I have alcohol running through my veins!!!!

Literally...well, ok not really. But I do get alcohol injections about once a month (and not the "fun" kind!)

I have a facial Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) and am receiving ethyl alcohol embolizations with Dr. Wayne Yakes in Denver.

So while the alcohol isn't actually running through my veins (that would be really bad) it is being injected into them to destroy the AVM vessels and eventually provide a cure!

Check out my website to read my story about life with a facial AVM, meet my doctors, and stay up to date on my treatments through my "Denver Trip" reports!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Cyndi is Superwoman!

Many of you are familiar with Cyndi, a fellow facial AVMer and Dr. Yakes patient! She has had a very rough month since her last trip to Denver in November. But she always manages to stay strong despite what this AVM hits her with. Her struggle has been so much harder than mine and I am in awe of the grace and courage that she displays.

She is also very lucky to have a great family, supportive friends, and a WONDERFUL husband Mark.

Cyndi just got out of the hospital (again!) and has updated her blog with this latest adventure... So head on over to her site and read about her AVM journey!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Hey everyone.

First of I want to say that I am feeling very well. I know that my recent blogs haven't been as "sunshiney" as I normally am. But I know you all understand. I am over my recovery, over my cold, and back to being Shalon.

Some good news, Nathan is still fighting. He may have suffered some serious damage but with this kid, you have to think that he will overcome anything that happens. He has been through so much in these first 10 months, and yet has always suprised everyone and come out on the positive side of the ugliness. Here is the most recent posting by Jaimee. Please continue to hope for the best.

Camellia was in yesterday for another embolization with Dr. Yakes. Everything went well and the lucky little girl got to have Gelato for dinner!!! You can check out the latest journal entry from Margie at her Caring Bridge site. (Permanent link is over to the right.)

I've also updated my picture page on my website and this blog with a link to Maddy's new Caring Bridge site created by her mom Sherri. Please check them out.

This morning I read a posting on Camellia's site from their friend Beth. She added a link to a website called Peace of our Minds, and the following peaceful passage.

'An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, 'A fight is going on inside me...It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride, and superiority. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.'

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf will win?'

The old Cherokee simply replied...'The one you feed.'

What a great peaceful passage. I will take this to heart and try my best to only feed the wolf that stands for all of those wonderful things that I want as part of my life. The other wolf hopefully will starve!

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and that you will get to celebrate with family and friends this year.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Very Sad News

I'm so saddened to hear the news that our little Miracle Baby, Nathan Andaya, is losing the battle to his AVM. He has been a courageous little fighter, and so have his parents. When I logged onto the message board this morning, I read the following post from Jaimee-

Nathan Andaya..the Lord will be calling him home

i don't even know how to start this..

first off, I would like to say thank you to everyone here on this forum who has been there for us throughout this whole battle..your encouraging words, prayers and kindness mean so much to us..

unfortunately Nathan will not be making it..initially one of the two main veins clotted..and now the second one had clotted off (due to high pressures of the AVM)..unfortunately there is nothing the doctors can do..right now Nathan's brain continues to swell due to the increasing pressure..he is on morphine and tylenol to relieve any kind of pain..we have been placed in a private room so that family members and friends can come to say goodbye..we were given an estimate of 2-3 days starting from today (dec 6th). The last CT scan revealed that Nathan had already suffered from strokes and additional severe brain injuries..right now he is currently sleeping..he is still being monitored but we decided to take off his feeding tube..

thank you everyone for being such a blessing to us..please pray for Tj & I...God bless

You can read Nathan's story on his website http://www.nathanj125.com/ and his mom's blog postings at AVM Survivors Network

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers