Shannon Mendola

First post: Dec 2, 2018 Latest post: Feb 8, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

I was 10 years old when my sister Shannon was born. She was born in April and it happened to be snowing in New York that day. Actually we were in the middle of a blizzard! I can still remember recording her little voice and baby noises on my old red tape recorder. Growing up was fun and never a dull moment! However, even with 6 of us, I do not recall any broken bones, trips to the hospital for injuries, serious illnesses. For the most part we were a healthy bunch and if I am not remembering that correctly, I am sure my parents will correct me. :)

We definitely have lots of sweet memories as kids and growing up into the teen years. I loved being the big sister and still do. My siblings are very special to me and although we are created uniquely and differently in our own way, there has always been a special bond shared. Over the years we have celebrated marriages, babies being born, watching the kids grow together, experiencing our ups and downs, disagreements, successes, gatherings and parties, saying goodbye to loved ones, distance and miles separating some of us from doing daily life together. Yet all in all we remain close in many ways and do what we can to support, love and be there for each other.

There have certainly been things we've had to endure as a family... hard things. Recent months however have us facing something in which has rocked our world quite a bit. Even as I type this up I am not sure I (or any of us) have completely been able to wrap our brain around it all.

This past month has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for our sister Shannon. She celebrated her 35th Birthday this past April surrounded by family and friends. Enjoyed her spring, summer and then come early fall, she had been experiencing some severe pain in her legs. She was sent to her local hospital to find out what was causing this pain. Apparently she had high levels of calcium that were causing her muscles to contract. They also did some routine blood work which showed her levels were very low and with that they immediately admitted her. After 8 long days in the hospital and countless tests,doctors stated Shannon has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Ok....wait...can you repeat that please...cancer??!! Yes. And this is her journey.

Knowing all I know to do, it was time to call on our prayer warriors! Texts, and messages flooded in and I have saved each and every one, to which I share with encouragement.

After the initial shock and diagnosis it has unfortunately gotten a bit worse with news of it spreading to her bone marrow and to her spine/spinal fluid. Shannon was admitted to the hospital Friday November 30 to receive her first round of chemotherapy and blood transfusions as her levels are still low and her immune system is still at great risk. They continue to keep her in the hospital so they can monitor her and from what we know as of now, she is not experiencing any severe side effects from her treatment.

I shared with Shannon the idea of CaringBridge and asked her permission to share her story and continue to share her journey...the good days, the not so good days, and everything in between. We know phone calls, texts, emails can be overwhelming to stay on top of and as much as she will want to talk and keep everyone updated, we discussed using this as a way to communicate on a whole.

The support, love and prayers received have been absolutely incredible and Shannon has shared how much she can really "feel" all of it. I have been thankful for the conversations I have had with her and the opportunity to pour in to her from afar.  Although miles apart, love knows no distance!

--Family and friends have shared so much encouragement and many are battling in prayer along with us! Reminders like...God is in the storm with you, He knows every wave that is going to hit, every lightning strike that will come. And He can silence it all with the sound of His voice. Praying that the seas will stand still for you and for the entire family. He is so faithful! God's purpose for all of this will bring so much glory. Praying bold prayers for you all!

We know that none of this is easy. So many prayers are being lifted for miracles in Shannon's health. God created every cell in her body, and knows every hair on her head. He loves her and her family more than anyone could. Praying that she will sense his love and his presence, even know. Praying for grace, for help to trust Him and for His peace. Cancer is scary, but our God is bigger!

Thank you to EVERYONE for your continued love, support and for those bold prayers!

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