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.


June 28, 2004

Everyone has asked what they can do (thank you) and there is not much to be done right now except pray. So I thought a few of you might be interested in a few more specific prayer requests (ie. what’s weighing heavily on my mind) so here they are (and please, pardon the stream of consciousness writing…thought it might give you a bit of insight into my thoughts of late):


1) That I would not have to go through chemo. Of course, the physical side effects aren’t that thrilling (I had to put my “Breast Cancer for Dummies” book down after awhile…too much information) but my bigger concern is how much this might way lay me and affect Quinn, Kate..and Neil. This is really the one thing that is bugging me the most. I would be more “ok” with this situation if it didn’t affect others but the fact that Neil, Quinn and Kate will be affected really bothers me. This has been such a tough year (moving, new business, financially tight, new baby, etc.) and I feel like I’m being benched during the last quarter. I hate that. Of course, Satan knows that too.


2) That I would not develop lymphedema. This is a condition that develops in 10-20% of people who have their lymph nodes removed. Essentially it is a pooling of fluid, in my case in my arm, because the lymph system is disrupted during the surgery (obviously). This causes your arm to swell with fluid, restricts your range of motion and is, I understand, somewhat uncomfortable and even painful. It can be temporary or permanent. I do not want it. At all. It would affect my right arm (because the lump and lymph nodes they are removing are on the right) which is my dominant hand – making everything more difficult. Please pray that I won’t develop it and that I would heal quickly from the surgery…so I can pick up my kids again!


3) I’m struggling with the fact that this will affect me for the rest of my life. And one of my concerns is recurrence. I really do think I will beat this thing right now but there is a higher probability that I will get cancer again. I want this to be a broken leg or appendicitis. I want to have the treatment and have it be over. That is not my new reality. I know there are lots of things that change things permanently (i.e. marriage, kids, etc., etc.) but, for the most part, I’ve chosen them. I’m struggling with the fact that I didn’t choose this and I can’t change it. Add to that the fact that this thing could kill me and, well, I’m not really o.k. with that just yet.


There you have it. A wee bit of insight into what I’m chewing on these days.


I love each of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to pray for me. I am ever so grateful.



One Comment

  1. Hi Rachel,

    I just recently recently discovered you and Death is not Dying on Facebook.

    I decided to go back in your entries. This one, particularly number 3 hit home. I have developed epilepsy as the result of a head injury when I was a teenager, in the last few years. My neurologist actually used the “e” word and my name in the same sentence last week. I’m having my medication adjusted, I had a seizure 3 weeks ago – the first in 14 months. I am struggling with discouragement, depression etc. It is not just a one or two time thing, it is here to stay. However, I know that there are a lot of people out there that have it a lot tougher than I and I get mad at myself.
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and struggles with us.

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