Loving on Shawna bio picture

  • Thank you for stopping by. Shawna's diagnosis of colon cancer came on Friday, May 13th, 2011 and it was defined as stage IV just a few days later. We created this blog to ease some of the communication burden of test results, progress reports, and general information in Shawna's process. Please read the posts below for the latest updates.

    In the meantime, keep the prayers coming!

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Liver Enzymes and Other Things

Hello friends!

I’m writing you with still another desperate plea for prayer.  When Shawna told me the run down tonight, she also asked to maybe make it sound a little less “pathetic”.  But I’m not sure how to do that.  The reality is, she’s in pain.  Constant, nagging, never-less-than-six-out-of-ten pain.  And she’s desperate for some relief … somewhere.

Josh and I drove to Corvallis last Thursday to spend the night at Scott and Shawna’s.  Josh took Scott for a necessary night out playing pool and having a couple beers, and Selena came from Portland to make it a girls’ night.  We piled on the bed, prayed for awhile, shared quite a few tears, and spent the rest of the time in ridiculous conversation.

That afternoon, Shawna was given the green light to begin taking the rigorafinib and has been taking it daily since.  Her most recent blood tests show another climb in the liver enzymes.  If that continues, they will have to reduce the dosage of the rigorafinib (bad).  She’s set to have another blood test on Friday – let’s pray for those enzymes to stop climbing!  They’ve also added another prescription to her personal pharmacy to raise her phosphorus, potassium, and sodium levels.  Last week, her calcium levels were dangerously low, but this week they were higher (good).  Another side effect that’s popped up in the last few days is in her tummy.  Lots of pressure and other things going on inside has left it super distended, and very uncomfortable. And then there’s that never ending excruciating back pain …

Keep praying.  Fervently   I wish there was a word that was stronger than fervent prayer.  Because if there was, I’d ask you to do it.

In other news, the fundraising campaign we mentioned last week is blowing up!  You guys have been so incredible in showing your support both prayerfully and financially!  I’m thrilled to announce that we exceeded the $5,000 goal within the first seven days of the campaign!  We’re nearing $7,000, and there’s still 35 days left!  If this pace keeps up, we could be on track to raise five or six times the original goal!  Please share the fundraiser link in any avenue you can – Facebook, twitter, instagram, get the word out and let’s keep those donations coming!  Every dollar makes such a huge impact!  http://www.indiegogo.com/lovingonshawna

xoxo!

Jane

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Amber Halpin - Thank you for such a loving update. You are an amazing, steadfast friend and doubtlessly SUCH a blessing in Shawna’s life. xoxoxo

Amber Coleman - I wish I understood all the medical implications -(thanks Jane for trying to explain to those with less medical knowledge than the rest:). Praying Mercy, Comfort and more Mercy!! I agree with Penny, this puts my puny whining into check (thank you!). LOVE to you in Corvallis (Shawna & Jane)- So grateful it is His strength and grace in SPITE of my weakness and shortcomings that allows me the honor to raise up weary hands. Praying those enzymes stop climbing but will just plumb tucker out and stay put! -Amber

Emily Trevillian - Oh, Shawna. I am so sorry your are in such excruciating pain. None of the other words I have thought to type seem adequate. Jane is right – even “fervent prayer” doesn’t convey the depth of my prayers and hopes for you and your family. It’s an “in-the-shower-begging-for-God’s-mercy-with-tears-streaming-down-my-face” kind of prayer. I’ll be praying for you tomorrow as you head in for the blood test. God, send Shawna peace, comfort, and gentle care providers as she goes in for yet another blood test. Ease the tummy discomfort and pain for the car ride. Let your mercy rain down, Lord. ♥ and XOXO, Emily

Carrie Ramlow - Shawna, my devoted prayers for you, your pain and discomfort are foremost in my thoughts as I ask God to relieve your pain and send you healing calm. I am so glad your Sister is with you now, to hold you close. I gave your sister a cross necklace that I bought her at church and prayed over at church for you, I pray for your comfort, for your children, for your husband, your Mom, your Dad, I pray for your guardian angels to hear our healing prayers of salvation and I send love and hugs into your arms, Shawna.

