Our Story…..

This picture was taken right after Christmas

In June of 2010 Shawn and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary. We had a great summer and enjoyed our kids. In July 2010 Shawn woke up with a really bad ear ache and swollen lymph node just below and behind his ear. He was feeling really bad and went to the doctor. The doctor thought he just had an ear infection and treated him with antibiotics. We thought that would be the end of him being ill. Fast forward a few weeks later and his ear infection was gone, but his lymph node was still swollen a bit. It had went down a lot from the antibiotic, but not all the way. So we thought it was still inflamed form the ear infection. Fast forward again to November 2010 Thanksgiving day. Shawn woke up again to a severe ear ache and his lymph node was still swollen, but it was about the size of a ping pong ball. He missed Thanksgiving and laid in bed all day. He went to our family doctor the next morning. Our family doctor told him that his lymph node was on of the biggest ones he has seen. So he sent Shawn to the ear, nose, and throat specialist. We went to the ENT the first week of Dec. The ENT did his exam and was concerned with the way Shawn’s right tonsil looked. It was double the size of the left one, and looked abnormal. Shawn and I just looked at each other like “What!”. The ENT sent Shawn to get a CT scan the next morning because he suspected a tumor. On December 10, 2010 we went back to the ENT for the CT scan results. The scan showed a tumor, but not the type of tumor. Our doctor informed us of this diagnosis and told us that he thought for sure it was cancer. He thought it was a squamous cell, or lymphoma. Shawn asked him what his chances were to live from this, and the ENT could not answer us at that time. We were devastated. We held it together while the ENT was in the room, but as soon as he left we held each other and cried. Shawn kept telling me he was sorry. We were numb. The doctor tried to biopsy his tonsil in the office that day, but we were so upset. Shawn kept gagging and was about to pass out. They had to use the stuff they put under your nose to keep you from passing out. We couldn’t do the biopsy that day. It was too difficult. We made an appointment at the ENT for a biopsy at a surgical center and a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else in his body. We left the office and went out into the hallway and broke down. We cried and just hugged each other, BUT through all of this God was giving me a peace I couldn’t understand. I looked at him face to face, eye to eye, and said “you are going to be healed and live a long life with me and our kids”. We went to the car and cried more and stay there for about an hour until we were able to drive. The biopsy was a few days later I believe. The ENT did the biopsy and came out to the waiting room to inform me of what he saw. He was optimistic and said the tumor was move-able. That was a good sign. We had to wait a few days though for the results to come back. Those were some of the hardest days of our lives. It was Christmas time and we were trying to enjoy this time with our kids. At that time we did not know if this would be Shawn’s last Christmas with us. I had peace and knew it would not be his last one, but we were still scared out of our minds. We just didn’t know for sure. I don’t know what we would of done if we didn’t have our family and friends praying for us, and helping us. It seemed like all we did was cry. The doctor called us with the biopsy results, my heart sank. I wanted to know, but in the same respect I didn’t want to know. Life was hard enough at this point. But GOD is good. Shawn called me and told me the doctor was very happy to tell him he had Lymphoma. I know this may seem odd , but the alternative to lymphoma is major surgery, a horrible type of cancer, and maybe death. So we were very happy to get this news. The ENT said this was the best diagnosis he could give us! We could do nothing but THANK GOD at that moment. The next hurdle was the PET scan. Shawn went for his PET scan right before Christmas. We were a nervous wreck. The PET scan was done and we found out the cancer was completely contained!!!! The doctor could not believe it hadn’t spread or grow larger since Shawn had this unknowingly since July. You see his is form of Lymphoma is an aggressive fast growing cancer and can kill you in a year. It was a miracle it was all contained. We visited our Oncologist right after Christmas and got the treatment protocol for Diffused Large B cell lymphoma. He is under going 3 rounds of CHOP-R Chemo. It is a pretty aggressive chemo treatment. He has tolerated it pretty good. There are a few things that we expected to deal with, nausea, fatigue, muscle and bone pain. It has been hard on him mentally too. He is not use to being held down by anything, he is always full of energy, but not since chemo. He has completed 2 rounds of his chemo treatments. He has only one more to go, and he will get it on Feb.17th. After that he will undergo radiation 5 days a week for about 4 weeks. Radiation has side effects of it’s own. For now we are happy to take it one day at a time. That is all we have. We love each other more now than ever. We have never asked God why. Shawn says” God has already done enough for me, I cannot complain. So thank you for EVERYONE for your prayers. It is only because of those prayers we believe God has already done the healing in Shawn. Our journey seems long now, but it is just part of our story. We believe God has so much more more in store for us that we can’t even imagine. There are days where I have anxiety attacks, cry spells, depressed feeling, but they don’t last long. God reminds me in those times how much he loves me, and he will be faithful to take care of us. How much more does he love us. He takes care of the birds in the air, how much more does he do for us! Thank you for your support! :)


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  1. says

    Oh Alana, how my family knows this story so well. My niece has ALL (leukemia) and was diagnosed 12/10/09. I am happy to report that she is doing so well that the doctors are hopeful to take 6 months off of her treatments. So hopefully in April (her birthday month, she will be 10) She has been and inspiration to our whole family for her strength and courage.
    My SIL’s fiance was diagnosed with throat cancer the same day as my niece and he was treated with surgery and radiation. A double whammy. He is cancer free at this time. :)
    My thoughts go out to you and your family. It sounds to me that your husband is well on his way to recovery.
    Best wishes and hugs,

  2. says

    Terri thank you for your support. I am so glad to hear your niece and SIL’s fiance are doing good. With Jesus all things are possible. God gives us peace even though cancer is scary. Keep us in your prayers and thoughts. Thank you for reading my blog as well. Best wishes to you and your family as well.
    Alana :)

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