Here is Her Story:
Shawntell had diarrhea, sometimes constipation, stomach pains, and blood in her stool off and on for a few months. Since the symptoms would come and go, she thought it was just her nerves. She would say the blood in her stool was probably hemorrhoids, which she did have a problem with. When I’d mention to her about going to the doctor, she would always say, “it’s going to get better, besides Mom, it’s not all the time.”
On December 4, she called me and said she was going to Lake After Hours because her stomach bad been hurting her really bad all day. I told her I would her there. The doctor sent her to the emergency room at a local hospital to get an ultrasound done on her gallbladder. That night after the ultrasound, she was admitted into the hospital “to run more tests.”
After a few days in the hospital and several tests later, the doctor came in and said they had scheduled a colonoscopy. They were looking for colon cancer. The colonoscopy confirmed it was Stage IV; the cancer had spread to her liver. We were released from the hospital on December 10, 2007. On December 17, she started her chemo treatments. For 16 months she had chemo treatments, more colonoscopies, PET scans, and all the horrible side effects.
On April 6, 2009, I went with Shawntell for a treatment. The doctor told us, no more treatments. Her liver was shutting down.
She fought her battle, with a smile on her face, and bravery in her eyes. She didn’t complain or ask “why me.” On days she felt well enough to leave the house, she wanted to do things with her girls. She would tell me, “I’m making memories for them.” Shawntell was more concerned about her girls, and how her leaving would affect me, her Mom, than she was concerned about herself.
I later learned she told a couple of her friends, “Watch over my mom for me, she’s going to need help to get through this.”
As sick as she was, she didn’t want people to feel sorry for her. No matter how bad she felt she always had a smile when a friend came to visit her. Shawntell was a beautiful, full of life, free spirited person. She never met a stranger. Even as a little girl I remember her just meeting someone, and talking to them as if she’d known them all her life. She loved people, and loved being surrounded by family and friends. She touched so many lives in the short time she was here with us, with her kind heart, beautiful smile, and wonderful laughter.
Shawntell was also involved with Relay for Life. She did volunteer work and fundraisers for many years. Shawntell was a wonderful Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Friend who is missed by many. When I lost her, I lost not only my daughter, but my best friend.
We love and miss you Shawntell.
Mom, Jan Flores
I’m asking if you or your loved ones have any of these symptoms. insist that they go to the doctor and get checked, regardless of AGE. I pray that Shawntell’s story can save at least one life.