During the bouts of cancer diagnosis and treatments, Rachel writes e-mails to keep her friends and family updated on her thoughts and spiritual walk.


October 5, 2004

First things first. The eyebrows. Many are asking. They are still there – in all their low-maintenance glory. I am still holding my breath as it’s still possible that they may fall out but, even if they do, I’ve hung on to them for half of this journey. Victory.


This last round was so much better than the second but although I didn’t feel as nauseated this time around, I felt like – well, like I was dying. My body isn’t able to fight back as well – which is the whole point of chemo (to kill off dividing cells, including the healthy ones, in the hope of eliminating the cancer) – and I could feel it. It was the strangest feeling and I don’t think I can describe it any other way. I was just acutely aware of my mortality and that my body was being attacked. Strange. Each experience has been so different.


I was (and am) more tired than previous rounds and it’s taking longer to recover fully but am grateful that the nausea was minimalized. It was so good to have a “positive” experience this time as the memory of that second round is still looming large. When my doctor initially suggested admitting me (as I was in tears recounting how awful it had been), she said, “It’s one thing to go through something like that once and another thing to go through it knowing that you have to do it four more times.” Exactly. Anyway, the plan is to continue admitting me for treatment. I’m glad. Makes the anticipation a little easier.


The doctor has also prescribed a drug called Neupogen to help boost my white blood cells and hopefully avoid any further delays. I have to give myself an injection every other day. Not so fun. Partly because I have to stick myself with a needle but mostly because I have to grab an inch or so of fat to do it. (just kidding…just kidding)


Rachel, Kate, and Quinn Group Run for the Cure

I was able to do the Run for the Cure on Sunday. Another victory. It was so important to me that I be able to do it because it was also one thing that cancer didn’t alter. I know it doesn’t seem like much but when everything in life is turned upside down sometimes being able to do the simplest things when you want to do them means alot. It’s a control issue. I know. But I figure that letting myself think I have control is a cheap treat to give myself once in awhile.


I can’t thank you enough – those who supported me, those who walked with us (some family and friends even flew in from Calgary and Toronto!), those who walked in other cities for me and those who prayed that I would be well enough in time. Over 50 people came and walked on Team “rb” – all in black (of course) long sleeved tees with a giant “rb” on the front – and then had brunch together afterwards. Such a great party and so good for my soul to see so many dear friends and family.


After it was over, I was exhausted (and still am today) but am so grateful for the experience. It is humbling to be so supported by our friends and family. I said to my friend Alison, “I just can’t believe that people would want to do this for me.” I still can’t. It is tangible evidence of how much God loves me – regardless of all my shortcomings – and how he uses you to show me.


I am loved and I have eyebrows.


I am so blessed.


“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.”
Romans 11:36



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