Basking in the “rays”…

"somewhere over the rainbow"...counting the days until I return to my lakeside sanctuary

“somewhere over the rainbow”…counting the days until I return to my lakeside sanctuary

Another curve on our windy path.

We were so excited to have dear Kayla finally free – off her IV, no chemo, no surgeries – and heading off for a much needed break to the lake.  But alas it will not be sunshine rays, but radiation rays that I will receive over the next couple weeks.

I had an appointment with my oncologist the day before Kayla’s PICC line was to be removed & as we were to depart for summer vacation.  Sadly, he revealed that he felt some additional, more aggressive treatment was in order, including the possibility of both radiation therapy (RT) and IV chemo.

My heart sank.  We had been looking forward to this break after a turbulent winter.  Negotiations began :).

I agreed to 3 things:

  1. To have a rush bone scan before we left.
    Note: Crossing a border one day after having a bone scan is not without it’s adventure.  A radioactive dye is injected as part of the procedure and according to the officials at US Customs “I was glowing”.  Luckily, I’d been down this road before and had a letter from my oncologist verifying that I was in fact a radioactive cancer patient vs a potential suicide bomber.  Ya, I look so dangerous with my car full of picnic coolers, swim toys & kids :)
  2. To take some stronger pain meds
    I have been very reluctant to enter into the sphere of narcotics however the pain had become quite intense, at times.   And now that I have experienced the relief provided by the morphine/naproxen combo, I question what all the resistance was about. (?sheesh!?)
    It makes me realize I have ‘old stories’ about many things, including taking drugs – “I won’t be able to function”, “I can handle it”  – none of which were serving me. The reality is this is simply another area of surrender for me.  Another mirror for my over-developed self sufficiency (& dare I say stubborness :)
    The great news is I’m tolerating things very well now & am experiencing minimal negative side effects.  I’m neither whacky, stoned or out of touch, as I feared ;).
  3. To come home after 10 days instead of 3 weeks.
    This seems like an excellent compromise to me as we could enjoy fabulous lake-time together and the children were coming back after 10 days to attend Kids Cancer Camp anyway – I would simply join them on the trip home.

So I came back to more tests and yesterday I met with the radiology team.  It was determined that a course of 2 weeks of daily radiation would be very helpful in shrinking the largest tumor on my right 10th rib.  It now protrudes out of my back about 4 cm (about a B cup for anyone that’s interested :)

I’m so grateful that I had 10 days at the lake with my precious munchkins and dear friends.  We really couldn’t have been blessed with a better getaway and it was very important for me to have that gift of time, contemplation & serenity at my sanctuary. I am grounded & emotionally prepared for the next leg of my journey.

  • I met my new radiation team without the baggage of fear or expectations
  • I anchor myself with the powerful gift of having observed my teacher, Kayla, on how to embrace this RT challenge with grace & ease
  • I feel connected & informed – I called on Kayla’s braniac radiologist to confirm this as the best treatment option for me at this time
  • The team was super accommodating about minimizing disruption to our summer holiday schedule.  They are seriously fast tracking the whole process & I start RT TODAY
  • I will consider the IV chemo option after the summer.

I will return to the lake as soon as I’m done on July 27 to once again rejuvenate & heal.  That is the vision I will hold during the challenging times.

Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

Looking forward to the rainbow.  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. You did it! Thanks for the update. You have inspired me to update mine now! Well, this weekend. Stay tuned!

  2. Dear Shannon, thank you for the update. I went to bed thinking of you last night. I remembered you were scheduled for more results on July 8th, so I was awaiting the news. Good that they are getting you in ASAP to get the RT underway. I want to say ‘fry that little sucker out from under your rib’, but I don’t think that would fit with your peaceful mantras! Hugs and prayers, Diana xx

  3. Nancy Jacklin says:

    Love love love love love love love love – Nance

  4. michelle and paul says:

    My Beautiful Soulful Yogi of Light,
    Thank-you so much for sharing the intimacies of your journey so that we all have the opportunity to support, love, learn and grow along each step in the pathway. I am so happy that you have had the healing time with those you love before you embark upon your radiation. Kayla has given you such a gift through her graceful modelling …. she has given all of us such a gift for all of the challenges we encounter in our own unfoldings. So, here you are, fully prepared for this healing treatment …. and each day this summer I shall be continuing with Tonglen in my own life where I will be very consciously breathing in all of your dis-ease with the intention of taking it for you — and breathing out the healing warm light of restoration.
    Love, M xxoxo

  5. Shannon, you continue to amaze me. Sending love, light, prayers and loads of hugs your way!
    Sherley xoxox

  6. Mary Lou says:

    Shannon…I will continue to lift you and your family up to God’s throne of grace. May He fill you to overflowing with His peace, love and hope. I entrust you to His loving, healing hands.
    Mary Lou

  7. Stephanie Dea says:

    HI Shannon,
    thank you for sharing your journey with us all. You inspire me to do better, live better, be gentler.I send you much healing love.

