Monday, March 31, 2008

Scope It Out 5K Run/Walk is behind us...

Yesterday, my team, "Never FELT Better," had the most participants of any team at the race (76), as the MC announced. I didn't even recognize some of the names of people on my team. It felt good to be so supported in the/my cause. I got choked up sometimes...especially seeing people wearing signs "in memory of". I don't like thinking about that stuff at all.

"Never FELT Better" finished 3rd in the racing part of the day. (They added the times of the best 3 males and 2 females for each team. Congrats to Cory C. (who I don't think I know) for finishing first among our teammates. Another big congrats to Mary Z. for leading the ladies of our group. The top five were rounded out by Jason K, Robert M, and Michael U. (Hey Mike...sorry I didn't see you there, but a big thank you for coming out!) My personal time was over an hour for the 3.1 miles because I walked the entire thing. Also, a big congrats to my uncle, who at 62 ran the race in 28 minutes. Actually, my cousin ran it in that time, but I switched their computer chips by accident, so my uncle looked really fast!

I want to thank everyone for coming out and running or walking and also thank those who donated money to the event. I appreciate each one of you.

The photo is of part of our team who remained after the walkers finished...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Long time, no blog...

Many of you have been calling and emailing to see if I'm okay and ask how things went during my second opinion consultation at Johns Hopkins. Well, sorry for the delay...I had an aunt, two uncles and a mom in town over the past week, so I was having some good visiting time with them.

During my consultation, the doctors seemed upbeat. They agreed with the type of chemotherapy I'm receiving. This week, they are going to take a copy of my latest CAT scan to their review board to see if I'm a candidate for surgery at this point. This brings into question those "floating tumors" again. If they come back to me and say that I'm good to go for surgery, then I won't be sure if they saw those "floating tumors." Afterall, my doctor at Georgetown didn't see those tumors at first, either. The radiologists saw them only after further review.

I get another CAT scan in about five or six weeks. That should tell us more about what time-frame we are looking at for a surgery.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good lately. I'm slowly increasing my weights at the gym, I'm throwing up less (always a good thing), and I feel more normal as a whole.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


You may have watched it or maybe looked up the score the next day, but Pitt beat Georgetown to win the Big East Tournament!

I got teary-eyed sometimes during the trip to NYC. Those times included walking on the streets of Manhattan...and also while they were playing the national anthem and announcing the starting lineups. I was just so happy to be there again for the tournament. It gave me a feeling of being normal. It's probably hard for most of you to understand, but feeling normal is no longer routine. But I was really happy. I owe a great deal of thanks to one of my best friends, Fish. Without him, I probably would not have gone to NYC for the game.

Back to the game...I was nervous the entire time. I guess I assumed Georgetown was better than they were. It was exciting, to say the least. In the end it all worked out in my favor (is that a sign of things to come???) ;-)

After the game, Fish and I stayed to see the trophy ceremonies and the cutting down of the net (a basketball tradition, for those who don't know, where each player and coach climbs a ladder and cuts off a piece of the net). While I was watching, I noticed another friend in the stands. It was a guy from my DC Pitt alumni club, Kevin. He was down lower than me and was shaking hands with some of the players.

When all the players had left the court, I circled around to Kevin. He was in the midst of happily telling his group of friends how one of the players gave him a piece of the net. He saw me and stopped his story. His transition:

"Hey everyone, I'm going to give this piece of the net to my buddy, Shawn, here." (And he told them why.)

I lost it. I couldn't even talk as I could no longer fight back my tears of joy. All I could do was get out a faint, "thank you" and give Kevin a hug. I even hugged his one friend who I didn't know.

I returned to Fish who was in the gift shop and told him the story of what just happened. He could see that I was crying, so he put his arm around me, too.

So many people are doing such great things for me, I can't even begin to thank people.

I'll leave you with one last thing...I won't turn down a hug whenever you see me. They really help me get through this. :'-)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Heading to NYC!

Pitt won!!! They are in the championship game of the Big East Tournament for the 7th time in 8 years, now. In the morning (its now Friday night), I'm driving to NYC with my friend, Fish. We have a hotel two blocks from Madison Square Garden for Saturday night, but we still need to find a scalper for tickets.

Go Pitt...Beat Georgetown!!!

The first time in 7 years

For the first time in seven years, I am not in New York City for the Big East Basketball Tournament. I have gone every year and scalped tickets for every game that Pittsburgh has played. They have 12 wins and five losses in those 17 games over the years. Out of the seven years, they have been to the final championship game in six of those years.

The reason I didn't go this year is because I was scheduled to have chemotherapy this past Wednesday (the first day of the tournament). Well, my blood counts were too low and I ended up not being able to have chemo (it will be on Monday, now). So, I missed the tournament for basically nothing.

The good news is that my friend from college, Fish, came to visit me. So he and I have watched the Panthers win two games and get to the semi-finals tonight. I am really happy he is here with makes it easier to take.

Everyone cheer for Pitt tonight against Marquette!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Past two days...

For the past two days, I have gone to work. I cannot work a full day because of the fatigue, but it just feels so good to get up in the morning and have *something* to do. Yesterday, I did 4 hours and as soon as I got home, I was out like a light for a two-hour nap. Today, I want to go to the gym after work, so I am going to push myself to not nap. We'll see what happens...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Repost - Colon Cancer 5K Run/walk

Hey everyone! If anyone is procrastinating in supporting me during a 5K run/walk in the end of March, here is another chance to get on the stick. :-) The "race" partially benefits the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center (where I go for treatments). Below is all the info you need.

We're forming a team to run/walk in the 'Fourth Annual Scope It Out 5K' race in Washington, D.C., and would like to invite you to run or walk with us (Team Name: "Never FELT Better"). You can also volunteer and donate to support the fight against colon cancer. To register to run or walk with our team, follow this link:

Make sure to indicate when you register that you are participating with team "Never FELT Better". Registration is only $20 before February 1st! Race Details: The race will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 30, 2008, in West Potomac Park, Washington, D.C., during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. To date, Scope It Out 5K has raised over $185,000 to further colorectal cancer research and awareness. Proceeds will go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Colon Cancer Alliance, and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital (where Shawn is currently getting treated). Official race website:

There are other ways to support this effort besides running or walking the race: 1) Volunteer during race day, and do things like register participants and hand out water. Volunteer information can be found on the race website. 2) Donate to help the cause. Donations can be made in support of "Never FELT Better" at (Thank you!!)

We would like to keep track of who is participating in the race or volunteering. Please email your information and any questions you may have to Anne Dilger at or Carrie O'Brien at Hope to see you at the race! Remember - feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested in supporting Shawn!

Change in 2nd opinion...

We have decided to go to Johns Hopkins University for my second opinion. Johns Hopkins has been rated in the top three the past 20 years or so in cancer care. Can't beat that. Plus, its only in Baltimore...which is really close compared to Chicago or Philly. I can drive it each time I would need to go.

My consultation visit is scheduled for 21 March. Stay tuned as I may need rides to and from Baltimore, if you want to help out.

In the meantime, I have to collect all my medical records and I'm also continuing my chemotherapy at Georgetown. Its not like I don't like the care at G-town...I just want to know what else is out there. Maybe Johns Hopkins has treated people just like me. You never know...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Basketball this time...

Okay, who was it this time? I received an autographed photo and media guide from the Pitt baskeball head coach. Which one of you guys had a hand in that? Thank you! :-)