Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back in the saddle again

I write you from floor 3 of Swedish Cancer Institute, aka "the chemo floor". That's right, my very excellent blood tests have qualified me to return to this place to receive chemo once again. It's kind of like getting accepted into Harvard. Not to brag or anything, but my blood levels are majorly normal, kind of like YOURS, you non-chemo-receiving reader, you.

This past weekend, I travelled to Nashville and spent a wonderful time with the extended family. Congrats to cousin Tim and Katelyn. Nice job, Bec and Tim. Great to see you, everyone. Fun, fun.

This past week, I finished up sessions 8, 9, and 10 of radiation on my liver spots. Check that off the list. And now today, chemo. Ok, I suppose on paper that's not the awesomest week ever, but these things are relative to me, and I'm glad I am finally moving forward with treatment again.

So I'm now starting a NEW CHEMO. It's called DTIC, and it's usually used on lymphoma. A medical paper published in June showed that it's sometimes effective on colon cancer, too, so long as certain genetic markers are present, and I do have those markers. It's not a guarantee of remission again, but it's a shot. I'll have a scan in a few months to see if it's working. Feel free to send me a million prayers, good thoughts, energy, good vibes, or whatever you can muster. We kind of really need this one to work for ol' Shelldogg.

This past week has been unusually emotional for me. Historically, I tend to run rather even-keel in the emotions department, but for some reason, maybe it was being with family last weekend, I've been prone to tears this week. Both happy and scared tears. I've been easily knocked to my knees by my kids' conversation. I've gotten choked up thinking about the future, and people's lives without me. I've blinked back tears of sheer anger thinking about someone else marrying my husband 10 years from now. I've fought tears while lying on the radiation table, feeling a little overwhelmed by all the poking, prodding, burning, injecting, and pain.

This chemo is supposed to knock down my white blood cells, and also to make me nauseous. I got the nausea part nailed at this point. I can puke with the best of them at this point. We'll see how this chemo treats me, but if it's tolerable, we're headed off to the San Juans to go camping with some dear friends this weekend.

It's not a bad life I have. In fact, it's ALMOST a perfect life.


  1. Yoooooo! Shell-oooooo! Shelldogg! Shell-Belle! Shell-a-roo! Shell-er-a-disky-doo! (Said like the copy guy from SNL from days of old.) You know that saying, "I love you to the moon and back?" I am sending you good wishes to the moon and back! So glad to hear the good news that the stent is working and you are moving on to this genetically favorable new treatment. I never stop praying for you. I hope beyond hope that you can write in a few months and say that the tumors are getting smaller and that there is no new growth. Love, Mere

  2. Shelly, I think you are an amazing person with all you've been going through and the spirit that you continue to radiate. All of us pray for your ultimate remission and for this heavy burden lifted from you and your family. You are such an inspiration, girl, and we send you all healing vibes! xoxo Polly Webb

  3. Add me to the list of people sending good thoughts, energy, and wishes. I also have some 90 degree heat over here that us Vermonters don't like, so let me know if I can send that to you, too! Seriously, sending love, love, and love. Jill Hoppenjans

  4. 10 billion prayers. And a cahrdinal in the snow I send to you. xoxo

  5. Wishing you all kinds of wonderful helping truly are an amazingly strong and wonderful spirit...I think of you every day and you bring me inspiration and perspective in this crazy unfair world. You will beat this. xx Teresa Harting

  6. Dear Shelly,

    I loved seeing pics from your camping trip this past weekend which tells us that you were feeling well enough post-chemo to get on out to the San Juans. That's so great!

    I think of you wherever I am. I took great thoughts of you to the Atlantic where we played on the rocks & in the sand with the kids in Portsmouth, NH this weekend.

    Praying, hoping, wishing to hear great news of the power of this new chemo drug when you next get scan results. In the meantime, I'll be praying that you feel great and have lots of lovely and memorable times with your gorgeous family. xoxoxo, Jen(ny)

  7. Shelly, I'm so hopeful for this treatment. Sending love!

  8. I find your posts extraordinary, Shelly... perfectly natural to be emotional about the things you shed tears over. I am sitting here shedding tears just reading it! But you're a fighter! And so it's all not said and done just yet, as you know better than anyone. Fingers and everything crossed for the new treatment and Harvard-like place to work its magic seamlessly on you. Thoughts and prayers for forward progress in your treatment. (Julie and all the Buchwalds)

  9. Shelly, thinking of you, as always, and sending lots of love and good energy.

  10. Thinkin about you today, Shelly. Good thoughts and smiles at you. :)