Penny Edwards - ~Shawna~ You have no idea what this update did to me… Really I came home tonight from work feeling frumpy,and drained,and just tired… Then I read this,and I realize that you are going through all this,and never complain,and smile,and what a brat i am… You are such a amazing women,and I am grateful for knowing you through this blog,and I pound with prayer once again,and always for you.. As a Mom we say to our kids… If I could take their pain away I would endure it.. I wish even not knowing you I could take yours..I will pray for comfort for you,and remember how loved you are even from me who has not met you in the flesh,but feel as I do through your story.. Thank you for being you,and will pound in prayer for pain relief,and healing…Love you so

Another Day, Another Scan, Another Stent

Hello prayer warriors.  As Shawna noted in her last post, she had another CT scan yesterday which showed still worse than the scan from just five weeks ago.  There’s lots of new growth, and the kidney hydronephrosis they managed to replicate back in June is back again on her right side.  She went in this afternoon for an immediate stent placement to try getting that back under control.  In addition to the scan, they also did blood and urine tests.  The doctor is concerned especially about the liver and kidneys.  Although the levels in her liver are elevated, they aren’t in the extreme zone. But the blood results, as Shawna said, “are pretty whack”.  Her calcium is dangerously low, electrolytes are off, and the urine is showing some stress.

She was set to have an Xgeva shot (used to prevent bone fractures and other skeletal conditions in people with tumors that have spread to the bone), but her doctor put that on hold.  She was also slated to begin taking rigorafinib (the drug that she was supposed to get in the clinical trial) sometime this week whenever the pharmacy received it, but that’s also put on hold with the condition of her liver and kidney.

They’re hoping that the stent that was put in this afternoon will relieve some of the excruciating pain she’s been enduring.  So that’s how you can pray for now … that the stent will help with the pain, and that her right kidney and liver will get back to working correctly as soon as possible so she can take the new drug.

We’ve also started a grassroots fundraiser for Scott and Shawna – please visit the site here and give what you can: http://www.indiegogo.com/lovingonshawna

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support!

xoxo,

Jane

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Donna Garlow - Dearest Shawna,
You are in our prayers every day. We also have two bible study groups praying for you constantly. May God Bless you with His grace and love and may He surround you with His healing hands.
Love to you and your family.

Carrie Ramlow - I went to church on my own yesterday to pray for you Shawna, we love you and as I prayed to Him, I was sending you an embrace of love from all of us thinking of you and praying for you.

Amber Coleman - Was up in Oregon last week, kept thinking of you. My daughter asks about you frequently. Was talking to a virtual stranger with extreme health issues who broke down and asked for prayer. I felt totally ill equipped to help but hugged her and we prayed. I gave her this blog because it offers HOPE in Jesus-only Him. Praying girl! Love to You from the Bay area today (we had some rain last night so I could Pretend I was in the Northwest again:) -Amber

Patti parsons - Shawna

I don’t know if you remember me, My husband, Pat, and I to to Calvary Corvallis, we have been going since 1997. Pat is an elder and I worked in the children’s ministry when you were there. We have been praying for you and your family for the last year. Today, Pat was on a plane going to Baltimore, MA to help our son move back to Ore. He was sitting next to a woman and her daughter, they were on their way to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MA. It is a governmemt research hospital, the treatment for her daughter who has cancer is free – in fact they are paying for the airline tickets, motel and food, for the time that she will be treated. I know that your new medicine is very expensive – it might not hurt to contact them. You can go on line @ nih.gov. Shawna, God has his hand on you, we pray that he continues to comfort you and heal you.

