What A Rockstar!

This morning (November 22), when various teams of doctors came into the ICU to check on Kayla, they universally agreed that the girl is a total rockstar!  In fact, they thought her progress was unbelievable, they had never seen anything like it and they said she definitely did not belong in intensive care.

So after another MRI, Kayla was moved into her own room.  She is now being weaned off IV pain medication and is eating solid food.  Was it only yesterday that she had an intense five-hour brain surgery?!

[Read more...]

News from Kayla’s surgery

(Shannon via  Becky Shaw)

Shannon called tonight from the hospital and said Kayla’s surgery today went great.  Yay!  Five hours long!

Tonight, Kayla is lucid, coherent, speaks well, is following all instructions and is recovering well. Her pain is under control.  She will be in ICU for 24 hours, then hopefully will be moved to General Recovery sometime tomorrow to continue to recover.

The experience at ACH has been incredible and Kayla has been treated with such wise & loving care.  One of their services is that you can send egreetings to her (Kayla Schewe) – please consider dropping her a quick message. They are printed out in a lovely format & delivered to her room.


Shannon is very grateful for the amazing Dr. Clare Gallagher who, she says, was wonderful today.  She also would like everyone to know how much she appreciates all the love and prayers that have come to her family.  Thank you!

We will keep you posted.

Surgery has been moved up -> tomorrow.

Shine on Beautiful Kayla

We just found out that Kayla’s surgery has been moved up to tomorrow, Wednesday, November 21.

She said to me on Sunday night “the waiting is the hardest part, I wish it was sooner”.  So when we received this news I reminded her of the power of her prayers :)

We need to be at the Alberta Children’s Hospital at 6:30 am for a pre-surgical MRI and the 4-5 hour surgery will start at 8:00.

I know we are surrounded by prayer warriors from around the world and I ask you to lift our family up at this time: [Read more...]

Disbelief. More shocking news…

To say the last few weeks have been a blur would be an understatement.

Please pray for our whole family

On top of all my cancer news, some frightening things have been unfolding with my beautiful daughter, Kayla (age 15).   It started with a couple of very intense seizures in mid-October which brought us to the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH).  She checked out well from a neurological perspective so they released her from Emerg, with orders for a followup EEG & MRI over the next couple weeks.

The EEG was bumpier. They pronounced epilepsy and she was immediately put on meds.  [Read more...]

Chemo…Act II

So many gifts...even CarpeDiem water from Belgium!

Thank you for all the gifts – even Carpe Diem water from Belgium :-)

Yesterday I started chemo again….and I admit it was all I could do to take that little pill.  Too many horrible memories.  I recall my vow after completing my first round that I would never do it again.   I have since learned, Never say Never. :)

I know there is much to be grateful for.  For the promise that it won’t include losing all my hair & becoming violently ill.   The potential side effects seem minimal in comparison.

And it’s so easy to take – one pill every morning.  No waiting in the “Chemo Lounge” for them to administer those toxic potions via IV – the horrific nausea deepening with every hour.  For anyone looking for more info the drug is gefitinib: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a607002.html

And when they told me the cost [Read more...]

The news is ‘bittersweet’…

You know when your oncologist starts by saying that your biopsy results are “bittersweet” to be prepared for the unexpected.

The old good news/bad news scenario!

First a sweet part…

The liver results indicate no cancer – YAY!  I knew when they did the biopsy that they were having difficulty finding the tumor that previously showed up on the CT Scan but WOW – this is excellent news!

Now for the bitter pronouncement… [Read more...]

Get in on the power of a few beads…

Be sure your bead is included in this beautiful love gift!

Tonite on the eve of my biopsy results, my dear friends Cindy & Leslie brought over a gift to support me through my oncology appointment.

Over the past few weeks, Cindy has been collecting beads from many friends.  These are prayer beads/charms of every varietal infused with love, prayers, intentions and beautiful wishes of hope & healing.  Accompanying each bead is a note from every loving soul, sharing their heartfelt prayers for me.  I hope you’re included in this amazing love gift – here’s how: [Read more...]

Carpe Diem days with my munchkins

Kayla & I exploring beautiful Central Park.
John Lennon’s home in the background

You know my children are the absolute light and love of my life!  So it was with great joy that I made a couple of fun trips with each of them over the past month.

Kayla & I had an absolute blast exploring the many faces of NYC.  She had a school assignment that required her to write a review of a live theater production, so we justified her time away from school by attending a couple Broadway productions.  She got 50/50 on the assignment so all is well! :)

Tyler & I “Escape from Alcatraz”.
See the famous prison behind us

Tyler’s dream was to see the 49ers play so off to San Francisco we went.  It was unseasonably warm while we were there and we covered so many wonders of this beautiful city.  The 49ers won and so did we!

It brought back many fabulous memories of our incredible adventures all around the world together – from taking the year off in 2005 and exploring 20 different countries to our annual vacations to many magical destinations.

I’m proud of the fact that living a Carpe Diem lifestyle is a foundation of our family – we truly do try to make the most of every day, even when things are tough.

I love you so much, Kayla & Tyler – thanks for being such amazing children and awesome travel buddies.  Always live your dreams!  ((Hugs))

Carpe Diem! (about this blog)

With my amazing munchkins, Tyler 12 & Kayla 15

Shine on Kayla & Shannon (SOKS)

On Sept 11, 2000 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer…I not only survived but created an incredibly beautiful life for myself & my young family.  So it was with shock & sadness that 12 years later on the same date I discovered that ‘the beast’ has returned in both my lungs and my bones.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.  Shortly after my diagnosis, my beautiful daughter  Kayla – only 15, was found to have multiple tumors in her brain and proceeded to have SIX brain surgeries over the next 6 months.

The Carpe Diem! blog is my way of sharing our journey with amazing friends, family & supporters.  [Read more...]

A new chapter unfolds….

This is the original email I sent out letting friends know about cancer’s return…

Re: Another speed bump on my journey

Dear friends,
On Sept 11, I always take time for reflection … this year was 12 years from the date I was first told I had cancer. The irony of this year’s anniversary was I was in getting a CT scan to determine what was happening in my body.

To bring everyone up to speed, I was in a car accident last April and shortly after started experiencing some back/rib pain. They did x-rays and stated everything was fine and that it would just take time.
My beautiful lakeside sanctuary is the perfect place to heal and I had a truly magical summer sharing it with my loved ones – the one downside being that the pain was not getting better, in fact getting worse.

Upon returning home after Labour Day, I called my oncologist to do some further checking and it has been a whirlwind of tests since. Yesterday I received the results and it’s sad news.
The cancer has returned….the bone metastasis is in my ribs, spine and skull. There are also spots in both lungs. Obviously not good news. [Read more...]