Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Shawna Update

Here is the latest entry from Shawna's CarePage:


I am so numb with emotion that I can barely sit down to write this. At 8:45 am I walked into the Oncology office dreading seeing my Doctor. I prepared myself for bad news based on how I have felt the past two weeks. I didn’t give up hope I just listened to my body. This is what the Doctor told me. The cancer is worse in my body especially my lungs. This explains the cough that I have developed. I asked if the cough would ever go away and he said no. So what I have dreaded has finally come true. I was told that I am Chemotherapy resistant. I have stopped responding to all types of Chemotherapy. These were my options today. Try one last drug that my Doctor said I have less than a 9% chance of responding to and pay 16 thousands dollars to be on or go home and live out the rest of my life and when things gets worse he will but me on morphine. HE SAID I WOULD HAVE 3 TO 8 MONTHS LEFT. I have not cried yet today for I am afraid if I start I will not be able to stop. I have so much I need to do with the kids the next three days If I melt down it will suck all my energy out of me and I am afraid of not being able to participate in my children’s classroom Halloween parties or field trips. WHO knows I could end up crying all night! I hate this! My options are both horrible. What would you do? Well today I have been on the phone with a few Doctors. Hopefully I will be able to go down to LA next week. I am leaning on going down to Mexico. I will be gone for 28 days. I don’t want to be gone during Christmas. I don’t know what I will do. I feel sorry for Dan right now- right when his basketball season is starting I’m throwing a big wrench in things. What do I tell the boys? I was a maniac today. I went shopping and spent two hours in build a bear making stuffed animals for my boys and then came home put some pumpkins out and then started cleaning the garage. Afraid to stop for a minute to let my day sink in. So confused, sad, discouraged, disappointed and overwhelmed. I have so many feeling going through my head. I need to get my affairs in order, finish my projects and start a few, spend quality time with everyone and start cleaning up all of my personal things so my family won’t have to do it. I want to just hold on to my boys and never let go of them. My heart aches for them. It is going to take a lot of strength not to go climb in bed and put my face straight down in my mattress and feel sorry for myself. I am thankful I am helping in Preston’s Kindergarten class with his Halloween party tomorrow and tomorrow night from 6:00PM to 9:00AM I will be at California Oncology for the Art of Life.

Wednesday, October 29 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. California Oncology is putting on the Art of life Exhibition and Reception. 12 local artists with 80 women cancer survivors to co-create 13 works of art during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s open to the public, free of charge. Come enjoy refreshments, entertainment, and more. It should be a lot of fun! For some crazy reason my whole group never showed up and I was able to do the whole piece of art by myself. It’s all about my journey as a young mother with small children who has cancer. It’s very personal and I’m excited about completing this special memory. California Oncology is located between Herndon and Bullard off of Fresno street. The address is 6121 N. Thesta, suite 205. (I will take pictures and post them this week) Tonight the story was on KSEE 24. Here is the link to it, if you have problems it can be found on -- under Art of Life Exibition -- click on watch the story:

Everyone has been wonderful but I know I will need my friends and family around me more than ever. As my nightmare becomes a reality. I am not giving up I just don’t know how to let go, say goodbye. I will never say Good Bye! The reality of being my last Christmas just makes me shutter. I love the holiday season. The feeling of Love and giving is what I like about it. So I have asked Dan to help me set up A Christmas tree in all of the major living areas and I will be starting this project Saturday night. I told Dan I am making my own rules right about now. Please keep praying for I know God can still come through in the 9th hour. I would like to try and see everyone in the next few months. You guys are amazing and I truly appreciate your support. Love, Shawna

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh, The Things You Will Find in a Toaster!

I was just wondering....
At what point as a mother do you:

a. Check the Toaster for unknown objects?

b. Store the Toaster in a place that your child can't reach?

c. Watch your child to make sure he isn't placing things in your Toaster?

d. All of the Above?

In my case, I should probably pick option "d".

Amy plans to write a book on grammatical incorrectness. I am going to write one on all the things you will find in a toaster, or the like, such as finding your cell phone in a flower pot, or a hot wheel in a printer. Yes, the true joys of parenting. Someone in our family definitely needs to start a publishing company!

Which leads me to wonder what life is going to be like when I add another delightful little person to the family. If you haven't heard, yes, I am pregnant again and expecting baby #2 sometime in late May. I am officially 8 weeks pregnant and confirmed a heartbeat last week by the honorable Dr. Wilson.

Steve likes to think that conception happened the night of our anniversary.... in a tent... at BASS LAKE. You are either wondering, "Ahhh, how romantic" or "Ew, remind me never to borrow their tent!"

Well, I will keep you posted on the status of Baby Charlie (boy or girl) and update you with any new chapters to my "You put what where?" Book.