In His Name

Patti

Pam Darcy - Sweet Shawna, My heartfelt prayers are with you daily. I think of you and wish you Blessings all the time. Psalm 91 will refresh you. May you dwell in that secret place under the shadow of the Almighty where you can believe and know that the battle is the Lord’s. Love you

Mary Padilla - Hi Shawna,
Thinking of you always. You can do this. You are not alone and have so many people supporting you. Very best wishes to you and your family.
Mary

Lisa - Shawna, PLEASE read Christ the Healer. It will change your life for the better. God bless, Lisa :)

Sharon Banitt - Shawna, Our prayers and love go with you and Scott and family. May the stent do its work so that you will be able to try the new trial medication. Keep strong. We think of you often. Sharon and Paul Banitt

Toni - Hello Shawna-We have a mutual friend Michelle Pope!
She shared your story with me, mostly because I’m a big believer in the goodness of God and your a big believer! She shared how awesome your faith is and how inspiring you are to her. I told her I would love to pray for you. When I got to your blog I was stunned with your outer beauty!! God has obviously blessed you with the Gift of Faith and the gift of beauty, just to name a few.I am not qualified to speak on this battle you are in. I am qualified to speak of the Faithfulness, goodness, mercy, unconditional love of our Holy Father
God. my prayer for you: Dear Holy Father, you said you give us unlimited supply of fresh mercies daily..please be merciful to Shawna. You say; Those who delight in you you will give the desires of their heart” Shawna, by what I’m told delights in you. Give her her desires Lord…But not her will or our will be done but your perfect flawless will. father you say nothing is impossible for you, I ask for a miracle for Shawna Lord! I ask that you remove her pain, I ask that you dispatch all the warring Angels, healing angels,peaceful angels her way. Father stay with her and her family for eternity, you are a faithful father I believe in you as Shawna does. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. in Jesus Name- Amen, Love Toni

Change of plans

Change of plans.  Turns out my platelets aren’t bouncing back as hoped. Consequently, they’re too low to participate in OHSU’s clinical trial. That was a tough pill for me to swallow this week, for some reason.  It hit me pretty hard.  Its tough to feel like I’ve been pushing so hard, suffering so much, and in so much pain, only to have another door close in my face.  What can I do? Just keep marching forward, I guess. My body is at God’s mercy.

So, OHSU is off the agenda for now.  Along with the perk of completely free treatment. The drug is reported to cost 10k/month! We’ll just be praying that is NOT the case. Fortunately, the specialty pharmacy says that they think they can get the drug this week sometime.  I’m grateful I won’t have to make the weekly drive to Portland. Riding in the car has NOT made my back feel any better.  We’re just planning to move forward, and let the chips fall where they will.  I’ll have a CT scan here, locally on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., and then an appointment with Dr. Hufnagel at 3:30 p.m. Hopefully we’ll have a game plan at that point.

Meanwhile, Scott did an AMAZING job at his surgery yesterday. The doctor felt really good about it. They got everything out that they’d hoped and don’t expect any more surprises. Pathology should be back by Tuesday or Wednesday to confirm, and we can close this chapter on Scott! That will be a great feeling.

We’ll keep you all posted. Thank you, loved ones!

Shawna

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Emily T - It’s just before 1:00pm on Tuesday, and thoughts of you and your CT scan are in the fore-front of my mind. I will sit and be still along with you, praying for gentle human hands and healing heavenly hands to cover you during this exam. Keep us posted; I know you will! ♥ Emily

Mary Long - Wonderful news about Scott…He will probably need to have a colonoscopy every year from now on. Now for you, the Lord will provide and he will not let you down. Your army is still here fighting with you. We will win the battle…Love you bunches and love to Scott and the family.

Carrie Ramlow - Please pray for this family, for her faith, for a miracle, for God’s grace, for healing and love. Our Father, in heaven, Jesus, in your name we pray for a healing miracle, and I thank you for her faith, Jesus, she has a beautiful spirit, may our prayers be heard and may your healing powers surround her, thank you Lord.

