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.

And watching my sweet Tyler, perched behind the curtain of the front window excitedly anticipating the arrival of Secret Santa. He’s determined to see that jolly old delivery man! Every time a car drives by he yells “Incoming, incoming” & then if it goes past he yells “Decoy, decoy”.  It makes me laugh out loud to see his enthusiasm.

Earlier we were all gleefully discussing Secret Santa’s escapades and decided that since you leave cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve we had better leave a note for this Santa, too.  After brainstorming the Maids a Milking theme, we found one of our Cow Stuffies to hold our Thank You note.  We left it on the step.  I thought it was a sign of gratitude but now watching Tyler I think it may have been an entrapment strategy on his part :)

On too many levels this journey really sucks.  A week before Christmas we’re back in the hospital for more major surgery.  Juggling so many medical appointments when it should be holiday festivities instead.  Knowing that Kayla & I deal with serious stuff.

And yet I also know the power of perspective….

I hear the laughter and genuine excitement in my home on Surgery Eve…we are all truly having fun tonite.  We have each other and really love our times together.

We are surrounded by love & light at every turn – the BEST friends ever!  Over 50 neighbors & friends surprised us last nite singing beautiful carols for our family in the cold.  We receive daily love offerings of food, flowers, gifts & services.  Secret Santa brings us joy every day.  Dear friends have started a Carpe Diem Fund to aid our family during this difficult time.  And 1000s of people around the world lift us up in prayer.

So yes, we are each making a conscious choice to focus on the love around us.  We will Carpe Diem – seize this day and all the goodness in it.  We will meet tomorrow with faith and an open heart.

And when the load gets too heavy – I know we are carried.   Lift us up tomorrow.





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. Once again I am struck by the quote that live is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. It is an honour and a privilege to journey with you. I cannot honestly imagine the roller coaster of emotions you must experience daily. I will be praying for you all tomorrow

    • Elizabeth Chi says:

      Shannon and Kayla, as I read your blogs and posts on the challenges ahead, I am extremely touched by your courage. To say that you have been challenged and continue to face many unknowns is really an understatement. What is most beautiful and amazing is your courage and attitude, all of which I am honored to witness as you share with us. The universe is vast and the mysteries of why some are challenged and others not is not always easily understood. But what I do know is that you have the strength of many and are a hero to many, and that is very much understood! I see your light and may you shine bright and beautiful, I will be praying for you and your family.

  2. Cindy Winther says:

    We love you and hold you in our hearts and prayers always.

    And for Shannon’s friends -if you haven’t received the Carpe Diem fund letter and would like to please email me.

  3. Angels Kayla and Shannon,

    When Sheryl and I arrived last night with a suitcase delivery, it was with complete awe and joy that radiant Kayla opened the door. I, of course, moved right in with Eskimo kisses and loud hello’s !! Kayla was laughing and getting ready to prepare her anniversary dinner. You, my goddess Shanny, came up the stairs looking like the top of a Christmas Tree, filled with angelic radiance. You had Sheryl and I laughing so hard in you kitchen …. that I couldn’t believe how YOU lifted OUR day. We talked on the phone later to say “My Gosh ….. Those 2 have magical qualities indeed” !! We surround you with enormous love today …. and a knowing that you 2 light beams have the potential for miraculous outcomes every step of the way.

    Love, M & S

  4. Diana Izzotti. says:

    Dear Shannon, Kayla & Tyler, thinking of you all today. Sending you tons of love and white light to wrap around you like an incredibly warm, soft bathsheet straight out of the dryer! You are a shining example of strength and grace. Love Diana and family xx

  5. Laurie Rabatich says:

    Prayers for you all today, for courage , continued strength & that you feel the love being sent your way.

  6. Prayers and love from our hearts to yours.
    Mikhal and Jake

  7. Shannon, Kayla, & Tyler: All of you have been in my heart & prayers everyday. I can’t even begin to imagine what it has been like this last month. So many emotions & feelings all at once!!! I am moved by the way all of you have handled everything that has come your way with such grace and faith. Please feel the love, strength, & healing energy surrounding you & the medical team today. Always in my heart & in my prayers….Laura

  8. Heartfelt prayers going out to you today and all Christmas season,
    love Sandra

  9. Praying for you today. So glad you are surrounded by love and support.

  10. Rebecca Willson says:

    I wake up in the mornings with you on my mind, as I’m sure so many of us do. I guess there are others across the world who are praying you into sleep as we wake up – I hope so. Keep the joy, hug that sister of yours who I know has been by your side, stay strong in the knowledge that you are all being held up, all day, every day.

