Friday May 27, 2011

With today's fortune cookie at lunch we unwrapped this nugget...

Courage conquers all things; it even gives strength to the body

We have completed 5 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy in our battle against the brainstem glioma that was diagnosed on April 15.  "We" is just a figure of speech - much the way the caddy of a major champion would tell the story of how "we" played a great round at the Masters or US Open.  "We" is Shannon who is showing "Us" the courage to conquer all things.

Thursday's blood work looked good again.  White cell counts continue to drop but have stayed within the margins of "normal" range which means another week of activity for Shannon without restriction.  So Thursday night - of course - she played hockey.

Shannon was having a good day.  Her spirit and tolerance for appointments boosted by the the chance to share lunch downtown with a school friend.  She was even able to take Anna in to see where she is radiated deep in the bowels of Mayo's Charlton building.  Her meeting with our social worker Kelli was of the hurry-up variety, "I'm not sad today, I'm not mad today...I just want to have lunch with my friend".  A change in her Thursday routine made things move along nicely. 

One more week of healing.  Hang on baby.  I have to say that I am stunned at how well Shannon has tolerated the drugs and beams of radiation that are coursing through her body.  The doctors tell us that even two weeks after treatment concludes, the Temodar and radiation are still working their magic.  But it's possible fatigue and other side affects could still impact Shannon's energy levels well into June even though our final healing session is June 3.

One thing that has changed...Shannon has accepted the advice of everyone on her medical team and started taking naps.  Serious two-hour power naps.  We get home from healing right around 1:30 and for the past three days she has slept from about 2-4.  Perfect.  And now she has enough energy to stay up to catch the end of the Twins or NHL playoff game.  Last night she stayed up late enough to finish reading and homework that was tied to a science final grade.  Determined to finish 7th grade like everyone else.

So this weekend 155 of us will gather together in support and wear "I Love Shannon" shirts in the Med City Kids Run, 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon.  The forecast for Saturday is for warmer temps...high 73...a thunderstorm somewhere...we pray just not on our parade!