Hey everyone, this is Shayna's brother, Jonah. I know a lot of you are wondering what on earth is going on since this thing isn't updated as often as a lot of you would like it to be. That being said, I thought it was time to give you all a very real update.
Shayna has been fighting for her life and doing it well since we found out about her having cancer approximately two months ago. This past Thursday morning (July 8th), we took her to the hospital to have some fluid drained out of her to hopefully alleviate some of her discomfort and pressure. We took her to Presby in Matthews and they checked her out and said that there was definitely a good amount of fluid that she could have drained but they weren't able to do it at the Matthews location so they sent her, via ambulance, to the uptown location. Upon arrival, they reviewed her CAT scan results and informed us that there was not any fluid to be drained. They said that the pressure that she was feeling was from the mass that has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Her right lung is 90% collapsed, and the mass has pushed her left lung and heart to the far left side of her chest cavity. When we initially heard that she would be able to have fluid drained, Shayna was ecstatic and was beyond ready to finally feel a bit of relief since she had not had any since we initially found out about her situation. Upon finding out from the doctors that it was not fluid, and that she would not be given that release of pressure she had been so very excited to receive, she requested that we bring her back home. If she wasn't going to be comfortable, she would rather be at home than stuck in some random hospital bed.
After an all day ordeal, we got her back to the car and headed away from the city. (Since we found out about the cancer, she has been on a strict, freshly squeezed fruit/vegetable juice, vitamin supplements, nutritional IVs, and solely organic food diet) On the way home, she was hungry and had been through so much throughout the course of the day, so she asked if we could stop by Chick-Fil-A. (Keep in mind that she hasn't set foot inside of any kind of restaurant since the beginning of this ordeal.) We got her into her wheelchair, hooked up her portable oxygen tank, and made our way inside. She ordered a chicken sandwich with her waffle fries, and requested that I get her Polynesian, buffalo, and ranch sauces. She was so happy to be able to indulge and she ate what she could.
When we finally got her home and settled in, we were discouraged that the doctors were unable to provide any assistance, but we were happy that she had such a good appetite considering her appetite has been practically non-existent lately. Little did we know that things were going to take a turn for the worst.
Throughout the course of the night, she got very little sleep (which has been the case for the past two months, despite numerous things we have tried). Thursday night was different though... something had changed. She has kept such a high spirit, determined to get through this, and ready to be well again. After hearing from the doctors that there was nothing they could do to bring her any kind of relief from the constant discomfort, her spirit had broken and her mind knew that her body cannot take much more of what it is going through.
Since Thursday night, it has been increasingly difficult to get her to take her vitamins, and she is in and out of a conscious state. Sometimes she will speak clearly, and be aware of what is going on around her, the next minute, she seems to be semi-aware and mumbling, and then she will be talking to someone who isn't there.
She is so very frail, her voice is strained and weak, and when you look into those big brown eyes, you see the fear of a young girl who has battled so hard to fight for every breath she takes, hoping that this is just a bad dream that she will soon wake up from and be able to continue the long, happy, family-filled life that she has always expressed such an immense desire for.
I know this update sounds dreary but for the record, we have not given up hope yet! While she still draws breath, we are bound and determined to aid her in her fight for wellness and the opportunity to live. I keep on telling myself that it is always darkest just before dawn and right now, it cannot get much darker so dawn must be coming soon. Everyone's thoughts, prayers, kind words, and general support have been appreciated thus far and will be appreciated from here on out.
People keep saying "If there is anything I/We can do, please do not hesitate to ask" and my family thanks you for that, but if nothing else, what you can do is appreciate each day that you are given and be sure to let your loved ones know that they are just that. That's one thing about this thing we call life... we never know how long we will be able to experience. Just a little over two months ago, I NEVER would have thought Shayna would be where she is today. You just never know. Live life, love those dear to you, and learn to appreciate what you have. You really just never know...