Monday May 2, 2011

Well, so much for the "new normal". Today was anything but ... Shannon did go off to school, although she was still feeling uncomfortable with an ache in her lungs and some other issues which she prefers I not discuss here (think prune juice). We called radiation oncology to find out what we should do and our nurse practitioner Denise fit us in for an 11:45 appointment. After hearing Shannon's symptoms, a CT scan of the lungs was required. We learned today that Shannon's tumor type will sometimes throw off blood clots that can settle in the lungs, heart, or brain. News that we might have a new problem to deal with was a bit hard to take. Denise comforted us with kind words and told us to stay strong and get through this episode. We would have results this afternoon and, if necessary, add a blood thinner to Shannon's drug regimen to alleviate the clots.

Shannon had her daily healing and then it was off to St. Mary's to have the CT scan. An IV was placed in her arm so that contrast dye could be used. The nurse explained that when the contrast dye goes in, it feels like a hot flash and then you have the sensation that you peed yourself. What a bonus! Shannon made it through just fine and Dan and I only cried a little bit.

Denise called us just a couple of hours later to let us know that the scan was negative - no blood clot. Shannon's aches are most likely the result of fatigue and the medications taking their toll. Just a bump in the road and we should expect those along the way. Listening to her body and recognizing when she's tired is a new skill that Shannon must acquire quickly.

By the time we reached the after school hours, we were all too exhausted to complete what should have been the rest of our day. No work for me, no golf or hockey for Shannon, and no Fireball practice for Dan and Erin. We opted for staying at home and enjoying a Mexican feast that was delivered by our friend Shelly. Grandma Gwen joined us and so did Uncle Mike and Aunt Connie. We were teasing Mike that he seems to be so willing to spend time with us now - especially on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when meals are delivered!

Dan and I discussed today that we have moved from the shocked phase to the angry phase. Anger might not be productive, but it's real. We're mad that Shannon's not feeling well; mad that she has to curb her activity level; mad that we had a bump in the road today; mad that Erin feels like she's second fiddle; mad that the sun won't shine ...

This journey is so all consuming for us right now that we are out of touch with the events happening around the world. I can't discuss what Kate's dress looked like or talk about the intel that brought down Bin Laden, but I can tell you about the side effects of Temodar and Decadron or direct you to the most convenient spots in the Mayo patient parking ramps! We have to laugh a little or we'd cry all the time.

So, we'll get up tomorrow and start again, hoping for smooth sailing, no bumps in the road, and a little sunshine...