Take care,
"Hecho en Bass Lake!!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep the Faith

Most of you know that I have invested a lot of time and energy to help raise money for my friend, Shawna that is battling cancer. And I thank those of you again, who have donated.

I received an e-mail today that reinforced my efforts to continue to raise money for Shawna. I believe I is a must read. Have your tissue ready.....

"My name is Jim Horn. As a teacher here at Bullard, I was forwarded the terrible news about Shawna by Liz Dodds, our librarian at Bullard. The story was a “de ja vu” for me. When I was 14 years old, my mother came down with something called Hodgkins Lymphoma . At the time, my father owned the largest gas station in San Luis Obispo which is where I grew up. San Luis Obispo was even a more sleepy town in 1962 than it is today; a great place to grow up and, later, to grow old in. There wasn’t much to do in the meantime. She was a good mom, too. I remember the stories about when she was pregnant with me and how she would go to the old mission to pray for a healthy child. I give this to you as a background because in 1962 she was diagnosed and, at the time, there wasn’t much known about this disease. Eventually she went to the Sansom Clinic in Santa Barbara where a number of things were tried; many of them to no avail except to make her even more sick. Up to that time, no one had survived Hodgkin's. The doctors eventually took the position that there was nothing more they could do….. except to try a very experimental protocol. The insurance company would not pay as this was an “untried” therapy. I remember my father going to Santa Barbara and consulting with the doctors and was given the choice of ending any further treatment or to find some money to pay for the new treatment knowing that the financial burden would rest with him. Without hesitation or reservation, he told them to “go for it.” Ultimately, he had to sell the station to pay for treatment. What he received in payment didn’t completely pay for it, but that was the decision and he never looked back. After a period of time, which seemed like years but was, in reality, only about 14 month, she went into remission and ended up living another 20 years. When my father died in December of 1977, she fell sick again and died that next June. Both of them were my hero and heroine. I haven’t thought about it much over the years, but there really was a love story there, although neither would admit it.

Shawna, keep the faith. Keep your optimistic side up as the power of positive thinking can move mountains. It is rough to look the grim reaper in the eye and not blink. From what I have read about you, your faith and belief system are much like my mom’s. Look that old fella in the eye, let out a laugh and tell him, “not now, sucker, not now. I have too much to do.”

I remember Dan when he was here at Bullard and I remember him as a good man. This will certainly test his metal, no question about that. Those young sons are going to need his strength and direction as well. Personally, I am not one could call a “bible beater” by any stretch of the imagination. However, there are times when we must let someone stronger than ourselves shoulder the burden for us until we can resume the task. No matter what happens in the end, the master’s plan will be played out and families are forever.

My hopes and prayers are with you and yours. I am sending a donation and if there is anything more I can do to help, please let me know; this treatment needs to go forward."

For those of you interested, Sarah Hallier and I are hosting a Benefit Fundraiser for Shawna on Saturday, October 25th, 6pm at Pangea Restaurant, in Fig Garden Village, Fresno, California. It includes an hors d'oevre and cocktail reception for $50 per person. Please e-mail me if you are intrested.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Them Good People

There are days when I get really depressed hearing about all the hate and anger in the world. The evening news is regularly filled with killings, robberies and lately filled with back stabbing politics. It saddens me to think of all the unhappy people.

However tonight, I my heart is warmed my the goodness of others. My dear friend Shawna, who is fighting for her life against cancer, was blessed with a fundraiser that exceeded all expectations. The local Moms group of Fresno put together this idea to raise money through Baja Fresh. 15% of all proceeds from those who brought in a particular flyer and at Baja Fresh today would go directly to Shawna.

Steve and I ate there for lunch today. The place was packed. We waited 45 minutes for food after we ordered. I approached the manager before we left to make him aware that tonight was going to be 10 times busier. The manager actually got a little pissy with me and scolded me for the people that were handing out flyers in line. From what I saw, 95% of the people in line had flyers already and I was upset that he was being so petty. He told me that 50% of the proceeds would be forfieted for that reason. I was appaled. A friend, Randy, was outraged as well and determined to do something about it. They had no clue for the evening shift was in for.

Tonight the place was off the hook. Shawna showed up for the dinner shift and introduced herself to the manager. The manager said, "Who are you?" thinking she must be someone special to pull this big of a crowd. He mentioned that they have had fundraisers before but none even close to this magnitude. Randy also returning for dinner, chatted with the manager and they agreed to not forfiet 50% from lunch and instead donate 20% of the proceeds to Shawna. The news brought tears to my eyes.

I spoke to Shawna after the event and she was astonished by the generosity of others. She came home with $400 dollars in her pocket from people just handing her money. I can't wait to here how much the proceeds from Baja Fresh is going to be. I will keep you posted.

All this makes me realize that there really are good people left in this world. And sometimes we shouldn't let the small things bother us so much. Life is truely a blessing and I am so fortunate to wake up and live each day.