Eye/Brain/Lungs/Liver Cancer Fundraiser

Hello, I am Shannon and I thank you for reading my BLOG posted on here to help you better acquaint yourself with who I am. I am just a regular girl/woman of 45 years that is suddenly and unexpectedly, fighting for my life against a harsh Battle called Cancer. Presently, we have learned that we are facing Eye and Brain Cancer with a mass on one lung and the Liver. Those 2 areas will be fully investigated and determined on the 12th of February 2014.

I began this Journey on the 26th day of December 2013 in my Family Physicians office with a headache that had reached its **13th day** of residence in my poor head. I expressed to my Family Physician whom I have been seeing for the past 17 years, that I had a terrible headache and that my (LEFT Eye) felt like it was going to pop out of the socket. He immediately sent me to an Opthamologist that dilated my eyes and identified a tumor attached to the back of my (RIGHT Eye) with a partially detached Retina to boot.

That is the day that has changed my life forever...I was referred back to my Family Physician to whom I owe my life for his Industrious thoroughness of patient care. He knows that I work in Emergency Medicine and that I don't play with hedging around about my health. So when I told him my pain was a (12) on a scale of 1-10, he believed me and sent me out to have my Eye Pressure tested immediately.

Returning to my Family Doctor didn't really phase me because I was reading the doctors reactions to the news they were giving me and basing my emotions off of their lead. Well...let me tell you, these 2 guys must have been GREAT Poker Players in their College Years!! (LOL)... They did a SUPER job of hiding their fears and reservations about what they saw, from me. For that, I applaud them.

I am used to having a Poker Face on the Ambulance no matter what I see until I am alone or at least, ONLY in the company of my Partner. But, to be the patient... Well, I am not used to that role so much, so I missed the pass of the football from the Eye Doctor back to the Family Doctor...completely missed it. I didn't read between the lines or as we EMS often do, (Self Assess) myself because I missed the pass. I missed all the warning flags because I trusted them and didn't second guess them. 

Ha, the joke was on me BUT do NOT misunderstand...I am so Happy that I was in some kind of oblivion that day with the pain of my headache that I didn't register the uneasiness of my family doctor or the nurses...Total Oblivion... I prefer to call it actually, "GODS UMBRELLA OF GRACE!" He shielded me from what I could NOT have handled that day.

That night, December 26th, 2013, just a few short weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed forever. I had an MRI that same evening at 7:30 and the Technician was as pleasant and normal behaving as she could be BUT, when the phone rang at 11:30 that same night and it was the Radiologist telling me to come right back in there first thing in the a.m.; my heart only skipped a beat because I was thinking fussy films of my Brain and Eye Orbits.  Until the Radiologist called again the very next a.m. to say get out of bed and in here immediately. Then, the nausea hit and hasn't left since...my nerves hit the fan like a scarf sucked onto the screen of a fan and I have been stuck there every since...just stuck in this incessant position of twisting and turning but never making it off this damn oscillating thing that is making me feel so sick and terrified.


I made it in alone to re-take the MRI pictures of the Brain and Eye Sockets ONLY to be referred back to my Family Doctor. That same morning I would be told the sickest words you EVER want to hear....**You have Cancer.**  It is an Aggressive Malignant Tumor on your eye and you have a Brain Tumor as well on the left side of your Brain.

I'm certain that I do NOT have to tell you that I called my husband who was asleep from having just gotten off shift at 3:30 a.m. to tell him to come get me now....right now. My family doctor was like a caged animal having to say those words to me. I have NEVER seen him as upset and disoriented as he was that day. I have always admired and adored my Family Doctor; his ability to separate his emotions from business, impeccable.  BUT, I have to say, his demeanor broke that day because he was completely out-of-his-frame and he is a VERY together kind of man. It actually broke my heart that he had to be the one to tell me this news. Even though we are not related, we have trusted him for many years and he really feels like family.  He was pure shaken.

That is when I started hearing ALL the Alarm Bells ringing and everything about my senses was in Hyper-drive. To be Frank..., I was (over-run with FEAR.)  My life immediately started flashing before my eyes and the first thing that HIT me like a BRICK WALL was the **smell of my newborn baby daughter 24 years prior...** that was my first flash back of my life and I went numb. DO you hear me, I was numb...

