Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kelly Shannon - LCAM Eve - My Birthday

Well, it's the last year in my 30's.  Today, I officially turn 39.  I'm so blessed to see this day.  And since it's my birthday, I wanted to kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month a day early since we usually get overshadowed by Movember.  Tomorrow will symbolize the beginning of Lung Cancer Awareness month.   This is the month that should be so popular in our culture, but it's not.  I'm oing to do my best to write about the survivors and those who have left us as much as possible during November.  This is my first.  Please read to the end and share.

It's my birthday, yes.  But this birthday is different.  I don't get to talk to one of my best friends.  I lost her in July to the same disease that threatens to take me and more of my friends and does take #433 a day.  That pain will never cease to exist.

I sleep with the unicorn painting we both loved next to my bedside.  I still watch facebook posts so I can hear your voice and sometimes I still cry.  I never made it up to see you before you went to the other side.  But you are my soul sister, Kelly Shannon, I promise I will find you.  I've missed you every sing day more than you can imagine.  Our talks about dating, our children, our fears, our joys, our sadness, and our hopes and dreams and our secrets.  It's really hard without you here anymore.  But you are one of the reasons I'm going to keep fighting and keep inviting people into my life going through the same thing.  You had a heart of pure gold, not a bad word to be said about anyone.  You were there for everyone.  I strive to be more like you and I hope I'm making you proud....until I see you again and we can snapchat like crazy.  I miss your silly snapchats so much.  We talked for a while, because I picked to write about you during Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we hit it off from there.  Finally meeting in D.C. for the summit that year, we were like inseparable school girls, I felt like we probably got in trouble some and busted a lot.  And I will keep our secrets to my grave.  I love you, always.

My friend Linnea Olson just lost a close friend of hers as well.  His name was Christian.  She wrote a blog about him that made me ugly cry.  They were so close and had been fighting the fight together for 8 years.  Kelly had 6 and I'll be 6 November 27.  Linnea is an OG so I can't even remember how long she's been forging trails.  She and Christian were both always in uncharted territory.  When something didn't work, they went on to the next.  I just want to honor them both today for what they've done for the rest of us.

So, this Lung Cancer Eve (aka Halloween, aka my birthday-I do what I want), I want to start a tradition.  I want to blog about someone with lung cancer or who has passed on.  I want their lives to not have been in vain and for all of us to be remembered as the generation that changed Lung Cancer.  Because WE CAN and WE WILL.  I've really been hanging with Chris Draft too much!

So Kelly, thank you for being my soul sissy, my go to person, my cancer buddy, and a piece of my heart.  God put us together at exactly the right moment when we needed each other most.  I still talk to your dad, I even made sure our names got on the same shirt along with Nicole Russell and so many more.

Like Linnea said, this is a hard road.  It's hard for others to understand not just the physical drain, but the emotional damage.  I want to thank all of you for your kindness and prayers throughout this journey.  I will never be free of this cancer, but I can be treated for a while hopefully, and to me that is enough.  I thank God for this time He has given me and want to put it to good use.  I hope you read the statistics I put up.  And if you read this to the end, I hope you share this one.  It's very informative.

Here is a copy of Linnea's Blog.  Christian Nataline by Linnea Olson  She is such an inspirational writer and wrote this beautiful memoir for her dear friend.

Left to right:  Lisa Goldman, Linnea Olson, Samantha Mixon (me duh), and Kelly Shannon

Thank you LUNGevity for bringing us together!

Kelly's Favorite

Kelly....your dad said he would only do this for you.

Representing Kelly and her two boys, I took a photo of these at her service

So beautiful

The painting we love.  She is the unicorn.

Kelly and her sweet boys.  She held on so long for them.

Kelly and her friends of 24 years.  She was blessed.

If you think it can't happen to you, read this again.  Thank you LUNGevity

Once again, look at the facts.  433 people in the United States will die EVERY DAY from lung cancer.  This is an EPIDEMIC.  It's equivalent to a Jumbo Jet crashing and everyone on board perishing....EVERY DAY.

Kelly took this of pic of me when we we were supposed to be taking group photos.  We were in a bubble and talking about our childhood love of honeysuckles.

Fly high my friend, I hope I make you proud

Thank you Father.

Now, have fun trick or treating tonight baby girl.  You may be taller, but always my baby.  Last year they were social media apps.  This year she's doing Monsters, Inc.  Shes Sully, the tallest....My world.

Monday, October 22, 2018


It's been a while since I've posted.  Since then, my sister has aged, my niece has aged, and I'm 9 days away from turning 39.  The last year of my 30's.  Had you asked me this almost 6 years ago, I would've told you, "no way am I living that long".  But I have and I am.  Do I feel guilty that I've survived while so many others have gone on?  Yes.  I feel guilty all the time.  There is nothing that makes me better or more special than these people.  But God has me here for a purpose, so I'm going to keep writing and telling the story of my life until I fulfill that purpose.

I entitled this blog "moments" because this is one of the moments I never thought I would see.  I never thought I would see my daughter turn 13 or let her have a sleepover with friends and scare them to death while watching "The Purge".  I never thought my daughter would even like scary movies.  After all, my life was supposed to end when she was 8.  But it didn't, because only one being knows my fate.  And I thank Him for these moments I've been able to share with my daughter, family and friends.

I've been able to be here for my daughter through middle school (worst years of school).  She has thrived at everything she set her mind to.  I wish she would set her mind to her grades, but she still has all A's  and B's, and we aren't all perfect.

The most exciting part of this year was watching her as one of the Team Captains, help take her middle school volleyball team on to win the county championship.  In middle school, that's as far as you go.  But, as an 8th grader, they won!  I couldn't contain my excitement or praise God enough for allowing me to live long enough to see her so happy and proud.

I know, I may be the overbearing proud parent.  But she is my world.  And that moment is one I will never forget.  I've posted a few pictures from friends and at the game itself.  I'm so happy her father encouraged her passion for the sport she now loves, lives, and breathes.

That's it for now.  Just wanted to share some encouragement.  Thank you for your continuous prayers and well wishes.  Please keep them coming.  I really want to see her grow up.  She's at that age now where she pretty much is embarrassed if I look at her, but I know it will pass.  I did the same to my mom.  God bless you all and thank you Lord for this, and all of these days.