Laurie Miller - God Himself will not fail you. With many tears, on our knees you are lifted to His loving care. May you KNOW in the deepest places your kinsman redeemer, your Goel. He will not rest, He is at work on your behalf. You are His bride, the one He loves.

Amber Halpin - Praying tirelessly for God’s peace this week as you await “marching orders” and the next steps in this journey.

“Do not be afraid; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22

This week…

Well, this morning wrapped up a wonderful visit from my mom which came on the heals of a great visit from Scott’s folks.  Everyone who knows me, knows how much I LOVE when family comes to visit.  Its hard for all of us to be so far apart, especially when life heats up as it has of late.  Unfortunately my pain has been making a pretty strong comeback.  So much for weaning off the steroids and pain meds : ( I’m back to spending a good majority of the day in bed.  Hopefully this too shall pass.  Monday Scott will be taking me back up to OHSU for a CT scan and hopefully the clinical trial drug can start.  As it is, I haven’t had any chemo for a month.  Who knows where the side effects are coming from now!  The good news is that in a couple weeks my sister and niece will come to visit, and my dad will be right behind her.  I’m happy to have that to look forward to.

This will be an eventful week in our home.  Monday, Scott and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary!  We’ve only had 2, but you can imagine how emotionally charged our anniversaries are.  Certainly there are many who can relate.  For me, its pretty overwhelming.  Looking into Scott’s amazing blue eyes, thinking what he must have had in mind the day we got married.  We were both so happy, healthy, with wonderful children in tow.  We both had new college degrees and there was no end to the optimism or exciting possibilities for our bright future together.  It wasn’t 6 months later that my diagnosis came.  EVERYTHING changed.  I cant help but feel that it was a huge ‘bait and switch.’  He thought he was marrying into one life, and yet something quite different was placed before him.  He has walked undautingly, without so much as a stutter to his step through the past year and a half.  Just doing what needs to be done.  For me, and our kids.  Every single day, and all through every night.  I knew at the time that he was an amazing, one of a kind type of man… but I really had NO idea.  The things he has walked with me through already, are more than many could bare.  He’s had to play every role from nurse to maid.  And I’ve never heard a single complaint, or picked up on so much as a flicker of self-pity, or regret. Quite the contrary.  I am one blessed woman!  Ok… that just had to be said ; )

As you know, I mentioned in previous posts about our cancer scare with Scott.  After making him go in for an early colonoscopy in August, the doctor had found a tumor.  Most of it was removed at the time, and he’s had to undergo a few related proceedures since.  Friday should mark the culmination of his adventure down this road.  Scott’s surgery is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon to remove the last of those nasty little cells.  Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated. 

Of course we’ll keep you updated on the next chapter of this journey.  Be praying for gentle results on Monday’s CT scan, effective chemo (or any avenue of healing) to come my way, and a clean sweep and recovery for Scott’s surgery on Friday.  We’ll be happy to put his ordeal behind us.  Thank God for EARLY SCREENING (hint, hint).

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Angie K - PRAYING!! You are all so precious. We love you.

Shanny - love you muchley and remember that god has his arms wrapped around all of you.
<3 Shanny

Mary Long - Not to worry…prays are many and healing is on its way for both you and Scott. You are both amazing young people who have been a huge role model for me and my family. I have so much respect and love for you two.

Amber Coleman - Praying for your blue-eyed guy this Friday. Rejoicing with you on your Anniversary, Congrats!! Truly love is an action verb. Praying for those gentle results on Monday: peace, comfort and mercy. Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” You are rejoiced over dear Shawna, in every hour of the day and night may peace override the chaos as He quiets you with His love. Love you, Amber

Mary Padilla - Hi Shawna,
Things happen for a reason as you know, and you and your wonderful husband were obviously meant to be together, even through this. Enjoy the time with your family and best luck for good news on your scans and your next treatment round. Thinking of you always and wishing you well.
Mary

In a word, YES.

