available to view from Bras for a Cause. They are on the website.

Things have been interesting lately to say the least. I've had a fever for the past 11 days straight. Before I go into that, I'll tell you about the New York trip.
On Wednesday I went to fly out to New York and my flight was cancelled because of wind. They said they couldn't get me out to New York until Saturday which was no good because Kevin and I were supposed to fly back to Michigan on Sunday. (Kevin was already out there for work and was supposed to spend Wednesday - Sunday with me). I tried Thursday and Friday to get on the 7:20 flight standby, but it didn't happen. So, three mornings in a row I woke up at 3am trying to get out to New York. I had them at least make my return flight a few days later, but unfortunately I would be in New York without Kevin. I kept thinking maybe this was a sign that I was too sick to go to New York. I went anyway (finally on Saturday)
Here is Kevin, Pat, Sue and Dave at Central Park.
Me and Kevin.
Grand Central Station. Beautiful place.
Me and Dave on the Subway.

We had an action packed Saturday. We went to Central Park, Times Square, Grand Central Station. My uncle did an amazing thing and actually got Kevin and I tickets to see Saturday Night Live filmed. Those tickets are almost impossible to get. I was so excited to go. If I could pick any show to see filmed it would be SNL. We had such an incredible time. Then we walked around Rockefeller Plaza and watched people ice skate.
Here is Kevin and I outside NBC studios after the Saturday Night Live rehearsal.
This is a cool crystal thing that hangs in Rockefeller Plaza.
The next day, we went on the Staton Island Ferry, Kevin went home and I got a really bad fever and felt like complete crap. The next day I was slightly better, but not much. My friend Dave took me to the Met and we looked at art in-between my frequent breaks to sit down because my body was so exhausted. That night Dave, Pat and I went to a comedy show at the Cellar. It was so much fun. We saw Jeff Ross, Colin Quinn, and Jim Norton. Louis CK was also there, but I don't think he ever went up on stage.

Here I am rubbing the head of the bull. It's supposed to bring you wealth. Hopefully enough to cover the cost of the enzymes I am taking. : )
I went to a Broadway show caller Superior Donuts with Dave and my friend Mark and got to see the financial district. Dave and Mark were both pretty good at understanding my energy level and were always trying to find elevators and escalators as well as places for me to sit down often. That helped a lot. That way I could still see what I wanted, but not kill myself doing it or feel bad about inconveniencing them.

This is my friend Mark. We were neighbors in college and stayed friends.
Times Square looks VERY cool at night. I don't think pictures do it justice.
Since I have gotten back I have been exhausted. I have fevers every day. My bones hurt, I get winded from standing too long, my liver hurts and just about every single night I break my fever, sweat until I wake myself in a pool of wetness, but the fever doesn't go away. I have not been myself for a long long time. It's been rough to say the least, but I have a plan. I'm going to decrease the amount of enzymes I take at a time and that should help me feel a little better. Nonetheless, I have been just plain sick of feeling sick. I've had a pretty negative attitude lately. Maybe I can vent, get it out and start focusing on the positive.

So, I created a list in a effort to get it all out and move on:

Here are some things I am SO sick of:
1. I am sick of asking Kevin to get me things and do things for me
2. I am SO sick of washing my pillow cases, sheets and comforter almost daily
3. I am sick of waking up in a pool of wetness on my side of our king sized bed, moving to the center which is dry until I wake up again and now my side and the middle is wet, then kicking Kevin out of bed and sending him to the guest room to sleep and finally waking up on his side, soaked again. I go through 3 pillows and the entire area of our king sized bed every night.
4. I am so sick of not having energy to do anything
5. I am so sick of the TV, movies on demand, everything I have DVRed, and everything on all the premium channels. I hate the TV, but have no energy to do anything else.
6. I am sick of my negative state of mind. Seems like it is one thing after another lately and I am sick of the fact that I am expecting bad things to happen to me.
7. I am sick of pain. (Bone, liver and muscle pain) A couple times a day the pain makes me take a Motrin and it drives me crazy since I am trying to DETOX my body.

I cannot just make this negative list without making some effort to force myself to focus on something positive. While writing this list I decided to write something positive about every single item I listed.
1.I am so lucky to have a husband who will be my own personal slave when it is impossible for me to take care of myself. And this is not just through a 3 day cold or anything. He's been taking care of me like this for a month now.
2. My pillowcases and sheets are getting that nice broken in soft feeling you can only get after owning them for a really long time (or when your a crazy sweaty person like myself)
3. Thank god we got a king sized bed. I am lucky to have so much space to move around and find a dry spot on my bed to sleep in so I can get back to sleep quickly.
4. I got so sick of the TV that it forced me to get a new book. I got Dan Brown's latest book and it is a page turner.
5. I have been gradually getting more energy as I have been off the supplements for a couple days. I can use this time to accomplish some things and visit with people.
6. I think my negative state of mind has hit a breaking point. I now realize it's time to get serious again about changing my thought process and expect good things to happen to myself.
7. My pain is different every day, it's not like it steadily gets worse of anything. Today I could be in terrible pain and tomorrow my body could feel like nothing happened. There is always the hope of tomorrow being a better day.

