Wednesday, December 26, 2007

not obvious

I went in for a radiation simulation today so I can get my first dose tomorrow. What that means is that I got to lie on a skinny table in my shelby-shape while some girls drew more pictures with blue paint on my chest. These ones are beautiful. I'm so glad they are almost impossible to wash off because they go all the way up to my neck. To me, it looks like a coffin with a cross on it. Help me think of a way of explaining what new religion would ask me to do this. Also, my favorite part of this picture is not my three eyelashes, but more likely the fingerprints all over the mirror.

Christmas was great. Jaymee and Sienna took my bucket-o-hair (that i really wanted to send to travey) to Build-a-Bear Workshop and had it stuffed in a bear. It wasn't creepy. IT's really neat. If you smell it, it smells like me. Or rather, the old pre-cancer me. The smell reminded me of sleeping on my hair. I miss my hair. But now I have a bear. Don't stare. Life's not fair. There!

My first radiation is tomorrow at 7:20am. I'll let you know if I notice any super-powers. I've seen enough tv to know that radiation = super powers. I just hope it's a good one and not some lame one like making people squirt ink out their eyes if I get sad or mad. I hope I can fly or shoot lightning out my hands or cook. Or perhaps bio-luminesence - my glow would tell could-be predators that I taste bitter. What super power would you want?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Endure to the End

That's what it's all about. It's easy to have a change of heart - for a little while. It's easy to make new year's resolutions and even keep them - for a little while. It's easy to go through cancer and get through chemo and keep a good attitude - for a little while. Now is the hard part. I feel myself slipping. This morning I spent forever trying to glue fake eyelashes and my wig on with fingers that don't work and had to give up because my kids needed me to get them ready for church, too. Here I am almost three weeks from my last chemo and my eyelashes and eyebrows fall out. I thought I was safe. I had lost a lot, but I had kept a lot, too. I'm sitting here "cancer-free" and I get sad over some dumb eyelashes? It makes me feel vain and ungrateful - which makes me feel bad - which makes me lose my positive attitude - which makes me want to sit on my island and cry for a while. Endure to the end! This reminds me of my first pregnancy. Everyone tells you about pregnancy. Everyone tells you about labor and delivery. Nobody tells you that after you have the baby, there's still a lot of junk to deal with. "What? I'm done! I had my baby. I'm not pregnant anymore!" Endure to the end, my friend.

In the beginning, I felt a lot of strength and resolve to be a kinder mom, a better wife and to do more service. The Lord gave me more time and I was going to use it for the best of things. This morning I yelled at my kids for losing their church shoes and yelled at my husband for having meetings every Sunday morning. Look at me go! Yell yell yell. I don't hink I yelled this much BEFORE cancer, so I'm not doing so hot on the endure to the end thing.

How many of you made changes in your own lives when this cancer hit us? I know it sounds so conceited to presume other people changed their lives because of some dumb disease that hit me, and I only say so because I know from your cards and emails that you have. Are you guys still going strong? What can we do for a recharge? My batteries are low. Hopefully yours are not.

I feel a little like I am letting people down by letting you in on my sad day. Everyone is always telling me how wonderful it is that I am so positive. I have felt really happy and fine until I got sick last week. It really bugged me that I couldn't fell better even though I wasn't going through chemo anymore. I feel better now, but my spirits are a little slower in recovering. I am going to be fine, you are going to be fine. We're all going to be fine - let's just be sure to keep praying for each other.

I love you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I got four boss tattoos!

Hi everybody. Sorry for the long delay in writing. I really thought I'd feel better by now. Oh well. Could be worse - I could have cancer, right? I thought I'd type a little update. The sores on my feet and hands are starting to heal (heel?) and I'm hoping to start getting some feeling back soon, too. My hair ISN'T growing and probably won't start (according to my doc) for another 6 weeks. I've gotten pretty used to myself bald and Preslie even prefers it. I love the unconditional love of babies. This dumb bug I have should be gone soon. I feel better today than yesterday. That's how it used to be. That makes me happy.

