Monday April 18, 2011

(This was originally written as an e-mail to family)

Feeling a touch overwhelmed tonight.  The outreach has been amazing, exhausting.  So many ups and downs to manage.  Shannon just fell asleep in my arms wrapped in a new Twins fleece blanket cousin Laurynn gave her last night.  The Twins were still ahead while she was awake. 

Today was another good one to check off.  Jen and I met with school admin and teachers at both Willow Creek Middle and Bamber Valley Elementary.  A paragraph on each meet would not cover all the cool stuff.  Shannon and Erin are loved very much at both schools.  Unreal.  Shannon can call her own shots to get through the year.  She wants to be there as much as possible.  She can take the MCA - state standards - in a conference room with some comforts afforded.  When Shannon told the WC team she wanted to excel in MCA's to set herself up for flex classes in 8th grade - Mrs. Mammel her english teacher told her "Shannon I could've told you would've qualified for Flex in October!"  Shannon gave that a big smile.  The principal told Shannon he too wanted Shannon to take MCA's - because he knows it will help their performance numbers!!! 

Erin is in great hands at Bamber Valley.  She has a counselor if she needs her.  She will be providing the counselor with counsel as often as she needs it :)  Erin continues to provide us all with wisdom on a regular basis.

Mr. Myhro...the golf coach at Mayo HS is putting Shannon in the JV lineup for tomorrow's triangular match vs. JM.  She will golf #6 spot on the JV.  9 holes at Eastwood.  God please make the snow stay away until about 5:30...please.  Shannon thinks that is about the coolest thing in America. Mr. Myhro knows she's at her strongest today. 

Then we made it to the Mayo Clinic.  Our morning consult with the hematologist and peds doctors setting the course for Shannon's treatment was tough.  They laid out the plan and we're going to go hard at the tumor while Shannon is strong.  Oral chemo Temodar - we're hoping it can be one pill at bedtime for 6 weeks.  Then 6 weeks of radiation starting Thursday.  Tomorrow's appointment is a treatment planning session to make the thermo-plastic face mask that will keep her head in place while they zap the tumor. The radiation will enter her skull at right about where a high pony tail sits.

We're learning that a fever and low white counts will require emergency room visits.  Anytime that happens she will need a transfusion.  We are learning about the side effects that will likely occur, can occur and might occur.  They feel the first couple weeks she'll feel pretty good.  The cumulative effects of the chemo/radiation will eventually take their toll.  I think we all know someone who has gone through this process.

If the morning consult was the bad cop - the afternoon consult was the good cop.  The radiation oncologist is a hockey playing Mom and she has already heard much about Shannon from her hockey mama buddies who's daughters play hockey with Shannon.  Her name is Dr. Laack.  Jen taught her sons Soren and Xavier tennis at the RAC.  She shared a really cool story of hope at the end of our meeting.  Shannon was running out of questions because she was completely focused on getting to golf practice.  She made it there by 3:15. 

Back at Mayo tomorrow at 8a...

We love you all - your attention at this time is welcomed - responses are not always possible.  More updates as energy permits...we'll try for's good to have goals :)