Monday, June 8, 2009

they got kids, i got cancer

i'm sad. maybe it's just the rain. i tried to convince myself. no, i'm definitely sad. i was sitting in my friend vanessa's living room at 7am reading my "crazy sexy cancer" book. i love going back home to long island and visiting friends and family. but this time was just a little tough. everyone's lives are moving forward while mine is at a standstill. they all have babies. i have cancer.

brooke was prepping the kids before my arrival, letting them know that aunt rae rae doesn't have any hair. abby asked her if it was because of the cancer and brooke told her yes. abby said, "poor aunt rae rae," then took a moment to process that piece of information and asked, "does she still have her dog?" she was quite relieved to learn that cancer had not taken bailey from me.

my niece meagan is my little clone. she looks and acts just like me when i was her age.

she is also my biggest advocate. we sat together during church with our matching "kill cancer" tattoos. i gave her a handful of extras for when hers faded off her arm and she left for sunday school with them in her pocket. mid-service, she's back asking for more. it turns out that she asked the teacher if she could make an announcement...oh, and that she needed to stand while doing so. she then proceeded to point out her shirt and explain that "TR" meant Team Rachel and that everyone should go visit the website. she gave each kid a tattoo. after church, meg brought each of her friends to see me. no introduction or anything...she brought them over purely to look at me.

i love being around my nieces and nephew's so refreshing. they tell it like it is. within minutes of arriving at brooke's house,
meg said, "aunt rae rae?" yes, meg. "i miss your hair." me too, meg.

i am actually starting to really miss my hair. for some odd reason i was thinking that it would be back after chemo was done. i forgot to calculate the time for growth. i find myself doing things to make myself look more girly, like painting my fingernails hot pink. bad move. johanna likes to remind me how much i spent on a wig that i don't wear.
i think i'll start utilizing it more. i'm sick of looking like a fat army offense to anyone who is fat or in the army or a lesbo.

speaking of jo jo...she's coming to visit me this weekend and man, am i excited. i usually have her color my hair when i see her. good thing she is also a licensed massage therapist. totally gonna pull the cancer card.

my CT scan results show that only 50 percent of the cancer still remaining. everyone seems elated except for me. 50% gone at the halfway mark sounds like the norm to me. i don't wanna be the norm. i used to cry if i got an A- and didn't get a B until high school. my cancer should be at least 75% gone at the halfway mark. in my delusional mind, i had killed all the cancer, but just had to finish up the chemo...kinda like a round of antibiotics. i don't think i have a 3/4 of the way scan, but if i do, i better ace it.

there was no sadness this weekend when joey and i celebrated our 5 year anniversary. not every couple gets cemented together through trials faced in marriage and in life. the absence of babies and presence of cancer has opened our eyes to the kind of spouses we need to be and family we wish to have. i think we will do a better job at both because of it. in the meantime, we are collecting memories with our Kill Cancer Summer Tour '09. we are visiting as many people and places as possible on the off-chemo weeks and hosting any and all visitors when we are home. if you aren't yet on the tour, you are clearly lacking special talents like cooking, aren't licensed in accupuncture, or simply live somewhere boring ;)

Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. -mark batterson


  1. pshhht who wants kids anyway??? killing cancer is way easier than raising kids (or so i hear). Besides, thelionchasersguidetoraisingchildren.blogspot was already taken.

    Massage huh?? well, instead of me giving you a massage, how about i'll pay for BOTH of us to get massages. that works out better for me and my schedule.

    so fire up the scattegories timer and get ready for my A game... let bailey know his fav aunt is on her way... and tell Joe i haven't read any good books recently so don't ask and embarrass me.
    love love

  2. I hope Steve and I at least make it to the Fall 2009 tour. I know we were once on the calendar, but I heard work travel plans fell through. Anyway, we've got lots of wine, food and scenic water views here in the Bay Area, good medicine for Killing Cancer.


  3. we are trying to put San Fran back on the tour...working on it!

  4. Rachelly, I love your posts, even when they make me cry. It was so great to see you and the family. Always thinking about you and I wish I had the power to make all the bad go away.

    BTW, if you really do have a wig I could use it! HUGS

  5. "Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life"

    I love this quote. I'd like to think it's why I'm fat. I love to celebrate everything. Unfortunately I do it with food and wine. I did this to myself! sad face.

  6. Well "hello" Rachel. I didn't realize till this evening that you posted an entry one week ago (mea culpa,...). I also understand now why I haven't seen you and Joe for a week or two.

    I'm glad you got to see family and friends back home, but I'm sorry to hear that you're "sad". Sadness is temporary; Love is forever. The outpouring of love from your family and friends will surely overcome that "resident evil" you're about to evict.

    BTW, I have a question...if you or Joe could call me when you have a moment (301-518-3486).

  7. Hi Rachel ~ I enjoyed reading your blog, congrats to you and Joe, 5 years thats amazing!....oh, and I think you look like a woman. ; ) keep strong love, Alma

  8. i found myself tearing up a little catching up on all your entries. at the same time i was cracking a smile, because your kick a** attitude is rad. yes rad.
    i'll be praying for you, no doubt.

  9. I just read every one of your posts, I have been too far gone from FB to get your message that you started this thing, now I found it and love it and will be tracking you down!!

    Keep up the fight sista!! I had a cancer scare, had it removed, and in that "waiting period" got motivated to live it up, YOU ARE TOTALLY living it up, keep at it!! Hard days will be there, but God never gives us more than we can handle-

    huge hugs!

  10. Rachel! I remember you from the facebook page - have just read all your posts and LOVE your blog :)how's it going with the working out? i'm slowly getting back into running (at the speed of a one-legged centipede but what the hey) and am starting to feel good again. all the best with your chemo (are you on ABVD or BEACOPP or...?) and keep us posted! Roz xxxxx