"Seven weeks to look, see, learn, and share some skills in Conflict Resolution…
For over a year this journey has gradually been coming together. But the seeds were sown over 40 years ago when serving in Tanzania with the Peace Corps."  

July 30, 2007- Kampala and Shelly

It's early afternoon but I've accomplished a number of things. One was getting my bus ticket out of here tomorrow at the more civil hour of 7 am instead of 6am. It also only took me one mototaxi ride to find a bus and it was less than the bus ticket. It's easy to get lost in Kampala and I did for an hour walking in circles and finding my way eventually. Had lunch in an Indian restaurant while the midday rain descended. Did a little banking and found out my bank card doesn't work here. I still have money, but I was testing it. Walked through the Kampala crafts market, and resisted buying anything and continued to the Uganda National Library. There is only one room with all its books available. I went through a great African history section and browsed a bit. There were probably only a few thousand books in the whole place. I imagine the University is more well stocked. Then walked back in a light rain to this cyber cafe and will head on up to see the University,Makerere.

Most of you who read this don't know Shelly or Tony. They are good friends of ours. Shelly was in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe a few years after we were there. When Jacques was diagnosed with cancer, Shelly really helped him with encouragement and good info about diet and dealing with cancer. Now that hers has come back I'd ask you to send her an encouraging note if you can. The letter from her husband Tony is below:
Last July Shelly was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in one lymph node in her left armpit. She had it removed and started a year long course of injections of Leukine to help with any microscopic amounts of melanoma that could be in her system. Shelly had a very active year and we enjoyed lots of skiing, biking, gardening, and all the things we love to do. She even got very involved with volunteer work for a women's cancer survivor's group (Noble Circle Project) as their dietitian. As of May, the oncologist was extremely happy and positive about her progress. Things went great up until last week.

Last week Shelly found a lump in her right armpit and scheduled a PET scan for last Wednesday. This scan measures glucose (sugar) uptake in cells and cancer cells frequently take in sugar faster than regular cells. On Friday her oncologist read her the scan which indicated 8 “hot spots” around her torso and upper legs, neck armpits etc. This Wednesday she went in for a biopsy and had two lumps sampled – both tested positive for melanoma.

This past Friday we spent the day at the hospital where Shelly had a port installed for her immunotherapy treatment - Interleukine 2 (IL2).

On August 13 (slightly tentative- but probable) Shelly is going in for an aggressive treatment regimen. It is an immunotherapy drug that (on paper) can be pretty hard on patients. For this treatment Shelly will be admitted to the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus where she will receive a 15-minute infusion every 8 hours for a total of 12 infusions over 5 days. Following this there is a two week break and then another 5 day treatment cycle. After the second cycle Shelly will be assessed for response to treatment and upon showing positive progression she will continue the same sequence of 5-days of treatment followed by a two week break until the melanoma goes into complete remission (from 1 to 9 months).

The phenomenal side to this story is her attitude. She has been incredible and continues to focus on being healed, via spontaneous remission and medical intervention. It is amazing to see her crack a joke with the medical staff in the middle of all the shit – really amazing! Over the next couple of days we are going to find some Wonder Woman PJ’s for her stay in the hospital, I think everyone is going to love them. Rest assured that we are going to have the most fun allowed at the hospital and keep stellar attitudes. For both Shelly and I attitude and faith are the most important factors that we can work on during this time. Shelly and I spend a lot of time focusing our intention on physical health and healing, emotional strength, and a caring and positive medical support. This is where we would like you help.

If you could send us something that you find encouraging, positive, healing, healthy, humorous, uplifting or invigorating we would really appreciate it. It can really be anything – a short writing (yours or someone else), music, picture, card, poem, prayer, drawing, electronic, hardcopy – really whatever inspires you. We are asking Shelly’s mom to help us collect all of these support items and organize them so we can look through them at the hospital. It will be incredibly uplifting to look over all these supportive items when Shelly is going through treatment.

We got this idea from our friends Scott and Beth who requested support in this way when Scott was going through a Kidney Transplant.

Please send it to
Sharon Knupp / 710 Woodbourne Tr. / Dayton, OH 45459

(Home phone - 937-435-3272; Cell - 937-689-5900). We will be traveling for the week and a half before she begins treatment.

Thank you immensely for your caring/effort/support and even for your powerful intention in thought. Whenever you think of her. have confidence that she will be healed. We will keep you posted as treatment progresses. Rest assured we are focused on success, please join us in positive, successful thoughts/faith/prayer.

Shelly and Tony.