I believe when I got the news that the numbness was a GIFT from GOD, I truly do because I was basically in robot mode then. I called Tiffany, the 24 year old baby that I just smelled in a flash-back of my life. I told her very calmly and resolutely that I needed her to go pick up her sister and take her to the airport in Raleigh to fly to California. Well... for those of you that know Tiffany, she does NOT take lightly to a change in plans without a satisfactory reason. So, I went into MOM mode to protect her and when my voice changed so did hers. She immediately went into Paramedic mode on me...I know you aren't telling me something, why can't you drive to the airport...?

I instantly gave her the, "My head is hurting really bad and I am at the doctor," excuse, so she pushed really hard like you have to do on the Ambulance with stubborn patients sometimes. Even though I recognized the tactic, I caved immediately and the phone went silent. I didn't mean to tell Tiffany the truth and she didn't mean to push for it either.  You know once the cat is out of the bag, it usually doesn't go back in , right... Tiffany found her voice and said I will be right there and the phone went dead.

She was there before her daddy and she was a hell of a lot farther away...I believe that her Paramedic, Hot Call/Lights Sirens foot works in her POV too!! (LOL) We were all in shock. David sent Tiffany and I outside so he could talk to our Doctor, man to man, but our Doctor was in such a hurry, that he didn't even notice David standing right there in front of him. David never got to speak to him because he was in a Frenzy of well-orchestrated CHAOS...we call it organized chaos on the Ambulance. It is a dance with the EBB and Flow that only EMT's and Firefighters understand.

Anyway, he had us going straight to UNC Chapel Hill to see a Neuro- Surgeon and then boom I was in the office of an Ocular Oncologist. I remember the Ultra sound of my eye and the silence in the room. Then suddenly hearing the words, I am going to surgically remove your right eye. Do you understand what I am saying to you?...to which I could only nod yes because it was just a headache, right...somebody was going to pinch me and wake me up...NOPE.

So, I wrote all of that to write this...

We do have medical insurance and for that we Thank the LORD. What we are battling now is the same problem EVERY Family is battling; a two income family suddenly at the screeching halt intersection of a WOW, NOW you're a one income family. And surprisingly, Medical Bills hit our mailbox quicker than we can say Hallelujah! Co-pays and deductibles have to be met and then fuel to get back and forth to UNC Chapel Hill several times a week as we are doing now.

We will be seen/cared for by UNC Chapel Hill Physicians until all that can be removed from the body is removed and the time for Chemo and Radiation begins. Then we can be referred back to Fayetteville to have those treatments handled here locally, because the Cancer Center here will work in concert with UNC Chapel Hill to facilitate my care.

In the meantime, we need Tons and tons and tons of PRAYER SUPPORT from all of you that believe in the Power of Prayer! And, if you believe in Prayer but think/feel that you don't know how to Pray, you can just say JESUS, JESUS and he will hear you and know the need that you are trying to fill. If you DO NOT believe in Prayer, you can Still help us by sending positive thoughts and or calling or writing to us.  David and I sincerely need a safety net. We need Intercessory Prayer and support to help guide us through this Journey to a positive end!!

If you feel led to get onto this ship with us remember this...our ship is Lost at Sea right now and we are Praying in the dark to find our way...the ride is going to be hellish at times and sometimes get worse before it gets better. BUT, we need you and welcome you to join us on this Journey because we DO KNOW THIS... We BELIEVE that GOD only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. Therefore, he must see something in us that we DO NOT see in ourselves to think that we can handle this. So, if you can, come join us and help us handle this...remembering that FOR EVERYTHING there is a SEASON... After 26 years of marriage we have come into our SEASON...We have a great RECIPE for success, OUR LOVE and FAITH and YOU  and YOUR LOVE AND FAITH AND ALL OF YOUR TALENTS...will you be able to join us? We need you if you can!! And we thank you in advance for all of your care, Prayer and support in whatever way you see fit that you can help us.

With Love and Faith,



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Shannon Merritt Gibson 
Fayetteville, NC
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