Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Now that I've been nearly three weeks without posting, I'm getting this awkward-silence vibe from the blog.

To break the ice: here's my new haircut.

Apparently, it's been too long since I had one, since I've emailed this picture to probably three people already. Inordinately pleased with this minor change in my appearance. (Same, but a little shorter.) And next time I put a picture of myself on the blog, it'll be one where I'm wearing makeup and therefore actually have features. And maybe I won't use the bathroom mirror and a flash.

* * *

Okay, here's the news.

January 3rd my parents came over and my Dad told me he has been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. It seemed to be stage 4: a biopsy found 9 of 10 possible sites affected. My Dad is 73, and has no real health problems - Type 2 diabetes, which he manages by walking about 6 hours a day to stabilize his blood sugar.

Heart disease runs in his family, so if you asked me what I feared for my Dad, it would have been that. Cancer wasn't even on my radar.

On January 5th my friend Sandy came over and told me she has been diagnosed with lymphoma, thought to have been caused by the radiation therapy she received for her colorectal cancer of two years ago. The cancer is too diffuse to radiate, so she was waiting on a biopsy to determine a course of treatment.

Hearing about Sandy was bad, but so much of my mental energy was taken up with worrying about Dad, I coped with Sandy's news pretty well. In fact, I told a family member in an email, "if YOU have cancer, now is a great time to tell me. I'm on a roll."

I spent the next two weeks feeling like all my life force had drained away. I stood around, looking out through rain-slicked windows and crying.

We were waiting for a CT scan and a bone scan, scheduled for the 11th and 14th, to tell us how far the cancer had spread. Last Tuesday the results came back in - no metastases. (Excellent.) They offered Dad a choice between radiation and removal: he opted for removal.

Dad's surgery is scheduled for February 1, next Monday. Once the cancer is out, a pathologist will be able to tell what they should do next - whether chemotherapy would be beneficial.

Sandy had a needle biopsy yesterday - through her back to take cells from lymph nodes located behind her sternum. (Ouch...) Now we just wait for a few days until those results are in, and her year will take shape - whether it will be a chemo year, or something else.

* * *

I don't want to bring too much of this onto the blog. Not because I feel private about it (obviously I don't) but because I've been eating, sleeping, and breathing Cancer for nearly three weeks: I want to talk about something else. I won't be posting long cancer updates, though I will put a line or two in a post, if something major happens.

So thank you for all your good wishes on my last post - it was really great to hear from everybody. It was a comfort to know that you care.

* * *

Coming soon: more fun, less cancer. Can I get a "HELL yeah"?


Dave Hingsburger said...

What! No mention of the great slipper race! Where is your sense of priorities! All kidding aside, welcome back ... sometimes life throws curve balls and all you can do, is like I did as a 10 year old outfielder, cover your face with your mitt and scream. My dad was so proud.

carlarey said...

In order of appearance:
1. Congrats on a successful haircut.
2. Great news about your Dad.
3. Fingers crossed for your friend.
4. Dave's comment made me laugh, hope it did the same for you.

Valerie said...

Ouch.....what a tough beginning to a new year.

I'm really hoping that Dave is a good friend of yours, based on his comment. Hope he made you laugh too.

Your hair looks great...I envy natural curls. And that's with no makeup?....Dahling you look mahvelous!

Brenda said...

Your haircut looks fabulous!

Thinking of you lots Shannon.

Rona said...

Great haircut Shannon!
Glad that we had a chance to talk yesterday. Thinking of you all. Dave's comment also made me laugh ;-) I'm still chuckling!

kate said...

The haircut rocks, and that is a really gorgeous, natural picture of you.

Oh, and HELL YEAH.

Glad to have you back in the blogosphere.

Geek Knitter said...

You for sure get a HELL yeah from me!

Such good news about your Dad, I hope things continue to go well for him.

Sending all kinds of healing vibes to your friend.

I love your new haircut, it looks beautiful on you.

Tabatha said...

Hell, Yeah!

You do look beautiful.

freedomnan said...

So glad to see you back in blog-sphere, Shan.

mel said...

Be thinking about your dad on Monday, and Sandy as she waits (and you). That said, Hell yeah! (less cancer, no mets, beautiful you).

Annalea said...

************HELL YEAH!!!!!!****************

(Hoping you can hear that, 'cause it came out of my northwest window, aimed straight at your house. :o)

And I totally agree, Dave . . . I keep a mitt handy for just that purpose. ;o)

Here's a totally left-field question: have you taken a Myers-Briggs test? I find it really helps to have that information in my Tough Times Tool Kit, so screaming into my mitt isn't quite as unsettling. Once I'm done, I can brush myself off, say "My. That was helpful!", pick up the ball, and purposefully march it back to the mound.

(Here's a good free one.)

The sun is shining here . . . I hope it is in BC, too!

Gena said...

Love the haircut! I wish mine had some natural curl to it.

I understand exactly what you're going through with your Dad. I'm glad to hear the good news and hope it stays good.

Suelle said...

She's back! The hair is great & I hope the news continues to be good about the "C" word. I also understand what you're dealing with in reagards to your dad. Good thoughts your way!

lizbon said...

Heaven and hell both yeah, darlin'.

Love the haircut but more importantly the hair itself. I didn't realize you had so many curls.

I think that's a lovely photo, btw. You look beautiful.

Rachel said...

I'll contribute my 'HELL YEAH' as well. 2010 came in with a rather crappy bang for you. Sending positive thoughts for your Dad and Sandy. On a lighter note, lovely cut and I don't know what you are talking about...there is such beauty in that make-up required!

Erin said...

Hey Shannon,
Your previous post had us worried. I'm glad you shared and that things are getting better. I'm thinking about you and especially Uncle Mel. Take care,


-Love the hair cut!

Anonymous said...

HELL, yeah. And you look gorgeous. Faith & resilience are so important at times like these - for the sake of those close to you, for parenting, for you. Best wishes.
- Beth in Toronto

Penny said...


Nice haircut.

Hope the surgery went well.

Kristine said...

Hell yeah!!

And hugs.

And I love the hair.

Susie Hewer said...

Dear Shannon,

You look lovely!

So sorry to hear your other news though. Hope your dad and friend have some good news soon. Fingers crossed for you all anyway.

Big hugs to you all.


Anonymous said...

Well, from a lurker, Hell Yeah!! Here's to the year improving a LOT for all of you.