I went in for another appointment with the radiation oncologist today. I know so much about that stuff because of Jaym and yet I was still pretty nervous. Weird. There were tears, nudity and long boring parts. Sounds like an Oscar movie. They painted, drew and tattooed all over my body. The paint markers smelled like those markers we all had when we were young that would draw with purple and then put a sweet silver edge around everything. I have a big blue paint line that goes from my neck down and then some on each side and one on each arm. they put clear tape over them to make sure they don't wash off - even though they said they're pretty impossible to wash off. Then I got tiny tattoos. One on my chest, one on my tummy and one on each side. Then they laid me down on a black garbage bag on a table and shot me in and out of a big cheerio to make sure it was all in the right spots. When they finished congratulating themselves for getting it right, they put some weird chemicals into the garbage bag and it started to foam up and get hot. It formed all around my body to make a cool shelby-shape. Then it cooled down and hardened. They'll use it each time so that they're sure I'm in the same position. I'll probably paint it and auction it off at the end of my treatments, not.

On Sunday they cancelled church because of all the pretty snow. We kinda took it to mean they cancelled Sunday and let the kids play outside in all that winter-wonderfullness. It was so beautiful. I love this place. I'll post pictures soon.

So that's all that's new. I'm still waiting to jump for joy at being cancer-free. I am yet to feel up to jumping. Maybe tomorrow? Hope so. I got some Christmas to feel and do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Don't stop praying.

(this is Melanie)
Hey all you (including me) who let out one big collective sigh and a big "Phew!" when they heard the news about Shelby's scan - don't stop praying for her yet please. She has the flu right now and a low white blood cell count so her body is having a hard time fighting it off. We had the crappy flu in our home recently and it went around and around for two weeks - and none of us are immuno-compromised! Don't be too worried or alarmed, just please don't forget to keep her in your prayers and thoughts for a while longer. Thanks so much. We love you.
I love you Shelby. I am so sorry this dumb thing didn't just end the day you got that clean scan. Wouldn't it have been great to wake up the next day with a full head of hair, energy, feeling in your hands and feet and a physical feeling that matched that message? It will take months to feel all the way better - but you will!! We can't wait. But we will wait and we will keep praying and calling and helping until you are 100% again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Remission: POSSIBLE!

I had my scan yesterday... i was sneaky. I wanted to hold the news on my lap for a day - in case it was bad - so i could adapt and be strong enough to talk to people about it today. Also, I wanted to tell my mom a day early to spare her a sleepless night. Luckily, it wasn't news that needed holding or pondering. It was news that i put in a balloon and set free. I have NO METASTATIC DISEASE in my body! There are little blips and some dead tumor, but nothing that won't be gone by the end of radiation. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts and service.

I really didn't know what I was going to do if they said i had to do chemo again. I was very nervous going into this because I have been extra sick these last couple weeks. When they gave me my IV for the PET scan, I almost threw up. IVs now make me nauseated. I think it's pavlovian. As soon as the scan was over, Jaymeson went up to radiology and looked at it with the radiologists. That's a nice perk of his job. Otherwise, I would have had to wait until tomorrow to find out the results.

I'd like to write more, but I have an appointment with the Radiation Oncologist this morning to plan my treatment. I'll write more when I return...

Monday, December 10, 2007


(This is Melanie)
Shelby is not one to complain. And hasn't. I just wanted to let you all know that she has been quite sick this weekend. The weeks of chemo have finally caught up with her and she is sick and tired, has sores all over in her mouth, throat and intestines. Her fingers have lost most of the feeling in them now and she has a hard time keeping hold of stuff. She says she is dropping a lot on the floor because she just can't grip right. Her fingernails have finally started turning black and she is just feeling pretty rotten. I am so glad she won't have to go in Wed for another treatment. Please keep her in your prayers this week - especially tomorrow. We want that PET scan to be Cancer free! I love you Shel. I am sorry you are feeling yuck.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


(this is Melanie)
Shelby got her last chemo today! Next Tuesday she gets the PET scan to make sure it's gone and then she get gets a three week break and then five weeks of radiation. I am sure proud of her and how brave and strong she has been through 12 consecutive weeks of chemotherapy. She has stayed happy and upbeat all the while. Way to go Shelby. We are so glad it's over and pray that every tiny bit of that cancer is GONE and that they will just radiate where it WAS and therefore there won't ever be a chance of that thing coming back - ever! Today is an important milestone. You are pure gold. Just as mom said.