Radiation Blues meet Summer Lovin’

It’s been a while.  I made a conscious decision to take a technology hiatus this summer (no blogs or facebook updates) however, I realize it left some people wondering.    Thx for your patience – I really needed to check out and savour our summer vacation.

What a zoo!  Some of my RT drive team surprise me on my 'graduation' day.

What a zoo! Some of my RT drivers surprise me in animal print regalia on my ‘grad’ day. Yes, that is a Chicken Purse :)

My 2 weeks of daily radiation (RT) went well – I loved my team.  In a warped way, I decided to think of it like going to a mini-spa everyday. Why not – I was greeted warmly, wrapped in toasty blankets and sent off for a wee nap in a very intense ‘tanning booth’. :)

Plus I wasn’t allowed to drive so I was able to spend everyday on a date with a different fabulous friend.  We had a lot of fun with it all, sharing laughs, meeting other wonderful patients and carrying on with the weekly dress-up tradition from Kayla’s RT experience.

In fact, my RT team loved seeing us arrive in costume & requested animal print be the theme for my final treatment. Imagine my surprise to walk in and see many of the staff dressed up to celebrate my ‘graduation’ -  yes, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre looked like quite a zoo.  Some of my drive team, also in animal print, surprised me at a coffee shop when we finished (see pic).   Oh how I love my full-spirited friends!

Upon completion of my treatments, I immediately headed off to the lake for some truly magical time with family & friends.  YAY- now THIS was what I had planned for my summer!

As I had experienced such minimal side-effects during my radiation treatment, I was feeling quite cavalier about the whole procedure.   And Kayla had sailed through her six weeks….  Unfortunately, I didn’t get off quite that easy.

Approximately a week after I had completed my last treatment, I started to get what looked like sunburn – a bit odd as I was keeping the area covered but we were living mostly outside in beautiful 30 degree days so I let it go.  But every day it got increasingly worse until by the 3rd week post-radiation, I was experiencing raw, third degree burns on a large section of my back.  It was very painful and when nausea started to accompany it, pain managment became impossible as I was vomiting everything back up.

August was a real roller coaster shifting between wonderful summer days of fun & love and deep lows of pain & feeling awful. Gratefully the weather was spectacular, I was surrounded by such loving friends and being at the lake is always such a healing place for me to be.  My own little paradise.

As we start back into the school year, I’m grateful that things are more stable.  Though I’m very tired, the burn is healing, pain subsiding and vomiting gone.  And my tumor did shrink so that is good news.

Kayla & Tyler are fantastic – it was an amazing summer & they’re now back into full swing in Gr 11 & 8.  Kayla just picked up 4 academic awards at Awards Nite with an 86 average…pretty amazing for someone who went thru 5 brain surgeries last school year.  And Tyler finished off last year with the President’s Award.  Oh, I’m a very proud mama.

K & I both have CT scans in a couple of weeks to see ‘what’s up’.  We pray for the best.  It’s hard to believe it’s almost been one year since I received the news.  What a ride….thx for journeying with us!

Carpe Diem!


About Shannon Duke

I'm Shannon Duke and I’ve combined my business skills with the wisdom that literally saved my life and have built a system that redefines success. Today I am passionate about helping you achieve life-fulfilling and life-enhancing success in both your business & personal life. Read My Story


  1. *So* great seeing you out in Tofino in August :)
    Lots of love and hugs

  2. Thank you so much for the update — you have been top of mind. I just came back from Baeth’s “Gifted” event, always a time of gratitude and reconnection with the amazing people I’ve met through Baeth. YOU of course are one of those JEWELS. Sending love and healing energy your way!

  3. It’s been a long and trying journey and you all have handled it with such grace! May strength and love continue to surround and infuse you. Greatest blessings!

  4. I love you sweet pea …. Always and forever.

  5. Michelle Richardson says:

    I love you, my friend. So glad you managed to enjoy many good times and relaxation this summer. I’m continually inspired by your ability to look at the bright side and carpe diem. Thinking of you often, sending lots of love & healing energy. BIG (((HUGS))) to you, Kayla & Tyler. oxoxo

  6. Becky Shaw says:

    So happy you took the time to tech talk! Have been thinking of you lots and sending energy your way. I’m happy your pain is subsiding and the vomiting gone. You are an inspiration in more ways than you know. Love to you and love to the kidlets!

  7. Great to hear from you, my Sask. Soul Sistah! I was thinking of you as I was at the lake, also on a tech talk hiatus! I’m sorry for the terrible discomfort (understatement I’m sure) in August but so glad it is subsiding somewhat now!! Congratulations to both Kayla and Tyler – proud Mama indeed!!!!!!!
    Keep taking care of yourself and/or letting yourself be taken care of:).
    Carpe Diem!

  8. The Stepan's says:

    We were wondering where y’all were at . Understandably you were needing to concentrate on getting down to business with your combat & doing well by the sounds of it!
    Keep up the good work Warrior Shannon!
    Kayla looks awesome and stylin’ her new hair yesterday!
    Great news on both Kayla & Tyler’s awards.
    Zena the Warrior is no comparison to you Shannon!
    Take care & keep up the great work.

  9. Thanks for the update Shannon! It does sound like a very roller coaster summer. I appreciate that you took a technology break and hoping for the best with those upcoming scans :)

  10. Shannon, what an amazing mother. What incredibly gifted children. I am so in awe of how you just keep thinking of new ways to surprise us!
    I will pray for your scans to be the best news ever!!
    You are the most amazing human being I know… It is like you keep doing the iron man over and over!!!

    luv ya

  11. Thanks for the update, Shannon. Sending much love your way!

  12. Anne Maxwell says:

    Hi Shannon. Marcel and I were glad to see you go by the post boxes the other day! We are so pleased you and the kids got a chance to get away and “unplug” for a while. Thanks so much for taking the time to update us and congrats to the kids on their great accomplishments.

  13. Cassie Head says:

    We are so glad you are feeling better now, as the roller coaster ride must have sucked. Figured you were taking a hiatus as you must sometimes just want the peace and quiet to enjoy family time, and I am so happy that you had this. Always keeping you in my prayers, and sending lots of love and good vibes your way!

Share Your Opinions and Comments