  8. Shine on Shannon!! I’ve been sending prayers and healing love to you. Also thought of you when we recently met and adopted a rescue dog named Carter this week. HIs soft brown eyes just soak you in. As the foster family wrote about him ” he is an 80 year old inside of a 2 year old body”. I know how you like reading insightful stories, so when you have a moment check out his link at: It is a healing story and hopefully his beautiful photos will warm your heart. Love, love, love ……

  9. Shannon,
    As ever, I am humbled by your grace in the face of daunting facts and challenges. I pray your example
    may serve as an inspiration to all of us, and I pray that your rainbow continues to delight you and yours.


  10. John Gulak says:

    Hey partner, thanks for sharing your journey. You are in my thoughts and prayers, always!

  11. Princess says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are continually with you all. There is something to say about the peaceful serenity of water. Wishing you a speedy return to your sanctuary. Best Wishes.

  12. Aqua Grammy says:

    Listen Girlfriend… Just want you to know that I am holding you up before God and praying for peace and healing in all areas, and for your children, too. It seems so trite to say, “God has a plan,” but indeed He does. I love you my sistah! You are my hero!

  13. Hi Shannon,
    You are a “Shamman”. I’m at the lake but reading your words would take me there even if I wasn’t. You definitely continue to inspire us all to ” dance in the rain!! We’re sending healing light daily and hope you continue to bask in the light and anything that is bringing you comfort and peace. We had a double rainbow at the lake and I’ll ssend you a pic!
    Carpe Diem!!
    Love, love, love,
    Your Saskatchewan Soul Sustah

  14. Belinda says:

    Dear Shannon, my heart goes out to you. I’ll be thinking of you and sending you much love. I hope the next round brings a great result. Thank you for your grace and positive attitude, it’s so amazing to witness and I feel blessed to know you. Much luck and love XXXOOO

  15. Rizwana says:

    Shannon, it is Ramadhan (our month of fasting) and its a really auspicious month for us! I will remember you in my prayers everyday! I pray that this set of treatment flows by and that you are able to go back to the lake! Hugs to you, Kayla and Tyler!

  16. Jennifer says:

    sigh. Thank you for the updates Shannon. I’m thinking of you all the time and wondering how you are, where you are. You sound amazingly balanced.
    <3 you, Jen

  17. Sam Bryden says:

    Sorry we missed you last week. Everyday as I look out onto our beautiful lake I will think of you and send all healing energy your way. You go girl. Sock it to it. Look forward to seeing your smiling face in a few weeks.

  18. Hey SiSTAR so glad you had the wonderful lake break and holding your vision with you. I’m asking that every cell of your being be bathed in unconditional love, that the angels continue to surround you and bless you and that the tumour be shrunk and dissolved dispersed and radiated with unconditional love. This is my prayer You are the most wonderful teacher and student! Love you! xxxx

  19. Shannon, every time I think of you, feel your heart and hear your words, rainbows form inside me. I love that you are both real and optimistic… that you are honouring your needs and embracing possibilities. Keep sparkling dear one. Sending love and prayers always, Paula

  20. Shannon,
    I’ve been wondering how your own health is — thank you for letting us know. I’m glad you have such a graet medical team — even more glad that you did at least get 10 days at the lake.
    I will envision you back there, HEALING.
    much love to you and yours,

  21. The Stepan's says:

    Shannon, Keeping your head held high and walking forward in your path our prayers and thoughts are with you all. May these treatments assist and do their work quickly so as not to cause you pain & continue on your quest for healing.
    Keep soldiering on to Victory!

  22. Carolina Oxtoby says:

    My dear Shannon

    You have an amazing spirit and attitude which enriches my life as I try and role model you. Prayers and hugs are coming your way and I know you will fight and win with the tumor just like you have all the other battles. I only wish I had the power to help heal you. I have been talking a lot to the “Big Guy” and hope he is listening!

    Love and Light, Carolina

  23. Lisa Benitz says:

    Shannon – my wine buddy – sending you huge hugs and positive energy – enjoy this beautiful summer and time with your kids and friends…..will have to take you for a spin in the fun yellow car – big hugs and love – Lisa :)

  24. Love you, and think of you often. I wish you all the best–you deserve it!
    You and Kayla are super people!
    May all my best wishes flood over you!

  25. debbie zimmel says:

    We had the privilege of sharing time at the lake. It truly is a magical place. It is the perfect place to retreat after your treatments. The lake, our prayers and God will help you over come this hurdle. You are our inspiration. All our love d&d

  26. Cassie Head says:

    Sending you a rainbow from Oak Harbor. I hope you have mostly rainbows from now on – yes, some rain must fall for them to arrive, but such a sweet sight when they do. Sending all the love your way that I can! :0)

  27. Thinking of you and sending love and all the “good” energy I can gather!

  28. Shannon, you are truly the most amazing person I have ever met! How you keep your positive outlook all the way through is incredible–keep up the great thoughts and I send mine to mingle with yours!
    What great kids you have!

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