Yes.  It is difficult.  I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  I’m exhausted, I’m weary, I’m in a lot of discomfort, and I’m finding myself very disillusioned.  From day one of diagnosis in May, 13, 2011, its been like a race to the finish.  I was so full of faith.  I KNEW He could handle this one for me and my dear children.  I still believe He can and will.  I’ve been inundated with this treatment, that treatment, these side-effects, the next side effects.  Always fully aware of what will be barreling down the pike in my general direction at any given moment.  Sometimes the symptoms knock you clean on your butt and sometimes they are more of a setback.  Regardless, it’s hard to be unable to settle into ANY type of routine from day to day, or to feel secure that you know that your times are in His hands… safe and secure as the day I was born.   Things change, promises seem to change, interpretations change, my understanding of Him and how he works, change.

Each leg of this journey has come and gone more quickly than I’d imagined.  I’ve been unable to stay any course of treatment for too long because of how brutally my body has been effected.  I stand in the mirror as a fragment of what I once was… just a year and a half ago!  What happened.  Why this?  Why me?  Why now?  Why must my kids watch me deteriorate on a daily basis?  Yet I’m fully aware that ‘Whys” get me nowhere but into a world of hurt, doubt, confusion and frustration.  Things can always be better, yes.  But things can also always be worse.  We just have to take what comes our way in stride.  And just make the best of it… ALL of it.

All that to say… the plan continues.  I finished my 2 weeks of radiation last Friday ( a little less than satisfied with the pain relief associated with this past treatment vs. the prior two).  I’m also weaning off of my steroids, and pain meds.  Some days are brutal, spending the majority of most days in bed, and other days permit me more freedom, for which I am always anxious to express my gratitude.

Sooo…. having ‘exhausted’ all traditional resources and conventional Colon Cancer Meds - having progressed on each, The next step is leading me to a clinical trial of Regorafenib, offered through OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. It is an oral pill designed to be taken on a daily basis for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week off.  Weekly screening for the first 8 weeks at the minimum, just to keep track of vital stats and see what my body decides to do with the treatment.  I guess I’m just thankful that I HAVE another option and no one’s locking me out of their plush buildings just yet!

To be painfully honest, my evenings have been filled with fears, nightmares, worries, anxiety… laboring with every thing in my soul to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and how HE would have me interpret and respond to what he allows to come my way in His deep (inexplicable) grace and unmatched love.

Having said all of the above, My mom will be loading me into the car at 7 a.m. tomorrow, Friday morning for another trek to OHSU.  Tomorrow will be a day filled with signing consents, screening, gathering information, doing blood work, lab work, an ECG, urine tests, etc.  And, no doubt I’ll be given more information than I’ll know what to do with.  Reading the 18 page consent form this evening was equally tear jerking.  WHO SIGNS UP FOR THIS STUFF?!?!? Full disclosure is something I think I’d prefer live without on evenings such as these. :)I’m more of a ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ type of soul.

BUT… underneath are the everlasting, capable arms of my my Father whom I know has my very best interests in mind.  He will not slumber nor sleep, and He will carry me on His broad shoulders all the way home… Safe, complete, and full of HIS peace.  Not the kind the world gives, but the peace only HE has available to me.

I’m surrounded by loved ones, prayers, thoughtful words, cards, meals, flowers, fasting, support.  Just the constant reminders that I am loved, thought of, ached over.  Thank you Lord for burdening the hearts of your saints so that my needs are met daily, and even through the late night hours when I often feel a deep chasm of loneliness envelop me.  YOU are there with your light shining bright to pull me back into the awareness that you have not gone anywhere.  You are not planning to go anywhere.  And that everything I need for today is found right here in You.   There is not an hour or moment on the clock where you cannot be found, embraced and cried upon.  Thank you for LOVE… true love that is stronger than death, and greater than life.

