Friday, April 10, 2009

say hello to my little friend

well, chemo round #2 happened two days ago (rachel: 2, cancer: 0). it went much better than the first time thanks to my little alien baby that was implanted on tuesday. no more burning arm and i have both hands free to read my "who needs hair" book I got from my new 80 year old friend, Nonnie, who too has cancer. they also switched out one of my anti-nausea drugs via IV due to a rare side effect that i had last infusion. good news is that i shouldn't get that headache i had last time, bad news is that this drug only lasts 24 hrs as opposed to the other one which lasted 5 days. it's been about 40 hours and so far so good. i'm mentally tougher than that ;)

i decided that cancer in itself isn't all that's what comes after the diagnosis. all the doctor's visits, the xrays, CT scans, PET scans, surgical biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, echocardiogram, pulmonary function test, and now my new friend i just got put in my chest. i haven't named her yet, but it will be something i will share because i like, suggestions welcomed.

the tests are just cruel...take the PET scan. they make you drink 2 huge bottles of watered down sugary milky crap and then make you lie still for 30 minutes in a small tube where all you think about is how much you have to pee. and don't let them fool you, because even when you motion for the tech to come into the room because you are gonna pee all over their multi-million dollar machine...she will ignore you, because there's no way she's gonna stop the scan. plus she knows there's no way a 28 year old is gonna pee her pants. i'll show her next time!

the bone marrow biopsy was not fun either, but it's just pain...i can handle that. it's not like a small bladder where it can all flow out...clearly i'm just still bitter. but they can only numb you so deep, so the doctor says, "this will hurt...just think good thoughts...and don't move because we don't wanna have to do this twice." there's no way i'm moving now...and yet my body starts to move. but, i realize i'm not moving my's the hollowed out screwdriver stuck in my back that is moving me. good times. i did get to see the bone marrow in the specimen cup. totally worth it.

cancer changes everything. i have no stress. doctor's orders and i willingly abide. it helps that i am married to the world's greatest husband who has made every step of the way so easy on me. everyone is so nice. a friend pointed out how life would be so different if we all treated each other like we had cancer. so true. i now look for the hidden meaning in things...7 days after my first treatment, i woke up in the middle of the night in the worst bone pain i've ever felt. it was as if i jumped off a building and landed straight-legged and jarred my entire body. it was 3am and lay awake for an hour while joey held me and i cried. i just kept repeating in my head, "rejoice in your suffering, rejoice in your suffering."

but when you don't have any stress, you can handle the steroids waking you up at 4am, water tasting like metal, food lacking all taste whatsoever, wearing a surgical mask on a plane, accumulating scars all over your body (7 and counting), watching your hair come out in your hands...because it just drives you to persevere even more.

the support from friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers has been amazing. is spreading like wildfire and is so exciting to see the effort that has gone into it and the generosity that will come out of it. joey and i have decided that along with donating the remaining money to a charity, we want to help out others who we have met in the treatment center who need assistance with their co-pays and deductibles. this fundraiser is going to truly change lives...and we will all look pretty darn good doing it in our team rachel gear :)

so, even though my new friend is causing me some pain and discomfort after being implanted under my skin, i like her. she is just giving me more character...and who couldn't use a little more of that. so, when we come up with a name, don't forget to say hi to her as well.

"we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts" romans 5:3-5


  1. well...a lot of my kids name their ports, but they are usually boy ports so i am at a loss here as you have clearly decided she is a she. my favorite name was pete the port though...the patient was 2 though so that was pretty adorable.

  2. glad to hear you're powering through this - we're looking forward to seeing you both next weekend!


  3. Great read as always Rachel! Keep chugging, you can beat it! You and Joe are in my prayers.

    Cancer is in my prayers too, because it has never seen the likes of Officer Bailey Gates :)

    Eric D

  4. Thankfully, G-d's promises,His mercies and His compassion is new EVERY morning. Great is His faithfulness. Lam. 3:23.
    Praying for you each day.

  5. amen Rachel. Hope does NOT disappoint. Name suggestion: Hope- because God is pouring out His love into you.

  6. You totally rock, Rach.

    BTW, my port is just "My Robot Parts." I never gave it a proper name. Poor, unappreciated port.

    You should let Brook poke it. It helps.

    -Cindy (Brook's Interwebz friend)

  7. I have a name suggestion for your "friend" -
    "Arya" it means "faithful friend" :)
    I truly admire your strength and your positive attitude - there is a song I also wanted to pass along to literally popped in to my head while I was laying on an ultrasound table, waiting to find out if both boys still had heart beats and what their odds of making it were..."Lay it Down" by Jackie Velasquez - because I got to the point where I knew nothing was in my hands any more and I had to give it to God, there was no other option. It is an awesome song.
    I will be praying for you :)

  8. You may name your little angel as ‘Dorota’, which means ‘God’s gift’.

  9. I love all the names suggested, but truth be told I am kicking my little "friend" out in 6 months when chemo is over. So, I am naming her after Angelina Jolie's character in the movie Wanted. She was an assassin. Together we are Killing Cancer. Her name is Fox.

  10. Rachel, I love your feisty spirit. Your writing was wonderful but it made me cry. oh well, crying is good for the soul. you know you & joe are in my thoughts & prayers always. see you wednesday -- Hugs, your favorite mother in law, Kathleen

  11. Hi Rachel !! Glad to "see" your spirits are high. Your willingness to explain in detail what you're going through, plus the humor you've injected into your writing tell me the battle with this "intruder" is over. You've won !!! You just need to serve the "eviction notice". Keep plugging !!.....Rich

    BTW...I like the name you've given "her". I would have suggested "Rain" - Rachel's alien invader neutralizer.

  12. You are truly an inspiration! Keep up the positive thoughts and we will keep up our positive vibes towards you!

    Glad Fox is helping but tell her she will have to take a hike in 6 months when you get better! Emily

  13. Your determination and positivity made me cry and laugh at the same time, rachel. Im praying for you daily!

  14. You are amazing. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. {{Hugs}}

  15. I said this before and I will say it again, I admire your courage and strength. God will see you through. Keep pluggin away :) Your in my prayers and thoughts.

  16. Rachel, your faith is amazing. I pray that you feel God holding you gently in His mighty hand each day. Praying for you.

  17. Way to chase Rachel, and way to invite others to chase as well.

    -Brian (from Infusion Room Wednesdays!)