Surgery #3…last one pls!

Kayla’s #1 Fan :)

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow beautiful Kayla will go in for her 3rd brain surgery in less than a month.  Surreal.  It’s all happened so fast that some days I wake up and imagine this really must be a dream.  Sadly it’s not.

And yet as I sit here in my comfy big chair, Christmas music playing & lights sparkling – my heart feels very full.

I hear the laughter of Curtis & Kayla in the kitchen, enjoying their 1 year anniversary dinner together.  Joyful & in love. [Read more...]

You’re my hero, Kayla

A Hero’s Markings – Surgery#1

Life is bumpy these days.

Yesterday, we walked out of Alberta Children’s Hospital with a lilt in our step and smiles of amazement.  Kayla was going home just 2 days after undergoing a second brain surgery.  And the first was only 3 weeks ago….remarkable!

I reiterated how remarkable her resiliency was.  How incredible it was to see her walking so proud and beautiful, with not one but both sides of her head marked with stitches and stapes.

She laughed, “oh mom, this wasn’t a big one like the last time”.  Seriously Kayla – this is brain surgery! :)

She has such an incredible attitude – instead of self-pity she carries a spirit of gratitude & higher-awareness in things we often take for granted.  [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Healing

Day 1 – A Partridge in a Pear Tree.  Our own beautiful pear christmas tree complete with David Cassidy of “Partridge Family” fame starring atop it all. SO funny!

The Rockstar Kayla is out of ICU and resting very comfortably in Unit3.  In typical fashion, she set goals for herself and achieved them with flying colors.  Sushi this afternoon was her dietary reward for passing all the ICU benchmarks :-).  The docs are so happy with her progress that there is even a possibility that she may get out tomorrow….Day 3 wow…what an amazing young woman.

It has been my experience that it takes a village to journey thru cancer and let me tell you, we have the BEST VILLAGE EVER!  There have been some pretty dark moments over the past couple months & yet we are continually surrounded by such love, support and acts of kindness that I truly feel carried at times.  And I know Kayla & Tyler feel the same way. [Read more...]

Second Surgery Complete

Kayla is in ICU tonight, bright, alert and beautiful, holding hands with her boyfriend and asking for a Coke (of course she can’t have one!). Surgery went well today, longer than anticipated, but Kayla has responded well and is recovering nicely. Her pain is under control.

When Shannon and Kayla arrived this morning at Children’s Hospital, there was already a string of greetings and well wishes from the SOKS team! What a great way to start the procedure and they both want to thank all of you for your kindnesses. As well, Shannon had a good meal tonight and has a more comfortable bed to sleep on, beside Kayla in ICU.

All in all, today went as well as it could have gone and that counts as a big success.

(Shannon via Becky Shaw)

Kayla Surgery#2 – tomorrow (Tues)

Five year old Addy walking ‘with’ Kayla to make a difference

We ask for your prayers tomorrow.  We start our day @ the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) 9:30 am for prep and an MRI.  Surgery is scheduled for 12:30 and thankfully is only booked for 90 minutes (vs 5 hours) this time.

I admit this is tough having to go back so soon after the last surgery….it has been less than 3 weeks.  It’s a big procedure and the memory of it is still very vivid for all of us, but especially for Kayla.  The good news is it’s a smaller tumor this time so I pray for a special grace & peace for her to be able to go through this with minimal pain and a positive outcome.

I also pray for our new surgeon, Dr Walter Hader – he seems amazing.  This is a very important surgery, for the pathology of this tumor will make all the difference in how we move forward.  Please pray for a miracle that it is benign. [Read more...]

Kayla’s Pathology Results

SOKS…”Shine on Kayla & Shannon”
A dear friend & fellow-acronym-obsessed ex-Microsoft colleague suggested updating SOS to SOKS.
She sent us a delightful care package containing these beautiful, warm, cozy socks to illustrate.
I want to thank all of you for your loving notes, gifts, flowers, food, prayers and kind gestures. They keep us going thru these incredibly tumultuous times.

We just returned from meeting with Kayla’s neurosurgeon and it feels like we’ve been hit by a train.

No sugar coating. Brain tumors are graded from 1 – 4, with 4 being the most aggressive.  Kayla’s tumor is in the 4 range.

This was shocking for the doctors too, for they originally indicated that a tumor of this size (7 cm) had to be slow growing in order for it to have had no impact on her learning abilities  (quite frankly, she’s always been a bit of a brainiac) or lifestyle (no seizures or headaches until last month).  Plus, the biopsy performed mid-surgery came in as a low grade 1.    No one was prepared for this news as we sat in that waiting room. [Read more...]

Miracles & Challenges

New Beginnings (sunrise captured by Tyler)

I can’t actually believe all that’s occurred in the past short while.  Let’s get real … cancer diagnosis, chemo & brain surgery are not for the faint of heart!

Today things settled into a more normal routine (whatever ‘normal’ is)….Kayla went back to school & I went back to work.  You really do appreciate the littlest things after so much trauma & chaos.  I thought it was so special that all three of us commented on how incredibly beautiful the sunrise was as we drove out of the yard & Ty even took a moment to snap this pic of the gorgeous, fiery pink sky. [Read more...]

Best Homecoming Ever!

I’m Outta Here! (This is one of the many amazing sculptures at the Children’s Hospital…I couldn’t resist snapping a pic on our way out :)

Kayla is home as of today, November 25!  Both she and Shannon are so grateful to be home and settled in and comfortable, although the experience at the Children’s Hospital could not have been better.  They are both so happy with the care and support of everyone they came in contact with, from the doctors to the nurses to the support staff.

They are also incredibly grateful for all the support from the SOS (Shine on Shannon) team.  They dined on fresh, gourmet meals brought every night, instead of hospital food, and they brought home two carloads of flowers, cards and gifts.  Keep sending your love messages through the blog, email, Facebook (Kayla Schewe) and even the old fashioned way – cards through the mail.

What’s needed more than anything now is good, healing rest. And thankfully, now everyone is back at home so that can begin.

(Shannon via Becky Shaw)

Even Rockstars Need a Day Off

The doctor came to check on Kayla today and has decided to postpone our Rockstar’s home gig by a day.  He will send her home tomorrow after a good night’s sleep so she will have one more day and night to rest fully at the hospital, then head home tomorrow (November 25).  Shannon says Kayla had lots of visitors yesterday, so they will try to keep things quieter today.

All is good, nothing to be alarmed about.  Just a little more downtime at the hospital before heading back to real life.  Messages can still be sent to Kayla through the blog, her Facebook page or good old-fashioned snail mail as the hospital doesn’t do e-greetings on weekends.

As for the rest of the family: Tyler is rocking the Goalie net this afternoon and Shannon is headed home for her own much-deserved rest.

(Shannon via Becky Shaw)

Big News!

It’s time to stop the e-greetings.  Not because Kayla and Shannon don’t appreciate them.  Believe me, they do.  No, it’s time to stop the e-greetings because, believe it or not, Kayla is being released from the hospital tomorrow (November 24) and the hospital won’t continue to deliver any e-greetings after she leaves.

Yes, Kayla is going home!  After a short three days, she is now fully mobile, is eating and drinking and is off all IV meds.  She is a walking miracle, say the doctors.  Miracles are our mantra, says Shannon.

Shannon and Kayla want everyone to know how much they appreciate and value all the support, love, thoughts and prayers that have been sent their way.

We will keep you informed as she continues her recovery.

(Shannon via Becky Shaw)