I wrote all this yesterday and I already feel a tiny bit better today. Things always have the opportunity to get better.

Take care everyone. I'll take care of myself and hopefully I'll soon be writing about my next voyage away from my house. For now, I'll just enjoy saving so much gas money by staying home all the time.

Your VERY SWEATY friend

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Been in a Real Funk Lately - New Supplements

Starting off on a happy note, here are a few pictures that my dad took of the Watson family.
I think this picture is great. Roger, Edie and Lauren are so happy and Riley just started to cry. She has got to be the cutest crying baby in the world.
Here is the whole group. It was such a nice day. Keith, Kevin, me, Roger, Edie, Lauren, Kevin S., Wendy and Riley.

I have to be honest. Lately I have felt like complete crap. I'm not sure if it is due to the new supplements I am taking (hopefully that's the case) or if my body is slowly deteriorating from disease. Of course I always have my doubts.

The new supplements I am on are supposed to get rid of tumor cells and bring them out through your body meanwhile causing a lot of "toxic" symptoms. All these symptoms are supposed to be signs that it is working. You're supposed to take them for 15-20 days and then stop for 5 days to let your body detox. For 4 days straight I had a fever at night. I felt horrible. Every night I would wake up absolutely drenched in sweat. The bed would be soaked. I'd have to dry off, change and move to the other side of the bed and kick Kevin out to the other room. Along with the fever, I have aches and pains all over the body. My liver has hurt since I've started these. Sneezing, coughing, laughing breathing deep and laying on my right side all cause me pain. I feel sick to my stomach a lot. I eat way less than I used to and a lot of the time I only eat because I SHOULD and not that I WANT to. For three weeks I didn't sleep because I was taking a supplement at the wrong time of the day. That didn't help things for a while. Now, I have that on the right schedule, so sleeping is no longer and issue.

I've had a lot of bone and muscle pain. I'm weak, tired and just feel crappy all the time. I think the worst part is that I feel like I have lost my zest for life. That little spark in me you have all complimented so many times has been missing lately. I went to Chicago and didn't want to do anything except lay on the couch and watch TV. The second time I went to Chicago for more Purina media interviews I was supposed to stay longer and hang with Jessica and Joe. Instead I cut the trip completely short and went back home to my bed as soon as I could. I didn't want to admit it, but I would have stayed home for the Michigan State vs Michigan game and watched it on the couch. I am so glad we went. That was the most life I've had in me in a long time. Kevin and I were jumping up and down and screaming the whole game. Of course on the way home I slept the entire time and was pretty useless the rest of the day. Sunday I passed up tickets to the Tigers game. The possible game to put them in the playoffs. Instead I wanted to stay home. Now, I know I am still under the weather and that any normal person might have done the same thing....but not me. Normal Shannon would have gone to the game in a heartbeat.

I'm worried because on Wednesday (tomorrow) I go to New York. There are so many things (lots of them on my bucket list) that I want to do in New York. I'm worried that this funk I am in is going to make this trip no where near as great as it could be. I don't want to be wishing I could be napping while I'm in Central Park. The last couple nights I had fevers again. Woke up in a pool of sweat again. I'm on the enzymes right now, but I think I'll take a break from them while I am in New York to hopefully feel better.

I'm working on staying positive and healthy. It's hard. I'm sick of feeling sick. I know people see me with a smile on my face looking physically healthy, but inside I have been hurting lately. Here is where the positive thing kicks in. IF, this sickness I feel is due to cancer cells leaving my god I will EMBRACE the pain and crappy feeling. Bring it on!! Problem is, I don't know for sure. I will try to believe that is the case and appreciate ever crappy feeling I have as it is part of my healing. I usually bounce back really quick, so maybe that is what is getting to me. This has been going on for about 4 weeks. Since the bra show. Like I said, I am sick of feeling sick.

That's all I got for now.

Oh, go to and upload a picture of yourself and your cat and for every photo uploaded, Purina Cat Chow will donate $1 to Susan Komen for the Cure.

Take care everyone and bare with me for a while. I miss the happy and productive me too who actually gets out, does stuff and visits people. Hopefully my old self will be back soon healthier than ever.

Lots of love and healing

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