If you'd like to send an ornament, you can send it to the Immels @
13405 SW Lancewood Street
Beaverton OR 97008
Welcome to Shauna's Cancer Blog. She had an amazing 3 1/2 battle with cancer, but lost her fight on December 3rd, 2009. She shared many of her thoughts about her fight within this blog. May she be remembered long into the future!
The Life Boat
by Shauna Berglund Immel
Life is like a Cruise Ship.
Like the Carnival Line.
Exciting and fun.
Sailing over the waters with ease.
Without a care in the world.
Dolphins jump in the wake.
Like a marching band
leading a float in a parade.
Waves break against the bough (bow?)
Turning water into mist
like confetti falling.
Dancing in the salty air
like fairies in flight.
I stand at the helm,
taking in the beauty of the beyond
and pondering the endless possibilities
as far as the eye can see
Like the ocean.
The places I can go.
The things I can see.
I breathe in the scent of the sea
Savoring the salty aroma
The salt air tickles my face
as we sail head on into the wind.
Full speed ahead.
But the ocean
and Mother Nature,
Clouds move in like shadows
as the solitude of the still blue sky
turns to chaos.
once a soft, warm breeze,
picks up speed
and the wet sprinkles on your face,
which once felt like soft kisses
now sting like a swarm of bees.
The seas swell
and the ocean waves,
once like a steady, mesmerizing heartbeat
Slap the side of the ship with force
Tossing it around
like a toy ship at odds
with a raging, swirl of sea.
So small and fragile.
No match for the strenght of the sea,
The ship takes on water
Like the weight of the world.
Beginning to go under.
Sinking deeper into the abyss.
Until all that is left
is but a tiny rowboat
adrift in the storm.
Shauna Berglund Immel has escaped from the Chemo Suite and is on the run
with "Fillup", my chemo pump for the next 46 hours. Oh boy we're gonna have
My friend Ahn: Trust you to come up with a funny name for your chemo pump!
You're incredible, how do you always stay so positive?
My resonsponse: It's better than being miserable. When you have a limited amount of time, do you want to enjoy it or be miserable? I have my moments! Ask my family! Escapes help: playdates, movies, coffee dates, lunches, books, support groups, journaling classes, etc. Facebook! Contact with friends. The support I receive is so overwhelming, I can't help but be positive back.
It's not easy. It totally sucks. I get up every single morning and look for my happy face hanging in my closet to put on. And my cape. Usually on the floor needing ironing. I wouldn't do this for anyone but my kids. Not myself. Not my husband. It's so freaking hard and it doesn't get any easier. Only harder.
See, I'm not always positive!
So Spencer flies in at 8:20am Tuesday/tomorrow!!! I can't wait to take him home, get him in the shower, with some CLEAN fresh clothes, stuff him with Pizza and ice cream, let him play video games and put him to bed in his own bed!!!! :) And hopefully between all of that stuff, hear about his trip! I'm sure knowing Spencer, his answer will be "It was fun." LOL I really think Kaelin has been missing him too. She and Simba have been sleeping in his bed. I know the bird misses Spencer and after cleaning the bird's cage yesterday myself, I miss Spencer! LOL But shhhhh.....don't tell him!!! He'll go all "teenager" on me! ;)PHEW! Boy have we been busy between sick kids, traveling, and wonderful adventures! Dealing with sickness has been an additional stressor but through it all your kids have proven themselves to be amazing, resilient, generous and flexible troopers! We have not had internet access for the past couple of days while we have been staying at the outdoor school in Takeo and now the catlin website is not working so i am trying to send this thru gmail. I can hardly believe that we have already passed the halfway point in the trip and are actually down to the last couple of days! I told the kids on day 2 that it would seem like the trip was going slowly at the beginning and then suddenly it would be over! Sure enough we have all found that to be true! I will try to give you some quick updates of the activites you have missed!The monkeys and the aquarium were a highlight for me in Beppu. And I am sure that the trained walrus knew more japanese than I do! On our last day in Beppu We were lucky enough to have clear weather on the day we took the tram up to the caldera of Mt Aso. It looked like a steaming caldron of blue/green/yellow broth and Andy had us all sit and write a tanka (a haiku but with more lines and syllables) while we were on the volcano. We also had a chance to visit with Kate Yonezawa (the previous Japanese instructor at catlin) and her husband who is a bamboo artist in the area. We visited the bamboo museum and made a small bamboo key chain.Next came our reception in Takeo which even included a large american flag! The schools we visited were most welcoming hosts and the kids enjoyed having a chance to interact with the Japanese students. We were entertained by kendo and koto demonstrations and the kids wished they had had more time to perfect their song and dance performance. Staying at the outdoor school site was certainly not luxury accomodations and I am sure your kids will have lots of complaints about the food but this was never designed to be a 5 star trip and the accomodations were more than adequate. On our last day in Takeo, we visited their local science museum. I was amazed at how well designed the exhibits were. It definitely rivaled OMSI! We went in a bungee-type aparatus that was designed to give us the feel of what it is like to walk on the moon, and we also got to sit in the middle of a gyroscope-type contraption that whirled us in every direction while spinning 360 degrees! Some of us even got to stand inside a giant soap bubble! We also went to a site which was reputed to have the largest kiln in the world! We were taught how to make a clay bowl and true to form for catlin students, everyone's turned out different (not sure if that was what the instructor expected!). These will be glazed and then shipped to us in Oregon. They will make for a precious sourvenir of our time in Takeo which is known for its pottery. On the final evening at the camp, student volunteers from the local school put on an unusal candle ceremony which included silly dances, and songs with hand-motions. To reciprocate, we taught them a few of our own as well! It was a delightful evening and send off.We have finally arrived in Hiroshima. The boys are in one youth hostel and