  11. Praying for you all & sending you our love & strength.
    Ron & Ellie

  12. Rizwana Janmohamed says:

    Shannon, I, too, wake up every morning with thoughts and prayers for you, Kayla and Tyler. I am so awestruck and thankful to Allah on how Kayla is taking all this in stride. Curtis must be an amazing young man to be by Kayla’s side all this time and keeping her strong and bringing her spirits high!
    I also think Tyler is the clown of your family. He is the one that makes you laugh everyday and he is so cute!!! (I said that on purpose because I know boys hate to be told that they’re cute!)
    I pray for you all today and always. I have never met you but you have a special place in my heart!
    Carpe Diem and hugs to you all, especially Kayla!

    • Beautiful Rizwana,
      We were amazed at the gorgeous flowers you sent to Kayla in the hospital – Thank You!
      When we were leaving friends were helping us carry everything out & this sweet little boy we had gotten to know commented to my girlfriend how he loved the balloon on the top so much. She told us the story when we got home & the next day Kayla & I took the bouquet & balloon back to the hospital for him.
      Thought you’d like to know your kind act of love touched many lives, as we paid it forward,too.
      With love & gratitude!

  13. Jennifer Palmer says:

    Dear Shannon, Kayla, and Tyler,
    I am in constant awe of the grace and presence you maintain in such a challenging and devastating time. I hold you in my prayers and meditations each day, sending you loads of metta and healing energy. I hug my boys a little tighter each day, and I weep a little more each day knowing such an amazing family is going through such turmoil.
    I wish I could offer you more but for now I offer you my love, my light, my prayers and hopes.
    with metta,

  14. Carla and Family says:

    Much love, hope and prayers from our home to yours for healing, peace and strength. xoxoxo

  15. Sending positive energy your way today and everyday.

  16. susan palmer says:

    Darling Shannon, Kayla and Tyler,
    I’ve been doing a little weight training lately so that I can help carry all of you just a little bit further on this most grueling of journeys. I know that there is an army of compassionate warriors that you have amassed by virtue of your strength, courage and grace – and together we are all walking alongside you to help lighten your load and create space for you to rest and do only those things that you can do for yourselves. You are all deeply loved and continue to give back as much or more than you receive because of the courage you demonstrate in sharing this remarkable experience with so many – and by asking for support – a true sign of courage.
    Kayla darling, you are surrounded by love and light today – as is your surgeon – and I pray for your quick healing – let that rock star energy infuse every cell in your body and shine on!
    Love Sue

  17. Shelley Wright says:

    I am in prayer for you all right now. I am holding the space of miracles. I believe in them whole heartedly. And a miracle for me is the ability to change ones perception from fear to love. And in that is the feelings that reside within us at any given moment – we cannot feel fear and love at the same time. I have been reading your blog and I hear your love clearly – I hold the vision for love to flow from all of us now collectively. I have been witness to many of my own miracles – even when I thought I was feeling “Fine” with situations that were outside of me – so I challenge myself to check in and see what it is that I hold in this situation and to Re-pattern it. if I can do it then ……I know anyone can. I am grateful for the sharing and all the insights and miracles that you have released to pave the way for others to follow. Namaste’

  18. Judy Glass says:

    Sending love and prayers and positive thoughts to surround you!

  19. Cindy Schaber says:

    Shannon, Kayla and Tyler, Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers today and everyday. You are both so inspiring and courageous women. I admire the grace and beauty you both have. I love the Secret Santa and the joy these amazing gifts that are lighting up your days. Someone truly has a kind and fun heart. Praying for miracles and continued healing for you both. Big warm hugs and love and light to you all. David and I are holding your family in our heart and prayers. XO

  20. Brenda Williams says:

    KAYLA and SHANNON!!!

    I personally will take on the gifted weight of carrying you through all of tomorrow/today and the next!!!

    With Love and so much more!!!

    Bren & Rach

  21. Praying for miracles. Blessings to you all.

  22. Nancy Jacklin says:

    Shannon, Kayla and Tyler:
    Continuing to see you surrounded by angels, light, love and healing. Blessings.
    Nance and Chris

Share Your Opinions and Comments