My only hope is in You.  Help me to finish my race strong with full assurance of faith that what You have promised, You are also able to perform.  I will give You, my kids and my family EVERY thing that I have to give, and it’s my solomn vow never to give up.  Not for a single second.  No matter how hard it gets.  That is my promise. And the conclusion is up to Him.

BELIEF!

Shawna

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Mary Long - And I am fighting right along with you and our Lord every day and night. I pray for a pain free day, week, month until you are cancer free. Shawna, it is ok to be fearful and second guess and have tearful moments and why me moments…that is so real and human…if you need a good shoulder to just listen, cry on, or stomp your feet a little, I am your girl. Bring it on! I love you and admire you so much! You know how to find me!

Amber Coleman - Love you friend, your words mean so much. Your struggle is on the tip of my mind- ALWAYS. My daughter, Abigayle (11) asked about you the other day. She prays for you. I was given the great gift to tell her your story…you inspire those with seedlings of faith. God’s strength in your weakness-His beauty in all of this suffering. Thank you, Amber

Lainey Dyer - In my prayers Shawna! You are one amazing lady.

Susie - LOVE YOU SO MUCH SHAWNA. You are in my heart and prayers continually. God is very compassionate and merciful… He loves you and like Paige said, His ways are so different at times to our own. Our family carries you and your sweet family on our hearts.

Patti Radzik - Believing with you and praying for you Shawna!

Luci - “Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy.” John Piper
These words reminded me that HE is in control…i love you Shawna. Praying alwways.

Paige - Love you so much S….. I am one of the ones you mentioned who ‘ache for’ you….. continuing prayers and pleading on your behalf.
Yes, God IS certainly able…..His ways are so different than ours. You’ve already been through so much…… so much…
My heart, I send you my heart again.
love
Paige

Carrie Ramlow - Shawna, your faith inspires masses of angels to sweep nearer to you and help you brave this fight, through you they are even more closer to Christ and sending yours and all of our prayers into his everloving hands, we love you Shawna, hugs upon hugs for you, God bless you.

julie warner - I love you Shawna!

Jennifer Carlyle-Marks - Dear Shawna,
I am praying for you. I cannot imagine what it must be like to face this…knowing that your children are watching. My heart both aches and rejoices reading your updates.
Prayers for you, faithful servant.

Mary Padilla - Shawna, you are so brave to share your thoughts and fears and faith. You are definitely not alone, although it may feel like it. Keep going Shawna. Thinking of you always.

Karen Misfeldt - Shawna, your strength and grace over the past year and half is truly amazing and inspiring. Love you so much.

Michelle Nyhus - Shawna, your will to go on and the faith that you have never ceases to amaze me. You are a special woman.

Michelle Nyhus

Beth - AMEN, My amazing beautiful friend!

Angie K - We love you sweet Shawna. The way you Glorify God in your journey is remarkable. It is obvious He is carrying you through this as only He can. Praying that this new treatment will bring your Miracle <3

Laurie Miller - Precious Shawna,
On my knees saying Yes & Amen to your purposeful affirmation of our Savior & His loving care over your life. Habakkuk 3: 17-19 referenced in today’s devotions in Jesus Calling spoke the same cry of the soul. Praying vs 19 over you today Shawna… The Lord God is Your strength sweet daughter of the Lord, He Will make your feet like deer’s feet, and He will make you to walk on your high hills.

Penny Edwards - You are so loved,and I am always pounding with prayer,and will do extra today! Love you so….

Lynnie Poo - Fight, fight Shawna-bear! Gosh I love you and am so completely behind you in prayer and in agony of heart. May God show Himself strong for you, according to His mercies and lovingkindness. xoxo

Pam Ballard - Amen! The Lord will fight for you and you only need to be still!
Exodus 14:14
Still praying always.. Pam