—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

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Shannon’s Journey, 20

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As you can tell by Shannon’s smile, she’s feeling pretty up, even though she’s feeling pretty crappy. Crappy because, well because she’s had five rounds of chemo and each round takes more and more out of her. Up because this is her last day.

Yeah, no more chemo. It’ll be so much easier for her to focus on getting better without the chemo. It’ll be so much easier making meals for her kids without the chemo. And she’ll be able to put in full days at work without out the chemo.

In short, without the chemo, she’ll begin getting her life back.

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Here she is with her friend Kathy and her “Last Chemo Day,” sign. It’s been a long, often pain filled struggle, but now all she has to do is get through this last session, deal with the awfulness that follows one last time and then it’s over.

Finally over.

And with luck and God willing, she’ll never have to deal with chemo again.

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Here she’s getting her vitals checked, again. They do this every time. I don’t think she’s shrinking, but I’m betting she’s losing weight. I didn’t check, but she sure looks like she is.

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Can you tell she’s happy about this being her last chemo day. Just one more week or so of feeling like she’s been run over by a truck, than she can truly focus on getting better.

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Here are Kathy and Vesta, smiling for the camera. The mood here is pretty good.

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And here’s a pretty smile from a pretty girl as she bares her port. In a few seconds they’re gonna take her blood, test it, then she gets the chemo.

Lord above, I don’t know how anybody can smile before chemo, even if it is the last one. But she’s smiling.

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And then it all came crashing down. Blood test done and all her levels are too low for chemo. So she’s gotta go and come back next week.

That was depressing. So depressing it took me a week to write about it. Now it’s Tuesday again and in a couple hours Shannon will once again show up at her oncologist’s office, hoping to get her last dose of chemo, so that, at least this part of her recovery will be over with. Then she can really start the healing process.

Usually Vesta goes with me, but not today, because she’s sick and the last thing we wanna do is get Shannon sick, especially now, when she’s so close to being done with chemo.

Hopefully, in a couple weeks her immune system will start building itself back up, so that a chance encounter with someone with a cold won’t send her to the hospital.

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But they can’t keep her down for long. Minutes after getting the bad news, she’s smiling. And you know what the say, “A thousand smiles will chase the cancer away.” Well, they don’t say that, I made it up. But it should be true. However, sadly, it’s not.

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