the girls are in another a short distance apart since neither site was going to be able to take all 20 of us. Both are very new facilities and the kids are really happy with these sites. It has been an important goal of ours for the kids to learn that there are ways to make traveling less expensive. We were hopeful that the last of the illnesses were over, but it looks like a cold may have followed us here. We are crossing our fingers that it does not turn into the flu but we are thankful that tomorrow is really our last day of big adventures as we travel to the Peace Park and then take a short ferry ride to Miyajima where they will see deer walking the streets. The other night we in a circle and reflected on the differences the students have observed in Japan. It is surprising to me how insightful, perceptive and throughtful middle schoolers can be! Your kids are truly impressive! We are all learning alot - mostly about how to work together as a group and how to put the needs of the group ahead of our personal needs. As we all get tired and start to long for home we know that this will get tougher for all the kids. But we feel so fortunate to have this particular group of students with us. Luckily, there is not much that a warm bed and some pizza can't cure!Wish I had the cables to download pictures onto this computer. Andy is working on setting up some photo albums on Picassa coz the kids have taken SO many pictures!!! Hopefully a link to that is coming soon! Well, we will be home before you know it!See you soon!Pongi, Andy and Ann
Hello from Japan! I have a little bit of time and wanted to update you on Spencer's trip so far. We hope to give them all some time when they get back from their hike to Mt. Aso today to email you, but I'll fill you in myself on what I'm seeing so far. Spencer, as always has really been a wonderful, caring addition to this group of travelers. He's being so positive and helpful in all kinds of ways. He regaled us last night at dinner with stories about the monkey park and ways to not look a monkey in the eye. Today all the kids are off to Mt. Aso, which you can see yourselves from google maps. I think he's doing wonderfully overall and really enjoying himself.And then Dave came home today to find this informative email from Spencer in his inbox:
One unfortunate event is that the flu bug which was going through Catlin seems to have made its way onto the plane. A few kids have fallen prey, although-knock on wood-Spencer hasn't succumbed. The good news is that it seems to last at the most 48 hours, with only a low to moderate fever, sore throat and a few aches and pains - no runs or vomit. We're trying our best to keep those 3 children who came down with it separated and rested. And the rest, we are making sure to keep well fed with lots and lots of hand washing! We'll be sure to let you know if anything changes for Spencer, but for now rest assured that all the kids are being taken care of and no news is definitely good news. Be sure to take a look at the pictures which Andy will upload soon. They're impressive.
Hi?dad, im having a really fun time in japan. say hi to everyone for me.LOL!! We laughed so hard at the story about the monkey park and about Spencer's email! So he misses the dog!!!! LOL That's my 13 year old boy for you!!! I can't shut my 9 year old girl up, but I can't get my 13 yr old boy to talk at all!!!!
TELL simba i miss him. bye
Hi Shauna -
We finally put up the videos on our website:
They are currently on our homepage, too. Thank you so much for doing this!
I can't believe the difference in the energy around the house, minus one kid. The dynamics are so different. It's been really peaceful actually. But I sure miss my little buddy! (don't tell him I said that!!!)Everyone,Hope all is well. We are now beginning our second full day in Japan. Yesterday, we traveled from Nagoya to Fukuoka, our last long train ride for a while. Once we got to Fukuoka, we visited a shrine, the students' first taste of ancient Japanese architecture. The students spent quite a deal of time there exploring the scenery and sharing paper fortunes with their classmates. After that, we went to Canal City, a huge outdoor shopping mall, where the kids were given a bit of freetime to view a fire juggler and other street performers, shop, and eat a great meal. Some of us went to the Fukuoka Grand Ramen Stadium which took up a whole floor of the mall and contained at least twenty ramen restaurants arranged by the region of ramen they were serving---quite an interesting experience.Today, we arrived in Beppu, one of the hotsprings capitals of Japan. Today, we visited the 8 Hells, which are essentially huge hot springs and mudpits of various colors, reds, white, blues, and even green. They were spectacular! A few of us also ventured to eat hard-boiled eggs boiled in the hot springs we saw---turned brown from the water...they were perfectly safe and tasted quite good. Other than that, we went to a small zoo where the kids were able to feed elephants and a hippo.Tomorrow, we will be going to two attractions...the Uminotamago (Ocean Egg) Aquarium, one of the hugest in Japan, and a huge monkey park called Takasaki Saru Koen. This is where we are going to see thousands of Japanese monkeys close up in their "natural" tourist-filled environment. There are no cages, and the monkeys are able to roam free. It is going to be great!!!Anyways, I am working on collecting the first series of photos from our photo scavenger hunt and hope to upload them soon. We will have internet for a few days, so this should happen quite soon!Have a wonderful day and will update you soon.Andy
I wanted to send you out a quick email telling you that we have arrived at our hotel. The flights were fairly long but the kids were happy with the movies on the plane, and immigration/customs took a whole 15 minutes...not bad for 20 people. We are now in Nagoya for one night and will be going down to Fukuoka via bullet train tomorrow, where we will begin all of the fun activities we have planned such as the photo-scavenger hunt,and many others.... No bags lost, no passports lost, (knock on wood), so a very good travel day.It's really nice to know that my son listens to someone and follows instructions when given by someone else! LOL
By the way, your kids are awesome!!! Not only are they excited, but they have followed instructions excellently, considering that we are all tired. I will email you all again when I can with links to the picture/video gallery as soon as we have pictures.